Vegas handicappers, celeb picks for Super Bowl 50

But my gut tells me that the No. Olivia picked out her ensembles, and Cartier added its trademark panther bracelet to top off “the look.” The next night, the Carolina Panthers won, and ONJ now says it’s an omen for them to go all the way. Great offenses and defenses should make for another great game.”

ATS pick: Panthers roll — no score given

Jay Rood, MGM Resorts International VP of race and sports

ATS pick: Carolina

Score: Panthers 27, Broncos 21

Ed Malinowski, Stratosphere

“I think the Broncos can keep it close defensively and am counting on Manning to manage the game intelligently and avoid mistakes. Long-shot Jerricho Cotchery named the MVP.”

“I see this game closing at Carolina minus-4.5, so there is value with taking the six points that are currently out there for Denver. I’m trusting Nationwide will be on his side.”

“I’ve already bet Carolina minus-4, but I’m a mercenary when it comes to betting.

ATS pick: Broncos

Score: Panthers 23, Broncos 21

Jason Simbal, CG Technology VP of race and sports

ATS pick: Denver

Score: Broncos 23, Panthers 20

ATS pick: Denver

Score: Panthers 24, Broncos 20

Score: Panthers 28, Broncos 23

Jay Kornegay, Westgate Las Vegas VP of race and sports operations

“The Broncos’ defense can slow the game down and they’ll be running the ball, so I can see a low-scoring game, but I think the Panthers come back and win it in the end.”

Against the spread (ATS) pick: Denver

Score: Broncos 24, Panthers 20

Chris Berman, ESPN analyst

ATS pick: Denver

Score: Broncos 27, Panthers 17

Tony Miller, Golden Nugget race and sports book director

Oscar Goodman, former Las Vegas mayor, mob lawyer and Bombay Sapphire Gin spokesman

“My friend Olivia Newton-John was invited by Cartier to pick out jewelry to wear when she was named Woman of the Year two weeks ago. Six just sounds reasonable!”

“The Panthers pack more big-play firepower, but the Broncos’ top-ranked defense can do enough to contain Newton.

“[This is] the best defense Carolina has played all year, the most pressure they’ve faced all year, and Carolina is away from home, where they crush everyone.”

ATS pick: Denver

Score: Panthers 20, Broncos 16

Matt Youmans, Las Vegas Review-Journal sports betting writer

“[I'm] guessing that the second half will be wide open and that a late field goal will win it for the Broncos. (aka Rounding Again), 2015 SuperContest champion at Westgate Las Vegas

Below, Chalk gathers responses from professional handicappers, celebrities, Vegas bookmakers and more on how they see the game playing out.

The Super Bowl is the biggest American betting event of the year, and everyone has an opinion on which team will win — and cover — the game.

“Denver’s defense humbles Cam, but the Panthers’ defensive line dominates the trenches, allowing Luke Kuechly to roam the field as he tackles his way to the MVP.”

“I think Denver’s defense can go down as one of the top 10 in NFL history, and Phillips will have his best game plan for Cam and the red-hot Panthers.”

“Denver puts up a much better fight than what bettors think, as Peyton will keep the Broncos in the game. Then I’ll watch the game with enough drinks until I’m seeing 44 players on the field and hope for the score to fall in the middle.”

ATS pick: Carolina

Score: Panthers 35, Broncos 17

Marc Nelson, Aliante Casino race and sports book director

All lines courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, unless otherwise noted. I like Carolina to win, but on a neutral field, this line looks a little high.”

ATS pick: Denver

Score: Broncos, 24, Panthers 21

Vince Neil, Motley Crue lead singer and former owner of Las Vegas Outlaws (Arena Football League)

ATS pick: Denver

Score: Panthers 24, Broncos 20

Art Manteris, Station Casinos VP of race and sports book operations

ATS pick: Denver

Score: Panthers 23, Broncos 20

Mark Dufty, Jerry’s Nugget race and sports book director

Spread: Opened Carolina -4; now Carolina -5.5

Total: Opened at 45 points; now 45.5 . Denver’s defense should be able to keep it close, but I think Cam will do something special to get the win.”

“The Broncos will get off to a good start and put some doubt into the Panthers. Manning will keep the Broncos in the game with his brain and not necessarily his arm. ONJ is betting them to win, so I follow her lead. The line has gone too far now, so I’m going to bet on the Broncos, and hopefully I’ll get plus-6.5. The Broncos’ defense forces the Panthers into two critical turnovers, as they are not comfortable playing from behind.”

ATS pick: Denver

Score: Broncos 24, Panthers 23

Luke Rockhold, UFC middleweight champion

ATS pick: Denver

Score: Denver 23, Carolina 20

Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill U.S. Logo represents team picked to cover the spread. Newton’s athletic ability will ultimately pull out the win by the slimmest of margins.”

ATS pick: Denver

Score: Broncos 24, Panthers 20

Robin Leach, host of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” current blogger at

“Broncos lead a very low-scoring affair into the fourth quarter 13-6, when Carolina puts up 10 unanswered points to win on the last drive with no time on the clock, 16-13. They have everything: the top offense in the league, and the defense is awesome. I think the Panthers take the lead late and hang on, not to mention that Panthers by one to four [points] and under looks like it will be the best case for us out here in Vegas.”

ATS pick: Denver

Score: Panthers 21, Broncos 20

Tony Nevill, Treasure Island race and sports book director

“This will be a relatively defensive game in my opinion. They’ve been killing teams and taking over games, and I expect nothing less in this next matchup.”

“Giving Wade Phillips two weeks to prepare for Newton is the key. 1 defense and the all-around know-how from Peyton lead to a surprise finish in a historic Super Bowl.”

“Newton is on a roll, and even though Denver has a great defense, they won’t stop his momentum.”

Public Consensus pick: 72 percent picked Carolina

John Avello, Wynn Las Vegas executive director of race and sports 

ATS pick: Denver

Score: Panthers 16, Broncos 13

James S. There are a lot fewer scenarios in which the Broncos win. In the end, this season’s MVP, Cam Newton, will do just enough for the Panthers to win the Lombardi Trophy.”

“Superman will come and he will shine. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware will alter the explosive offense of the Panthers.”

ATS pick: Denver

Score: Panthers 20, Broncos 16

Bob Scucci, Boyd Gaming director of race and sports book operations

“Although Peyton Manning’s overall ability may only be 70 percent of what it once was, the experience factor is still at 100 percent. director of trading

“Will Carolina complete an almost perfect season or will Denver give Manning a fairy-tale finish? The eyeball test says Carolina, as there’s nothing about the Panthers not to like. I just think that the Panthers are too much right now

Handicappers: Hawaii Senate seat remains safe for Democrats, for now – CNN Political Ticker


But as of now, both the Rothenberg Political Report and the Cook Political Report, two of the leading non-partisan political handicappers, are characterizing the seat as safe for the Democrats.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

Talking about competitive, a number of Democrats may make a bid for the nomination. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii announced he would not run for re-election next year, two of the top non-partisan political handicappers say that as of now, the seat remains safe for the Democrats.

But the Republicans do have some advantages, starting with Linda Lingle. Brian Schatz, and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannenmann. Ed Case, newly-elected Lt. A divisive late primary next year could hurt the Democrats in the general election.

“Lingle’s candidacy could force Democrats to spend money in the state, but for now, this seat remains Safe for the Democrats,” says the Rothenberg Report.

“Until the candidate fields on both sides become clear, the race will stay in the Solid Democratic column, but a Lingle candidacy would force a move to a more competitive rating,” says Cook Report Senior Editor Jennifer Duffy.

Akaka, who’s served in the Senate since 1990, announced Wednesday that he would not run for a fourth full term in 2012. Among those mentioned are congresswomen Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa, former Rep. He becomes the fifth Democratic senator so far this cycle to announce they would not run for re-election in 2012.

But Hawaii is considered a tough pickup for the Republicans. Democrats enjoy a large advantage in voter registration, and whoever is the party’s Senate nominee will appear on the ballot next November alongside President Barack Obama, a hometown hero.

(CNN) – One day after Democratic Sen. The Republican former governor is still quite popular in the state and if she were the GOP nominee, the contest could be competitive.

The Democrats have a 53 to 47 majority in the Senate and will have to defend 23 seats next November (21 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), while the GOP only has to defend 10 seats.

Vegas handicappers rank NFL conference championship teams

Arizona Cardinals (27)

Last week: T-1st (27)

The Carolina Panthers have taken over sole possession of the No. Note: A team’s line might not be increased the full amount when hitting (or especially crossing) key numbers such as 3 and 7.

We have the Panthers at half a point better than the Cardinals on a neutral field, so with home-field advantage it makes sense that Carolina is favored by a field goal with added juice — and we would make it 3.5 before making it 2.5.

2. 1 vs. Getting a full field goal (and some books have gone to 3.5 at various points early this week) looks like it could have some value.

The Panthers, as everyone knows, went 15-1 in the regular season and slowly moved up in the power ratings of our panel of ESPN Chalk NFL handicappers — Sal Selvaggio of, Erin Rynning and yours truly — during the course of the season. They coasted in the second half and allowed the Seahawks to rally to within a touchdown, or we probably would have upgraded them even more. 1 spot in the NFL Vegas Rankings for the first time this season.

Both championship games feature No. Carolina jumped out to a 31-0 halftime lead over the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional playoffs on Sunday and held on to win 31-24. On the season, these plays are 21-19-2 ATS (52.5 percent).

Everything went right for the Panthers in the first half of their win over the Seahawks, as they ran over Seattle’s No. Denver Broncos (25)

Last week: 5th (25)

Our raw numbers have the Patriots as 1.5 points better than the Broncos on a neutral field, even after we upgraded New England by a full point. There were no definitive best bets last weekend. We upgraded the Panthers’ power rating by half a point, breaking a tie with the Arizona Cardinals — whom they host this Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.

Here’s a look at the four remaining teams in the NFL playoffs:

(Note: As always, these are not my personal plays or those of any of the other handicappers, but rather the group as a whole. New England Patriots (26.5)

Last week: 4th (25.5)

The Cardinals looked like they were going to push as 7-point favorites over the Packers, but they were victimized by Aaron “Hail Mary” Rodgers and ended up winning (but not covering) 26-20 in overtime. The Broncos are 7-7-3 ATS.

3. With Denver’s home-field advantage, our collective opinion is that this game should be closer to pick ‘em or perhaps even have the Broncos as a small home favorite. The New England Patriots were the only other team to have its power rating increased (by a full point) by our panel.

The play: Lean on Carolina -3.

Championship game value plays

1. They’ve been bypassed by both the Panthers and the Patriots.. 2 matchups, as all four home favorites won straight-up in the divisional playoffs. We always encourage people to use our power rankings as a base and adjust to where you think we have teams overrated or underrated and act accordingly in your handicapping.

New England Patriots at Denver Broncos Consensus line: Patriots -3 (-120)

Vegas ranks line: Patriots -1.5 (26.5-25)

Every week, we compare that week’s lines to the NFL Vegas Rankings and list the value plays based on our panel’s numbers. They were trailing an undermanned Pittsburgh team 13-12 early in the fourth quarter and looked like they would receive a downgrade, but we kept their power rating the same. No. We kept their power rating the same, but the Cardinals were the 3-1 Super Bowl favorite at the Westgate heading into last week and have stayed at that number despite winning. 2-ranked defense and shut them down. The industry standard is 2.5 points for home field, but teams such as Green Bay, New England, Denver, New Orleans and Seattle are given a field goal or even higher. My picks will be in the championship game betting previews on Friday here at ESPN Chalk.)

The Broncos rallied to beat the Steelers 23-16 and push after closing as 7-point home favorites. Our panel’s power ratings are used to compare the relative strength of teams to the current point spread, as if they were to meet on a neutral field before factoring in home-field advantage. Carolina Panthers (27.5)

Last week: T-1st (27)

The play: Broncos +3 (EVEN) or +3.5.

Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers Consensus line: Panthers -3 (-120)

Vegas ranks line: Panthers -0.5 (27.5-27)

The Patriots beat the Chiefs 27-20 after closing as 5.5-point home favorites. Our panel increased their power rating by a full point, partly for the win/cover, but also partly as an adjustment with the return of WR Julian Edelman, plus Rob Gronkowski showing that any doubts of his health were unwarranted.

Here’s a breakdown of how our numbers apply to this weekend’s AFC and NFC Championship Games. Carolina has the best spread record of the remaining teams at 12-5 ATS.