A rematch from Week 10 is set to go down at Bank of America Stadium where the Carolina Panthers will welcome in the San Francisco 49ers for Sunday’s first division round match-up. The Niners braved the elements and scored the 23-20 win at the gun last Sunday in Lambeau, and will head to Carolina looking to punch its ticket to the NFC title game for the third straight season. This is unchartered water for Cam and the Panthers who will partake in the franchise’s first playoff game since 2009
SF 49ERS – PANTHERS PLAYOFFS BETTING LINE 2014:
1. Why the SF 49ERS will cover the spread: Coach Harbaugh’s squad has been here before. They’ve gone through the battles both at home and on the road the last couple seasons and achieved much success. It will also head into this one with same season revenge after the Panthers got the best of them at the stick 10-9 a couple months ago. But this time around, the squad is a heck of a lot more healthy than they were then with a now healthy Michael Crabtree giving Kaepernick the much needed field stretcher he’s been without for a bulk of the season.
The Niners check in 7-2 SU & 8-1 ATS in the visiting role to date, and they’ve covered each of their L/5 when invading a +.500 home team’s stadium.
2. Why the PANTHERS will cover the spread: Because nobody expects them to. Nearly 72% of the betting public has aligned themselves with the visitors in this one, and if last week’s match-ups between San Diego/Cincinnati and New Orleans/Philadelphia taught us anything, it’s that it’s likely best to be on the other side in do or die games with the action so heavily tilted in one team’s favor. On top of that, the Panthers only fell at home once in the regular season, and that came all the way back in Week 1 against one of the current favorites to win Super Bowl XLVIII – the Seattle Seahawks. They’ve won each game since, and depending on the line gotten when they faced the Jets in Week 15, they went 6-0-1 ATS in those match-ups.
3. Total Talk 49ers/Panthers: These teams ranks #2 and #3 in points allowed this season, so it comes as no surprise to see the ‘under’ a combined 20-13 in their 33 combined games played.
San Francisco played to an ‘under’ last week in Lambeau, and in doing so, snapped a string of three straight overs to close out the regular season – the ‘under’ has cashed in four of their L/5 road playoff games. Carolina was an ‘under’ bettor’s wet dream at home where it played to low scores in six of eight games. The team played to just one high scorer from Week 9 to Week 17, and it just so happened to be in the game they failed to cover.
4. Betting Trends for 49ers/Panthers: You could just see the angst building up inside of Coach Harbaugh when his team lost an ugly 10-9 decision to the Panthers in the first go round. He no doubt wanted to run up against this team once again knowing full well he went at them down a number of bullets. But now he has a loaded weapon and it’s ready to unload a few rounds on a team that by far possesses one of the worst offenses of the remaining playoff entrants. Carolina only surpassed the 20 point plateau once in five tries against current playoff teams, and they did it against a very suspect Patriots stop unit. They’re going to need to score at least 20 to come out of this one alive, and I don’t foresee it happening.
San Francisco stands 4-1 ATS its L/5 division round playoff games, and has been nothing short of money on the road in going 18-7-1 ATS its L/26. While many will point to this being an extremely tough test for San Francisco with this being their third straight game on the road and fourth in the L/5 weeks, I simply can’t get over the experience, athletes, and coaching advantages the Niners have heading into this win or go home bout.
San Francisco 19 – Carolina 9