It appears that weather will not be a factor at Super Bowl 50 with warm temperatures and sunny skies in the forecast for Sunday as the Carolina Panthers battle the Denver Broncos as 5.5-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
That’s good news for Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who has struggled notoriously throughout his career in playoff games played in cold weather. He finally earned his first career postseason victory (in six attempts) in contests played in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit with Denver’s 23-16 win versus the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional Round.
That win marked the start of a turnaround in Manning’s season, which had been marred by career-worst performances before the 39-year-old was sidelined with a foot injury that forced him out of six contests.
Manning followed up Denver’s victory over Pittsburgh with arguably his strongest outing of the year, marching the club to a pair of first-half major scores in their 20-18 AFC Championship Game victory over the New England Patriots. He will be making his fourth Super Bowl appearance in Sunday afternoon’s Broncos vs. Panthers betting matchup at Levi’s Stadium.
Denver’s win over the Patriots follows a successful trend since Manning arrived in town in 2012, with the club going 36-10 straight up when the former Super Bowl MVP tosses at least two touchdown passes in a game.
With Manning completing just nine touchdown passes during the regular season, however, the Broncos have had to rely heavily on their defense on their march to their second Super Bowl berth with the probable future Hall of Fame quarterback at the helm.
Manning’s woes resulted in a dip in Denver’s point production this season — making it a risky bet at the sportsbooks — going 3-6-2 against the spread in its past 11 according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
The man under center also has made the difference for the Panthers, who have been led to a 15-1 regular season record and a pair of postseason victories by quarterback Cam Newton. He also leads the way as -130 betting chalk on the Super Bowl 50 MVP odds.
The versatile Newton sat among the NFL leaders in touchdown passes this year with 35, but he set himself apart with an additional 10 rushing touchdowns on an impressive 636 rushing yards.
While the Panthers have been simply dominant since late last season, going 22-2 SU in their last 24 contests, Newton’s ground game has had a clear impact on the team’s fortunes at the sportsbooks, with Carolina going a middling 8-8-1 ATS in the past 17 outings when the 26-year-old has failed to run for a touchdown.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images
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