This is a fairly weak division. The Rams -140 come into this season as clear cut favorites in the NFC West. After winning the division in a turn-around year last year, the Rams appear poised to repeat as NFC West Champions. They are very talented at just about every position, and upgraded their defense to include two of the best cornerbacks in the NFL with Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters as well as Ndamukong Suh. Their offense also upgraded with the addition of Brandin Cooks. On paper they appear to be the best team in the division and their only issue appears to be team chemistry. Behind the Rams are the 49ers +250 who are expected to do much better after their strong finish last year with new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. They are the sexy contrarian pick to win the division. However I think they will struggle much more than people expect them to. I think they will struggle to reach the expectations some people are putting on them. I think the best competition to the Rams in this division, will be the Arizona Cardinals +1200. They are a team that is solid at every important position, and not getting a lot of attention from the media. They had a very good defense last year, and with David Johnson healthy and Sam Bradford at quarterback they should definitely improve on offense. This is the ultimate value pick. Their overall roster on paper matches up very well with the Rams. They also have a good home field advantage. They will make a push for the division and probably finish second. Seattle is priced higher than them because of their recent success which is in the forefront of the average betting fan’s mind. Seattle will be terrible this year and finish in last place in the NFC West.
Arizona Cardinals Over 5.5 wins, -150
On paper this is almost a complete team and is being heavily disrespected by lines-makers, although the price seems to show there is sharp action on the same side. Arizona certainly has at least 3 of the 4 pillars. With Patrick Peterson at cornerback, and Chandler Jones at defensive end, they are each one of if not the best at their position throughout the NFL.
People are also down playing the addition of Sam Bradford as just a place-holder for Josh Rosen. Sam should be fully healthy after getting to sit most of last year. His one game he did play, he lit up the Saints (who ended up being a solid defense) for 3 touchdowns. He was injured late in the game and Case Keenum did well enough filling in not to relinquish the starting spot, but also not well enough to not have a qb competition. The Vikings defense was pretty good last year as well. The year before that Bradford set what at the time was the NFL record for completion percentage for the season, doing so with possibly the worst offensive line in history after the starters were all hurt.
DJ Humphries will be looking to start at left tackle after playing in 5 games last year before an injury to his knee. The offense is also getting back running-back David Johnson, who is very dynamic and should be able to provide a much needed spark for their offense that finished 30th in total efficiency. Their defense finished fourth and should do more of the same. Also this team has a very good home-field advantage which should alone get them six wins. I can see them competing for the NFC West with the Rams.
Seattle Seahawks Under 8, -125
I don’t think very highly of this team at all. I think they will hover around the bottom of the league. Most of their defensive talent from their teams that made back to back super bowls are gone. Also Pete Carrol’s act and the team’s agenda seems to have worn thin the roster. They paid Russell Wilson a lot, and because of that were not able to retain the defensive players responsible for the team’s success. They are now thin at talent at every position. This may be the easiest of the bets I have listed. This could be wrapped up by week 10 or 11.
8% Cardinals over 5.5 wins
25% Seahawks under 8 wins
2% Cardinals win division