Manning’s Broncos open as Super Bowl underdogs

The Patriots were within striking distance of tying the Broncos after Rob Gronkowski’s touchdown in the final minute of the game, but a missed conversion to tie it up was enough to send the Broncos to the Super Bowl.

The last time Peyton Manning led the Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl they were trounced as betting favourites at the sportsbooks. Broncos fans will be looking for a better result in a couple of weeks when their team meets the Carolina Panthers as betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Manning and the Broncos battled the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl two seasons ago, coming up well short in a 43-8 defeat as 2-point betting favourites at the sportsbooks. Manning threw for just 280 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in that contest, which dropped him to 1-2 in his career in the Super Bowl, including his time in Indianapolis.

But now Manning and the Broncos get another crack at a title, opening as 3.5-point underdogs against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers – a line that quickly moved to Carolina -4.5 at some sportsbooks by late Sunday night thanks to the Panthers’ huge win over the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game.

Denver picked up a 20-18 win over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, bouncing Tom Brady and company despite being listed as a home betting underdog. Manning tossed a pair of touchdown strikes to Owen Daniels in that victory on Sunday, while the Broncos defence held the Patriots to just 44 yards rushing and nine points in each half.

The Panthers, meanwhile, threw up 17 points in just the first quarter of the NFC title game on Sunday night en route to a convincing 49-15 win over the Cardinals that was never in doubt.

With Cam Newton at the helm the Panthers had no trouble covering the spread as home favourites against the Cardinals, with the quarterback throwing touchdown passes to Corey Brown and Devin Funchess and rushing for a pair of scores himself. The NFC Championship Game quickly went OVER the posted total; Carolina is 12-6 on the OVER/UNDER this year.

That means something will have to give in the Super Bowl, as the Broncos are 6-10-2 on the OVER/UNDER this year. When the Panthers hosted the Broncos in a Newton vs. Manning matchup back in 2012 the OVER prevailed in a 36-14 Denver victory according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The Broncos were 3.5-point chalk for bettors in that contest.