The San Francisco 49ers will travel east this weekend to face the Carolina Panthers in the divisional round of the 2014 NFL playoffs. After Sunday night's wild win over the Green Bay Packers, the 49ers and Panthers opened as a pick 'em at the Las Vegas Hilton. It opened similarly off-shore, but the line has started to swing in the 49ers favor. The 49ers are sitting between 1- and 2-point favorites.
It will be interesting to see how the spread plays out over the next few days. The Panthers are expected to get Steve Smith back for Sunday, and Jonathan Stewart has a chance of returning as well. The 49ers have moved into favored status, but could we see it slide back down as the post-Packers glow wears off? The team traveled back to Santa Clara last night, has to recover from a brutally cold game, and then travel east to Charlotte for a 10 a.m. PT game. Each one of those issues individually is easily overcome. Combine them together and it makes it a little more difficult. The 49ers can win this game, but much like this past week, it will be no walk in the park.
There was a lot of talk yesterday on pre-game shows about how the 49ers were an under-the-radar team, and had a legitimate chance to win the Super Bowl. First, I should probably ignore pre-game shows given some of the idiocy involve (anybody see Marshall Faulk basically say that Colin Kaepernick was not dynamic enough to win in Seattle?). Second, given the money coming in on the 49ers, it would seem that the betting public is not quite so inclined to view them as under the radar.
- Today's links
- 49ers-Packers final score: Notable stats and performances from the Wild Card win
- NFL playoff schedule 2014: 49ers face tough opponents in pursuit of Super Bowl XLVIII
- 49ers-Packers final score: Michael Crabtree puts together dominant performance
- Phil Dawson kick almost blocked, but there was an offsides flag on the play