The Denver Broncos’ Odds of Winning Super Bowl 50
After opening as 3.5-point underdogs, the Denver Broncos have already slid to 4.5-point underdogs in their Super Bowl 50 matchup against the Carolina Panthers. These are two teams that have never met in the postseason and have only four total meetings in the 19 seasons that the Carolina Panthers have been in existence. The last time they faced off was during the 2012 regular season, when Peyton Manning led the Broncos to a 36-14 win, throwing for a touchdown and 301 yards. This time, though, the oddsmakers are looking for the Broncos to fall to the 17-1 Panthers.
But can the Broncos win the game? Let’s take a look.
Who: Carolina Panthers (15-1) vs Denver Broncos (12-4)
When: Sunday, February 7, 2015
Kickoff: 6:30 PM ET
Where: Santa Clara, CA
Stadium: Levi’s Stadium
Spread: Panthers -3.5
Moneyline: Carolina -185 vs Denver +160
Game Total: 43.5
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: Carolina vs Denver
The Broncos Win the Close Games
During the regular season and the playoffs, the Denver Broncos have taken part in 19 games. Fourteen of those have been decided by seven points or fewer, and the Broncos are 11-3 in those games. This includes their divisional round win against Pittsburgh and the nail-biter of an AFC Championship against the New England Patriots. Part of this has to do with the fact that the Broncos don’t have an explosive offense anymore, so they’re not routing teams. However, it also means that they are used to having to make tough plays at the right time to win. Denver has the #1 defense in the NFL – and they’ve beaten Tom Brady and the Patriots twice since Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, the Panthers had the #14 (Atlanta), #26 (Tampa Bay) and #32 (New Orleans) teams in scoring defense as their division competition this season.
The Broncos are All About Defense
Remember Super Bowl XLVIII? You probably remember that the Seahawks destroyed the Broncos by 35 points, opening with a safety. Yes, the Broncos ran up 606 points in the regular season to set an NFL record, but then the Legion of Boom laid waste to their title hopes. The Broncos went about reworking their roster to build a solid defense, and this year they were tops in the NFL in sacks and passing defense as well as total defense. Denver scored five touchdowns as a defensive unit this season.
The Swan Song Is a Powerful Motivator
There are two players on the Broncos’ roster who have long, storied careers in the NFL who could be looking at the twilight – if not the end – of their careers. Peyton Manning, 39, had to sit out of seven starts because of a foot injury, and it’s fairly clear that his passing skills have hit a decline. He does have a Super Bowl ring from his time in Indianapolis, but it’s clear from his play the past two weeks that he is putting it all on the line for a title. DeMarcus Ware has been in the league for 10 seasons, and he finally appeared in his first conference championship last week. These two NFL titans want a title, and their locker room is filled with teammates who want to help them make that dream into a reality.