Super Bowl 50 Moneyline Preview
The Carolina Panthers are favored to win Super Bowl 50 by 4.5 points — up from 3.5 points in the initial lines. The two teams kick off on Sunday, February 7, at 6:30pm Eastern time. The Panthers are 0-1 in their only Super Bowl appearance, and while the Broncos have more appearances, they haven’t done much better overall, going 2-5 so far. There have been seven NFL teams to win at least 15 games in the regular season, but only four of them (including Carolina this year) have made the Super Bowl. The other three teams have gone 2-1 in those title games (the 1984 San Francisco 49ers and the 1985 Chicago Bears won, while the 2007 New England Patriots were upset, having won 18 straight games to start the season. Let’s take a look at this matchup.
When: Sunday, February 7, 2015
Kickoff: 6:30 PM ET
Where: Santa Clara, CA
Stadium: Levi’s Stadium
Spread: Panthers -6
Moneyline: Carolina -245 vs Denver +205
Game Total: 45.5
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: Carolina vs Denver
Should you pick the Carolina Panthers?
The reasons to like the Panthers in this game begin with Cam Newton. The presumptive MVP led all quarterbacks in the NFL this year with 636 yards on the ground and with 45 combined touchdowns (35 through the air and 10 on the ground). He has always been a threat in the read-option, but teams were able to shut the Panthers down in the past by keying on the run and focusing on both the tailback and the quarterback. The fact that Newton has grown so explosively in the passing arena this year is the reason why he is likely to be the MVP. Now that teams can’t put seven or eight men in the box, because Newton can throw the ball with accuracy down the field, the Panthers are a nightmare on offense. The Denver Broncos were able to focus on shutting down the pass in the AFC Championship, because New England basically doesn’t run the ball. However, the Broncos won’t have that luxury on defense.
On the defensive side, the Panthers have performed well all season. They did have two starters go down with injuries in the NFC Championship — linebacker Thomas Davis and safety Roma harper — so watching their progress is important for bettors. However, the Panthers will still have Luke Keuchly on the field, one of the premier inside linebackers in the game. This is a defense that forced 39 turnovers in the regular season — and then nine in just two playoff games.
Why should you bet on Denver?
The Broncos beat the New England Patriots not once this season — but twice. This team has gotten just enough from its quarterbacks (whether Peyton Manning or Brock Osweiler) and running game as the defense (ranked #1 in the NFL) has kept the team moving from one week to the next. Manning showed signs of healing and progress by throwing two touchdowns and no picks in the AFC Championship, so his foot appears to have healed at just the right time — to lead his team to a comeback win in Week 17 against San Diego and again in the AFC divisional game.
The front four on the Denver defense comprise the best unit in the league. The pass rush they were able to deliver to Tom Brady in the AFC Championship was vicious and unrelenting. If they can do the same with a four-man front to Carolina, Denver could win this game.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Broncos have fought mightily to get to Super Bowl 50. However, Carolina is just too powerful on both sides of the ball. I’m picking them to win, 31-17.