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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Finally time for us to talk about Super Bowl 50 here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. You have all weekend to make your final decisions. I personally have made mine, and I will be releasing those to paying clients on game day.

Obviously I can’t post those selections here in our coursework. But I can walk you through the thought process I’ve been using to handicap Sunday’s battle between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos.

 

PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS

I don’t think there’s any doubt that this category goes emphatically to the Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton can literally run circles around Peyton Manning these days. Newton is the most dynamic PLAYMAKER on the field by a wide margin. Manning will very likely retire after the game because his skill set has deteriorated so dramatically.

In terms of other potential GAMEBREAKERS, Carolina would get the nod here as well. Newton has multiple weapons in the air and on the ground. He knows how to use them. Denver has just a few. Both defenses have some potential PLAYMAKERS though. For Denver to win, they must make something happen with their defense.

 

THE MOTIVATION FACTOR

This is either a wash because both teams are very motivated. Or, you can make the case that underdog Denver should get the nod. The Broncos definitely want to win a championship for themselves and for Manning. They realize this is their last chance to make that kind of history. And, an “us against the world” mentality is developing because the whole world seems to be betting on Carolina so far. Denver is an excellent team…and they’re surely angry about hearing that they don’t have much of a chance to win this game. They just beat Tom Brady! Of course they have a chance.

But, don’t discount this angle for Carolina. This has been a team on a mission all season. Cam Newton has been leading that wave while riding it. The defense has been stout, except in garbage time of blowouts. You really have to love the chemistry and mindset of the Panthers this season. Can they avoid getting overconfident after hearing that they’re such a heavy betting favorite?

Frankly, I’m not going to tell you who I think deserves the edge here because it looms so large in my personal selection. A case can truly be made for both. I’ve picked what I believe is the more compelling of the two cases for my clients.

 

GAME CONDITIONS

I’ve really emphasized this to you through the playoffs. And you’ve seen why! Most Super Bowls are played in ideal scoring conditions, which favors high octane offenses and smart quarterbacks. This game in Santa Clara could be very unique. Field conditions are notoriously bad at this site. Maybe they’ll get that fixed, maybe they won’t. San Francisco 49ers games went 1-7 to the Under here this season. This won’t be like Seattle/Minnesota in terms of extremes. There, cold weather and a horrible wind chill was an equalizer that turned the game into a coin flip. Here, it will be sunny and comfortable. But, poor footing may be a different kind of equalizer.

YOU will have to decide what that means!

*Will it be an equalizer that turns Super Bowl 50 into an ugly 16-13 or 20-17 type game we’ve seen so often at this particular stadium?

*Will Carolina’s experience on poor turf at home the past two weeks help them make very quick adjustments? You’d think it would…but one stadium’s issues may be completely different than another’s.

I’m going to have a major release in this game Sunday. That will either be on a motivated favorite that can run up the score with PLAYMAKERS who know how to move on poor turf. Or, it will be on a motivated underdog that is ideally suited to grind out an upset on a surface that could neutralize the impact of PLAYMAKERS for both offenses.  

I do honestly believe my team will cover the spread by more than a touchdown. Best of luck to all of you do-it-yourselfers who will try to make a call on your own. I believe today I’ve given you the proper framework for thinking through the game intelligently.

KELSO STURGEON’S top selections in all sports can be purchased right here at the website with your credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages can be answered in the Vegas Sports Masters’ office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155. This is a great time to lock in for both the Super Bowl and March Madness.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping will see you again Monday. I always try to keep the coursework fresh and relevant. So, that discussion will either be a review of Super Bowl 50 if warranted, or notes on upcoming college basketball challenges. Thanks very much for your attendance and hard work. Let’s go win the Super Bowl!

 

Be sure to follow:

Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon

Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters

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