Panthers early favourites in Super Bowl 50 betting at Coral
Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | January 29, 2016
Carolina Panthers (-5.5) @ Denver Broncos
After ending the Arizona Cardinals’ season with a 49-15 beating in last weekend’s NFC Championship Game, the Carolina Panthers have emerged as clear 5-point favourites to claim victory in their Super Bowl 50 match-up with the Denver Broncos (20/23 chances) in NFL betting at Coral.
The Panthers’ win over Arizona continues a roll during which they have outscored opponents by a whopping 118-49 margin in their past three outings, improving their straight up record to 17-1 since the start of the NFL regular season, including a league-leading 15 regular season victories.
Carolina has demonstrated serious offensive punch all season, finishing the regular season with an NFL-best 31.3 points per game, scoring 37 or more on seven occasions, and twice combining with opponents for over 70 total points.
Newton getting MVP consideration
Quarterback Cam Newton has been the straw stirring the Carolina offensive drink, throwing for 35 regular season touchdowns, second only to New England Patriots pivot Tom Brady, while adding 10 rushing scores, earning him consideration as this year’s regular season MVP.
The Panthers were also among the NFL’s top defensive squads this season, with a fourth-ranked rush defence which held opponents to just 88.4 yards per game on the ground, limiting opposing clubs to just 19.3 points per game, and to 10 or fewer points on four occasions.
Gary Kubiak’s Broncos travel to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California for Super Bowl 50 as somewhat unlikely AFC champions, after toppling the defending Super Bowl champions Patriots by a 20-18 score on Conference Championship Weekend.
While the Panthers have marched to their first Super Sunday berth since 2004 on the strength of a juggernaut offence that denied opponents precious time of possession, Denver has gotten the job done with stifling defence, restricting opponents to just 283.1 yards per game, tops in the NFL.
Unlike previous campaigns, the Broncos have struggled to light up the scoreboard this season, tallying just 22.2 points per game after averaging over 30 PPG a year ago.
Denver’s diminished offence was easily offset by a ferocious defensive effort, but also resulted in a dismal performance at the bookmakers, where the Broncos covered just once in their past six, and five times in their past 15 outings.
Last hurrah for veteran Manning?
Future hall-of-fame quarterback Peyton Manning showed clear signs of slowing down this season, struggling to find the end zone with just nine total touchdown passes in 10 appearances, against a whopping 17 interceptions.
Manning was also sidelined for six weeks during the second-half with a foot injury, but was the difference maker in the club’s victory over New England in the AFC title game, orchestrating a pair of first-half drives that ended in touchdown passes, en route to a second Conference Championship win over arch-rival Brady and the Patriots in three years.
Super Bowl 50 marks a rare meeting between the Panthers and Broncos, and their first clash since the 2012 regular season, when Denver notched a 36-14 win as 3.5-point road favourites.
The Broncos have picked up four SU victories in their past six playoff contests, but have covered in just two of their last eight in the postseason.
Carolina is 3-1 SU in their last four playoff match-ups, dating back to last season, ending a three-game slide, both SU and ATS.