Last week, the San Francisco 49ers emerged victorious from the frozen tundra of Green Bay to earn a trip to Carolina for the divisional round of the playoffs. The Panthers are a familiar foe for the 49ers, as they came into San Francisco earlier this season to win a tightly contested defensive battle by a score of 10-9. With the 49ers looking red-hot and the Panthers well-rested, this game figures to be another close one. Vegas oddsmakers concur, assigning this game the tightest line of the weekend of San Francisco by 1.5 points.
Carolina Panthers fans are certainly eager to experience playoff football at Bank of America Stadium again. NFL playoff tickets for this game on the secondary market are currently selling at an average price of $402 dollars, making this the most expensive game of the weekend. These prices reflect a 164% premium over the 2013 regular season average for Carolina Panthers tickets of $152, the largest such premium of any game this round. The 49ers road average for the year has a lofty $234 dollars, so while the Niners were a premier road draw all year, traveling San Francisco fans are still paying a 72% playoff premium this weekend. With this being Carolina’s first playoff game since 2008, it’s no surprise that Panthers fans are driving up prices. However, with over 8,900 seats still available on the secondary market, ticket prices have begun to drop slightly.
The past three days have seen the average ticket price for this game decline by 14%. Given the current level of supply, prices could continue to drop over the next few days, providing patient Panthers fans with some solid deals. Fans looking for deals now can currently get in to Bank of America Stadium for as little as $117. Face value for the lower priced Upper Level tickets average $67 dollars, but overall those seats are still selling for a 104% premium on the secondary market. For better seats at less of a premium, Club Level tickets have face values starting at $241 are currently selling for as little as $349 (45% premium).
Despite that Carolina won the regular season meeting between the two teams on the road in San Francisco, the 49ers are considered slight favorites this week to pull off the road upset in Carolina and head to their third consecutive NFC Championship game with . A win would result in the 15th NFC Championship game appearance for the 49ers, breaking a tie with the Dallas Cowboys for the most all time. It would also put them a win away from their second straight trip to the Super Bowl. The Panthers on the other hand, are looking to make their first NFC title game since 2005.
With two great defenses, this could be a low scoring game just like the regular season meeting. But make no mistake; it is the two young, explosive quarterbacks who are the stars of this game. Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton figure to be familiar faces in this spot for years to come.
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