The Jim Sez Super Bowl 50 Preview
THE JIM SEZ SUPER BOWL 50 PREVIEW IS HERE!
Say this for Sunday's game from scenic Santa Clara ... Super Bowl 50 sure doesn't lack for storylines whether you're talking up the two quarterbacks, the first-time Super Bowl head coaches or the defenses that just might rule the roost here on Super Sunday.
Still, the image many of us get while heading into Super Bowl Five-0 is that of a rampaging Carolina Panthers team that's won 17-of-18 games this year - nobody's entered a Super Bowl with an equal/better record in 30 years when the one-loss Chicago Bears stormed into New Orleans and busted up the overmatched New England Patriots 46-10 to put an exclamation point on the 1985 NFL season - and a Denver Broncos crew that pieced together a stop-and-start season that featured a chunk of games missed by icon QB Peyton Manning and yet a numero uno seed in the AFC.
Does Manning get that "going-away" present that he's gunning for here with a second Super Bowl ring in his glorious 19-year pro career ... or does state-of-the-art QB Cam Newton of the Panthers slam dunk the Broncos with his array of passes/runs with a reminder that the NFC champs have scored 31-or-more points in eight of its last nine games?
The Jim Sez Super Bowl 50 Preview is finally here ... yes, it's about Carolina QB Cam Newton and Denver's 39-year-old QB Peyton Manning; and Panthers' unsung head coach Ron Rivera and "comeback kid" boss Gary Kubiak but there's so much else -- and now hear this:
Jim Hurley will have the Sides & Totals Winners of Super Bowl 50 when you check with us on game-day morning this Sunday plus go ahead and continue to pile up all the profits this weekend with loads of NBA and NCAA Basketball winners right here online or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 - go ahead and score big today! Let's close out this 2015 Football Season with a bang - win this Carolina Panthers versus Denver Broncos showdown and gobble up lots of weekend round-ball winners too when you check with us Saturday and Sunday!
On Sunday, it's ...
SUPER BOWL 50
Levi's Stadium - Santa Clara, CA
CAROLINA (17-1) vs. DENVER (14-4) - 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS
There can be no disputing the feel that this has been - all along - "Carolina's year" whether it was those high-wire regular-season wins against Seattle, New Orleans and the New York Giants (see game-by-game team chart below) or those rollicking starts in the playoff wins against the Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals (see the 55-7 composite score in the opening half of those two post-season tilts).
Then again, who's to argue that this may be fairytale time in the NFL with Denver QB Manning riding off into the California sunset with a second Super Bowl championship? Folks all week long have chatted on and on how NFL legends John Elway, Jerome Bettis and Michael Strahan all capped wondrous careers with Super Bowl crowns and so why shouldn't that happen for "The Sherriff"?
Well, come 10 p.m. ET (give or take) on Sunday night, we'll know the outcome but in today's Jim Sez Super Bowl 50 Preview we'll lay out the important news/notes for this big game:
Let's start by saying everyone in the world knows Carolina QB Newton is the best player on this field - no ifs, ands or buts about it - and you do have to wonder if Newton (35 TD passes, 10 TD rushes and only 10 INTs in regular-season play) will have to alter his game at all: Will that Denver pass rush - one that led the league with 52 sacks this year - cause him to shuck-and-jive in the pocket and maybe force 'em to throw some bad passes or will the Broncos actually "spy" him here and make sure his running skills don't take over this game?
In a perfect world, Newton will throw the ball right around 30-to-35 times and hope his team's ground game - including a handful of Newton designed runs - gets 30-to-35 carries and no question that born-again RB Jonathan Stewart (189 yards rushing, a 5.0 ypc average and two TDs this post-season) is a major ingredient and someone that needs to gauge the Broncos' defensive front.
Naturally, Newton loves to target TE Greg Olsen (1,104 receiving yards in the regular season and another 12 catches for 190 yards in the playoffs) but we'll expect the Broncos to try and bump-and-grind Olsen right at the line of scrimmage and thereby attempt to halt his routes. So, that could mean those rather no-name Panthers' wide receivers must get open against a dynamic Denver secondary that stars CBs Aqib Talib and Chris Harris.
Think about it: If Olsen does get jammed and Newton has to wait for his route to get completed, then pass-rushing OLBs Von Miller (2.5 sacks against New England in the AFC Championship Game) and DeMarcus Ware will be at an even bigger advantage here - so Panthers' OC Mike Shula may have to adjust on the fly here and maybe call for more draws/traps early ... stay tuned.
On the flip side, the Broncos need to give Mr. Manning some help with their ground game: No doubt the numbers have not been great this post-season (averaging a modest 3.6 yards a pop) but both RBs C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman could be real serviceable parts here as we suggested last week when we submitted our early-bird "game plans" - both Anderson and Hillman figure to be main targets on swing passes or screen passes and - gotta admit - we believe they will have a major say in whether or not the Broncos' offense moves the ball effectively here.
Let's face it ... even if the extra week of rest allowed Manning's right arm to gain some added strength, his wide outs have not always cooperated with WR Demaryius Thomas a "dropsie" guy on many occasions and nobody here is saying TE Owen Daniels is gonna post a two-TD game on this Carolina defense that will shadow him and especially when/if the Broncos visit the red zone. Again, this Carolina defense led the NFL with 39 takeaways this past regular season and we've seen All-Pro LB Luke Kuechly score on a pair of "pick sixes" this post-season, so we know the Panthers can score on "D" but how CB Josh Norman handles either WR Emmanuel Sanders or the aforementioned Thomas and how the Carolina defense handles the short passing game to the Bronco backs will be huge here.
If this one does come down to the kicking game, well, we've been singing the post-season praises of Denver PK Brandon McManus (7 FGs this playoff season) but Carolina PK Graham Gano is no slouch - call that a "wash" and so this game comes down to Newton playing his "A game" (or close to it) and/or the Broncos' offense playing keep-away for much of this contest.
If turnovers are equal, Carolina wins. If Denver scores on defense or special teams, than we'll have the upset many folks are calling for here at SB 50.
Current Line: Carolina (- 5.5) and 45 points
Spread Notes - Carolina is 13-5 ATS (against the spread) overall this year and the Panthers have covered 11-of-16 games this season when installed as the betting favorite and they're 5-3 spreadwise away. The NFC South crew also is a nifty 10-2 vig-wise against non-divisional foes and that's a major improvement over the composite 28-35-1 ATS mark in non-divisional games from 2009-14. Meanwhile, Denver is a wacky 8-6-4 against the odds overall this season and that includes a 1-0-1 ATS mark in the post-season with a spread push versus Pittsburgh and a spread win against New England. The Broncos will enter Super Bowl 50 with a perfect 5-and-oh spread log when placed in the underdog role this year with four of the five games featuring outright upset wins (see chart below). Finally, Denver is 4-1-3 ATS away this year and that makes the Broncos 24-15-3 ATS away since the start of the 2011 campaign.
Did You Know? The Broncos have not finished a season with a spread "W" since 2007, so that's seven consecutive season-ending pointspread losses while the Panthers have failed to cover four of their last five season finales including last year's 31-17 loss at 13.5-point home fav Seattle in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.
PANTHERS vs. BRONCOS HISTORY
Here's all four of the last head-to-head meetings between the Panthers and the Broncos (note all home teams are in CAPS):
Now, here's the game-by-game logs for both the Panthers and the Broncos while heading into Super Bowl 50 ...
|3||CAROLINA||- 9.5||New Orleans||27-22|
|4||Carolina||- 3||TAMPA BAY||37-23|
|8||CAROLINA||- 5||Indianapolis||29-26 (ot)|
|9||CAROLINA||+ 2.5||Green Bay||37-29|
|13||Carolina||- 6||NEW ORLEANS||41-38|
|15||Carolina||- 4.5||NY GIANTS||38-35|
|17||CAROLINA||- 9.5||Tampa Bay||38-10|
Div = NFC Divisional Playoff Game
NFC = NFC Championship Game
|2||Denver||+ 3||KANSAS CITY||31-24|
|6||Denver||- 3||CLEVELAND||26-23 (ot)|
|8||DENVER||+ 2.5||Green Bay||29-10|
|10||Kansas City||+ 3.5||DENVER||27-24|
|12||DENVER||+ 2.5||New England||30-24 (ot)|
|13||Denver||- 6||SAN DIEGO||17-3|
|16||DENVER||- 3.5||Cincinnati||20-17 (ot)|
|17||DENVER||- 10||San Diego||27-20|
|AFC||DENVER||+ 3||New England||20-18|
Div = AFC Divisional Playoff Game
AFC = AFC Championship Game
In case you missed it last week, here's a game-by-game chronological listing of this year's NFL Playoff games with all home teams in CAPS below:
NFL WILD CARD GAMES
|1-9||Kansas City||- 3||HOUSTON||30-0||39.5|
|1-10||Green Bay||+ 1.5||WASHINGTON||35-18||48.0|
NFL DIVISIONAL GAMES
|1-16||NEW ENGLAND||- 6||Kansas City||27-20||44.0|
|1-16||ARIZONA||- 7||Green Bay||26-20 (ot)||49.0|
NFL CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
|1-24||DENVER||+ 3||New England||20-18||45.0|
Once again, here's a look back at the past 10 Super Bowls:
SUPER BOWL HISTORY - THE LAST 10 YEARS
|2012||Baltimore||+ 5||San Francisco||34-31|
|2011||NY Giants||+ 3||New England||21-17|
|2010||Green Bay||- 2.5||Pittsburgh||31-25|
|2009||New Orleans||+ 4.5||Indianapolis||31-17|
|2007||NY Giants||+ 12||New England||17-14|
SUPER BOWL 50 PROPS - WE'LL GET YOU THREE PLAYS TO FURTHER YOUR SUPER SUNDAY ENTERTAINMENT
THE NBA/COLLEGE BASKETBALL UPDATE: THE PRE-SUPER BOWL TV HOOPS MENU THAT'S WELL WORTH WATCHING
The Super Bowl means - what else - an excess of everything and that includes Prop Plays which have become wildly popular and in many cases a highly profitable way to attack the big game.
There's a gazillion Prop Plays on the menu for this showdown between the Carolina Panthers versus the Denver Broncos and we'll get to a few of 'em that we believe you can win with but first this key reminder:
Okay, note that Jim Hurley will get you the Side/Totals winners for Super Bowl 50 on game-day morning this Sunday plus go ahead and continue to pile up all the profits this weekend with loads of NBA and NCAA Basketball winners right here online or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 - go ahead and score big today! Let's close out this 2015 Football Season with a bang - win this Carolina Panthers versus Denver Broncos showdown and gobble up lots of weekend round-ball winners too when you check with us Saturday and Sunday!
SUPER BOWL 50
Levi's Stadium - Santa Clara, CA
CAROLINA (17-1) vs. DENVER (14-4) - 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Here's three Prop Plays to consider ...
#1 - Go Over 44.5 Yards for the Game's Longest FG
If you've been reading all our Jim Sez columns these past two weeks while leading into Super Bowl 50, then you know we have a very high opinion of Denver Broncos' PK Brandon McManus who has boomed seven post-season field goals this year. Right, all of 'em have happened at home in that "thin air" but the bottom line is five of these FGs came from beyond 40 yards out and we love the guy's leg and expect him to boot at least one 45-plus yarder here. Well, we also think highly of Carolina kicker Graham Gano who has canned all three of his playoff field goals this year and please note Gano banged home 30-of-36 FG tries in regular-season play and 13 of 'em happened from 40-plus yards out. Gotta believe Gano nails at least one 45-plus yarder here and consider these highly-ranked team defenses should stall a batch of drives on this day/night and so gut feeling is we could have as many as five opportunities to have real long-distance field goals.
Go Over the 44.5 yards here for the game's longest FG and odds are you'll have cashed before we ever get to Coldplay and the halftime concert
#2 - Total Points Scored in the Game by Both Teams Combined ... 41-to-50 (+ 190)
Gotta admit this isn't generally one of the Prop Plays we'd be making but we've given it a lot of thought, basically envisioned how this game is gonna play out and we believe strongly that Carolina-Denver is going to rather close to the totals play of 45 points - so why not get the best of both worlds here and make a nice-sized Prop Play on somewhere between 41-to-50 points being scored? As you can see, you get close to a 2-to-1 price tag on this game landing in the 40s and that's actually a decent line - note the game has bounced about some with 45 or 45.5 points being the most common totals prices we've seen for the entire two weeks leading into this showdown and so we'll reserve our right to say "over" or "under" till game day and simply count on this one falling relatively near the number.
Go with the combined score landing between 41 and 50 points - it'll help to pay for all those dang chicken wings!
#3 - Total Rushing Attempts by Carolina RB Jonathan Stewart (over 17.5 -120)
It's been a real belief of ours that the ground game - for both teams - will be more important than you've been led to believe and so let's stay consistent with that and look for Carolina's star RB Jonathan Stewart to get somewhere between 23-to-28 carries here ... thus making this an easy "over" based on his Prop Play projected total of 17.5 carries. Stewart will be used early in draws/traps to keep that prolific Broncos' pass rush off QB Cam Newton and so we'll go out on a proverbial limb and say Stewart could have 8 or 9 carries by the end of the first quarter itself. Obviously, if Carolina has the second-half lead then Stewart will be garnering more runs - our best guess-estimate here is the Panthers' born-again back winds up with 25 carries for 100 yards. Sounds good?
So, go "over" 17.5 total carries for Carolina RB Jonathan Stewart and keep your fingers crossed he doesn't pull a muscle or tweak his ankle in the first half.
NBA/COLLEGE HOOPS PRE-SB 50 MENU
Please - oh please - don't tell us that you'll be watching all that pre-game junk on Super Sunday. Really, do you need to spend your valuable time on hearing how Denver QB Peyton Manning used to fling footballs at his little brother Eli when they were kids ... or get the blow-by-blow on how Carolina LB Thomas Davis Sr. did his rehab work after three ACL injuries?
No, you're gonna be getting up-close and personal with some round-ball in the hours leading up to Super Bowl 50 and here's your "TV guide" ...
In the NBA, it's ...
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS at MIAMI - 2:05 p.m. ET, ABC
No doubt these high-profile teams have been muddling around the past two-plus weeks with .500-type records since the middle of January but here's the Heat (28-22 at press time) fresh off a three-game road swing with G Goran Dragic expected to lift the South Beach spirits while it's another game for the Clips (32-17 heading into Friday's game in Orlando) without injured F Blake Griffin. If LAC guard Jamaal Crawford -- just 5-of-15 FG shooting in the Wednesday loss to Minnesota - can't heat it up here than Miami should put a vice on the rest of the Clippers' scorers.
In NCAA action ...
#17 MIAMI (17-4, 6-3 ACC) at GEORGIA TECH (12-10, 2-7 ACC) - 1 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Here's one of those off-the-radar teams that could make a run at the national championship - the Miami Hurricanes have all the tools and a grade-A head coach in Jim Larranaga and G Sheldon McClellan (16.1 ppg) is a prime-time player who could wreak havoc against any ACC foe and here's a shot to make some Super Bowl noise on the road where the 'Canes have struggled recently (see league road losses at N.C. State, Clemson and Virginia).
UTAH (17-6, 6-4 Pac-12) at #16 OREGON (19-4, 8-2 Pac-12) - 4 p.m. ET, espn2
Take note they moved up this game two hours - really, who was the genius that had Utes-Ducks slated to tip at 6 p.m. ET with the Super Bowl starting a half-hour later? - and so this one will take you right up to the big gridiron game in Santa Clara and our what-to-watch items here include whether or not Oregon head coach Dana Altman shows the "toughness" he's asking for from his Eugene club ... hey, the Ducks do have seven wins against RPI Top 50 squads and have won five in a row and eight of the last nine and is off to the program's best conference start in 14 years. Chris Boucher (12 rebounds and 6 blocked shots in Thursday's 76-56 win/cover against 10-point pup Colorado) looks to be a stat sheet stuffer one mo' time.
Note: Catch our Super Bowl 50 re-cap in the next edition of Jim Sez.
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