This Sunday the Carolina Panthers will host the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 EST at Bank of America Stadium and will be televised locally on FOX. Oddsmakers have the Panthers as a massive 13.5-point favorite. The over/under for this matchup is currently at 45.5 points.
49ers vs Panthers Vegas Betting Preview
San Francisco made easy work of the Rams on Monday Night Football in a 28-0 win. It came as a surprise to a lot of people, as most had the 49ers pegged as one of the worst teams in the league. It was total domination by the defense, holding LA to just 185 total yards and 10 first downs.
Carolina was also in the spotlight of a primetime game. They got the season started on the road against the Broncos on Thursday Night Football. The Panthers jumped out to an early 17-7 lead but would end up losing 20-21. Carolina did have a chance to win late, but missed a 50-yard field goal in the final seconds.
This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the 2013 Divisional Round. A game the 49ers won 23-10 at Carolina as a 1-point favorite.
Free Point Spread Pick & Game Predictions: Panthers -13
As good as the 49ers looked in Week 1, I have to lean towards the Panthers to cover this spread. I believe the Rams played a bigger part in how good they looked than anything.
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Prior to that game, almost every expert was saying how bad San Francisco’s roster was. I don’t think it just magically got better. They do have some talent on defense, especially up front. However, their defense looked great because the Rams had no threat of a passing attack. The 49ers simply loaded the box and LA had no answer.
That’s not going to be the case against the Panthers. While Carolina is a great running team, Cam Newton can also beat you with his arm. The Panthers put up 333 yards against the Broncos, who arguably have the best defense in the league.
A lot of people forget just how explosive this Carolina offense was last year. They are just remembering the last two games they played against the Broncos. The Panthers led the league last year in scoring at 31.2 ppg.
Not only is the 49ers defense in trouble, but the offense gets a much bigger test. Carolina’s defense is nasty, especially at home. They are going to take away the run game of SF and force Gabbert to beat them with his arm. Something I don’t think he’s capable of doing.
You also have to factor in that the Panthers are going to come out with a chip on their shoulder. They are going to lay it all on the line to avoid an 0-2 start.
Carolina also has a major edge in rest. The 49ers have one fewer day to prepare after playing on Monday, while the Panthers have 3 extra days after playing on Thursday.
Lastly, I think this is a near identical scenario to last season. If you remember, the 49ers dominated the Vikings 20-3 on MNF in Week 1. A game everyone expected Minnesota to win (same thing with Rams). The very next week they went on the road and got destroyed by the Steelers 43-18. It just so happens Pittsburgh also lost their opener and were out to avoid an 0-2 start. They also had the edge in rest, having played the Patriots on Thursday Night Football.
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