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How the Denver Broncos can win, cover the spread in Super Bowl 2016

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The Denver Broncos hope to ride the league's best defense to an upset win over the Carolina Panthers as betting underdogs for Super Bowl 50.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are 5-1 straight up and 6-0 against the spread in their last six games as the betting underdog. The Broncos will once again try to prove the prognosticators wrong with another upset win when they take on the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

Denver is a 5.5-point betting underdog for Super Bowl Sunday according to sportsbooks monitored by In their last 11 games coming off an upset win, the Denver Broncos are 9-2 SU.

The popular breakdown for this game suggests that both the Broncos and the Panthers have excellent defenses, but only the Panthers have an excellent offense. If this sounds familiar, it should, because it was the same argument used against the Broncos when they took on the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

New England certainly didn't look like a top-three scoring offense against this defense, scoring only 18 points and turning the ball over twice.

The Broncos' attack on Tom Brady was relentless. The league's third leading passer was pressured 19 times and sacked four times, forced into two interceptions and a completion percentage under 50 percent. Regardless of how good a quarterback is with time, facing pressure like Denver can deal out will almost always force a bad performance.

And even if Cam Newton is able to elude some of this pressure, the Broncos will have a game plan to keep the quarterback contained.

Offensively, the Broncos aren't as bad as they get criticized for. Early season struggles in the rushing game skew the numbers, but over Denver's last eight games, the team has rushed for 122.8 yards per game.

Peyton Manning is healthier now than he was in the first half of the season, and it has shown this postseason with 398 passing yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions against two strong defenses.

Lastly, Super Bowl history shows that the betting action is usually on the wrong side. The underdog is 4-0 SU and ATS over the last four Super Bowls and 11-3-1 ATS over the last 15.

Denver's defense is good enough to at least keep this game within 5.5 points, but could also wind up leading the team to an outright upset as well.

Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos Super Bowl Odds

Carolina -5.5 vs. Denver

View all NFL odds and Super Bowl props at