The total for Super Bowl 50 opened at 45 and during the first week when football bettors could pick it apart, a little over half the sportsbooks raised it to 45.5, otherwise, expectedly quiet.
This is certainly not unusual as those liking the favorite will bet those NFL odds right away and very likely also wager on the OVER.
As far as the number itself, I think it is dead on, with two scores swimming around in my head, either 24-20 and 27-20. Without too much effort, I can make a case for both and feel comfortable with either decision for NFL picks. You to have to come up with a decision and whether it is Over or Under the oddsmakers number, that is up to you, just let us help you with the process.
You do not need a degree from MIT to see why this contest could end up below the number. Denver was the best defensive team in the NFL almost the entire season and ranks in the Top 5 of every important meaningful statistic this season. You need tweezers and magnifying glass to find fault with this crew, ranked first in total defense (283.1 yards a game), first in passing yards defense (199.6 YPG), first in sacks (52), third in running yards (83.6 YPG) and fourth in points allowed (18.5). Nothing has changed in the postseason holding high-powered offenses like Pittsburgh and New England to 16 and 18 points respectively.
Carolina is a little further behind, but not a great deal more. The Panthers are sixth in total defense (322.9 YPG), fourth in run defense (88.4) and points allowed (19.3), sixth in sacks (44) and eighth in yards per point.
Because of the nature of both quarterbacks, they would not seem to have strengths that match up well against these mighty stop troops. If the Broncos D had any weakness, it was against a club like Pittsburgh, who would throw the pigskin all over the yard with tremendous receivers, something Carolina lacks despite how many points they score, plus, it is not what they do best. Denver is 8-2 UNDER after two or more consecutive victories.
The Denver offense is more likely to run first to set up play-action passing for Peyton Manning, which is not anything the Carolina defenders have not faced.
No matter how you view it, Carolina is an outstanding offensive team averaging 32.2 PPG. If you toss out the dull effort in their only loss of the season at Atlanta, they have scored anywhere from 31 to 49 points in eight other contests since Nov. 22nd. As domineering as Denver’s defense has been, you can make the case Cam Newton and company have done the same on the opposite side of the ball.