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The 49ers are on fire after starting the season 6-0. Some critics would point out that they have yet to face a team from the NFL’s upper-echelon, but stringing together six straight wins is no easy feat in the NFL. The 49ers are led by an elite defense that ranks second in yards per play and opponent scoring. They also have the second-best rushing offense in the league while averaging 173 yards per game.
You could argue that Carolina will represent the toughest opponent to date for San Francisco. That especially holds true when considering how well the Panthers have played lately, rattling off four straight victories since Kyle Allen took over at quarterback. Of course, running back Christian McCaffrey deserves a fair amount of credit for dynamic performances in each of those contests. Needless to say, it will be fun to see how/if the 49ers can contain one of the NFL’s best running backs. That’s certainly the key to this game.
- Opening Lines: The spread has fallen after opening at 49ers -6. The over/under marginally jumped after opening at 41.5.
- Current Line: 49ers -5.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook
- O/U: 42 at FanDuel Sportsbook
- Location: Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara, CA
- Start Time: 4:05pm ET
- Television: FOX
- Last Meeting: September 10, 2017 – Panthers defeated the 49ers 23-3 in San Francisco
Something has to give in this game. The Panthers and 49ers have been two of the best NFC teams over the past four weeks, but now they’ll be faced with tricky assignments against each other. How will Kyle Allen handle the pressure on the road? Can the 49ers contain Christian McCaffrey? The Panthers rank 23rd in opponent yards per carry this season (4.7). Can they slow down the 49ers running back duo of Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman?
- The 49ers are 4-2 ATS this year.
- The Panthers are 12-6 ATS as an underdog over the last two years.
- The 49ers are 5-1 to the under this year.
Christian McCaffrey OVER 55 Receiving Yards
I understand the 49ers have one of the best defenses in the league, but this over/under seems light. McCaffrey has topped this receiving yardage number in two of his past three games, and game flow could dictate that the Panthers throw more than usual in this one. That could give McCaffrey more opportunities as a check-down option against a legitimate San Francisco pass rush.
The 49ers are the class of the NFC at the moment, but this is a difficult matchup for them to maintain their dominant pace. I believe Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers can keep this one close enough to stay within the 5.5 points, and there’s a reason to believe they can pull off the upset. Give me the Panthers +5.5 while sprinkling a little extra on the moneyline as well.
Pick: Panthers +5.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook
Check out our other NFL Sports Betting Guides for Week 8
Philadelphia Eagles at Buffalo Bills (-2)
Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Rams (-11.5)
Los Angeles Chargers at Chicago Bears (-4)
New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars (-6)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans (-2.5)
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (+7)
New York Giants at Detroit Lions (-6)
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts (-4.5)
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans (-6.5)
Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints (-10.5)
Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots (-11)
Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs (+4.5)
Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers (-14)