Panthers QB Newton Dominates Super Bowl MVP and Scoring Props

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It has been a dream season for quarterback Cam Newton, who has emerged as arguably the top pivot in the NFL while leading the Carolina Panthers to the NFC championship and the club’s first Super Bowl berth since 2004.

Selected first overall by the Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft, Newton has rewarded the team for their faith in him, throwing and running for a combined 45 touchdowns during the 2015 NFL regular season, and is now perched as the favorite on the odds to win the Super Bowl MVP at -140 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Newton, who set an NFL record for quarterbacks in his rookie year with 14 rushing touchdowns, is also getting plenty attention on the scoring props ahead of next Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium.

The 26-year-old leads the way as a strong +700 favorite to score the first touchdown at Super Bowl 50, ahead of teammates Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart, who sport 15/2 and 8/1 odds, respectively.

After leading all pivots with 10 rushing scores this season Newton added a pair of touchdown runs in Carolina’s 49-15 win over the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game, and joins Stewart at -110 to score a touchdown at any time in the Super Bowl

Newton is also heavy +350 chalk to be the first Carolina player to find the end zone in the Panthers vs. Broncos matchup, once again edging out Stewart and Olsen who both trail with +450 odds.

The Panthers are an even-money bet to score OVER three touchdowns in the big game, while the Broncos are +135 longshots to eclipse 2.5 touchdown scores in their second Super Bowl appearance in three years. Denver will need another big performance out of Peyton Manning if they are going to pay out on the OVER.

While Manning joins Newton at the top of the Super Bowl MVP odds as a +275 bet, he is pegged as a +1600 longshot to reach the end zone himself at Super Bowl 50.

Manning has not tallied a rushing touchdown since Week 5 of the 2013 NFL season, but had his biggest game of the year in last week’s 20-18 AFC Championship Game victory over the New England Patriots, scrambling for 11 yards and tossing a pair of TD strikes.

Not surprisingly, Manning is also a +5000 longshot on the odds to score the first touchdown of the game, and a long +2000 bet to draw first blood for the Broncos.

Don Ohlmeyer, longtime network TV executive, dies at 72

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Don Ohlmeyer, the “Monday Night Football” producer who came up with the phrase “Must See TV” in leading NBC to the No. 1 prime-time spot, died Sunday. He was 72.

“It is with heavy hearts we share that Don Ohlmeyer, our beloved husband, father and grandfather, has passed away at age of 72 due to cancer,” Ohlmeyer’s family said in a statement. “Surrounded by loved ones, he died peacefully at his home in Indian Wells.”

Longtime friend Al Michaels announced Ohlmeyer’s death while broadcasting NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.

Ohlmeyer won 16 Emmys, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, and two Peabody Awards.

Ohlmeyer became producer of “MNF” in 1972, teaming with director Chet Forte and the on-air crew of Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford. In 2000 in his second “MNF” stint, Ohlmeyer put comedian Dennis Miller in the booth.

Ohlmeyer first worked for ABC Sports as a gofer while studying at Notre Dame and became a full-time production assistant in 1967 under Roone Arledge, working on “Wide World of Sports.” Along with his “Monday Night Football” work, he directed the network’s Olympic coverage and created “The Superstars.” Later at NBC Sports, he produced World Series and Super Bowl broadcasts.

After running his own Ohlmeyer Communications Company, he returned to NBC in 1993 as president of its entertainment division. He came up with “Must See TV” in the 1990s, when NBC’s rating soared with such hits as “Seinfeld,” ”Friends,” ”ER” and “Frasier.”

Watch Live: New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys on NBC

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The Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants in a battle of NFC East rivals on Sunday Night Football.

Despite going 13-3 and earning the No. 1 seed in the playoffs last year, the Cowboys lost twice to the Giants in 2016, including a loss in Week 1. Dallas hopes to not have a repeat of last year and will rely on sophomores Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott to carry the load. Don’t be surprised if Elliott gets even more carries in this game because there is a possibility his six-game suspension is upheld and he will have plenty of time to rest up before he sees game action again.

The Giants will rely on their strong defense led by DB Landon Collins and DE Jason Pierre-Paul to try and get after Prescott and bottle up Elliott. On offense, New York is all about Eli Manning and the passing attack. Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to suit up, but it remains to be seen how big of a role he will have after injuring his ankle in the preseason. As a result, look for new additions WR Brandon Marshall and rookie TE Evan Engram, to go along with sophomore WR Sterling Shepard to step up for Manning.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Giants vs. Cowboys

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app