The Carolina Panthers will host the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional round on Sunday. Carolina is the No. 2 seed, boasting a 12-4 record, with just a single loss at home. The 49ers are also 12-4, but two of their losses have come on the road. San Francisco fell just short of earning the NFC West crown with the Seattle Seahawks holding serve in Week 17.
Carolina has one other edge outside of home-field advantage, though: it has already beaten the 49ers this season. On top of that, the Panthers won that game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. It was a close game, dominated by defense with both offenses failing to get anything done. In the end, the Panthers prevailed, 10-9.
Still, this is a very close game -- possibly the hardest to call of all the games this weekend. Carolina should be favored due to the home field, but it will be an interesting game to say the least.
As far as the experts are concerned, they're somewhat divided. SB Nation has a panel of six NFL experts, and four of them actually went with the 49ers to win it on the road. That includes David Fucillo, Stephen White, Jason Chilton and Joel Thorman. The other two -- Ryan Van Bibber and Matt Ufford -- went with Carolina.
Over at CBS Sports, it's a similar spread. They have eight experts picking, and six of them are going with the 49ers to score the road victory. That includes Jason La Canfora and Ryan Wilson. The two dissenters picking the Panthers are Pete Prisco and Will Brinson.