Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers
Over-Under Pick: Over 44 points -110 odds (February 7th 2016)
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Well, Super Bowl 50 is finally upon us and in spite of the 2 high-profile QBs in this game, a LOT has been said about the elite defensive matchup, and rightly so. Both teams held their opponents to under 20 points per game. Both rank in the top 8 in 1st downs allowed. Both fall in the top 10 in sacks percentage. Both teams rank in the top 6 in total yards allowed. Denver ranks 1st in rushing yards allowed while the Panthers sit at #4. Denver is 3rd in passing yards allowed, while Carolina ranks 1st in takeaways. On paper, this game shouldn’t get above 40. BUT we do have 2 of the league’s most dynamic QBs in Cam Newton and Peyton Manning. Cam has done an incredible job this year of staying in the pocket and finding his open receivers. He has hit TE Greg Olson 89 times for 1294 yards while the Broncos’ Demarius Thomas has been targeted 192 times for 1356 yards ranking 5th overall with 111 receptions. I don’t know that we see a lot of Thomas in this game, but let’s not forget about TE Owen Daniels who has become a recent favorite target for Manning. Both QBs claim to be in great form physically and mentally and are emotional prepared for this game. But even should nerves get the better of either of these 2 at some point, these elite defensive units should be good for several takeaways and perhaps even a Manning interception (he had 17 on the year) for a pick-6, right in line with the Panthers 6 for the season. If both teams play a clean game, turnover-free game, we will see a score along the lines of 20-17, but I expect the D’s to step it up a notch for this game and at the very least get some better field position for their offense, particularly the Panthers offense who is an incredible 70% in red zone scoring percentage! And we can never rule out a sack/fumble/recovery/TD on Sunday either. This will be an exciting game to watch and I think we see the defensive efforts for both teams create more scoring opportunities for their respective offenses. Take OVER 44!
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