Super Bowl 50 Total Betting Game Preview
On February 7, the Carolina Panthers (17-1) will take on the Denver Broncos (14-4) in Super Bowl 50, with kickoff coming at 6:30pm Eastern time on CBS. The betting opened with Carolina favored by 3.5 points, but this line has crept up to 4.5 points as the betting has shifted. This is the Panthers’ second trip to a Super Bowl, while the Broncos are making their eighth appearance in the NFL’s title game. Let’s take a look at which team you should choose.
Kickoff: 6:30 PM ET
Where: Santa Clara, CA
Stadium: Levi’s Stadium
Spread: Panthers -6
Moneyline: Carolina -240 vs Denver +200
Game Total: 45.5
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: Carolina vs Denver
Why should you bet on the Panthers (-4.5)?
Cam Newton is not the run-heavy quarterback who went down to sacks eight times when the teams met back in 2012. His game has exploded, as his strong arm and his running game have both set NFL standards. He threw 35 touchdown passes and ran for 10 more, leading the NFL in total touchdowns by a quarterback. He ran for 636 yards, more than any other quarterback, but it was his growth in accuracy as a passer that represented his greatest growth this year. However, their defense is also rock-solid, anchored by Luke Kuechly, likely the NFL’s best inside linebacker. He was a key contributor on a defense that forced 39 turnovers in the regular season — and has forced nine in just two games in the postseason (including seven against Arizona in the NFC Championship.
The Panthers have a running facet to their offense that New England lacked, and the Broncos won’t be able to commit so much to the pass rush. They are more likely to find the sort of holes in the Bronco defense that Pittsburgh did in their two meetings with Denver.
Why should you bet on the Broncos (+4.5)?
One argument for betting on Denver is the simple fact that they are still around to appear in the Super Bowl. They have the #1 defense in the nation, which means that the fact that they only scored 355 points in the regular season isn’t as concerning as it would be for some other programs. Their front four is without peer in the NFL, as you saw in their dogged harassment of Tom Brady in the AFC Championship. The Panthers also have a stout defense, but they have key injuries to safety Roman Harper and linebacker Thomas Davis, two starters who may not be available for the game — that’s something to watch as the day of the game gets closer.
The injuries on the Panther defense should open some holes for the Denver running game, which will take some of the offensive pressure off Peyton Manning. As long as they can sustain some drives and control the clock, this could be another game that sees the Broncos pulling off an unlikely win.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I just don’t think the Broncos are ready for the onslaught of the Panthers’ offense. Also, I don’t see Manning doing much on offense against a solid Panther attack. I like Carolina to win (and cover), 31-17.