Impact Sports Staff Super Bowl 50 Picks

Sunday, February 7, 2016 – 6:30 p.m. ET – CBS
Carolina Panthers (15-1, 5-1 NFC South) vs Denver Broncos (12-4, 4-2 AFC West)
Betting Line: Carolina (-5.5)
Over/Under: 44.5


Zachary Swiecicki (@zachswies)

Carolina Panthers 31, Denver Broncos 17
MVP: Josh Norman

Carolina will win because their defense is good enough to stop Denver’s less-than-spectacular running game, forcing Peyton Manning to throw the ball 40+ times, including a couple interceptions to the eventual MVP, Josh Norman. Fact: Quarterbacks making their Super Bowl debut, as Cam Newton is, have won four straight over quarterbacks with some Super Bowl experience, like Manning. In fact, Manning’s two Super Bowl losses have come against quarterbacks making their debut (Russell Wilson, 2014 & Drew Brees, 2010).

Bold Prediction: Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart will combine for over 200 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Prop Bet to Watch: Odds to win MVP, Josh Norman (+2800)


Bradley Allen (@bradtallen)

Denver Broncos 31, Carolina Panthers 28
MVP: Peyton Manning

Denver will win because Cam Newton and the Panthers offense start hot but don’t finish strong. Broncos come back from a three possession deficit to win a thriller.

Bold Prediction: Former Spartan Bennie Fowler catches the game-winning touchdown, receives personal from letter from Plaxico Burress urging him to stay out of VIP rooms in nightclubs and away from guns.

Prop Bet to Watch: Largest points lead of the game by either team will be, Over 14.5 Points (-115)


Davey Segal (@DaveyCenter/@harvicknut_4)

Carolina Panthers 30, Denver Broncos 24
MVP: Luke Kuechly

Carolina will win because the Denver defense hasn’t seen anything like Cam Newton and the Panthers offense all season. Defense wins championships, but in today’s day and age of professional football, this type of offense will win you championships – one that has an elite quarterback with a proven running game, as well as solid receivers. Peyton Manning will play a solid game, but a late two-minute drill drive by Newton and the Panthers will lead them to their first Super Bowl victory in franchise history.

Bold Prediction: Ted Ginn Jr. will have a punt/kick return touchdown and Peyton Manning will rush for a touchdown. Newton dabs on the podium after winning, accidentally hitting the Lombardi Trophy out of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s hands, but smiles anyway.

Prop Bet to Watch: Anytime touchdown scorer, Ted Ginn Jr. (+140)


Zane D’Souza (@zane23d)

Denver Broncos 24, Carolina Panthers 21
MVP: Peyton Manning

Denver will win because of their overwhelming defense. Peyton Manning even admitted that that side of the ball is the reason they made it this far. They are first in the league in passing yards allowed and Cam Newton is not the greatest passer this defense has faced. Even though the Broncos have not faced the type of physical quarterback that Newton is, their defensive front is third in the league opponents rush yards per game. Offensively, Manning needs one more big game in him. People forget that Manning was the quarterback of this team that started the year 7-0. The keys for a Broncos win will be stopping the run, preventing a big play momentum swinger, and scoring just enough to out-do this impressive Panthers offense.

Bold Prediction: Roger Goodell will admit during the postgame trophy presentation that he had the refs fix the game so they will have the perfect story of Manning riding off into the sunset.

Prop Bet to Watch: Total points scored in the game by both teams combined, 41-50 (+190)


Ryan Cole (@ryan_cole9)

Carolina Panthers 20, Denver Broncos 14
MVP: Cam Newton

Carolina will win because they have the mojo, the great coaching, and the elite quarterback play that typifies an all-time-great team. A low-scoring defensive contest, the game will come down to which quarterback can make a big play happen. Cam Newton is that quarterback.

Bold Prediction: Peyton Manning rushes for a touchdown. Exhausted from the one-yard trot, he announces his retirement immediately upon returning to the sideline.

Prop Bet to Watch: Total rushing yards – Peyton Manning, Over .5 (+160)


Zachary Barnes (@Forrest_Barnes)

Denver Broncos 27, Carolina Panthers 24
MVP: Danny Trevathan

Denver will win because their front seven is going wreak havoc on the Carolina run game. Allowing the fewest yards per attempt at 3.3yd/carry (best in the league) and only 83.6 rush yards per game (3rd in the league), Carolina is going to struggle to get anything going late in the game after they start hot in the first quarter. The Denver linebacking corps is going to have a field day and the defense is going to get a score. Denver has only allowed opponents to crack over 30 points once this season, and The Fighting Cam Newton’s will not be the second.

Fun Fact: The Last 4 Super Bowl winners were all underdogs according to Vegas.

Bold Prediction: Peyton Manning will march down the field, after throwing for over 300 yards and two touchdowns earlier, and set up the game winning field goal by Brandon McManus as he literally rides “Thunder” (The Broncos’ mascot) into the sunset for the best ending to anyone’s career, ever. This will later be overshadowed by the fact that the Al Jazeera report was correct and Peyton Manning gets busted for HGH usage after his neck surgery.

Prop Bet to Watch: Odds to win MVP, Danny Trevathan (+6600)


Andy Chmura

Carolina Panthers 28, Denver Broncos 17
MVP: Cam Newton

Carolina will win because they are the most well-rounded team in the NFL. Although Denver has the top-ranked defense, they will struggle to run the ball and Manning will be under relentless pressure from a scary front seven. Carolina’s defense has quietly blossomed all year long and will bring it against Denver.

Bold Prediction: Manning gets sacked four or five times.

Prop Bet to Watch: Total QB sacks by the Carolina Panthers, Over 2.5 (-115)


Jacob Herbert (@jacobherbert)

Denver Broncos 24, Carolina Panthers 21
MVP: Peyton Manning

Denver will win because of their defense. The Denver defense is simply the best in the league and will be able to contain Cam Newton and Carolina’s potent offense. Beyond that, the Broncos will rally behind Manning, who could potentially be playing in his last game, and win one for the future Hall of Famer.

Bold Prediction: Peyton Manning will score the game-winning TD with a 5-yard run. Then on the game’s final play, Cam Newton will break off on a long run but stop just before the goal line, on what would have been the game-winning TD, to “dab on em” – little will he know that Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib will knock the ball out from under him and fall on it to secure the Broncos win. Manning dabs on Cam and all will be right in the world.

Prop Bet to Watch: Anytime touchdown scorer, Peyton Manning (+1600)


Blake Froling (@BFroling)

Carolina Panthers 31, Denver Broncos 17
MVP: Cam Newton

Carolina will win because Cam Newton owns the NFL right now. Denver has a stellar defense but Peyton can’t throw a football farther than I can throw a Papa John’s pizza. Carolina will get up early and never look back.

Bold Prediction: Cam Newton will give a football to a kid and then Jim Nantz will mention how “critics” don’t like his celebrations. Oh wait, that’s not very bold; that’ll actually happen.

Prop Bet to Watch: Will the Panthers player who scores their first TD give the football to a boy or girl? Boy (-200)


Jason Ruff (@Jason_R_Ruff)

Denver Broncos 27, Carolina Panthers 24
MVP: Peyton Manning

Denver will win because of the defense, they will give Cam Newton fits. Plus this will likely be Manning’s last ride, so he will do just enough for Denver to bring home the Super Bowl. Also, the Broncos will NOT be wearing their orange jerseys, this will be the deciding factor as apparently the football gods hate the color orange.

Bold Prediction: Cam Newton will get sacked several times OR the Broncos will force a safety.

Prop Bet to Watch: The first scoring play of the game will be a Broncos safety (+3300)


Alexa McCarthy (@AlexamMcCarthy)

Carolina Panthers 31, Denver Broncos 12
MVP: Cam Newton

Carolina will win because Peyton has not been exposed and has a weak throwing arm. His weak game will easily be exposed by Cam Newton. Denver’s defense will have some big stops early on, but when Newton passes for two touchdowns and runs in two more back-to-back, he will open up the floodgates.

Bold Prediction: Peyton will get injured in warm-ups and will not start. Denver will also miss an extra point.

Prop Bet to Watch: Will there be a missed extra point after touchdown? Yes (+325)


Matt Mika (@TheMattMika)

Denver Broncos 27, Carolina Panthers 24
MVP: Von Miller

Denver will win because of their defense. The orange crush is back in Denver and they will make Superman Cam throw a couple of interceptions – which will be just enough to squeak by the potent Panthers offense. Von Miller will have a day as well notching 10+ tackles, two sacks, and one of those interceptions. It will be déjà vu from the AFC Championship Game as the Panthers will score a touchdown to pull within three with seconds remaining, but a failed attempt at an onside kick will give Peyton Manning his second ring, and the perfect moment to ride off into the sunset.

Bold Prediction: The halftime show will begin with Viva La Vida, and end with A Sky Full of Stars, but what happens in between will cause social media to crash. Jay Z will come on stage – right after Bruno Mars tears up the dance floor in a shiny jacket – and rap with Beyonce.

Prop Bet to Watch: Which song will Coldplay play first during the halftime show? Viva la Vida (+500)


Brett Kast (@brettkast)

Carolina Panthers 21, Denver Broncos 16
MVP: Luke Kuechly

Carolina will win because Their explosive offense won’t be completely contained by the daunting Denver defense. Newton won’t put up the same numbers he does in most games, but Newton isn’t like Brady. Cam can escape the pressure that overwhelmed the Patriots play caller two weeks earlier. The Broncos will be able to get a good pass rush going, but that won’t be enough to stop Cam Newton. And, Manning is unfortunately past his prime. Everyone is focused around the quarterbacks, but neither quarterback will have a standout game. Denver’s defense is too good and Manning is too old. Expect the defensive play to stand out.

Bold Prediction: Kuechly will have as many, if not more, touchdowns than Cam Newton. Manning doesn’t have the best arm and Kuechly has better pass coverage than any linebacker in the league. He’s tied for the most interceptions by a linebacker this season (four) and already has two this postseason. Kuechly will have a pick-six and match Newton with one touchdown each.

Prop Bet to Watch: Will Luke Kuechly record a pick-six in the game? Yes (+600)


Consensus Impact Sports Staff Pick (@WDBM_Sports)

  • From the 13 staff members that made picks, seven chose Carolina and six chose Denver.
  • Of those that picked Carolina, they favored the Panthers to win by an average of 12 points.
  • Four of the seven Carolina picks predicted Cam Newton as Super Bowl MVP.
  • EVERYONE that picked Denver picked them to win by a field goal.
  • Prop Bet: Will the Super Bowl be decided by exactly 3 points? Yes (+400)
  • Four of the six Denver picks predicted Peyton Manning as Super Bowl MVP.

The rounded average of all 13 predicted scores gave us a final score of:

Carolina Panthers 26, Denver Broncos 21

With our exact score averages resulting in a 4.4-point Carolina win, we will put our money on Denver against the spread [CAR (-5.5)].

As for the average predicted final score – ours totaled 47, so we will also have to bet the over [44.5].

Prop Bets we like:

  • How long will it take Lady Gaga to sing the US National Anthem? Over 2:20 (-120)
  • How many times will “dab” or “dabbing” be said by the announcers during the broadcast? Over 2 (EVEN)
  • Will Peyton Manning announce his retirement in the postgame interview?  Yes (+500)