Super Bowl Predictions 2016: Denver Broncos v Carolina Panthers30th January 2016 / lee
Will the Super Bowl 50 live up to it’s top billing in February? The big NFL showcase match, hosted at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara will attract punters from all over the globe on e what is one of the biggest sporting events in the world. It’s 60 minutes of action that takes around 4 hours to get completed and battling it out for arguably the biggest prize in north american sports is the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.
Denver Broncos 2/1
So the big strength of the Broncos this season has been their defence. They are a very solid unit. The weight of their defence was on show in the Championship match against the New England PAtriots, where they managed to really throw Pats quarterback Tom Brady, arguably the best in the business, off his game. Still, the Broncos had to squeak over the finish line, the Patriots missing a kick to tie the game up in the final two minutes of action.
The Broncos did have the most efficient defence in the NFL this season and they were brilliant, third best in the NFL to stopping opponents from completing deep passes. They also produced the fifth fewest yards per attempt average in the NFL over the course of the season. So they clearly have their strengths but that of the Panthers isn’t that far out of touch with what the Panthers have produced.
The Broncos have the steady old head of veteran Peyton Manning of course, but does he have the speed and the same attacking options at his disposal as opposing quarterback Cam Newton does? No and he completed just two of 21 deep passes to the left/middle over the course of the regular season, a drastic drop because in the season before he nailed those throws 100% during the regular season.
Carolina Panthers 4/9
The Panthers can hold their own defensively, they were ranked the second most efficient defence in the NFL, with only that of the Broncos doing slightly better. They will get their chances against Manning and when the veteran was on the pitch during the regular season, the Broncos gave up 18 turnovers. The Panthers will eat that up for breakfast because they were the NFL leaders for forcing turnovers this season. IN eight of their regular season games they allowed 17 points or less against.
So even though the Broncos are all about defence, the Panthers are right there. You also have a wider range of attacking ability from Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who likes to go deep and go often. No other quarterback produced more touchdowns this season in the red zone than Newton, but they take on the Broncos who allowed opponents fewer drives in the 20 than any other side in the NFL this season.
But if the Panthers get there, they are likely to convert and not only do they have the arm of Newton, they were the top running side, including a massive commitment from Newton himself with ball in hand. The Broncos aren’t going to get that extra edge from Manning. Newton is 8/11 odds on candidate to win the MVP with Manning at 7/2.
Super Bowl 50 Point Spread
The line is narrow and you can back the Panthers to overcome a -6 point spread for 20/21 in the match. However, three of the last four Super Bowls have been split by a margin no bigger than four points and if you wanted to squeeze the lines a bit for extra profit that you could go with the Broncos +4 at 23/20.
The last time the two of these met, was back in 2012 with the Broncos running out 36-14 winners. But expect things to be tight because these two are in the showcase match for a reason. They know how to grind things out when needed. In fact it is likely to be a while before any points are put on the board and you could run with a 1st Quarter Points Spread at 5/6 on the Broncos +0.5. The start is likely to be cagey and the Broncos defence will stand in there.
Who Will Win Super Bowl 50?
The advantage does seem to rest with the Panthers. You have the versatility of Newton, something that is lacking in Manning, although the Broncos man has the experience of course. But then again Manning doesn’t have the conversion rate in Super Bowls, winning just once from four previous appearances there.
Across the course of the regular season, Cam Newton averaged 31.3 points, eleven more than Manning managed on average. It is Newton, the main MVP candidate who is likely to make the difference. The Broncos will hussle and harry and their defense is lily to keep them pretty close at half time, even into the third quarter. But you would expect the expansive game of the Panthers to pull away down the final stretch.
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* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!
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