Last Minute Super Bowl Picks: Expert Shares His Final Thoughts

Kevin Stott

Saturday, February 6, 2016 6:13 PM GMT

The biggest sporting event in the Western Hemisphere will be taking place at the two-year-old Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Let's dive in the Super Bowl Odds for our sharp bet.

Hundreds Of Proposition Wagers Available At SBR's Super Bowl 50 Betting Guide

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Final Score Prediction: Panthers 34   Broncos 24
Super Bowl Picks: Panthers Money Line -210 & Over 44 
Super Bowl Alternative Pick: Over 52½ +250 
Super Bowl Prop Picks: Will Cam Newton Score a TD? Yes +120; Player to Score 1st TD Cam Newton +700; Cam Newton Rushing Yards Over 39½ -110; Will Ted Ginn Jr. Have a Rushing Attempt? Yes +200; Will Greg Olsen Score a TD? Yes +160; Will There Be a Special Teams or Defensive TD? Yes +155; Will Luke Kuechly Intercept a Pass? Yes +230; Total Interceptions by Both Teams, Over 1½ -200; Total Points Scored, 56-60 +700; Margin of Victory 9-12 points +600 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos
Cam Newton and the and the new NFC champion Carolina Panthers (17-1 SU, 13-5 ATS) will battle Peyton Manning and the new AFC champion Denver Broncos (14-4 SU, 9-8-1 ATS) on Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium (Grass) in the lovely San Francisco suburb of Santa Clara (Fair, 68° Afternoon, Winds NNW 9-12 mph) in Super Bowl 50 to determine and crown a new NFL champion. Super Bowl Odds (Friday morning) see the favored Panthers in a 5- (-125, Treasure Island) to 6-point range with most renowned sportsbooks sitting on 5½. The Total (Points) is in a tight range between 44’s and 45 with 44½ and 45 being the most popular numbers out there now. In the Money Line (Winner) marketplace, the Panthers are priced as low as -210 (South Point) with the underdog Broncos priced as high as +202 Offshore (at 5Dimes) and +200 in Sin City (MGM Mirage) on the takeback. The Carolina Panthers Total Team Points has been set at 24½ (Ladbrokes) while the Denver Broncos Total Team Points is 19½ (Ladbrokes). The First Half Total is 22 (William Hill) while the 1st Half Point Spread sees host Carolina as -3 -129 favorites (Denver +3 -110, at William Hill).

 

12 Random Super Bowl 50 Odds and Ends For All of My Sharp Website Reading Dogs and Friends
1—The AFC’s #1 seed, the Broncos are the Home team in this game and instead of wearing their Orange uniforms, in which they are 0-4 in Super Bowls wearing (and Home teams usually wear the dark uniforms in the NFL), Denver has decided to wear their White uniforms. In the Super Bowl, the Broncos are 1-0 in Dark Blue jerseys and 1-1 in White ones, so not sticking out on the football field like neon-colored Road Cones when trying to hide from Luke Kuechly (12/1 to be Super Bowl MVP, Bovada) and the Carolina Defenders may be Broncos General Manager and former Super Bowl-winner John Elway’s train of thought here. Neither of the colors Orange or White seem to strike fear into the hearts of Men in my experience. Have you seen Chester Cheetah? NFC champs and #1 seeds Carolina will wear Black and the Panthers lost wearing White uniforms in their only previous Super Bowl appearance against the Patriots.

2—Three days out, and most of the vast majority of money (legal and illegal) to be bet on Super Bowl 50 probably hasn’t even been bet yet. And the betting has become more two-sided.

3—This was the first year casinos and sportsbooks in the State of Nevada could book Super Bowl MVP bets and the initial response has been overwhelming according to various media reports with Carolina QB extraordinaire Cam Newton (Opened 5/7, Westgate Las Vegas Superbook) predictably getting the bulk of the action.

4—The playing surface at Levi’s Stadium has been notoriously treacherous for such a new venue. The playing field has had the Grass sod replaced several times, yet still complaints from players and coaches and several kickers whose left plant foot has slipped attempting XPs and FGs exist. All that money and they still can’t get the Grass right. But they’re not alone.

5—Lady Gaga will sing the National Anthem (Over/Under for Time of Song: 2:20, Bovada) and Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyoncé will perform at Halftime.

6—The Nevada state record handle for betting on the Super Bowl was set two years ago in 2014 in Super Bowl XVIII when $119.4 million was wagered on the game between the Seattle Seahawks and these Denver Broncos and many expect the $120 million to be surpassed this time around and the heavy early volume makes setting a new Silver State record a real possibility. Russell Wilson and the NFC champions easily prevailed in Super Bowl XVIII, winning 43-8 to earn their first (and only) Lombardi Trophy in that record-setting handle game.

7—Super Bowl 50 is called Super Bowl 50 because the Roman numeral ‘L” (Super Bowl L) looked really stupid and seemed confusing so it was (properly) dubbed Super Bowl 50 because 50 marks a Golden Super Bowl as it will be held in the Golden State (California)—named after the historic Gold Rush—and because 50th anniversaries are traditionally known as the “Golden Anniversary.” So now you know. Next year’s Super Bowl will return to the Roman numeral format with Super Bowl L scheduled to be held at NRG Stadium in Houston on Feb. 5, 2017 and will be televised on FOX.

8—Three teams opened up as co-8/1 favorites at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook to win Super Bowl LI: the AFC’s New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFC’s Seattle Seahawks 8/1. The Carolina Panthers opened up at 12/1.

9—Even with a sparkling 13-5 ATS (72.2%) heading in here, the Carolina Panthers still aren’t the NFL’s overall Point Spread champions as Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings went 14-3-0 ATS (82.4%) in the NFC and the Cincinnati Bengals went 12-3-2 ATS (80%) in the AFC. A Point Spread win for Carolina would move them to 14-5 ATS and to 73.7%, still below the Vikings and Bengals percentage marks, proving once again that Losses are the big things Investors, Sports Gamblers and Football teams all need to try to avoid. Winning is fine, but not Losing is a must for maximum success. Ask the mouse who was going to eat a bug who was eaten by the snake about that. And when it comes to winning...

10—Carolina—which was as high as 60/1 in the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook Futures market but didn’t receive much play according to Vice President Jay Kornegay of the SuperBook—has lost just two times (Atlanta, Week 16 and Seattle in NFC Playoffs last season) in its L24 football games dating all the way back to December of 2014 while Denver tied a franchise record with 6 Road wins this Regular Season (KC, DET, OAK, CLE, CHI, SD) although the competition was less than tough this particular season, even with the Old Gunslinger hobbled and backup Brock Osweiler having to come in and play some QB.

11—Peyton Manning and the Broncos actually helped break-in this new, 2-year-old Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, around 40 miles south of downtown San Francisco (where Tony Bennett left his Heart and it still hasn’t been found) in Week 2 of last year’s Preseason (Aug. 17, 2014) as Denver shut out San Francisco, 34-0 in the stadium’s debut. So, the Broncos are undefeated here SU and ATS and have never allowed a point on this murky Bay Area soil. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

12—The game can be watched online on the Internet at CBSSports.com.

 

Final Scores, Point Spreads, Totals and City Sites of the Last 11 Super Bowls
XLIX—Patriots 28 Seahawks 24 (Pick ‘em) Points Scored: 52 (Over, 47½) (Glendale, AZ)

XLIX—Seahawks 43 Broncos 8 (CAR -2½) Points: 51 (Over, 47½) (East (Rutherford, NJ)

XLVII—Ravens 34 49ers 31 (SF -4½) Total Points Scored: 65 (Over, 48) (New Orleans)

XLVI—Giants 21 Patriots 17 (NE -2½) Total Points Scored: 38 (Under, 53) (Indianapolis)

XLV—Packers 31 Steelers 25 (IND -5) Total Points Scored: 56 (Over, 45) (Arlington)

XLIV—Saints 31 Colts 17 (CAR -10) Total Points Scored: 48 (Under, 57) (Miami)

XLIII—Steelers 27 Cardinals 23 (PIT -7) Total Points Scored: 50 (Over, 46) (Tampa)

XLII—Giants 17 Patriots 14 (NE -12) Total Points Scored: 31 (Under, 55) (Glendale, AZ)

XLI—Colts 29 Bears 17 (IND -7) Total Points Scored: 46 (Under, 47½) (Miami)

XL—Steelers 21 Seahawks 10 (PIT -4) Total Points Scored: 31 (Under, 47) (Detroit)

XXXIX—Patriots 24 Eagles 21 (NE -7) Total Points Scored: 45 (Under, 46½) (Jacksonville)

 

Thoughts On Super Bowl 50 Total (Points)
Lowest Total in Market: 44
Highest Total in Market: 45 
Current Consensus Totals in Market: 44½, 45
Totals Trends, Thoughts: The Weather forecast for Santa Clara calls for perfect football Weather with Fair conditions, a High of 68° called for on Sunday afternoon with a High of 48° on Sunday night (Sunset 5:46 p.m.) and Winds NNW of 9-12 mph with Humidity around 48%. So, vastly different from the frigid temperatures at which these NFL Playoffs started out at and not much of a factor and seemingly a good thing for points being scored until you think about the questionable Turf conditions at Levi’s Stadium and the Broncos possible Game Plan of slowing the game down due to QB Peyton Manning’s limitations both running and throwing. But with this being a do-or-die situation, the Over having W3 straight in the Super Bowl (and W5 of the L7) and the Over also 7-2 in Carolina’s L9 games overall, finding the lowest available Total and betting the Over seems the logical play despite the Sharp players penchant for almost always betting, and seeking and whistling about the Under. And the two Defenses, Carolina #6 (5,167 yards, 322.9 ypg, 19.3 ppg) in the Regular Season and Denver at #1 (4,530 yards, 283.1 ypg, 18.5 ppg) would warrant the Under, and Super Bowls do traditionally start out pretty low-scoring. But with this prolific Carolina Offense and so many TV commercials (more rest = more oxygen in lungs) and long breaks to devise funky plays on Offense and with the decent Weather in the forecast, it seems Denver (22.1 ppg) should generate 3 TDs and a couple of FGs while Carolina should score 4 TDs with a couple of FGs. And it would come to nobody’s surprise if the Panthers Luke Kuechly (Will Luke Kuechly Intercept a Pass ? Yes +230, No -270, Westgate Las Vegas Superbook), Josh Norman (Will Josh Norman Intercept a Pass ? Yes +270, No -330, Westgate Las Vegas Superbook) and/or Kurt Coleman (Will Kurt Coleman Intercept a Pass ? Yes +240, No -280, Westgate Las Vegas Superbook) or the Broncos Chris Harris (Will Chris Harris Intercept a Pass ? Yes +450, No -600, Westgate Las Vegas Superbook) and/or Aqib Talib (Will Aqib Talib Intercept a Pass ? Yes +300, No -360, Westgate Las Vegas Superbook) scored on a Pick-6 in this highly anticipated Super Bowl 50.

 

Why The Carolina Panthers Should Win (In List Form Por Favor, Pablo Pick-asso Because You're Wordy)
The Panthers on the Money Line at -210 (South Point) seems like a good value play in that you’re avoiding the possibility of losing your money should the Panthers win by either 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or maybe even Pushing at 6 if it closes that high. Because sportsbooks received such an influx of Carolina money early on (last week) and because operators are beyond hesitant to let the number get as high as -7 and it being a dangerous number for them in a number of ways, they are offering moderate Money Line prices now on the Panthers (-200 to -240 range). So, seeking Carolina around 2/1 and betting them on the Money Line for a moderate amount seems safer in this particular game with so much early action flowing in on the chalks and moving the number up significantly. Here is why the Panthers should win their 23rd game in 25 tries and win take the Lombardi Trophy with them back to the Tar Heel State in Super Bowl 50...

1—Current Quarterback Physicality Reality. Cam Newton vs. Peyton Manning. One man is Young and can Run when he has to (Cam Newton Rushing Yards Over 39½ -110, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and Passes the ball with the natural motion a man with a healthy arm should throw a football while the other dude is Old and can’t Run and grimaces and Passes like it hurts...because it does. So who do you want under Center in The Big Game? The thought here is that Newton will be able give his body up knowing it’s the last game of the season and that if Denver DBs and LBs are doing a great job covering his Receiving corps, tucking the ball down and running up-field for scores of yards could be the ultimate difference in this game. Auburn product Newton is having a brilliant season and at 6-5, 245 pounds is basically a great RB play QB simply because he can. And that’s what Athleticism will do for you. The 39-year-old Tennessee product Manning has been the antithesis of Athleticism this season and although the QB position may not necessarily decide this game on Sunday when we’re all full of Dip, Drink and Hype, Manning’s limitations will come into play while Newton has this Ace up his sleeve in that he could and should maybe be the game’s leading Rusher. By Land or by Sea or by Air, these Cats want to win their first NFL Championship and that somehow gets lost in all the spectacle. Even if Canton is in your Future and it’s your last game of a glorious career, coming into a Super Bowl with the worst Regular Season numbers of any QB just doesn’t sound like a good thing, no matter how good your Defense. And Smiles top Grimaces all the time.

2—The Panthers underrated Offense. Even though Arizona was #1 in the NFL in Offense, Carolina and potential NFL MVP Newton actually averaged more Points Per game (ppg) than did Arizona (31.3-30.3), and along with Arizona, New England, and maybe Cincinnati and Pittsburgh to some degree, the panthers now have one of the best Offenses in the NFL. In Summer, the birds chirped about how WR Kelvin Benjamin’s season-long Injury would hamstring the Carolina Offense, but Newton has shown how dangerous he can be and TE Greg Olsen (Will Greg Olsen Score a TD? Yes +160, Westgate Las Vegas Superbook) has been his valuable and dependable self and the Panther WRs have been terrific (and they haven’t had the Dropsies like the Denver Receiving corps has had of late). Ted Ginn Jr., Jerricho Cotchery, Corey Brown,  Rookie (Michigan) Devin Funchess, Kevin Norwood and Brenton Bersin, this team can score many ways and let’s not forget backup TE Ed Dickson or RBs Jonathan Stewart, Fozzy Whittaker and cameron Artis-Payne. If Carolina can run the ball on Denver and if Stewart tops 100 yards, it’s all over Sugar Bear. Look for the kid Funchess to shine here.

3—Handing little Kids in the Stands Footballs after TDs brings much Good Karma and having the Black uniforms on will make the Cats feel good and look tougher. Word. Something about those Black uniforms.

4—Momentum. This team has come a game away from having possibly the greatest season in NFL history and has been playing great Football this season after playing very good Football the last couple of seasons. Why? A sweet schedule, some decline in NFC powerhouses Seattle and Green Bay and Time is on their side, yes it is. Everybody wants to be the big dog in the NFL and this could be Carolina’s first championship and that means an awful lot to a city and region of the country which has the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and MLB’s Atlanta Braves as the closest baseball club. Winning this NFL title would mean much to the Southeast, where just a year ago we all mocked the NFC South to death for having all four teams—including these Panthers at 7-8-1—end the Regular Season with sub-.500 records. This team has come a long way in a short period of time, but when you have Superman...

5—The Panthers are the better team. Last year the Point Spread in this game (matchup) would have probably seen the Broncos favored by between 4 and 6 points, so oddsmakers know how good Carolina has gotten week-by-week and game-by-game. And with all the talk of Manning and this being his potential swan song and the Denver D and Cam Newton, the Carolina Defense has taken a backseat in the spotlight. And that’s probably fine with them and 5th-year Carolina Head Coach Rivera, who was a Super Bowl-winning LB with the Chicago Bears and a pretty damn good one so he knows the importance of commitment to Defense and cares little about Hype. With LB extraordinaire Kuechly, LB Shaq Thompson, LB Thomas Davis, DT Star Lotulelei, CB Josh Norman, budding star S Kurt Coleman (7 Interceptions) and others, Rivera has built a team of smart, ball-hungry guys who are actually playing like a little Offense on Defense, as they have shown with Kuechly (Will Luke Kuechly Intercept a Pass? Yes +230, No -270, Westgate Las Vegas Superbook) having Pick-6’s in both the NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals and the NFC Divisional Round against the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson in the NFC Divisional Round on a play early on in the 1st Quarter in Charlotte that seemingly sealed the defending conference champions fate. Beware of that man Luke dressed in the Teal and Black for he is everywhere.

 

How This NFL Championship Game in the Golden State May End Up Turning Out on Sunday
The Favorites have covered just 2 times in the L10 Super Bowls (Underdogs 7-2-1 ATS)—last year’s New England-Seattle game was officially graded at Pick ‘em in some places—and the Under is 6-4, although, as mentioned, the L3 Super Bowl have gone Over by 4, 3½ and 17 points. But using Trends on the Super Bowl isn’t a great idea because of the sporadic nature of play in the league and the reality different teams usually get there each season. And there is much conference parity also and those like Bovada who offered Super Bowl Futures odds by conference had both the AFC and NFC favored in this game at times throughout the Regular Season. The Super Bowl is a game best handicapped and looked at on its own, independent of past history and numbers. For example, the XP Attempts in all Super Bowls past were shorter than they will be this year and what we though Peyton Manning was in 2014/15 is not the same Peyton Manning we think he is today, here in the 2015/16 season. But we must be aware of some team Trends. The Panthers are 12-2 ATS their L14 games played on Grass and Carolina is 11-4 ATS in its L15 games overall. And Newton and the Panthers are 9-4 ATS in their L13 Postseason affairs while the Broncos are 2-5-1 ATS in their L8 Playoff games. Denver has W5 of the L6 meetings SU between these two (dating back to 1996) and is 4-2 ATS in the L6 meetings in this infrequent series between a state once known for Tobacco being its cash crop and one that helped put it on the map playing against another progressive state which has legalized marijuana and has shown some success with it being Colorado’s new cash crop. Times change. And, the Under is 3-2-1 in those L6 meetings, the last coming on 11/11/2012 when the host Broncos defeated the Panthers, 36-14 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte (CAR -3½, 46½). But this game on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium won’t be like any of the previous meetings between these two teams in many ways. Our sharp Super Bowl Pick is with the Panthers.