Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos
Tip-off: Saturday, January 12, 2013 – 4:30 PM ET
Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
Peyton Manning is currently in the middle of a career revival and YouWager experts consider he has led the surging Denver Broncos to the best record in the AFC and into prime position to reach the Super Bowl.
The Broncos will open the NFL playoffs against a Baltimore Ravens team who are looking to avenge a regular-season defeat versus Denver and extend the career of their own future Hall of Famer.
Trying to assist Denver to a 12th straight win, Manning will try to extend his success versus Baltimore and Ray Lewis, who could play his final game in Saturday’s divisional matchup.
The run is the Denver’s longest since an 18-game winning streak Dec. 21, 1997-Dec. 6, 1998, that included playoffs.
Manning and Denver have had two weeks to prepare for the Ravens (11-6), a 24-9 winners over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday in Lewis’ final home game before his pending retirement after 17 football seasons.
The 36 year-old quarterback has won nine straight overall when meeting Baltimore, including two playoff matchups even when throwing three interceptions with two touchdowns and posting a 68.3 rating in the postseason games.
After totaling 441 yards and limiting star rookie Andrew Luck and Indianapolis to three field goals, Baltimore is only looking forward and not concerned about last month’s defeat versus the Denver Broncos.
Denver is also looking to meet a better team than the one that managed 278 yards in the December matchup. Even when the Broncos have homefield advantage, expected game-time temperatures in the low 20s may cause some problems, as Manning is 0-3 in playoff games in which the temperature at kickoff is less than 40 degrees. The Louisiana native is a combined 64 for 120 for 612 yards with one TD and seven INTs in those contests, and will play with a glove on his throwing hand.
Manning, who hasn’t worn anything on his hands before this NFL season, conceded the glove is a concession to the altered feel of his grip, especially in cold weather, after his neck surgeries.
For that reason online sports betting experts believe the Ravens could again receive a steady dose of Knowshon Moreno, who ran for 115 yards and a TD against them last month. Despite having Lewis in the lineup, Baltimore allowed 152 rushing yards last week.
Denver has yielded 237.3 total yards and 13.5 points during a six-game home winning streak.
The Ravens’ Ray Rice, who lost two fumbles last week after losing one during the regular season, was held to 38 yards on 12 carries against Denver in Week 15. The 3 time Pro Bowler averaged 58.8 yards and scored one rushing TD in his last six postseason contests.
Quarterback Joe Flacco improved to 2-0 at home in the playoffs by throwing for 282 yards with two TDs and no interceptions against Indianapolis. Nevertheless, he’s lost his last two postseason road contests, passing for 431 yards with three touchdowns and two picks.