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Super Bowl 50: Panthers Open As Early Favorites Over Broncos

USA Today

USA Today

Following an epic battle between two legendary quarterbacks, and a blowout win with a brash young quarterback leading the way, Super Bowl 50 is officially set. The up-and-coming Carolina Panthers will square off against Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos on Feb. 7 with the league’s best offense going up against a lockdown defense who dethroned the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

According to, the Panthers are the early favorites to win it all in Santa Clara. Ron Rivera’s squad is currently favored with a -4.5 point spread after dismantling the Arizona Cardinals at Bank of America Stadium in the NFC Championship Game.

The Panthers dominated the competition in the NFC this season with Cam Newton and company cruising to a 15-1 regular-season record. Carolina hasn’t missed a beat in the playoffs with the Cardinals and defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks unable to compete with this team on either side of the football.

As for the Broncos, the once-dominant offense led by Manning has taken a backseat to the league’s best defense. Denver has gone from lighting up the scoreboards on a weekly basis to regularly shutting down potent offenses.

Although Manning is no longer the elite quarterback of old, the five-time NFL MVP has been able to do enough to lead this team to victory in the postseason. The Broncos have faced tough challenges in the Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers with the team prevailing in consecutive weeks.

This showdown between the Broncos and Panthers in Super Bowl 50 will be a classic matchup of the league’s best offense going up against an elite defense. Denver has yet to face an offense that can score more than 18 points against them in the playoffs. Carolina, however, has put up 31 points or more in both postseason games.

The Panthers may be the best all-around team in the league heading into Super Bowl 50, but they will face their toughest test on Feb. 7 with the Broncos defense being on another level. Taking Denver at +4.5 is the safe bet.

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