NFL Divisional Round Picks: San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers

San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers
Sunday, 1/12/14, 1:05 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  San Francisco -1
Current Betting Line:  San Francisco -1
Opening Total:  43
Current Total:  41
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick is 2-0 SU in his career in playoff road games
San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick is 2-0 SU in his career in playoff road games

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick has won both of his road games in the postseason during his brief career, including a 23-20 victory over the Green Bay Packers as 3.5-point road favorites last week.  The 49ers have won their last seven games—looking to gain revenge from a regular-season loss against the Panthers on Nov. 10.  Kaepernick completed just 11 of 22 passes for a season-low 91 yards in that affair, which is hard to ignored when making your NFL betting picks.  San Francisco is 5-1 SU and 3-2-1 ATS as road favorites of three or fewer points the last two-plus seasons.

The 49ers didn’t have wide receiver Michael Crabtree available in the earlier meeting in this series, but he’s coming off a great performance against the Packers, as he caught eight passes for 125 yards.  He has 24 receptions for 583 yards with six touchdowns in six career playoff games, as the former Texas Tech star continues to get better each week after coming back from a serious Achilles injury.  San Francisco needs to maintain balance on the offensive end by handing the ball off to Frank Gore, as he’s hit pay dirt in four consecutive postseason affairs.

Carolina hasn’t played in this environment since 2008, as it earned the No. 2 seed by capturing the NFC South Division.  The Panthers have posted a 200-84 scoring advantage in winning their last seven games at Bank of America Stadium, which is important to consider when looking over the NFL betting lines.  Offensively, the team needs wide receiver Steve Smith back on the field, as he’s been out with a knee injury.  It’s important to point out that Smith hasn’t caught more than six passes or recorded more than 69 receiving yards in a game this season.  Carolina is 0-3 SUATS when coming off a week of rest the last two-plus seasons.

The Panthers finished No. 2 in the league in rush defense, as the unit prepares to face a physical 49ers ground attack.  “It all starts with Gore,” stated Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly.  “If you can’t stop him then you are in for a long day.”  On the other side of the ball, third-year signal-caller Cam Newton needs to avoid making costly mistakes, as he prepares to make his postseason debut.

Sports bettors will likely back the 49ers due to their 7-1 ATS mark in their last eight road games.

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