The San Francisco 49ers have a quick turnaround for Week 2 following their season-opening win over the Los Angeles Rams. The team faces the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte on Sunday, with an early 10 a.m. PT kickoff. The Panthers are coming off a Thursday Night Football loss to the Denver Broncos, meaning they will have a few extra days of rest on the 49ers.
It is not surprising then that the line reflects a lot of that. Following the 49ers 28-0 win, Carolina opened at several sportsbooks as a 14 point favorite. The Panthers would be big favorites this week against the 49ers no matter what, but I imagine the travel contributed to some degree.
CG Technology, which runs numerous sportsbooks in Las Vegas, posted early lines back in April. That was shortly after the schedule was released, which was a week before the 2016 NFL Draft. At that time, the sportsbook installed the 49ers as 11.5-point underdogs. Even with the Panthers Week 1 loss, it’s not entirely shocking the line is nearly three points higher compared to April. I am curious though if we see some movement in favor of the 49ers between now and Sunday. I don’t think sharp bettors will move it much, but it will be something to track.
The 49ers were a 14-point underdog last year when they traveled up to face the Seattle Seahawks. San Francisco lost that game 29-13, failing to cover. Prior to that, the 49ers had not been a double-digit underdog since 2011, when they were a ten-point underdog to the Philadelphia Eagles. The 49ers won that game 24-23 in a wild comeback. The 49ers are the biggest underdog they’ve been since 2006, when they were getting 16.5 points against the Chicago Bears. The Bears won that game 41-10.