The 2012 AFC Championship will be played this weekend when the New England Patriots will host the Baltimore Ravens. The winner will advance to the Super bowl and represent the AFC.
The odds for the AFC Championship game opened with the Patriots listed as 7.5 point favorites in this contest. That number has been bet up to nine points, which does not come as a surprise with 65 percent of the betting public jumping on the Patriots early.
The Patriots are getting all of the early public betting due to the fact that they demolished the Denver Broncos at home in a playoff game that was not even close. Tom Brady broke a record for touchdowns in a game and the offense seemed unstoppable against a confused Broncos defense. This week they will get a much tougher test when the face the Baltimore Ravens defense led by Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
The Ravens had a very good outing by defeating the Houston Texans to advance to this game but their offense struggled to put up points and was stopped on several key plays. Granted the Texans have a very respectable defense, but the Ravens offense will do better if they hope to keep up with the explosive Patriots offense. That is where the defense comes into play.
The Patriots offense struggles when Brady is pressured and the Ravens can bring that pressure. In fact the location will not intimidate the Ravens as they have won in the playoffs in this location before. The Ravens will pin their ears back and head after Brady on every give n play and if the Patriots cannot handle that pressure it could be upset city for the Patriots.
The Ravens can use a blue print put forth by their rivals in the Pittsburgh Steelers as they were one of a few teams to beat the Patriots this year. The Ravens crushed the Steelers twice this year on the field and will come into this game with a load of confidence.
The Patriots defense played much better last week against a Broncos offense that is one dimensional, and the good news is that the Ravens can run the ball and throw the ball. Joe Flacco has had his problems but made the good throws when he needed to. The Patriots are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 playoff home games and that number could get worse against the Ravens. The Ravens are 11-5-1 ATS in their last 17 games following a loss against the spread and 5-1-1 ATS against a team with a winning record.
The Ravens were looking past this game as they knew they would be playing the Patriots. Now the defense will give one last great effort and will keep this game close. They may not win on the field but they look great with the points.
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