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San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers Divisional Betting Predictions & Preview

49ers vs Panthers NFL Playoffs Handicapping

The San Francisco 49ers continue their playoff run into the divisional round with a matchup against the Carolina Panthers. San Francisco eked out a win in Green Bay last weekend, while Carolina is coming off their bye week.

San Francisco 49ers (13-4) at Carolina Panthers (12-4)
Date: Sunday, January 12, 2014
Time: 1:05 PM ET
Venue: Bank of America Stadium
City: Charlotte, North Carolina
O/U Odds: 41.5
Spread: Carolina pk

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The 49ers are coming off of a thrilling, last-second win over Green Bay in the Wild Card round last weekend, winning by a score of 23-20.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed 16 of 30 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown with an interception in the game, but it was the work he did with his legs that really mattered. Kaepernick carried the ball seven times for 98 yards, including a critical 11-yard run on 3rd and 8 on the game’s deciding drive. In total, the 49ers ran for 167 yards in the game, but it was the leg of Phil Dawson that pushed them over the top, as the veteran converted on all three of his field goal attempts, including a 33-yarder as time expired to seal the victory for San Francisco.

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While the team’s offense was working in Green Bay, they couldn’t get anything going in their first matchup with Carolina this season, a 10-9 Week 10 loss that came right in the middle of an eight-game winning streak for the Panthers.

The Panther defense was the star of the show in that one, limiting the 49ers to just 151 yards of offense in the game, and getting them off the field on 11 of 13 third down attempts. Kaepernick threw for just 91 yards in that game, and the 49ers as a team could muster just 105 rushing yards.
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As bad as the 49er offense looked in that game, expect head coach Jim Harbaugh to make some adjustments heading into this game that will yield more success against a Carolina team that is inexperienced in the playoffs. The reality of it is, the 49ers’ only playoff loss against an NFC opponent came as a result of bad day from a punt returner, so the team knows how to win when it matters most.

As for the Panthers, defensive-minded head coach Ron Rivers likely won’t be as concerned with fixing his offense as Harbaugh will be, despite the fact that they generated just 250 yards of offense and 10 points against a tough 49er defense.

This matchup hasn’t yielded success for San Francisco in the past as they are 3-13 ATS in the last 16 meetings between these clubs, including 0-4 in their last four trips to Carolina, with one of those games coming this season. In spite of that, the 49ers are simply the better team overall and while the Panthers get this game at home, the 49ers bring a championship pedigree to the field with them in this one.

The 49ers are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 road games.

The play: San Francisco pk

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