San Francisco 49ers: -1.5
Opening NFL Lines from Bookmaker
The Panthers were 7-1 SU at home this season and 6-1-1 ATS. Yet they have been installed as a home underdog on the NFL betting lines despite their strong performance at home, extra week of rest and preparation and having already beaten the 49ers 10-9 in San Francisco this season. That score combined with the match-ups sets up another defensive duel in this playoff game.
In the November 10 game at San Francisco, the 49ers were off a bye and struggled on offense against the Panthers top defense. The 49ers managed just 10 first downs and 151 total yards offense as both defenses dominated the contest. These are two of the most physical defensive teams in the NFL with great play along the lines and speed at linebacker. San Francisco allowed just 17 PPG this season while Carolina was #2 in the NFL allowing just 15 PPG.
Both teams are run-first offenses in a zone-read attack, as each averages 30 rushing attempts per game. Following a grinding game at Green Bay to open the playoffs with a 23-20 win at the gun, San Francisco must now travel again and face a superior Panthers defense that ranked #2 in the NFL allowing just 301 YPG. But the 49ers allowed just 317 YPG this season themselves and are healthier and playing at a higher level with dominating defensive lineman Aldon Smith back on the field and various coverage looks in the secondary to confuse opposing quarterbacks.
San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick showed his mobility and running ability again in last week’s football betting win at Green Bay, and Carolina QB Cam Newton can also beat you on the ground with nearly 600 rushing yards this season. With both teams relying on their ground games with sub-par passing and dominating defenses, this game sets up similar to the regular season match-up in a lower-scoring playoff game match against the football betting odds.
Free Prediction: San Francisco ranks #3 in the league in opponent’s yard per point and points per play while Carolina ranks #1 and #2 in those categories setting up less scoring in this NFL betting contest. The under is 4-1 in the 49ers last five playoff road games and 6-0 under the total in the Panthers last 6 games vs. the NFC. The under is also 8-1 in the Panthers last 9 games overall and 4-0 in the last 4 games vs. a team with a winning record.
Play the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers Playoff Game Under the Total