by Ian S Palmer
Perhaps football fans shouldn’t expect to see many scoring plays during Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California this Sunday when the NFC’s Carolina Panthers and AFC’s Denver Broncos square off. This game features the two teams who were the best in the league this year at preventing their opponents from scoring. But to add some intrigue to the matchup at Levi’s Stadium, fans are also going to see the NFL’s hottest offensive team in action since the Panthers topped the NFL in scoring during the regular season by averaging 31.2 points each outing.
- Bovada currently lists the Panthers at -6 at -115 with the Broncos +6 at -105 and the over/under at 45 points with both being -110
Panthers vs Broncos Betting Trends:
- Season record: 17-1 straight up, 13-5 against the spread
- Carolina is 7-1 straight up in their last 8 road games
- The total has gone OVER in 12 of Carolina’s last 16 road games
- Carolina is 11-4 against the spread in their last 15
- Season record: 14-4 straight up, 8-7-3 against the spread
- Denver is 1-3-1 against the spread in their last 5 games
- Denver is 16-3 straight up in their last 19 home games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Denver’s last 5 home games
Logic would dictate that the league’s highest-scoring club should be able to overcome its best defensive side since the Panthers also possess the second-best defensive squad out there. However, logic rarely rears its head it pro sports, especially when it comes to championship games. When breaking down the stats, fans can compare the two defenses, but in reality it may be somewhat of a worthless exercise since the NFL doesn’t feature a balanced schedule.
The Broncos led the league in defending when it came to total yards allowed as they gave up an average of just 283.1 per game. The Panthers ranked six at 322.9. Denver also topped the NFL in passing defense by conceding 199.6 yards against while Carolina placed 11th at 234.5 yards. The two teams were almost neck and neck in defending against the rush as Denver allowed the third-lowest in the league with 83.6 yards per outing and Carolina was right behind them in fourth place at 88.4.
But perhaps the most important defensive stat of all is the number of points allowed every four quarters. Denver conceded just 18.5 against each game to rank fourth-best in the league and compiled a record of 12-4 during the campaign. The Panthers allowed 19.2 against to rank sixth and posted the best record in the NFL at 15-1. Denver has actually tightened up defensively so far in the post season by conceding 34 points against in two games against the Steelers and Patriots for an average of 17. Carolina’s points-per game against sit at 19.5 after allowing 39 against the Seahawks and Cardinals.
Of course, it doesn’t matter how many points you concede during the Super Bowl as long as you can score more than you concede. And this is where the Panthers hold a decided edge by ranking first in the league in scoring while the Broncos came in 19th at 22.2 points per game. In addition, Carolina scored an average of 12 points more per week than they allowed and the difference for the Broncos was just 3.7 more. The past numbers and stats mean nothing though since it all comes down to who performs better on the day.
The recent performances are still worth looking at though for interest’s sake. For instance, Carolina forced the Cardinals and Carson Palmer into seven turnovers while beating them down 49-15 in the NFC Championship Game. It wasn’t really a shock since Carolina led the league in forced turnovers at 39 this year. Meanwhile, the Broncos hit New England quarterback Tom Brady at least 20 times and sacked him four times in their 20-18 victory in the AFC tilt. The Denver defense counts on DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller, Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson, Aqib Talib, Bradley Roby, T.J. Ward and Chris Harris.
Carolina may have better linebackers in Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly, but the general consensus is that Denver’s overall defense is stronger and more balanced. But to take things further it can be argued that 39-year-old Denver quarterback Peyton Manning is a lot easier to defend against than his Carolina counterpart Cam Newton. In addition, if Carolina can force Denver into turnovers it creates more chances to score and the Panthers’ defense has done that all year long and also chipped in with some important points.
Click here to learn more about SUPER BOWL 50 BETTING and how to bet on the Broncos vs Panthers at eBetting101.com.