Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers came up short in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday despite being the clear betting favorites for the contest at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Panthers, however, are expected to be contenders for the title once again next season, as they opened among the favorites on the odds to win Super Bowl LI at the sportsbooks.
Carolina fell 24-10 to Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Santa Clara on Sunday, with Newton completing just 18 of his 41 pass attempts for 265 yards against the smothering Denver defense with no touchdowns and one interception. Newton also ran for 45 yards on six carries, while Jonathan Stewart ran for 29 yards and scored the team’s lone touchdown.
The Panthers had the best record in the NFL during the regular season at 15-1, and completed their campaign at 17-2 straight up and 13-6 against the spread. So despite their stumble at Super Bowl 50 the Panthers still opened as +900 co-favorites on the odds to win Super Bowl 51 – putting them tied with the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.
The Patriots were edged 20-18 by the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game, after slipping in the final weeks of the regular season and ceding home-field advantage in the AFC side of the playoff bracket to their rivals. The Seahawks ran up against the Panthers in the second round of the playoffs, falling 31-24 at Bank of America Stadium. Seattle finished 10-6 during the regular season last year, while New England was 12-4.
The Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers are both set at +1200 on the early odds to win Super Bowl 51, with Green Bay falling to the Arizona Cardinals in the second round of the playoffs and Pittsburgh losing to Denver in the second round. Both the Packers and the Steelers suffered key injuries in the past season and will be looking to be healthier in 2016.
The Cardinals then are set at +1400 on the odds to win Super Bowl 51, after they were crushed 49-15 by the Panthers in the NFC Championship Game. Arizona was 13-3 in 2015.
And the Broncos are then tied with the Dallas Cowboys at +1600 on the opening Super Bowl 51 odds, with Denver’s quarterback situation in flux as Manning decides on his retirement plans. Despite a sub-par and injury-filled year from Manning in 2015 the Broncos still claimed the top seed in the AFC on tiebreakers at 12-4; Brock Osweiler played a chunk of that slate.
Dallas will be hoping a full season out of quarterback Tony Romo gets them back into the mix.
Rounding out the top contenders on the early Super Bowl 51 odds, the Cincinnati Bengals are at +2000, with the Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, and Minnesota Vikings at +2500.