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Panthers try to follow lead of home underdogs before them

Divisional Playoffs - New Orleans Saints v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

Just as in the first meeting between the teams in November, the 49ers are favored over the Panthers in Sunday’s NFC divisional-playoff matchup in Charlotte.

As of late Monday afternoon, most Nevada oddsmakers listed the 49ers as two-point favorites at Carolina. The Niners, who defeated Green Bay on Sunday in the wild-card round, are the only road favorite in the divisional playoffs, and they are the narrowest favorite in the four games to be played this weekend.

It is quite rare for a home team to be an underdog in the divisional round. From 1993 through 2012, home teams were favored in 77-of-80 divisional-round matchups, with one game rated a pick ‘em, according to Marc Lawrence and Jim Feist point spread archives.

Interestingly enough, the only home underdogs in this span were the 2011 49ers and 1996 Panthers. Both teams pulled upsets, with San Francisco knocking off New Orleans 36-32 as a three-point underdog on January 14, 2012 and Carolina beating three-point favorite Dallas 26-17 on January 5, 1997.

The Panthers, for what it’s worth, have a knack for exceeding expectations as underdogs in the divisional round. In addition to 1996, the Panthers won outright as underdogs in the 2003 and 2005 divisional rounds, per Lawrence data.

For the record, the Panthers have only been favored once in the divisional round.

You might recall how that ended.

The Panthers, who were favored by 10 points, lost 33-13 to the visiting Cardinals in the 2008 postseason.

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40 Responses to “Panthers try to follow lead of home underdogs before them”
  1. meatcarroll says: Jan 6, 2014 6:36 PM

    Panthers have been disrespected all season. I wouldn’t be surprised if they shock everyone and jump the Niners early and go for the jugular.

  2. babyjesus69 says: Jan 6, 2014 6:40 PM

    In their first meeting Aldon Smith played only 12 snaps, Vernon Davis got a concussion early, No Crabtree and Kaepernick was a completely different Qb. Panthers will need more than 10 points to win this time around.

  3. adderal says: Jan 6, 2014 6:41 PM

    Makes since, after three years the niners have a lot of post season experience and success. This is the beginning of what looks like a strong run for the Panthers. What a gauntlet this will be for SF from freezing green bay to physical Carolinia and possible up north to Seattle. Pretty tough run….

  4. goldrush36 says: Jan 6, 2014 6:42 PM

    All of that will be irrelevant to this game. Good coaches keep such things from getting in the players heads. IE 49ers never winning at Lambeau in the playoffs. This will be a great game.. If you like defense that is. May the best team win

  5. realitycheckbaby says: Jan 6, 2014 6:43 PM

    Careful Panthers – haven’t you heard SF has the best receiver and QB in all of football?

  6. skeebo80 says: Jan 6, 2014 6:44 PM

    Niners will get revenge this time around.

  7. ingraven says: Jan 6, 2014 6:46 PM

    I’m rootin for you Cam!!

  8. astropiano12 says: Jan 6, 2014 6:49 PM

    Though I think SF is better in terms of overall talent ( WR, OLine, Secondary) I think CAR will narrowly win again. Cam was the second highest rated QB at home behind Peyton. But it’s pretty much a toss up. Should be a good ole defensive game.

  9. goldrush94 says: Jan 6, 2014 6:50 PM

    Read earlier that Ron Rivera said the pressure is on the Niners to win. Not sure I’d say that to a red hot team that was a play away from winning it all last year. Gonna be another close slug fest, I just think 9ers experience along with getting Crab and Vernon who missed their regular season meeting gives them the edge here.

    SF 16
    Car 13

  10. mendel053 says: Jan 6, 2014 6:51 PM

    That’s not ironic, it’s a coincidence. No big deal everyone makes that mistake. I’m sure they’ll change the definition in the dictionary to mean coincidence soon enough if everyone keeps using it like that.

  11. blacknole08 says: Jan 6, 2014 6:54 PM

    So we are 3-0 as the underdog in the divisional round? I like our odds.

    The pressure is all on SF.

  12. seattlesue427 says: Jan 6, 2014 7:03 PM

    Go Panthers, GO! Holding back a bottle of champagne for the day the 49er’s get knocked out of the playoffs.

  13. pantherpro says: Jan 6, 2014 7:04 PM

    All you rednecks don’t appreciate what a talent and stud you have for QB. I get it you would rather have a white guy like Andy Dalton. You don’t deserve Cam or the Panthers!

  14. bigbrad184 says: Jan 6, 2014 7:15 PM

    People saying the pressure is all on SF is ridiculous. The pressure is on both teams. It’s the playoffs. Win or go home. There can’t be much more pressure than that.

    If there isn’t any pressure on the Panthers then that means they don’t expect to advance and eventually win the Super Bowl. Said differently, this line of thinking means they’re already playing with “house money” and are just happy to be in the playoffs.

  15. snotcrust says: Jan 6, 2014 7:18 PM

    I don’t understand the picture above… Is Alex Smith going to be playing in this game? Or is that Quinton Patton wearing a mask?

  16. rhinojr says: Jan 6, 2014 7:20 PM

    Panther defense is Bad Ass and will crush the niners – Kap will wish he was back at Nevada..

    Hardy, Luke, Charles, T Davis will do it!

  17. winninaintsinnin says: Jan 6, 2014 7:29 PM

    Yes, San Fran is much better than they were.

    After all they slipped by a .500 Packers team courtesy of a dropped pick.

    Really good.

  18. 9erguyfromjerseycity says: Jan 6, 2014 7:30 PM

    Only my opinion but I’m saying blowout.. 9ers..

  19. goldrush36 says: Jan 6, 2014 7:33 PM

    Boy Seattle “fans” sure are insecure aren’t they? Got news for ya… The winner of this game will beat you. If the Saints don’t beat them to it. Boy this will really get em riled up LOL

  20. 7ftgriff says: Jan 6, 2014 7:35 PM

    1st meeting 49ers scored on all 3 drives in which Vernon Davis was on the field. He is a matchup nightmare for Carolina, add to that Crabtree, a rejuvenized Aldon Smith and a healthy Patrick Willis and this is a very different 49ers team than the one that lost 9 weeks ago. Also, Kaepernick is no longer hesitant to take off and make plays with his feet.

    Prediction 49ers 23 Panthers 13

  21. greg2geez says: Jan 6, 2014 7:40 PM

    The niners offense struggled for long stretches against a depleted GBay defense that isn’t great when healthy. SF escaped 2 dropped ints that would have changed the outcome. Carolina’s defense is in a different class too much is being made about how “hot” the niners are right now.

  22. realfootballfan says: Jan 6, 2014 7:43 PM

    It’s going to be a slobber knocker. Toss up gain between these two and assuming Seattle wins as they should at home, that will be a toss up game also to get to the Super Bowl.

  23. 4thqtrsaint says: Jan 6, 2014 7:54 PM

    That remarkable history lesson has no bearing whatsoever on this weekend’s games.

  24. tdubdizzle says: Jan 6, 2014 8:01 PM

    Prediction of the week: Panthers beat Niners in devastating fashion after Niners underrate Panthers

  25. tdubdizzle says: Jan 6, 2014 8:02 PM

    Kaepernick folded up last time he played the Panthers. Hopefully he doesn’t do that again…

  26. goldrush36 says: Jan 6, 2014 8:04 PM

    I love how everyone makes light of GB’s record. Yeah they were 8-7-1. With a healthy Rodgers they would’ve been 12-4 at worst. Throw into the mix how hard it is to win at Lambeau in the postseason in the first place.. Then add in the weather… But hey go ahead and think the Niners will be an easy out. It will make it that much worse if you lose. I’m not taking the panthers lightly despite all but Bodin essentially missing that game as far as passing goes. Even McDonald was hurt. This is gonna be a claassic that goes the distance. The outcome of yesterday no maatter how close it was means absolutely nothing in this game

  27. sharks123 says: Jan 6, 2014 8:16 PM

    If you’re a Seattle fan that wants the 49ers to lose against the Panthers just stop watching sports. It’s not for you. Rubbermatch!

  28. notmrknowitall says: Jan 6, 2014 8:34 PM

    That’s cause PED fans are afraid to see the Niners come back to the stadium of manufactured crowd noise.
    Not sure it matters anyways. My money is on a confident New Orleans team this weekend.

  29. my1voice57 says: Jan 6, 2014 9:19 PM

    Panthers fans do not despair. This kind of treatment has been the case for our team all year long. Lots of doubters out there. Besides the obvious dissing because of the struggles the Panthers have had over the past few years I would like to point out that because our offense isn’t high octane like some of the other ‘favorites’ we are somehow discounted as not legitimate enough. May I remind the doubters and nay-Sayers that even when we’ve faced the high octane teams, they have not been able to score at a high octane level. This is by defensive design. I pity these teams when Cam becomes a little bit more accurate in his passing and the secondary digs a little deeper. GO CARDIAC CATS 2 !!!

  30. pantherpro says: Jan 6, 2014 9:58 PM

    Panthers…..best team in NFL. Fans……worst in NFL

  31. JSpicoli says: Jan 6, 2014 10:54 PM

    The pick of the week is Panthers on the moneyline.

    Book it.

  32. kimbo71006 says: Jan 6, 2014 11:07 PM

    Panthers don’t have a chance against Seattle. That top ranked defense caved when Saints came to town. Even though they won the game at the last minute, the Saints out-stated them all the way across the board (including defense).

    Good luck on that one, Panthers will be exposed and get stomped by SF.

    THAT is why the Panthers are underdogs at home, when push comes to shove, they ain’t all that and a bag of chips.

  33. 0dark30 says: Jan 7, 2014 7:26 AM

    After a week where only Philly easily sold out their game, not to mention all teams with terrible fans like Buffalo who can never easily sell a game out, you are basing that fan comment on what exactly?

    Dumb.

  34. theboydre says: Jan 7, 2014 9:10 AM

    The Panthers defense is going to devour Kap.

  35. goodguyattorney says: Jan 7, 2014 9:35 AM

    While I agree that Kaepernick and the Niners have improved since the loss to Carolina (and will have key players they did missed then), the Panthers’ pass rush has also continued to improve. The last few games have shown that the Panthers pass rush is the best in the league – by far. Carolina’s defense is peaking at the right time and will be more than Kap and SF can handle. Kap my be sacked 7-9 times and hit constantly. No matter how “great” his receivers are, if he can’t throw the ball to them they can’t catch it. The fact is, a great pass rush usually beats a great pass attack – just ask Mr. Brady.

  36. dirtyjersey9er says: Jan 7, 2014 9:53 AM

    Disrespect?

    The Panthers have been getting more love than the 9ers have been getting of late.

    “Vernon Davis is the 49ers and the wall is Seattle”

    “Seattle playing in likely their first of two games at MetLife this season”

    “Now Seattle has to worry about losing at home to Green Bay”

    “The 49ers won’t be able to handle the cold in Green Bay”

    “The 49ers barely got through a depleted Green Bay Team. They won’t beat Carolina.”

    Anyone not named Seattle could play the disrespect card this year. A team making it’s first playoffs under the current regime and QB will get doubted. The team who was the NFC Champ and had a 12-4 record during the season being completely disregarded by press? Who has the bigger disrespect card?

    You guys played a 49ers team without Michael Crabtree, with an Aldon Smith coming off a lengthy hiatus, Vernon Davis was knocked out early, Eric Reid was knocked out during the game(Dahl is dreadful at Safety). Those are 4 big time contributors. But no make the same mistake Seattle made and think the first meeting will have any bearing on this game.

  37. dirtyjersey9er says: Jan 7, 2014 9:55 AM

    When the 49ers beat New Orleans in 2012 it wasn’t just Vegas odds. No one was expecting Alex Smith to beat Drew Brees outside of SF. There is a lot more love for Carolina both in press and keyboard QBs than there was for the 49ers in 2012.

  38. chazatlas says: Jan 7, 2014 2:33 PM

    These aren’t your dad’s Panthers. It’s a new era.

  39. jgedgar70 says: Jan 7, 2014 4:53 PM

    So legions of gambling addicts are putting the majority of their kids’ grocery money on the 49ers. And if, in 2008, all the gambling addicts knew that the Panthers defensive game plan included the statement, “we don’t believe that Fitzgerald guy is a threat, so we’re not going to cover him,” I’m sure more of them would have put their kids’ grocery money on the Cardinals.

    This matters… why????

    It doesn’t.

  40. panthers4life78 says: Jan 8, 2014 7:34 AM

    Careful Panthers – haven’t you heard SF has the best receiver and QB in all of football?

    Best Receiver? Hmmm..I’ve watched a lotta games this year, and last I checked Calvin Johnson played for the Lions…

    Best QB? As a Panthers fan, not even taking my QB into consideration, Crapernick is FAR from the best QB in the league….sorry.

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