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April 18, 2014

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Vegas Play of the Day: 49ers at Panthers

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Mike Roemer / Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick throws a pass during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis.

2014 Divisional Round Sunday

What's the best bet on Sunday?
49ers minus-1 — 34.5%
Chargers plus-9.5 — 28.2%
Panthers plus-1 — 18.9%
Broncos minus-9.5 — 18.4%

This poll is closed, see Full Results »

Note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The Sun’s sports staff is showing less regard for money than the firm depicted in “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Jordan Belfort would be hard-pressed to dust through $30,000 this quickly. At the current rate, all three competitors in our new Play of the Day feature will have busted their bankrolls by Tax Day.

We’re 0-4-1 and down $1,270 through five days making a pick using lines provided by South Point. Someone’s got to cash out at some point, right?

Panthers plus-1 (minus-105) vs. 49ers: $525 to win $500

My strongest feelings on this game, for better or worse, probably came through in Thursday’s NFL divisional-round betting preview. So I won’t rehash everything posted there.

Let me repeat one nugget, though: Three out of every four tickets are on the 49ers. That’s as conspicuous of a warning sign for a bad investment opportunity as watching the FBI raid a potential stockbroker’s yacht.

The negative omens start at the betting window. They extend to the field.

San Francisco is only the third team in the last 30 years, according to R.J. Bell of Pregame.com, to give points on the road in the divisional round. And for what?

The 49ers aren’t the better team. The Panthers marched into Candlestick and shut them down 10-9 in a game that wasn’t nearly as competitive as the score indicates a couple months ago.

The narrative of the 75 percent is the 49ers offense is much improved now with the return of Michael Crabtree and the rushing of Colin Kaepernick. So improved that they put up 23 points and nearly 400 yards last week in Arctic conditions against Green Bay.

That conveniently ignores the fact that the Packers have one of the worst defenses in the entire NFL. The Panthers have one of the best.

Go ahead and give points with a West Coast team traveling East for the second time in as many weeks and kicking off at 10 a.m. on their body clocks. Just expect a return on par with penny-stocks from a boiler room.

Standings: Bern (0-1, $9,670), Keefer (0-2, $9,500), Brewer (0-1-1, $9,230)

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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