Both the Cardinals and Seahawks are projecting double-digit win seasons in the tough NFC West!
The NFL odds to win the NFC West division are holding as the steadiest of all ships this summer, with three of four teams at one of our sponsor sportsbooks remaining unchanged since early-June.
ODDS TO WIN NFC WEST (Now & Then)
Here is each team’s current odds to win the division along with their previously posted odds from early June, in parentheses.
The Seahawks have maintained their preseason spot as favorites to win the West and part of that is accredited to Russell Wilson’s perceived durability vs. Carson Palmer. Injuries can happen anytime but Palmer’s age and history make him seem more likely to fall.
Aside from stability, Wilson has also show great skill and leadership through four seasons, posting career highs in 2015 for TDs (34), completion percentage and QB rating. Wilson took more sacks last year (45) but that helped keep his interceptions to single digits (8).
Seattle’s receiver options are sound and the the run game of Thomas Rawls (ankle), Christine Michael and CJ Prosise provides flexibility. O-Line is a concern but the D is still top shelf and the Hawks’ home field advantage is as good as any in football.
The Seahawks get a good first-half leading to a Week 10, Sunday Night Football game at Foxboro. Their final five weeks are ‘must see’ games (Panthers, Packers, Rams, Cards, Niners) that will shape the outcome of this division.
The Arizona Cardinals started last season strong with SU/ATS wins over the Saints, Bears and Niners — Three teams that would finish the season at a combined record of 18-30 SU (.375 WP). From that point on, Arizona won 10 of 13 games straight-up but only went 6-7 ATS. Books were catching on to this team’s offensive talent and the first thing I’ll be on the lookout for this year is overlays.
The Cards were +9 in turnover margin last season, ranking them fourth behind the Panthers (+20), Chiefs (+14) and Bengals (+11). Normally, that’s another caution flag for chalk teams who don’t figure to get lucky quite as often, but the Cardinals were also strong in 2014 (+8). Teams that rank well in this department back-to-back years are good bet to win nine or 10 games straight-up (.611 WP), with home teams going .689 WP and away .530 WP.
Arizona’s schedule looks good and it wouldn’t shock me one bit to see them at 6-0 SU ahead of Week 7’s matchup with Seattle. By the same token, this club could be 8-6 SU before thier rematch with the Hawks in Week 16 (Rams on-deck). Although I have the Cards winning 10 games this year, the early value (SWT opened at 9.5 Over -120) is long gone.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
The Rams continue to attract attention from “Over” bettors and the two main interests are A) RB Todd Gurley and B) A front seven anchored by a ferocious D-Line. There is a lot of excitement over this team but this win total seems overly optimistic.
Jared Goff has secured his spot as the backup quarterback to start the season so it’s up to QB Case Keenum to lead this team out of the gate. Keenum’s biggest challenge will be six games vs. the division but St. Louis also gets Carolina in Week 9 and a road trip to New England in Week 13. Laying -190 is out of the question for “Under” 7.5 but if you can find a O/U 7 at a better price, you might want to jump on it.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ers
The Niners are tied with the Cleveland Browns as the biggest long shot to win a division and that’s a sad state considering this team’s recent three-year run in Conference Championship games or beyond (2011-13). The QB situation is up in the air and RB Carlos Hyde (Check status) suffered a concussion during the team’s NFLX game vs. the Packers.
New coach in town so there is always a chance for some surprises but other than a big dog cover team, these Niners don’t offer much. Leaning to their SWT staying “Under” 5.5 wins.