DENVER, CO (The Spread) - ESPN.com is reporting that Peyton Manning's football future will be determined as soon as March.
Manning will undergo a physical on his four-time surgically repaired neck in March and the results will determine whether or not he'll play in 2015 or behind. Assuming the exam shows that the quarterback's neck is in stable condition, he will resume his career. If there's any increased risk of injury, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Manning "will be forced to decide whether to retire."
But first things first: Manning will take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the 2014 AFC Championship Game this Sunday in Denver. The Broncos opened as 6.5-point favorites but the spread has already been bet down to 4.5 according to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, while the over/under total is currently sitting at 54.5 points.
The Broncos visited the Patriots back in November on "Sunday Night Football" and wound up blowing a 24-0 halftime lead. The Patriots roared out of halftime by scoring 21 points in the third quarter in route to a 34-31 overtime win over the then 9-2 Broncos. Both teams won as favorites last weekend, although New England covered as a 7.5-point favorite over Indianapolis while Denver failed to cover as an 8.5-point favorite at home versus San Diego after it was up 17-0.
The Patriots are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games versus the Broncos but the favorite is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings between these two teams and the home team is also 5-1 ATS in the lat six meetings. The over has done well in recent meetings, going 4-0 in the last four meetings and 7-2 in the last nine meetings in Denver.