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49ers vs. Panthers NFC Divisional Round Betting Lines

San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers Preview

Start Time: Sunday, January 12th 2014 at 1:00pm ET
Location: Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte
Station: Watch Live on FOX

The Carolina Panthers (12-4) beat out the Saints to win the NFC West. A lot of their success had to do with their record at home (7-1) plus their incredible defense. They’ll be hosting the San Francisco 49ers who just beat the Packers (23-20) in the wild card round.

These teams played each other in week 10 and the Panthers squeaked out a win (10-9) at Candlestick Park. Both defenses played up to their ability in the game. Carolina gained 278 total yards in the game while the Niners were held to only 186 yards on offense.

Latest Odds in SF @ CAR

Bet on SF @ CAR at the Bovada Sportsbook.

This line opened at a PK and is now at SF –1 with about 70% of the action on the Niners. The over/under action has been about even on both sides, but we’ve seen the game total drop from 43 points to 41.5 points. I imagine we won’t see much more line movement.

Which Defense Will Make the Most Stops

There is little doubt in my mind that these two defenses will steal the show Sunday afternoon. Carolina had the 2nd best defense in the regular season. The front seven is hard to run on (86.9 RYPG – 2nd) and the secondary has held up very well (214.3 PYPG – 6th).

The Panthers have only allowed teams to score 15.1 PPG (2nd), but that improves to just 12 PPG when playing at home. San Fran may not have been quite as good on defense as Carolina this year, but they only give up 17 PPG (3rd), 221 PYPG (7th) and 95.9 RYPG (4th).

Last week against the Packers the Niners defense had some troubles against Eddie Lacy and the GB rush. The Pacers rushed the ball for 124 yards, but Rodgers only had 177 passing yards on 17/26 passing. Look for SF to have trouble with the Carolina run game.

Jonathan Stewart may be able to start this week, which would mean that the Niners have to worry about him, DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert and Cam Newton. In the H2H match-up in week 10 the Panthers rushed for 119 yards (1 TD) on 31 carries.

Both teams will need to rely on their run games. Carolina ranks 11th in rushing yards (126.6 RYPG) while the 49ers rank 3rd in rushing yards (137.6 RYPG). Frank Gore had 82 rushing yards on 16 carries in W10, but the rest of the offense struggled to do anything.

I don’t expect too much through the air from Newton or Colin Kaepernick, but the QB that can make the big plays downfield may do enough to win this game. During the season the 49ers averaged 186.2 PYPG (30th) while the Panthers averaged 190.2 PYPG (29th).

Players to Watch

Crabtree was injured for the 1st game against Carolina, but last week he showed why he is such a threat. He had 8 receptions for 125 yards against GB. The Panthers secondary is much better, but Crabtree is a big, tough WR that can keep the chains moving.

Smith has been dealing with an injury, but he has stated that he will play on Sunday. Smith led the team with 6 catches for 63 yards against SF earlier in the season and he adds another dimension to this offense between his grit and competitiveness.

Which Team Can Get Pressure on the QB

Carolina led the NFL in sacks per game (3.8) and should get pressure on Kaepernick. The San Fran QB was sacked 39 times during the regular season and 3 times against GB. San Fran averages 2.5 sacks per game (16th), but the Panthers have a great offensive line.

When these two played in W10 the Panthers had six sacs on Kaepernick and dominated the line of scrimmage. Kaepernick was also held to 16 rushing yards on 4 carries. San Fran had 3 sacks on Newton in the game. The Panthers will win the battle in the trenches.

49ers vs. Panthers Predictions

Bovada hasn’t released a money line yet, but that’s the best bet once out. Wait until closer to Sunday to bet the Panthers ML, as the odds will most likely improve. When I look at this game I think the Panthers have the edge on both sides of the football.

Carolina has much more depth at RB, especially if Stewart suits up this week. Steve Smith is back and is always clutch when you need to convert a big 3rd down. San Fran keeps this close, but Carolina will find a way to squeak out a victory and move to 8-1 at home.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting.

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