The 2015 NFL season will come to an end on Sunday when the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, which will be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:40 PM. ET.
The Denver Broncos came into the season as one of the favorites to come out of the AFC, but Peyton Manning’s play at the start of the season led to serious doubts about the team making it to the Super Bowl.
Despite Manning’s poor play, the Broncos stayed at the top or close to the top of the AFC standings mostly due to their defense, which was one of the best in the NFL this season.
The Carolina Panthers entered the season with less fanfare due to the questions that they had on the offensive side of the ball.
Prior to the start of the season, the team lost star wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin for the season. Without their talented second year player, expectations were low entering the season.
Best Super Bowl Sportsbook: Bet365.com
Both teams were able to secure home field advantage during the playoffs, which helped them advance to the biggest game of the year.
While both Peyton Manning and Cam Newton played a big role in their respective team’s success, the reason both teams are playing in the Super Bowl is their defenses.
As previously mentioned, Denver’s defense bailed the team out a lot throughout the season, and did the same thing in the AFC Championship Game, intercepting a potential game tying two point conversion pass by Tom Brady to advance to the Super Bowl.
Carolina’s defense also came up big for them at certain points in the season and the playoffs. In the NFC Championship Game, the Panthers defense forced the Arizona Cardinals to turn the ball over seven times, which made it impossible for the Cardinals to fight their way back into the game.
In the Super Bowl, most of the attention will be on Manning, who is likely going to retire after the game, and Newton, who had a great season and is likely going to win the MVP award on Saturday, but don’t expect to see a shootout.
The last time the Broncos were in the Super Bowl, they were humiliated by the Seattle Seahawks, which is why a lot of experts and bettors believe the same thing will happen this year.
With Manning not throwing with a lot of velocity and accuracy, there is a possibility that the game could be a blowout, but you have to keep in mind that the defensive unit that played in the Super Bowl two years ago is not the same.
Von Miller, who has been a disruptive force in the playoffs this year was unable to play in that Super Bowl due to injury, and the team didn’t have DeMarcus Ware as well.
This time around, both players will suit up and are likely going to be in Newton’s face all night long.
The Panthers will employ a game plan similar to what Seattle did when they faced the Broncos in the Super Bowl a couple of years ago, which is to blitz Manning very often and force him to make bad throws.
Super Bowl 50 Odds
Bet365.com has the Panthers favored to win this game by 5.5 points. The over/under on total points scored is 44 points.
Personally, I like the underdogs in the Super Bowl. In the past six seasons, the underdogs have won the Super Bowl, and I think the trend will continue this week. I think the Broncos will cover the spread and win, but if you aren’t very confident in Denver, take the under on total points scored.
Play: Broncos +5.5 @ Bet365.com