Carolina Panthers (5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS) vs. San Francisco 49ers (6-2 SU, 6-2 ATS)
NFL Week 10
Date and Time: November 10, 4:05 PM E
Where: Candlestick Park
by Jeff Hochman, Pro Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread: Car +7/SF -7
Over/Under Total: 42.5
A clash of red hot teams meet in this NFC Week 10 matchup. The Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers have combined to win 10 games in a row. Last Sunday, the Panthers crushed Atlanta 34-10 as 10-point home chalk. Carolina outgained the Falcons by 84 yards and sit at 5-3 ITS (in the stats) this season. Carolina will be looking to win its fifth consecutive game. Two weeks ago, the 49ers laid the smackdown to the Jaguars in winning 42-10 as 16-point road favorites. San Francisco outgained Jacksonville by 80 yards, a low figure considering the final score of the game. The 49ers are just 3-5 ITS this season after going 13-3 ITS last year.
Carolina is a 7-point underdog with the better defense in this contest. The Panthers are allowing just 299 yards per game and only 13.3 points per game. The only dual threat quarterback they have faced this season was in Week 1. They lost to Seattle, 12-7 as 3-point home dogs and were outgained by 117 yards. It will be very interesting to see how the Panthers defend the duel threat QB in Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers are allowing 325 yards per game and 18.1 points per game which is up from last season. The biggest difference between these two stop units is the run defense. Carolina has been stingy all season, allowing just 79 rushing yards per game while 49ers are allowing 105 rushing yards per game. Both teams rank in the bottom third in terms of passing offense. Carolina averages 202 passing yards per game while 49ers can muster up just 189.9 passing yards per game. That's why the Over/Under seems low. Two teams who look to run the ball early and often which sets up some play-action later in the game.
Carolina (No. 3) and San Francisco (No. 6) are ranked in the Top 6 in red-zone efficiency. This usually results in higher-scoring games if the total is less than 43 points. I just don't know what the weather situation will be like when the game starts this early in the week. If you want to play the Over make sure there is no windy weather of heavy rain. Check out this simple but very profitable O/U angle. Since 2005, when two teams are ranked in the Top 6 in red zone scoring after week 7 and the total is less than 43 points, the Over has gone a perfect 7-0. That's 100% folks!
The Panthers have done a great job at taking the ball away with a +9 turnover margin while the 49ers are +4. I think Special Teams plays a bigger role in more NFL games than people think. It's all about hidden yardage and average starting field position. Neither team will have a major advantage in this contest as the Panthers are ranked No. 14 and SF checks in at No. 15. The biggest difference between these two teams that nobody talks about is the offensive line. When you watch the 49ers offensive line something seems "off" a bit and that's evident by their No. 28 ranking. Carolina has been solid on the O'line backed by a No. 8 ranking. Another great reason to back the underdog in this game. The odds-makers intentionally juice up the favorites in late games because they know the squares like to bet favorites and overs. This line should be closer to 5 or 5.5 points in my opinion.
The last time Carolina and San Francisco played was back in 2010. Carolina won 23-20 as 1-point home dogs. The Panthers outgained SF 379-282, and have won and covered three straight against the 49ers. Carolina is 7-3 SU and 9-1 ATS versus the 49ers since 1998. The Over is 8-2 with an average O/U line of 44 points.
Jeff's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Carolina Panthers +7 & Over 42.5 (weather permitting)
Two very similar teams in terms of philosophy. The Panthers are better up front and have the better key stats as 7-point underdogs. Look for a closer game than most people think even though the 49ers have had two weeks to prepare. Feels like an Over too if the weather holds up.
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