The price on the Carolina Panthers continues to rise in Super Bowl 50.
After their impressive performance in the NFC title game, the Panthers opened the betting as a 3.5-point favorite over the Denver Broncos. The line has stretched upward since that time, and the Panthers are six-point favorites with the game still well over a week away, according to Odds Shark.
OddsShark (@OddsShark) January 25, 2016
The Super Bowl will be played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, February 7 at 6:30 p.m. (ET). The line has been creeping in Carolina's direction since the matchup was confirmed last Sunday, and it may continue to head in that direction.
The line had been at 5.5 points through Thursday afternoon, but the bets continued to come in at a heavy rate on Carolina. Sixty-three percent of the bets made have come in on the Panthers, according to Odds Shark.
A six-point advantage is a significant number for those who are betting on the game. While not as significant as seven—a touchdown and an extra point—a margin of six gives a potential bettor much more concern than the previous 5.5-point level.
If the Panthers were to win by two field goals, that would get the Carolina bettor a push. However, those that made that bet before the line was increased, will get themselves a win against the spread if that's how the game plays out.
|Game||Date, Time (ET)||Line||Over/Under||Money Line|
|Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers||Feb.7, 6:30 p.m.||Car. (-6)||45||Denver +172; Carolina -197|
The money line has the Panthers at minus-197, while the Broncos are at plus-172. Bettors who take the Panthers straight up have to risk $197 to have a profit of $100, while those who are backing Denver risk $100 to win $172.
The total in this game is 45 points, and that number also may go up by the time the game kicks off. According to Odds Shark, 59 percent of the bets that have been made on the total have come in on the over.
The Carolina offense has looked unstoppable against Seattle and Arizona, and while Denver has had the No. 1-ranked defense all season, it's difficult to conceive of any team holding Cam Newton (35 TD passes, 10 TD runs) in check, let alone stopping him.
If the Panthers can score a couple of early touchdowns—they scored 31 first-half points against the Seahawks and 24 in the first 30 minutes against the Cardinals—that could throw the Broncos off their game plan.
At this point, it is clear head coach Gary Kubiak has the Broncos playing defense and trying to rely on their running game. They want to keep the ball out of Newton's hands, and they are going to have to get their ground attack going with Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson.
But if there is an early deficit of more than a touchdown, Peyton Manning may be forced to go to the air. That is not the best way for the Broncos to go because the future Hall of Famer's arm strength is shaky at this point and he is coming off the worst statistical season of his career. He threw just nine touchdown passes while tossing 17 interceptions during the regular season.
The postseason has seen him avoid any picks, and he has added two TD passes, but Manning does not want to get into a throwing contest with Newton at this point. However, circumstances of the game could dictate that the Broncos have to throw the ball to get back into the game.
The Broncos' defense not only performed consistently throughout the season, it was the key reason Denver emerged with a 20-18 victory over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
Linebacker Von Miller registered 2.5 sacks of Tom Brady and fellow pass rusher DeMarcus Ware may have been just as big a factor even though he was credited with one-half sack. He hit Brady consistently in the fourth quarter and made life difficult for the New England quarterback.
The Broncos will need a strong pass rush that comes from multiple directions if they are going to beat the Panthers. If Carolina's offensive front can limit that pass rush or win the battle, it will be an unpleasant night for Denver.