Swinger's Super Bowl 50 Free NFL Picks: Panthers In A Rout!

Swinging Johnson

Friday, January 29, 2016 3:09 PM GMT

Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 3:09 PM GMT

The granddaddy of all sporting events is right around the corner and our resident capper Swinging Johnson plans on nailing his NFL picks to wrap up a successful NFL season.

2015 NFL Record (34-33-2 ATS)
The Patriots lost, due to among other things, an unlikely missed extra point by Stephen Gostkowski. Unlikely being an understatement along the lines of the space shuttle Challenger having had a bit of a malfunction. Gostkowski made 523 consecutive extra points, an NFL record, but he couldn't connect on No. 524. Excuse me while I throw up just a wee bit in my mouth. And for all those who are downplaying the importance of that miss, take your contrarian ass elsewhere because it did indeed change the entire complexion of the game and ultimately caused the Patriots to go for a two-point conversion versus kicking an extra point to tie the game. Despite Gostkowski's miss he is without a doubt the greatest kicker of our generation bar none and if anyone gets a pass, he's the man.

After last week's conference championships we cashed with both totals but lost with both sides. The fact I even chose Arizona in my Super Bowl picks last week was rather foolhardy as I had no real opinion on that game which means it should have been a 2-1 ATS weekend. But alas, it was not and now we stand at 34-33-1 ATS on the season as we have one last gasp to move out in front and call the 2015 NFL campaign a winning one. Let's go gents.

 

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NFL ATS Pick: Carolina -5 ½ 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

NFL 1st. Half NFL Pick: Carolina -3 (-120) 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

NFL O/U Pick: Under 45
Best Line Offered: at Youwager

As soon as the Panthers had gotten done mopping the field with the Cardinals a good friend called me and asked what I thought the Super Bowl line would be between Denver and Carolina. After a pregnant pause I exhaled that the Panthers should be installed as six-point favorites. Much to my surprise the NFL odds makers opened Carolina at -3 ½ which made me smile like a Cheshire cat. While three and a hook isn't necessarily a great number it's a hell of a lot easier to buy that down to 2 ½ than having to sit on a six and just pray that the Panthers don't allow a backdoor cover.

The truth of the matter is that the only way Denver covers this number is if Carolina sprints out early and then goes into their protective shell - their prevent defense - that oftentimes prevents a team from winning and almost always prevents bettors from covering. It's amazing that the last time Denver was in the Super Bowl only two years ago it was the Broncos as the high-flying irresistible force versus the Seahawks as the immovable object. Now Peyton Manning is back in the big game only he has become a game manager while his defense is now the game changer. How quickly things change in the National Football league.

In 2014 the Broncos were the No. 1 ranked offense averaging points 37.9 per game while the Seahawks were scoring 26.1  which tied them for 8th in the NFL. Defensively the Broncos were way down the ladder allowing 24.9 points per game ranking them 24th in that category while the Seahawks owned the top defensive squad boasting the Legion of Boom at their peak and surrendering just 14.4 points per game. The Seahawks had much more balance and hammered the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Fast forward to this season and the Broncos are owners of the league's 4th ranked defense allowing 18.5 PPG while their offense is a pedestrian 18th in points scored averaging 22.2 points per contest. Flipside of this coin are the Carolina Panthers boasting the league's top offense averaging 31.3 PPG while their defense is ranked 6th in points against allowing just 19.3.  

So here's my point. The Panthers have been immense all season and have a defense that is nearly as good as its prolific offense. The reason Seattle ran over the Broncos two years ago is because of Denver's imbalance back then same as now, only this time around it is the defense that is the crowning jewel and not the offense. Two years ago they had no way to stop a team if their offense stalled. This season their offense simply isn't that good because Peyton Manning is no longer - Peyton Manning. And defensively they are tough but are not even close to the pinnacle of the 2014 Seahawks.

As stout as that Denver defense is they are now playing a team that is two-dimensional. The Patriots could not run but the Panthers can. Cam Newton is the MVP for a reason and he will run on the Broncos and just when they start keying on him to scoot to the edge he will drop back and hit open receivers. Just watch what this man does to the Broncos. Panthers in a rout!

 

The Woodman's Corner (14-5-1 ATS)
In the 'great minds think alike department" the Woodman wishes to wrap a stellar season with the Carolina Panthers -5 1/2 at GTBets

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