This Super Bowl is going to come down to whether the Denver Broncos can prevent what the Carolina Panthers do best. That involves two things in particular – creating turnovers, and scoring points off those turnovers. That is what NFL bettors will have to deal with first and foremost in handicapping this game, which gets underway at 6:30 PM ET on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. And remember that even after the opening kickoff, BetAnySports customers can partake in real-time wagering while the game is in progress, using the state-of-the-art software provided by Live Betting Extra.
Look at the statistics. Carolina is not, under normal circumstances, that prolific an offensive team, as they are #12 in the NFL at 32.08 yards per drive. But the reason they are first in the league in points scored per drive is that they are often playing on a short field. These guys lead the league in interceptions and fumble recoveries, and they are turning over the opposition at an incredible 19% rate. When that happens, you are going to get some easy scores, and indeed, because they have been careful enough with the football, they are +28 in turnover margin. When you compare that to the Broncos’ minus-2 in that same category, you have, on paper, a very distinct advantage right there.
In the NFL betting odds on Super Bowl 50, as they have been established by the people at BetAnySports, the Panthers are the favorites:
Of course, when Carolina has the football in its hands, it can move in a number of different ways. Denver is very stingy against the pass, quite obviously, and they have shut down a lot of quarterbacks this season. But Carolina is not one of those teams that has to live through the air; they had actually run the ball 50.7% of the time, and they are going to do that no matter what. In 16 of their 18 games they have had 30 or more rushing attempts. Naturally, those who follow the Panthers, or NFL football in general, are aware that they don’t get those rushing yards solely from Pro Bowl running back Jonathan Stewart, as Cam Newton as the ability to not only scramble but also pick up chunks of yardage in designed run plays. Counting the playoffs, he had 686 yards, and while that is not an astounding figure, it is much more than Denver is used to dealing with. Opposing quarterbacks had only 207 rushing yards against the Broncos this season. So defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is going to have to work overtime.
BetAnySports patrons know that Phillips, who may be the most respected coordinator in the league, is fully capable of coming up with something. He scoffs at the idea that his two main pass rushers, DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller, can’t bottle up Newton, and you won’t find many expert observers around the league who are going to tell you that the Panthers’ collection of wide receivers is among the league’s best. So it is quite possible that defensive back tandem of Aqib Talib and Chris Harris can handle any combination of Ted Ginn, Jericho Cotchery and Devin Funchess. The guy they may have trouble with his tight end Greg Olson, who caught 77 passes for 1104 yards.
Don’t discount Denver, which has played a lot of pressure situations, indicated by eleven victories coming by seven points or less. They have also covered their last six games as an underdog. And who would put it past Manning, who has not thrown an interception in his last 78 attempts, to come up with a memorable performance in what could be his last game in an NFL uniform?
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