As one of only two undefeated teams left in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers have been one of the great stories in the league this season.
But another great story involves the Carolina Panthers, who lost their first two games, had to put their former MVP quarterback on the shelf, and have had a spotless record since inserting a very inexperienced signal-caller.
The Panthers and Niners are both on winning streaks; San Francisco will be after its seventh straight win, while Carolina attempts to extend its string to five victories in a row when these teams tangle on Sunday afternoon at 4:05 PM ET at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.
This is the Fox Network game that will be seen nationwide. And while they are viewing it, customers at BetAnySports will be able to place wagers in real time with the help of Live Betting Ultra.
And here are the pro football odds on the game, as posted by the folks at BAS:
San Francisco 49ers -5.5
Carolina Panthers +5.5
Over 42 points -110
Under 42 points -110
It’s been kind of amazing that Kyle Allen has been able to do what he’s done. Thus far this quarterback, who was benched twice in college, has thrown 122 passes without an interception. The team has not lost since he’s been in the starting lineup. And the Panthers figure they can afford to take their time with Cam Newton’s injury recovery, and some figure he may never start another game for the team. That might be a little extreme, but Allen’s been playing with a healthy shoulder. And there is an instinct not to break up something that is winning – at least at the moment. So maybe it would be interesting to see what happens if the Panthers lose this game.
One of the reasons Christian McCaffrey has been mentioned so prominently in the MVP discussion is that he has helped to carry this team while Allen’s been getting his feet wet. Since he came into the league, he’s been one of the NFL’s premier dual threats (rushing-receiving) out of the backfield. But he’s approaching new levels, with 923 all-purpose yards in the first six games.
When you look down San Francisco’s schedule, you really can’t accuse them of facing a soft slate, although they have caught some breaks in the sense that they caught a first-time starter from the Steelers, a Rams team without Todd Gurley, flummoxed the Redskins on an extremely soaked field and well, took advantage of Baker Mayfield’s proclivity to toss interceptions. I don’t know if that’s being nit-picky, but it’s safe to say they haven’t yet dealt with a weapon like McCaffrey.
Of course, the other side of the coin is that Carolina has not had to encounter a defense that has been playing with as much ferocity as this Frisco bunch.
And you’ve also got to appreciate the Niners’ ground game, which has gotten more than five and a half yards per carry out of both Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert. Carolina hasn’t been bad in keeping running backs from making headway catching the ball, but they allow 4.7 yards a carry. Our question is whether the Niners would have less success if Mike McGlinchey and Joe Staley are absent from the offensive line, as fullback Kyle Juszczyk. These are all components of a formidable running attack. Miss one, and you don’t know what kind of result you’re going to see. Miss more than that, and you give the dog a chance.
Jimmy Garropolo’s numbers won’t blow you out of the water (a 7-6 TD-INT ratio, for example), but he’s averaged almost eight yards an attempt and been sacked only eight times in six games. And by the way, in case you haven’t noticed it, his record as a starting quarterback in the NFL is 14-2. How much can he step up, or will he have to?
We appreciate his record. But let’s talk about some pointspread trends. Ron Rivera has amassed a 24-14 ATS record as a road underdog since he’s become a head coach.
The Niners are a good team; that’s for sure. But Carolina has a chance to make yards and points very hard to come by. And the Panthers have the best offensive player on the field. We’ll take the points.
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