Manning vs. Brady treats NFL bettors to football’s version of Frazier vs. Ali in Week 12. However, this time, Frazier (Manning) is swinging a set of cement gloves while Ali (Brady) is throwing around a pair of down pillows.
(We tab Brady as Ali simply because he’s had Manning’s number more often than not and is the more decorated of the two QBs. Please let us know if you have a better sports analogy for this one.)
Oddsmakers have set Brady and the Patriots as 2.5-point underdogs hosting Manning and the Broncos Sunday night, but one Las Vegas oddsmakers doesn’t think the line is high enough given the supporting cast surrounding both star quarterbacks.
“I just don’t think (New England has) the talent to beat Denver,” Peter Korner, founder of Nevada-based odds service The Sports Club, tells Covers. Korner says he brought a spread of Denver -3.5 to the table and sent out -3. However, books are dealing this game as low as New England +1.
“It just looks low,” Korner says of the current spread. “The Broncos bring a lot more to the table. Manning didn’t have great success in these big games as a Colt but in Denver he has so much around him. Denver, by far, has the better talent. I don’t think the Pats have enough this year to make it an easy game.”
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (+9.5, 53)
This NFC South showdown has been reduced to a dud Thursday nighter, thanks to the Falcons’ fall from grace.
The LVH Superbook in Las Vegas opened this game Atlanta -4 when it released its "Game of the Year" odds back in May – a near two-TD swing when compared to what books are dealing now. Some offshores opened as low as a touchdown but took instant action on the Saints, something Korner believes books should be prepared for.
“Atlanta is not going to get well here,” he says. “New Orleans need this win and it’s just asking for money on the favorite and Over. Atlanta just isn’t the same team it was last year and why would you expect something different? Because it’s not going to be. Why would (books) screw around and hope for something that hasn’t been there all season? Keep the Saints high.”
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-4.5)
Most markets are waiting on word of Aaron Rodgers’ status for Sunday’s divisional matchup with Minnesota. But it looks like Cheese Heads may have to grind out one more week before Green Bay’s QB is back from a broken collarbone.
“Not much to say. Rodgers doesn’t figure to be back, so Green Bay -4 on this on,” says Korner, who believes the line would jump to -8 or 8.5 is Rodgers is upgraded to probable. “(The Packers) weren’t blowing people away when he was in, but Minnesota just doesn’t have it. They both need this game. These are the best games to book because they’re the hardest games to pick.”
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (-2.5, 46.5)
The Giants have risen from the depths of the NFC East and appear to be one of the hottest teams in the conference, winning four in a row after a 0-6 start. Dallas, on the other hand, comes off the bye week which followed an embarrassing loss to New Orleans in Week 10.
“They’re right back in the mix,” Korner says of New York, which he sent out as a 2.5-point home favorite. “The Giants are the ones who are peaking now and money will be on New York. This spread could go up to -3 but I don’t think it’ll go much farther. Dallas has its big following. It’s a much bigger game than it was three weeks ago.”