Not only are the Carolina Panthers favored to win Super Bowl 50, but much of the betting public expects them to win comfortably. The NFC Champions are giving the Denver Broncos six points in the biggest NFL game of 2016, and the over/under sits at 45.5 points.
Denver’s 12-4 record gave them the No.1 seed in the AFC, and they held off the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots in their two playoff games. Carolina has been the best team in football all season long, going 15-1 in the regular season while beating the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals this postseason in dominant fashion. Recent Super Bowl history hasn’t been kind to favorites, but the overall historical betting trends suggest that the Panthers will cover the spread in a potentially high-scoring game.
Favorites are 26-21-1 against the spread in Super Bowls, though underdogs have been dominant recently. The Super Bowl favorite hasn’t covered the spread or won straight up since the Green Bay Packers did it in 2011, and only three favorites have covered the spread in the last 15 years. Betting favorites have won just 10 of the last 20 Super Bowls.
The NFC has dominated the Super Bowl in the last 30 years, going 20-11 since 1984. The AFC has failed to cover the spread in 21 of those games.
The point spread was either 3.5 or four points at Las Vegas and online sportsbooks when the Super Bowl 50 matchup was set, and Carolina is 8-1 against the spread in their last nine games when favored by 4.5 points or less, via OddsShark. Twelve of their 17 wins have come by more than six points.
The Broncos are 5-1 straight up and 5-0-1 against the spread in their last six games as underdogs, according to OddsShark. Denver was getting three points against New England in the AFC Championship Game, and they are 9-2 straight up in their last 11 games after winning as an underdog.
The Panthers went 11-5 against the spread in the regular season, which was good for third in the league, and they covered the spread in both playoff games. The Broncos went 8-6-2, going 1-0-1 in the playoffs.
With Denver owning the NFL’s No.1 defense and Carolina scoring the most points in football, the over/under hasn’t moved much. Only 12 of the past 31 Super Bowls have gone under the total, and the total has gone over in Denver’s last six Super Bowl appearances.
With Cam Newton, the league's presumed MVP, leading the offense and a top defense that forces multiple turnovers each game, Carolina appears poised to not just win, but win big on Sunday.
Prediction ATS: Carolina. The Panthers should win by at least six points. Also, the final score should be over 45.5 points.