Interestingly enough for two teams that have played two games decided by a combined four points in the last calendar year, the line for this weekend's AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens is large — and it's growing.
Starting as a 7.5-point favorite at home against the Ravens, the Patriots are now as much as 10-point favorites against Baltimore when the two teams hit the field, at least according to oddsmakers.
That line comes despite the Ravens one-point victory over the Patriots this season. Admittedly, that result came in the teams' third game of the year and in Baltimore, but the line for this weekend's game was large to start and apparently not large enough, as the spread continued to grow in its first few days of listing.
Many likely see the Patriots' 7-2 record when facing the Ravens and 5-3-1 record against the spread versus Baltimore as more than enough reason to bet New England will claim its third AFC title in seven years and second in a row.
For comparison, the Pats opened up last season's AFC Championship game as touchdown favorites and ended up squeaking by the Ravens, 23-20, after Billy Cundiff famously missed a field goal that could have tied the game. That game, too, was in Foxboro's Gillette Stadium on a cold night.