Pro Football Betting -- Will Niners vs. Panthers Be Another Defensive Struggle?


San Francisco, which won on a field goal at the final gun in a Green Bay last weekend, is 13-4 straight up and 10-5-2 against the NFL odds. Carolina, which earned a first-round bye in the playoffs as the #2 seed in the conference, is 12-4 straight up and 9-7 against the football pointspread.


In the pro football betting odds that have been established on this game at BetAnySports, it is all even:


San Francisco 49ers  pick

Carolina Panthers  pick 


Over 41 points  -110

Under 41 points -110


The first encounter between these teams took place at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, and the Niners were held to just 151 yards of total offense in a 10-9 loss to these Panthers. DeAngelo Williams of Carolina scored the only touchdown in the game, and Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton, two quarterbacks who are known for their ability to run with the football, combined for just 33 rushing yards from the line of scrimmage. As some pro football bettors may be aware, the Panthers are the #2 defense in the NFL; they allowed 21 touchdowns on the season (only four on the ground) and recorded 60 sacks on the year, including fifteen by defensive end Greg Hardy.


Actually, these teams have very similar defensive statistics. The 49ers have allowed four yards per carry, while the Panthers have permitted 3.9. They have both exhibited the ability to take the ball away; San Francisco has 18 interceptions, while Carolina has 20. And both of them have held the opposition below 36% on third-down conversions.


San Francisco runs the ball about 55% of the time, and sportsbook betters can expect to see a steady diet of Frank Gore in this game. Gore ran for 1128 yards on the season, and when he needs some rest, Kendall Hunter (4.6 yards per carry) will see action, and he's very capable. The Panthers use DeAngelo Williams (843 yards) as their go-to back, and clearing the way much of the time is the Pro Bowl fullback, Mike Colbert, who has chipped in with 361 yards on the ground.


These teams are both on a hot streak; San Francisco has won seven straight games, although it wasn't enough to catch Seattle in the highly-competitive NFC West. Carolina won eleven of its last 12, and the Panthers managed to overtake the New Orleans Saints to win the NFC South. Some BetAnySports customers may be looking to one important factor as the difference-maker in this game, and that is big-game experience. This is the first playoff contest for this Carolina group, which includes Newton, who threw 24 touchdown passes on the season but was also intercepted 13 times. Of course, Kaepernick has won a couple of road starts in the post--season, and the Niners were last year's NFC representative in the Super Bowl. They like to think they're stronger on offense than the last time these teams met; Michael Crabtree is now in the lineup, and he caught eight passes for 125 yards in Green Bay. Also, tight end Vernon Davis, who has scored 13 TD's this year and loves to go down the field, was knocked out against the Panthers in the second quarter last time. 


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