Super Bowl 50 Moneyline Preview

Posted by Joe Solari on Sunday,January 31, 2016 6:15, EST in

Can Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos put their tumultuous season behind them and play a clean championship-worthy game that will see them emerge as NFL odds winners at Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara on February 7th? Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers obviously will have a lot to say about that, and you can’t really blame them, given that they are heavy 6-point favorites to win their first ever Lombardi Trophy. Sooner rather than later, we’ll be finding out which is the best of the two teams, but for now, let’s do what we do best—dive into the money lines and try to fish out some worthy NFL picks.

Super Bowl 50 Betting Odds and TV Info

Who: Denver Broncos vs Carolina Panthers
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
Watch: CBS
StreamCBS Sports 
ListenCarolina vs Denver

Why Bet on Carolina (-245)

The Panthers have been fighting to prove themselves worthy of respect in the NFL lines, and after mercilessly dismembering the Cardinals to the tune of 49-15 in the NFC Championship game, they are finally getting all the love they’ve wanted. Can Newton and Co. deliver on being heavy favorites in the Super Bowl 50 odds? Going by the way the Panthers have taken care of the Seahawks and Cardinals, who both ranked in the top-5 of the NFL in defensive efficiency, I believe I speak for more than 60 percent of the NFL bettors when I say Carolina is certainly capable of pounding its way to a franchise-first Super Bowl title.

If there are any shred of doubts in Carolina’s ability to win as favorites, the fact that the Panthers are impressively 28-2 SU (19-10-1 ATS) when kicking off the betting lines as favorites (since October 2013) should be more than enough morale-boost to the fainthearted Carolina supporters.

In terms of offense, you already know what Newton is able to do in the passing game, going by Carolina’s 38 total passing TDs this year (35 in the regular season, 3 in the playoffs). But what makes the Panthers very dangerous is the fact that their running game is just as efficient, capable of winning any game single-handedly. This was exhibited in Carolina’s game against Seattle where Newton threw for just one TD, but the Panthers still put up 31 points on the Hawks, thanks to a 2-TD, 100-yard performance from running back Jonathan Stewart.

Entering the Super Bowl, the Panthers are putting up 4.27 per carry, which is bad news to Denver’s defense that has struggled when playing better-than-average running teams. Case-and-point, all four of Denver’s defeats this season came against teams that were rushing for more than 4.0 yards on the ground per carry. If Newton and Co. can establish a running game early in their tilt, it will be very difficult for the Broncos to cope or keep up with the explosive Panthers.

To top it all off, the Panthers also have a solid defense, one that topped the league in the turnover game and takeaways, while ranking strongly in other defensive categories as well (like allowing just 18 points per game). This should auger well for them, as they will be facing a Denver offense that has struggled all season, scoring just 22 points per game

Why Bet on Denver (+205)

After getting criticized for going three games without a TD, starting from that forgetful game against Kansas City to win against Pittsburgh in the Divisional Round, Manning finally put an end to his touchdown-drought, scoring two first half scores that eventually helped the Broncos to beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Mind you, Manning has been doing a great job in limiting turnovers as of late. Since returning to in the regular season-finale against San Diego, he is protecting the ball in a better way and his decision-making has been more decisive and seemingly with grander clarity. In fact, going without a pick in Denver’s two playoff games against Pittsburgh and New England marks the longest the 39-year-old veteran has ever gone without throwing an interception in the playoffs. This should be a big motivation for the almost-turning-40-years QB and his receivers to strive for another good performance against Carolina in the Super Bowl.

Then, of course, there is the fact that Manning has the support of a can-be-dangerous running game and the best defense he’s ever played with, never mind it probably being one of the best defenses in the league’s recent history.

And before you jump on to the Carolina bandwagon, bear in mind that favorites are just 3-10-1 ATS in the past 14 Super Bowl games. In addition, underdogs have been cashing in money line bets as well, going 4-0 SU in the last four Super Bowls. And to cap it all off, the past four Super Bowls have seen the puppies outscore the favorites by a combined 46 points. With that, Denver should be able to offer some good value in the Super Bowl 50 odds, if not in the SU lines, then in the early point spreads that have gone as high as +6 or +7 in favor of Denver bettors.

My Moneyline Prediction

Carolina (-245) bosses its way to the Super Bowl 50 victory, thanks to a strong overall performance on both sides of the ball.