Early Super Bowl 50 Betting Predictions
Now that we’re between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, a two-week window of sports betting is about to add all kinds of excitement to the matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. With the odds just recently opening on the game, let’s take a look at an early pick against the spread as well as some conversation about other prop bets on the game.
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
How about that point spread?
Well, the Carolina Panthers opened as 3.5-point favorites on the Broncos. I would snap that bet right up, because I don’t think that this game will be close. I did pick New England to beat the Broncos, but like much of the betting public, I underestimated Wade Phillips’ ability to pick the right defensive strategies for the game. Against the Steelers in the divisional round, the Broncos gave all kinds of cushion to the Pittsburgh wideouts, even though Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had torn ligaments in his throwing shoulder and couldn’t get the ball 15 yards down the field with any sort of accuracy. This allowed the Steelers to throw short passes and get off to the races after the catch. However, Phillips dialed back on the blitzing and set three- and four-man pass rushes off against Tom Brady, realizing that the Patriots wouldn’t run the ball much, if at all. He proved to be right, and his defense knocked Brady down 20 times and grabbed three interceptions. However, the multidimensional offense of the Panthers — combined with a defense that brings a lot more speed than the Patriots — will hand the Panthers a victory by a larger margin than the spread, so I’m taking that point spread bet all day.
What about the point squares?
If you buy your way into one of those point grids, where you buy chances and draw numbers, be happy if you draw a zero for one of the teams. It would not surprise me at all to see the Broncos fail to score in the first quarter, or even the first half. On the other side, the numbers 1, 4, 7 and 8 could come in handy for you, because I think that the Panthers will score touchdowns rather than field goals. So a first-quarter result of 7-0 or even 14-0 could pay off well for you.
Which team will get more sacks?
This could be the Broncos. They poured all over the New England front in waves, and they have the talent and speed to do the same thing against the Panthers. If Cam Newton can’t get out of the pocket in time, that could lead to three or four sacks early. Peyton Manning did take a couple of sacks against New England because he held onto the ball too long, but I look for him to make that adjustment and get the ball out earlier if his protection breaks down. While I don’t think the Broncos will win, I could see them notching four or five sacks in the game.