Defense wins championships, and the better unit proved to be the difference when the Denver Broncos upset the Carolina Panthers 24-10 as six-point underdogs to win Super Bowl 50.
Led by Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, the Broncos made an early statement in the big game, containing regular-season NFL MVP Cam Newton and the rest of the Panthers en route to taking home the franchise’s third Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Miller stole the show and cashed at 12/1 to win the award after forcing Newton into two fumbles and sacking him 2.5 times. He and the rest of Denver’s top-ranked defense made it easy on future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, the sentimental second choice to be named Super Bowl MVP for the second time in his illustrious career.
In the end, Manning had to be more than pleased to go out as a two-time Super Bowl champion in what could be his final game before he retires and rides off into the sunset.
Some thought Manning might announce his retirement or shed tears in the post-game interview, which were just two of the hundreds of props you could wager on in Super Bowl 50. Neither of those things ended up happening, much to the disappointment of bettors who took a shot on the long odds in hopes of getting a nice payoff.
As for Carolina and the team’s backers, the second half of the Super Bowl proved to be very disappointing. Newton was obviously beaten up by the Broncos and did not try to run after halftime, leaving those who thought he might break Steve McNair’s record for rushing yards holding a losing ticket on that prop despite needing only 20 more yards.
The Panthers tacked on a field goal early in the fourth quarter to make it four overall and cash OVER 3.5 for the game thanks to Denver kicker Brandon McManus and his three. But that was all the league’s highest-scoring team could muster after running back Jonathan Stewart closed the gap to 10-7 by scoring the team’s first touchdown in the second.
Next year, Newton and his teammates will have another good shot at winning their first title though with wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin back from a torn ACL. Carolina is a 9/1 co-favorite to win Super Bowl LI along with the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots.