Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos Super Bowl 50 Opening Odds

Nikki Adams

Monday, January 25, 2016 2:48 AM UTC

Monday, Jan. 25, 2016 2:48 AM UTC

The top two seeds of the respective NFL Conferences are through to SB50. How do they stack up on the NFL odds board? Here's a look at opening lines for a head start on your NFL picks.

Broncos Dethrone the Champs
The Denver Broncos dethroned the defending champions New England Patriots in Sunday’s highly anticipated AFC Conference showdown, winning a hotly contested clash at Mile High 20-18. Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning XVII as it was fondly dubbed by NFL analysts, experts and media stole much of the pre-game narrative, but on the field the main story was the Denver Broncos’ stellar defense. One and all, they roughed up Tom Brady and managed to disrupt the highly touted Patriots offense.

Of course, Peyton Manning, who only a few weeks ago was the so-called backup quarterback to Brock Osweiler – there were those detractors that were all too eager to send the 39-year-old future Hall of Famer to pasture, prematurely – had a solid game. Better than most expected he would. Some might go so far as to say he was the better quarterback on the day.

Indeed, diminished arm strength, struggles with adjusting to Gary Kubiak’s offense and a slew of injuries, took the shine off Peyton Manning and, in turn, the Broncos as a whole and their chances to reach Super Bowl 50. Why else would odds makers send the top seed and host into a game as the significant home underdogs? Not to mention, the public lapped it up. SBR Consensus Betting polls from contributing sportsbooks reveals 66.68% of spread tickets amounting to 88.01% of the money on the game (or $2,444,102) was riding on the defending champions.


Panthers Continue To Roll
Carolina Panthers steamrolled the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Conference game, crushing the NFC West hopefuls 49-15. Inasmuch as the Panthers were opportunistic on both sides of the ball, the suspect play of Carson Palmer and the Cardinals –conspicuously overwhelmed by the occasion – played a big part in how the Panthers were able to rack up so many points, more than enough to cover the 3-point spread and, even, singlehandedly crack the 47-point closing total. 

It was a masterclass performance by Cam Newton and the Panthers against the second straight NFC West opponent in the playoffs. Just as they decimated the Seahawks they did the same to the Cardinals; bursting out of the gates they built a significant lead and never looked back. And as the confetti rained down on Super Cam and the Panthers, chants of MVP poured down from the stands deservedly.


How Did Conference Sunday Impact the NFL Odds Board?
Earlier in the week, well ahead of Sunday’s Conference round of the NFL playoffs, we weighed in on advanced lines that were served up by several leading sportsbooks for all four possible scenarios in Super Bowl 50. In the event of a Panthers-Broncos showdown, 5Dimes projected the Panthers as the -150 favorites and the Broncos as the +130 underdogs to win SU. Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook projected ATS and Totals for this matchup had the Panthers favored by a field goal and the total set to 43.

Now, that the Conference games are in the books and the Broncos and Panthers emerge as champions of their respective Conferences, odds makers have promptly posted NFL lines and odds for the matchup. Largely, it’s the same NFL betting outlook projected with the Panthers favored, but the actual NFL odds are much greater than initially served up.

In money line markets, the Panthers opened at -175 at Pinnacle Sports and quickly moved up to -180. Heritage opened the Panthers at -180 and that line has sprinted to -193 in mere minutes of posting. Whatever sportsbook you choose, you’ll find the Panthers trading anywhere from -175 to -190, which is a good bit higher than the advanced offering of -150.

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In spread betting markets, the Panthers opened anywhere from -3.5 to -4.5, which is a good point and a half higher than advanced lines expected the market to open on. Pinnacle Sports opened on 3.5-points while Heritage Sportsbook opened on 4.5-points. BetCRIS, Bet365 and William Hill, amongst several others, opened on 4-points with the Panthers to the good.

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Of all the projections the total experiences the biggest shift from proposition to actuality. Last week odds makers were toying with a potential 43 points but after the Panthers’ convincing win over the Cardinals that total must have seemed pretty low. Most sportsbooks have moved up to at least 45.5-points at open doors.

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So there you have it, the early NFL betting outlook for Super Bowl 50. It’s sure to be a sensational game between two very deserving teams: one boasting a future Hall of Famer in Peyton Manning, in what is sure to be his swansong, the other boasting in all likelihood the season’s MVP making his Super Bowl debut – what is sure to be his first of many such appearances. It’s anybody’s guess which team is the best NFL pick here as both sides, in their own way, have defied the NFL odds.

May the best team, best quarterback win!

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