Super Bowl 50 Picks: Bettors Hitting ‘Over’ As Cam Newton, Panthers Favored

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It’s the annual last-ditch chance to get in your football fix before the inevitable withdrawal, also known as the Super Bowl.

This year’s edition pits the Carolina Panthers against the Denver Broncos, and as you might have heard, the quarterbacks are kind of a big deal. That’s typically the case, of course, but with Super Bowl 50 featuring Peyton Manning’s possible last hurrah and superstar Cam Newton’s first exposure on the sport’s biggest stage, the QBs are even more the focus than usual.

NESN.com’s panel is back to handicap the week’s action, which amounts to just one game — albeit with many possible betting permutations. Let’s take a look at their predictions for the big game.

Super Bowl 50
Carolina Panthers (-6) vs. Denver Broncos, Sunday, Feb. 7, 6:30 p.m. ET
Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.
Over/under: 45

Ricky Doyle, Content Producer
Prediction: Panthers, under
Remember two years ago when the Seattle Seahawks torched the Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII? Well, that’s probably not going to happen again — Denver’s defense is way too good — but this Panthers team is rather similar to that Seahawks team: excellent defense, solid running game, duel-threat quarterback. Cam Newton seems to relish the big moment, whereas Peyton Manning hasn’t had the best track record in big games throughout his career. It’s hard to imagine the Broncos keeping pace.
Final score: Panthers 27, Broncos 16

Ben Watanabe, Senior Editor
Prediction: Panthers, over
This might seem random, but I’m taking Carolina because of Kansas City. No, I’m not merely geographically confused; the Chiefs had relative success — twice — against Denver’s formidable defense, and characteristically won the game in which they protected the ball and lost the one in which they didn’t. The Panthers were the only team with a better takeaway/giveaway differential than the Chiefs, and it goes without saying Cam Newton is capable of making more plays than Alex Smith.
Final score: Panthers 28, Broncos 18

Mike Cole, Content Producer
Prediction: Panthers, under
I think, for the most part, this game is going to be closer than most people expect, but I still have to take Carolina if I’m giving a touchdown or less. Denver’s defense is legit — just ask Tom Brady, who’s probably still finding pieces of the Sports Authority Field turf when he showers. Two weeks for Wade Phillips should produce a solid game plan to slow Cam and Co., but I just don’t see where Denver gets its points. Assuming Carolina doesn’t blow out Denver, I see this as one of the lower-scoring Super Bowls in recent history.
Final score: Panthers 24, Broncos 16

Michaela Vernava, Video Host
Prediction: Panthers, under
With Denver’s defense being as strong as it is, Carolina may not run away with this one like they did right out of the gates against Seattle and Arizona, but they will walk away with the Lombardi. Cam Newton and his dynamic offense will still be able to get plenty of points on the board, and that’s something that won’t be as easy for Peyton Manning against Luke Kuechly, Josh Norman, and the rest of the Panthers D.
Final score: Panthers 30, Broncos 13

Thumbnail photo via Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports Images

Have a question for Ben Watanabe? Send it to him at @BenjeeBallgame.

Have a question for Mike Cole? Send it to him via Twitter at @MikeColeNESN.

Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle.

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