The 2016 NFL Playoffs have had some great games so far, but the best matchup could be in Super Bowl 50 where the Denver Broncos will take on the Carolina Panthers. While both teams were doubted the entire year, the Broncos, led by veteran quarterback Peyton Manning, and the Panthers, led by their electric quarterback Cam Newton, have silenced the critics. While each team had a few scares towards the end of their respective seasons, the Broncos and Panthers both clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. As posted last week, The Inquisitr went 1-1 in its conference championship round playoff picks. Here are the picks, odds, and early predictions for Super Bowl 50.
Carolina Panthers will face the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 after a 49-15 win over Arizona for the NFC title. https://t.co/Lx690etw9u— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) January 25, 2016
2016 NFL Playoffs Super Bowl 50 Schedule
Carolina Panthers Vs. Denver Broncos (Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS)
While the NFL playoff odds are going to change throughout the next two weeks based on injuries and how the bets are coming in, Football Locks has released early odds for Super Bowl 50.
Carolina Panthers: 4-point favorites over the Denver Broncos
Since this game is being played on a neutral field, there is no home-field advantage for either team. As the game is scheduled to be in Santa Clara, CA, there is also not likely to be any extreme weather that would give an advantage to either team. With the early odds favoring the Panthers by four points, the oddsmakers believe that Carolina should handily win this game.
Cam Newton finds out the Panthers are playing the Broncos, calls Peyton Manning "The Sheriff" https://t.co/0dS4sr6Uod— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) January 25, 2016
Picks and Predictions
Based on current injuries for each team, here is the pick for Super Bowl 50 of the 2016 NFL playoffs.
Carolina Panthers Over Denver Broncos
After being doubted the entire season, the Carolina Panthers may finally be earning the respect that they deserve. With a 15-1 record, they proved why they were the top seed in the NFC after defeating the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 49-15. The Broncos were also doubted the entire season after Peyton Manning appeared to be finished. Despite not putting up huge numbers against the Patriots, Manning was still a huge part of today’s AFC championship victory.
While Manning may be going through a resurgence late in the season, it is not going to be enough to beat the Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Cam Newton is having an MVP season, and he is somehow getting better as the year goes on. He has thrown for a career high 35 touchdown passes and a career low 10 interceptions. He has also rushed for 10 touchdowns, which is the second-highest of his career. As ESPN notes, this is the first Super Bowl in NFL history where two former No. 1 quarterback picks will meet.
After missing six games with an injury, it appeared as though Manning lost his starting job to backup quarterback Brock Osweiler. After Osweiler started turning the ball over too much, the Broncos reluctantly went back to Manning. Since Manning has returned, he has not exactly played at an elite level, but he has done exactly what the Broncos have asked him to do.
While they were the underdog against the Patriots, the Broncos elite defense and strong running game allowed them to pull off the upset victory. In order for them to have a chance against the Panthers, Manning is also going to have to be great, as opposed to the game manager that he has been.
In the end, the Panthers are just the better football team. Newton has arguably been the best quarterback in the league this year, and their defense contains way too many playmakers. Expect Super Bowl 50 to be close at halftime, but the Panthers will pull away in the 4th quarter.
Prediction: Carolina Panthers – 24, Denver Broncos – 14
While current odds, picks, and predictions are sure to change for Super Bowl 50 throughout the week, the schedule and bracket is now cemented. Look for Cam Newton to win his first Super Bowl on February 7.
[Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images]