NFL Picks: Panthers The New Super Bowl 50 Faves – or Are They?

Jason Lake

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 6:34 PM GMT

The undefeated Carolina Panthers have taken over top spot on the NFL odds list for Super Bowl 50 – at most locations. Others still prefer the New England Patriots.

Jason's 2015 record as of Dec. 8: 46-44-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 25-31 Total

What's it going to take to put away the New England Patriots? Their offense is rapidly running out of warm bodies, they've dropped back-to-back games – and they're still in first place on the NFL odds board for Super Bowl 50. That's depending on where you shop, though. Most of our featured online sportsbooks have the Carolina Panthers ahead at press time; others have the Panthers and the Patriots tied for first, as the two teams dance around the +400 price level.

From a market perspective, it's easy to see why the defending champs have been so hard to kill. The Panthers (12-0 SU, 9-3 ATS) may be undefeated, but they've played a very weak schedule thus far, and they don't have New England's championship pedigree. Still, it's going to be tough for the Patriots to defend their title, given all the injuries at receiver/tight end and on the offensive line.

 

Too Short
At least the Patriots are a virtual lock to reach the postseason. Consider the case of the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5 SU, 7-4-1 ATS), one of the most popular teams in the NFL. They're not even in a playoff spot as we go to press; the Kansas City Chiefs (7-5 SU and ATS) and New York Jets (7-5 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) would earn the two Wild Card berths in the AFC if the regular season ended after Week 13. Here's how their Super Bowl 50 odds look at GTBets:

Pittsburgh +1000
Kansas City +2000
N.Y. Jets +7500

That hardly seems fair. We recently made the Jets our NFL pick for Super Bowl 50, based purely on value, and here they are in a Wild Card position with even longer odds than before. But it's the Chiefs who are impressing us the most right now at 6-0 SU and ATS in their last six games – starting with a win over the Steelers in Week 7. Granted, it was Landry Jones and the Steelers, but still.

Here's another good one for you: the NFC East. There are three teams at 5-7, and then you have the Dallas Cowboys at 4-8 SU and ATS. Guess which team of the four has the shortest Super Bowl 50 odds. Well, Dallas isn't even on our odds list at press time, but if you go directly to Bovada, you'll see the Cowboys and the New York Giants (5-7 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) tied at +5000. The Philadelphia Eagles (5-7 SU and ATS), fresh off their win over New England, are next at +6600, followed by Washington (5-7 SU and ATS) at +10000. At a payout like that, how could you not take a flyer on a D.C. team that's currently in first place?