The time has come for Super Bowl 50. In the 50th edition of America’s biggest sporting event, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos will take on Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. It will be youth against the veteran in this year’s Super Bowl. Last season, the veteran won the Super Bowl, as Tom Brady and the Patriots survived the Seattle Seahawks on the 1 yard line last year. The Broncos prevented the Pats from an attempt at repeating with back-to-back Super Bowls two weeks ago. The Broncos held off a furious attempt by the Patriots late, nullifying a 2-point conversion try which would have sent the game to overtime. The game ended in the same fashion as the entire game went. Brady had zero time in the pocket and had to throw a desperate heave to the end zone. Rob Gronkowski was wide open towards the corner of the end zone, but with the pressure, Brady was unable to find him. It would have made for an impossible throw to complete with defenders breathing down his neck, which was the case the entire game. The Patriots’ offensive line was battling injuries heading into the game, so it opened the floodgates for the Panthers to tee-off on Brady.
The Panthers are going to face a similar challenge in the Super Bowl. The Broncos are nasty upfront and have consistently led this team throughout the season. Excuse me for not speaking overly highly of Peyton Manning this season, but he would have been laughed out of the league by now if it weren’t for his defense. The story would have been how bad Manning is now. However, with this ferocious Denver defense, Manning has accepted a free pass of shorts. Manning will enter Super Bowl 50 as the worst quarterback statistically to start a Super Bowl. And yes, his numbers are worse than what Rex Grossman and Trent Dilfer had going into their Super Bowls. Manning was able to take advantage of playing against Grossman in that Super Bowl. This time, will Newton be able to outplay Manning?
Just as quick FYI. Brandon Weeden had a better quarterback rating than Peyton Manning this season. It wasn’t even close either. Weeden held a rating of 96.8, while Manning posted a 67.9 QB rating. However, in what appears to be his final game, Manning should give his all in Super Bowl 50. Is his body going to allow him to give it all, though? We take a look at the total, also known as the OVER UNDER in this article. For a pick on the spread, please access the sports picks section on The Sports Geek.
Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos Super Bowl 50 Betting Odds:
vs. Broncos -5.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Panthers vs. Broncos Pick:
My pick is based on the odds provided by Bovada as of early Saturday morning. It may change by the time you read this leading up to kickoff. The Broncos would love nothing more than to ugly this game up. Something like the Titans/Rams Super Bowl or Seahawks/Steelers Super Bowls. Low scoring games that were dictated by the defense. Turning the game into something like that is their best chance of winning Super Bowl 50. They won’t be able to get into a shootout with the Panthers, I don’t think the Broncos would be able to keep pace. Therefore, it is imperative the Bronco defense sets the tone early.
The Broncos will have a very good offense on their hands. The Panthers finished 2nd in points during the regular season. They scored 31.2 points per game. And the points kept coming in the playoffs, as they notched 49 points against the Cardinals and 31 against the Seahawks. We’ll see if the two weeks off has any bearing has on the offense. So what we have in this offense, is a top offense against a top defense. The Broncos finished 1st in the NFL with 283 yards allowed per game. They held opposing teams to just 18.5 points per game. The defense was able to keep the Patriots’ offense in check, bullying Tom Brady around all game long. In their last four games, they have given up 17.5 points on average.
During that stretch of four straight wins, the Broncos averaged 22.5 points per game offensively. This is why a lot of people are jumping on the Panthers, they have an offense and there is a good defense as well. The Panthers allowed 19.2 points per game in the regular season for 6th in the league. In their last three games, they allowed 16.3 points per game. With an extended amount of time for these two defenses to prepare, I think we see them steal the show. A lot of people are jumping on the OVER because of the Carolina offense. But remember, Cam is up against what I see is the best defense Tom Brady has ever played against, the Denver Broncos. I see a 23-17 or 23-20 final score.
PICK: UNDER 45 POINTS (-115)