Carolina to win the game.
Denver + wherever the line eventually lands. Let it roll to 6. It won't get to 7. edit, it's at 6 now, so I'll buy. Not buy much, but pressed to make a pick, I'll buy.
I'm 9-1 straight up in the playoffs after winning both conference title games. The only game I missed was that Bengal/Steeler game that Cincinnati gave away.
I'm 5-4-1 against the spread.
I'll take Carolina here for the reasons you think; unless Manning's wife gets a couple extra shipments in the dead week, the Denver offense doesn't seem likely to put up enough points, and while Denver's pass rush should be effective (hence taking the points) Newton isn't quite the sitting duck that Brady turned out to be.
Rooting for Carolina. Picking Carolina. Taking Denver with the points.
As you can see, I'm pretty on target picking winners this playoff season, less good about the spread, and that's the level of confidence I'd suggest you have with these picks.