Super Bowl betting is starting to even out a bit compared to action in the first week.
After the spread reached six points a week ago, it looked like it might go higher since 60 percent of the action had come in on the Carolina Panthers. A week later, Denver money has started to come in.
The spread has been driven back down to Carolina being favored by 5.5 points, and 56 percent of the bets have been on the Panthers, according to Odds Shark.
That's a fairly notable change from the first week of betting action on Super Bowl 50.
Super Bowl 50
Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
Kickoff Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
TV Broadcast: CBS will broadcast the game live and will start its pregame show at 2 p.m. ET.
Live Stream: This year, CBSSports.com will stream the game live. You can also watch on the CBS Sports Channel/App on Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One and Windows 10.
Perhaps it's more people taking note of Denver's top-ranked defense. It's clear the Broncos would not have reached the championship game without the play of that unit. The defense came up with a huge effort in the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots, holding Tom Brady to one touchdown pass, and that didn't come until the game's final seconds.
|Super Bowl 50 Odds|
|Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers||Car. (-3.5)||44.5||Carolina -225; Denver +195|
When Bradley Roby intercepted Brady's two-point conversion attempt, the Broncos earned their spot in the Super Bowl. Brady had 310 passing yards in the game, but it took him 56 passes to get that yardage. That's just 5.4 yards per attempt, and if the Broncos can do the same to Cam Newton, they'll have a chance to extend this game deep into the fourth quarter and possibly steal the victory.
Injuries are likely to play a role in this game, and the Panthers had eight players listed on the injury report, per Pro Football Talk. The most significant may be the forearm injury suffered by star linebacker Thomas Davis in the NFC title game. He had surgery the day after the game but intends to play against the Broncos. Davis participated in practice Thursday, as did Jared Allen, whose foot injury kept him out of the NFC title game.
The key to the Broncos' defensive success in the AFC title game was the constant pressure they were able to mount on Brady. That may be more difficult against the much more mobile Newton. They will want to get after him, but they have to think about containing him if they don't bring him down with the initial pass rush.
If Newton spots a running lane when his receivers are not open, he has no problem bringing the ball down and taking off. That was obviously not much of a concern with Brady.
Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is aware of Newton's escapability and football intelligence. Phillips is sure to have Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Derek Wolfe and the rest of Denver's defense as prepared as possible to combat Newton's talent and athleticism.
It may not matter because Newton has excelled in pressure situations throughout the season. He threw 35 TD passes during the regular season and ran for 10 more scores, and he has developed an excellent rapport with tight end Greg Olsen and wideout Ted Ginn Jr.
Newton's ability to make big plays to his top weapons could be the difference Sunday.