When the Super Bowl betting lines first came out, the Carolina Panthers were favored to beat the Denver Broncos by 3.5 points. Since that time, the intense action on the Panthers has pushed that line to 4.5 points and may continue to push it further as the day of the game approaches. Let’s talk about whether you should go ahead and put your money down now or wait and see what happens.
When: Sunday, February 7, 2015Kickoff: 6:30 PM ETWhere: Santa Clara, CAStadium: Levi’s StadiumSpread: Panthers -5Moneyline: Carolina -220 vs Denver +190Game Total: 45Watch: CBSStream: CBS Sports Listen: Carolina vs DenverWith a 4.5-point line, you’re looking at a game that oddsmakers are still considering as fairly close. What’s the Super Bowl trend, though? Of the 49 Super Bowls that have been played so far, 20 were decided by at least 16 points. The Denver Broncos have been on the losing end of five of those lopsided scores. In Super Bowl XXIV, they were drubbed by 45 points — the biggest margin in any Super Bowl. Just two years ago, Super Bowl XLVIII ended in a 43-8 rout of Denver by the Seattle Broncos. Super Bowl XXII saw the Washington Redskins throttle the Broncos, 42-10. They also lost Super Bowl XXI by 19 points and Super Bowl XII by 17 points.History does not always count for a lot — and some of those games took place more than 20 years ago. However, the lesson is that many Super Bowls get out of hand. So is this Super Bowl likely to get out of hand?On one side you have a Denver Broncos offense that is extremely limited. Yes, Peyton Manning threw for two touchdowns in the first half to stake the Broncos to a lead over New England. However, they only scored a field goal after intermission, relying on their defense to carry them.On the other side, you have a Carolina offense that has many more weapons than what New England featured in the AFC Championship. Cam Newton is not the passer that Tom Brady is, but the Patriots did not have a running game to speak of in that game. The Broncos can’t widen out their linemen and soar in around the tackles with abandon, like they did against New England, because Cam Newton will just take off up the middle, leaving the defensive line behind him.What about that Denver defense? They were the #1 unit in the NFL this year. However, the Panthers just finished giving the Seattle “Legion of Boom” a 31-point shellacking in the first half of the divisional playoff game. If the Denver pass rush can’t get to Newton, the Broncos could be in for a really long day.The Carolina defense showed that it could shut down a high-powered unit led by an elite quarterback, frustrating Carson Palmer into a six-turnover performance in the NFC Championship.So while the Broncos could keep thing close with their defense, if there is going to be a rout, it will be the Panthers delivering it.So should you bet now or later? I think the Panthers’ line is just going to keep expanding. I would take the Panthers now… before that line gets bigger.