Patriots, Panthers sitting atop updated Super Bowl 50 odds

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After clinching a fifth straight berth in the AFC Championship Game the New England Patriots have returned to the top of the Super Bowl 50 odds, deadlocked with the Carolina Panthers at sportsbooks monitored by

The Patriots halted a worrisome two-game straight-up losing streak with a 27-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend, covering as 6-point chalk for just their third against-the-spread win in their past nine outings.

New England now travels to Denver for Sunday afternoon’s Patriots vs. Broncos betting matchup as 3.5-point chalk and strong -170 moneyline favorites to earn a second straight Super Bowl berth, and their third in the last five years.

The Broncos enter the weekend on a 6-2 SU run following a 23-16 comeback win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, setting the stage for a rematch of the 2014 AFC Championship Game in which they claimed a 26-16 win as 4.5-point favorites.

But this time Denver sits as the underdog, sporting +400 odds of emerging as Super Bowl champions for the first time since 1999, and set at +140 to earn their second Super Sunday appearance in three years.

Denver has emerged victorious in two of their last three games against the Patriots, but has struggled overall, going 3-6 SU and ATS in their past nine meetings according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

In the NFC, the Carolina Panthers have seen their Super Bowl betting line rise dramatically on the strength of a 31-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks in their Divisional Playoff matchup. The Panthers won a league-leading 15 regular-season games, but lagged behind the Super Bowl favorites until closing the gap in early December.

Carolina has been particularly dominant at home, going 12-0 SU and 8-4 ATS in their past 12, and now sits as a -175 favorite to punch their ticket to their first Super Bowl since falling 32-29 to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

However, the Panthers must first get past the Arizona Cardinals, whom they face in this weekend’s NFC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium as 3.5-point chalk.

The Cardinals finished second only to Carolina in the NFC regular season standings with a 13-3 SU record, and are 10-1 SU in their past 11 games including last weekend’s 26-20 win over the Green Bay Packers.

Arizona is a +145 underdog in just their second all-time NFC Championship Game appearance, and sit alongside the Broncos at +400 to claim the first Super Bowl title in franchise history.

Bennett doesn’t fear backlash for skipping White House trip


HOUSTON (AP) Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett says he is not worried about upsetting team owner Robert Kraft by not attending New England’s trip to the White House as Super Bowl champions.

Bennett said after the Patriots’ 34-28 win over the Falcons on Sunday night that he’s “not going to go” to the traditional meet-and-greet with the president. It will be the first visit of a Super Bowl champion to Washington since Donald Trump was sworn into office.

Trump’s positions have alienated some athletes, which has raised questions about whether some might choose to skip the trip while the new president is in office.

But Bennett said he isn’t concerned about it and thinks the team believes “in whatever I want to do.”

Kraft is a supporter of Trump and attended a celebration dinner in Washington for him the night before his inauguration.

Patriots’ Tom Brady earns 4th Super Bowl MVP trophy with epic comeback


HOUSTON (AP) The greatest quarterback in NFL history led the biggest Super Bowl comeback to be the MVP on Sunday night.

Tom Brady rallied New England from a 25-point third-quarter deficit for a 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history to earn his fifth Super Bowl title and fourth MVP trophy.

“They’re all sweet,” he said. “They’re all different and this was just an incredible team and I’m just happy to be a part of it,” he said.

Brady threw touchdown passes of 5 and 6 yards in the second half and tied things at 28-28 when he connected withDanny Amendola on a 2-point conversion with 57 seconds left.

He then directed the drive in overtime which ended with a 2-yard run by James White to make the Patriots the first team to win a Super Bowl after trailing by more than 10 points.

“We all brought each other back,” he said. “We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle.”

His performance certainly wasn’t without its struggles. His incredible second half and overtime came after a first half where the Patriots managed just three points and he threw an interception which Robert Alford returned 82 yards for a touchdown. He was hurried and harassed for much of the games. The Falcons sacked him five times and hit him on another eight occasions.

He noted the beating he took when he was trying to recount the details of the comeback and couldn’t remember what the score was at one point in the rally.

“There was a lot of (stuff) that happened tonight,” he said. “I got hit pretty hard.”

His 466 yards passing are a Super Bowl record, surpassing the 414 yards Kurt Warner had 17 years ago. He also set a record for most passes completed in a Super Bowl with 43 and most attempts with 62.

He is the first to play in seven Super Bowls and the victory ties him with Charles Haley for most Super Bowl rings.

After all Brady has done in his career, was this his finest moment?

“Tom’s had a lot of great ones,” coach Bill Belichick said. “But, yeah tonight was one of them.”

It’s a triumphant end to a difficult season for Brady, who missed the first four games because of his “Deflategate” suspension and dealt with his mother Galynn Brady suffering through an undisclosed illness. The Super Bowl was the first game she’s attended all season.

“They’re all happy,” he said fighting back tears. “It’s nice to have everybody here and it’s going to be a great celebration tonight.”

He shared a quick moment with her right after the game, but was looking forward to more time with her in the upcoming days.

“It’s kind of madness after the game so I didn’t get much quality time with her but we’ll get it this week,” he said.

But he certainly wasn’t asking for sympathy for his rough road to this title though, chuckling when someone asked about the adversity the Patriots have gone through in the past couple of years.

“We’ve done pretty good over the last few years … so I don’t think anyone’s feeling bad for the Patriots,” he said. “I don’t think anyone feels bad for the Patriots.”

Brady also collected the MVP trophy in 2001, 2003 and 2014.

“It was just a lot of mental toughness by our team and we’re going to remember this one for the rest of our lives,” Brady said.

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