Super Bowl 50: Carolina Panthers Versus Denver Broncos Preview

For the third straight season, the NFL’s Super Bowl is a chalk matchup between the No. 1 seeds in each conference. On Sunday, NFC champion Carolina, which finished the regular season a league-best 15-1, faces AFC winner Denver, which was 12-4 this season, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

The Panthers will have to go down as one of the best teams in NFL history with a win and they are 5.5-point favorites on betting tips and 1.4444 on the betting odds moneyline. The Broncos are at 2.9500. The total is 44 points, with the over a slight favorite. Carolina had the NFL’s top scoring offense in the regular season and Denver the No. 1 total defense — but No. 3 in scoring. Carolina is given an over/under of 24.5 points in each half and Denver 19.5.


The story line here is a changing of the guard for the face of the NFL. Denver’s Peyton Manning most likely is playing the final game of his Hall of  Fame career. He’s a five-time Most Valuable Player but only 13-13 in his playoff career and 1-2 in Super Bowls on betting tips. Manning is the first quarterback in NFL history to lead two different franchises to multiple Super Bowls. He was 1-1 with the Colts and is 0-1 with the Broncos, losing 43-8 to Seattle two years ago. That year, Denver had the league’s No. 1 offense and Seattle the top defense. No starting quarterback has won a Super Bowl with two different franchises.

A win would bring Peyton even with brother Eli in the Super Bowl rings department. If Manning finishes his career with just one title (like Brett Favre), he can’t be considered the all-time best quarterback over the likes of Tom Brady and Joe Montana, who each won four Super Bowls.

It’s the first Super Bowl for Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, who will win his first NFL MVP Award this season but likely not his last. HIs star is on the rise and there’s never been a quarterback in the NFL with his combined passing and rushing ability in addition to being the size of a tight end or linebacker. He’s the new breed.

Newton led the NFL during the regular season with 45 total touchdowns (35 passing, 10 rushing) and became the first player in league history to pass for at least 30 touchdowns and rush for at least 10 touchdowns in the same season. Carolina led the NFL in scoring with 500 points during the regular season and has scored a league-best 80 points in the postseason. The team’s 49 points in the NFC Championship Game are the second-most by a team to gain a berth in the Super Bowl.

Newton is 1.6452 on betting tips to have more TD passes in the game than Manning. But Manning is 1.7692 to have more passing yards than Newton.

The Broncos and Panthers haven’t played since Week 10 of the 2012 regular season. That was Manning’s first season in Denver and Newton’s second year in the NFL. Denver was a much better team that year and won 36-14. Manning threw for 301 yards and a touchdown. The Broncos sacked Newton seven times, including once for a safety. Newton finished 21 of 36 for 241 yards with two touchdown passes to tight end Greg Olsen. He threw two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown.

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