Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos pulled off the upset as betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com at Super Bowl 50, but the early odds to win Super Bowl LI don’t have them pegged as strong contenders to repeat as the NFL champions.
The Broncos were listed as underdogs against the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, Calif., but nevertheless came out of the game with the Vince Lombardi Trophy in hand, grabbing a 24-10 victory on the strength of a defense that terrorized quarterback Cam Newton and Carolina all night.
Manning didn’t have to do much for the Broncos to get the win, as he went 13 of 23 on the day for just 141 passing yards with no touchdowns and one interception. Running back C.J. Anderson rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries for Denver on Sunday, with defensive end Malik Jackson recovering a fumble in the end zone for the Broncos’ other major score in the first quarter.
After the game, Manning declined to announce if he was going to retire this offseason, although signs point to him having played his last game — injuries and ineffectiveness plagued the 2015 season for the future Hall of Fame quarterback. Broncos backup Brock Osweiler also is an impending free agent, leaving plenty of uncertainty for Denver for this summer.
As a result the Broncos find themselves back at +1,600 on the early Super Bowl LI odds at the sportsbooks, putting them in a tie for seventh place on that futures list with the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas, of course, lost starting quarterback Tony Romo to injury this past season and came nowhere close to making the playoffs, winning just four games.
Meanwhile, the New England Patriots sit with the top trio on the early Super Bowl LI odds at +900, with Tom Brady and company joined by both the Panthers and the Seattle Seahawks. The Patriots lost their last two games of the regular season this past year to allow the Broncos to grab home-field advantage for the AFC Championship Game. Denver won 20-18.
The Green Bay Packers (+1,200), Pittsburgh Steelers (+1,200), and Arizona Cardinals (+1,400) round out the teams between the Patriots and the Broncos on the early Super Bowl LI odds, with the Cincinnati Bengals at +2,000 and the Indianapolis Colts a step behind at +2,500.
The other three AFC East teams are farther down the NFL championship futures, with the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at +3,300 and the Miami Dolphins at +5,000. The Jets finished two games behind the Patriots in the AFC East standings at 10-6 this past season, while the Bills were at 8-8 and the Dolphins sat in the division basement with a 6-10 mark.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium.