Before Super Bowl 50 kicks off today (!), I thought we'd have some fun by looking at the odds for the biggest game of the year. You can find all of the Super Bowl betting information on the SB Nation odds page. Click here for a complete list of the Super Bowl 2016 prop bets. This is my suggestion when trying to beating the odds.
The Carolina Panthers enter the biggest game of the year as significant favorites. As of this post they are favored to win by one touchdown (minus the extra point). It's easy to see why. The Panthers nearly went undefeated in the regular season. Their only loss came on the road against their NFC South division rivals: the Atlanta Falcons. They only lost that game by one score, too.
What makes the Panthers so good is that they have the NFL's MVP: Cam Newton. He's simply been on fire this year. Along with throwing for 35 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, he's also rushed for for 636 yards and 10 scores. He's a dynamic talent in the prime of his career at only age 26. Carolina's offense isn't stacked with a ton of talented players. It's Newton that makes everyone better around him.
Newton is set to face his toughest challenge of the year in the Super Bowl, however. Denver's defense is really, really good. Wade Phillips has done a really nice job as the Broncos' defensive coordinator. His unit has carried the team to being the No. 1 seed in the AFC despite a shaky quarterback situation.
Peyton Manning clearly isn't the player he was even just a few seasons ago. Everyone used to fear the Broncos' offense with him in charge. Now he's been more of a liability than an asset. This game will likely be Manning's last one, so he's going to want to make it count, but Carolina's defense won't be tough to crack. The Panthers are the No. 2 ranked defense so they're not that far off from Denver.
Due to Manning's struggles, some wonder if this game might be like how Seattle trounced the Broncos two years ago when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl by a final score of 43 to 8. I can't see that happening because Denver's defense is too good to allow that. I do feel comfortable about the Panthers winning with some comfort, however. Look at what they've done in the playoffs. Newton and co. dropped 31 points on Seattle's 4th ranked defense in just one half of play. The Panthers put 49 on Arizona's 3rd ranked defense. While I don't think they'll necessarily go wild on the Broncos, I do think they can do enough to win.
Earlier this year I wrote how I think the Panthers are a team of destiny. I think they'll cap off their amazing season by winning Super Bowl 50 by a final score of 24-17.
Pick: Panthers -6
As for the over/under, that's set at 45. I'm a little surprised it's that high. It seems like the under is the safe bet since oth of these teams have really good defenses. Then again there might be blowout potential here if Manning ends up being a turnover machine like he has at points this season. I just think Denver's defense is too good to allow that to happen, though. So I'll go with the under.