When: Sunday 1:05 pm ET.
Odds: Green Bay is favored by six points after opening at -7. The total holds at 53 points.
Last week the Dallas Cowboys caught a couple of breaks from the officiating crew to get past the Detroit Lions and in the end, that might end up being just what this team needs to get refocused. Dallas cruised into the playoffs by winning six of its last seven regular season games, most of those victories coming in convincing fashion. The Cowboys covered in their last four games before the playoffs and then nearly had their Super Bowl dreams shattered against the Lions. They’ll need that motivation in Lambeau. The Packers are 6-1-1 against the spread at home and are coming into this one relatively healthy after last week’s rest.
If Dallas can control the clock by pounding the rock, the underdog is live in this matchup. The Cowboys have arguably the best offensive line in football and a running back in DeMarco Murray who is an absolute workhorse. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers may put some points up on the board through the air, but Dallas can win this game in the trenches with the help of a couple of turnovers and a big game from Murray.
Dallas Cowboys 27, Green Bay Packers 24.
When: 4:40 p.m. ET.
Odds: Broncos are 7-point favorites while the total has dropped from 54 to 53 points.
In the spotlight, it’s Peyton Manning squaring off against Andrew Luck, but there is a lot more to this game than that. Still, that’s where you have to start. Manning paced the Broncos to a 12-4 year that saw him fire 39 touchdowns and pile up more than 4,700 passing yards while Denver averaged better than 30 points per game. He makes his 24th postseason appearance Sunday. Meanwhile, Luck was arguably better in the regular season than Manning, putting up 40 TDs while helping the Colts rank third in total offence. Luck has thrown for at least 300 yards in each of his three playoff starts, so don’t expect much of a drop-off.
Picking between Luck and Manning is a complete toss-up, so look at this game from the other angles. The Colts can throw the ball all over the field, but will likely need something from the running game on the road on Sunday, which could be a problem. Indianapolis hasn’t been able to find a No. 1 running back all year and Denver’s best bet here is to drop back in coverage and force the Colts to the ground game. That’s the big difference in this game: Denver’s defence. The Broncos owned the No. 3 total defence in the league and when add that to a running game that’s finally relatively healthy and Denver’s receiving options, it’s hard to imagine the home team stumbling.
Denver Broncos 36, Indianapolis Colts 31.