There won't be any Wild Card teams in the Super Bowl this year. They were swept out of the Divisional Round over the weekend as the four home teams advanced to this Sunday's Conference Championship games – some by the skin of their teeth. As usual, injuries will play a key role in deciding who advances to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara. How many warm bodies do the defending champions have left on their roster?

New England at Denver (3:05 PM ET)

The big storyline for this game, of course, is the latest and probably the last chapter in the Tom Brady-Peyton Manning rivalry. This will be the fifth time they've met in the playoffs, with Brady's Patriots winning the first two (at 1-0-1 ATS) and Manning's teams winning the next two (at 2-0 ATS). That includes the AFC title game from two years ago, when the Broncos beat New England 26-16 as 5-point home favourites.

The Patriots are 3.5-point road favourites for the rematch, which speaks volumes about how much Manning's level of play has declined since 2013. However, New England goes into Sunday's contest with a laundry list of injuries. Defensive end Chandler Jones is the latest addition; he's back in sick bay after hurting his right leg late in the fourth quarter during Saturday's 27-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs (+6 away). At least the Patriots will have had one more day of rest than the Broncos, who beat the Pittsburgh Steelers (+7 away) 23-16 on Sunday.

Arizona at Carolina (6:40 PM ET)

No such advantage for either team in the NFC title game, as both won their Divisional games on Sunday. However, the Panthers will have the weather on their side. The forecast for both Conference matchups calls for partly cloudy skies and temperatures around 40 degrees. These will be less familiar conditions for the Cardinals, and they'll be 3.5-point road dogs heading into Charlotte.

But at least Arizona will have Carson Palmer at quarterback. He was injured last year when the Cardinals lost 27-16 to Carolina (–5.5 at home) in the Wild Card Round. This year, Palmer and Cam Newton will finally meet in the first-ever playoff clash between two Heisman-winning quarterbacks. The Panthers, meanwhile, could be without defensive end Jared Allen after he suffered a broken foot on Sunday. Running back Jonathan Stewart appears to be okay after tweaking his ankle while romping for 106 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks; tight end Greg Olsen is also expected to play after hurting his shoulder and briefly leaving the game. No one said the journey to Super Bowl 50 would be easy.


See all NFL Playoff Odds here.


*Odds as of January 19, 2016