Patriots Edge Panthers as Super Bowl Favorites at Sportsbooks

After opening the week in a dead heat with the Carolina Panthers, the New England Patriots have claimed sole possession of top spot on the Super Bowl 50 betting odds as 19/10 favorites in NFL futures betting at the sportsbooks.
It has been a roller coaster year at the sportsbooks for the Patriots, who kicked off the 2015 NFL season trailing the favorites, with 9/1 odds.
New England’s fortunes were quickly reversed as the team went undefeated straight-up in their first 10 outings, including eight straight wins by seven or more points, returning them to their familiar position as Super Bowl favorites with odds rising as high as 9/4.
The Patriots hit the skids down the stretch, posting SU losses in four of their final six regular-season contests, toppling them from their perch atop the Super Bowl odds, briefly replaced by the Panthers.
The Patriots and Panthers have been dueling for the top spot ever since, however Carolina has slipped back of the Patriots, now sporting 2/1 odds in Super Bowl 50 betting.
It has been a dream season for Carolina, which rebounded from a middling 7-8-1 SU campaign a year ago to go undefeated through their first 15 games, fueling a steady climb up the Super Bowl odds after opening the campaign at a distant 50/1, peaking in early December at 7/2.
The sole blemish on Carolina’s record came in Week 16 with a 20-13 loss in Atlanta, marking just the second time in their past 10 contests that they have scored fewer than 31 points.
However, the Panthers have enjoyed limited playoff success in recent years, going 2-4 SU in their past six playoff contests, a run that started with a 34-14 loss to Seattle in the 2006 NFC Championship Game.
Carolina has also split a pair of postseason contests with the Arizona Cardinals, whom they will host on Sunday night, falling 33-13 to the Cardinals in the 2009 NFC Divisional Playoffs before claiming a 27-16 Wild Card victory over Arizona last season.
Arizona has inched ahead of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 betting, traveling to Charlotte on Sunday sporting intriguing 15/4 odds.
The Cardinals finished second only to the Panthers in the NFL standings this season, amassing a 13-3 SU record, powering their rise up the NFL futures betting odds after opening at a distant 40/1.
The club has reached the Super Bowl just once, suffering a heartbreaking 27-23 loss to Pittsburgh as 6.5-point underdogs at Super Bowl XLIII after punching their ticket to Super Sunday with a 32-35 win over Philadelphia in their sole Championship Game appearance, and are winless, SU and ATS, in two postseason contests since.
The Broncos entered the NFL playoffs as the top seed in the AFC, edging out the Patriots on the strength of tiebreakers, but will host the Patriots on Sunday back at 4/1 to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the first time since 1999.
Denver has won six of their past eight, including a 30-24 Thanksgiving Weekend win over New England, but are winless ATS in their past five.