The defending Super Bowl champions rule the NFC West roost according to the bookmakers. The Los Angeles Rams are tipped as the team to beat in division futures and they’re projected to have the highest regular-season win total in the NFC West Win totals market.
The San Francisco 49ers come in as the second-best bet while the Arizona Cardinals are a close third in both division futures and win totals betting markets. Indeed, given the way these odds stack up, it’s clear that oddsmakers are expecting it to be a three-horse race for positioning in the NFC West standings.
In this column, we look at each team in accordance to the latest NFC West win totals and provide some early insight.
NFC West Division Futures
- Los Angeles Rams +130
- San Francisco 49ers +200
- Arizona Cardinals +300
- Seattle Seahawks +1200
Los Angeles Rams 10 ½ (-110o/-120u)
Sean McVay and his players treated fans to boisterous chants of “run it back” as they celebrated their Super Bowl victory with the traditional champions parade through the City of Angeles last February. Every team wants to run it back. But it has been nearly 20 years since a team has won back-to-back Super Bowls. So, the odds are metaphorically stacked against them.
As far as the best NFL betting markets are concerned, the Los Angeles Rams are among the Top 5 best bets to win Super Bowl 57. They’re also in the Top 5 to win the NFC conference.
In the broad spectrum of the conference, they face stiff competition from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers. In the league, the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills have been deemed the biggest challengers. It doesn’t help the Rams’ cause either that they have the toughest NFL schedule according to the NFL Strength of Schedules rankings.
In the NFC West, the Rams are the clear-cut favorites. Helping them along are the prevailing questions that hang over the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals, as well as undisguised doubt about the rebuilding Seattle Seahawks.
Moreover, with Matthew Stafford leading a talented offense and many-core players returning for 2022, including Aaron Donald, the Rams can be quietly confident of cracking the 10½ win total currently trading. If they can sweep the NFC West or go 5-1 against the division, they’ll need to find another five to six wins elsewhere. That’s not beyond the realm of possibility.
San Francisco 49ers 10 (-115o/-115u)
The San Francisco 49ers were the surprise package of the postseason as they upset the highly fancied Green Bay Packers on the way to the NFC Championship game. The Niners gave the Rams a good fight and can certainly do it again
The word “revenge” is being bandied about a lot. The Niners getting their so-called own back over the Rams. Whether that is true or not will largely depend on whether Kyle Shanahan sticks with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. If he does, the revenge element might make sense.
The Niners will have a good chance to challenge the Ram’s dominance and crack the ten-win mark in the NFC West Win Totals. The Niners have the fifth toughest schedule this season and Garoppolo’s experience can’t be overlooked.
For all intent and purpose, second-year quarterback Trey Lance is still a rookie. He saw the limited play last season and when he did play he didn’t blow anyone’s socks off. And yet, there’s a lot of buzz about the young quarterback with many expecting he’ll start in Week 1.
If he does, it’s going to be interesting. It’s hard to imagine Lance rising to the occasion in his first year as a starter. Everyone wants to find the next Patrick Mahomes. But how realistic is that? So, should Lance get the nod, you should see a play on the UNDER gaining in popularity here.
Arizona Cardinals 8½ (-105o/-125u)
The Arizona Cardinals were the hottest team in the first half of the 2021 season before the wheels came off spectacularly in the second half. They did squeak into the playoffs for the first time in the Kliff Kingsbury-Kyler Murray era, but it was short-lived. They were outclassed by the Rams in a 34-11 Wild Card Round loss.
The offseason was marred with rumors of internal unrest. Negative press involving Kyler Murray popped up and everyone started to weigh in on the matter. Whatever the issues were, they appear to have been put to bed for the time being. Will they have a lingering effect though? That’s the million-dollar question.
Arguably, these factors raise a number of key questions. It’s likely that this uncertainty has impacted Arizona’s odds for 2022. Another aspect is the schedule. According to the NFL Strength of Schedule rankings, the Cardinals have the second-toughest schedule this season.
Arizona is a wildcard team. They could surprise and easily crack the 8½ win total. Alternatively, they could self-implode and fall below expectations. It’s a tight tossup for the betting, though the UNDER is favored at -125.
Seattle Seahawks 5½ (-130o/-Ev)
The bar is set to the lowest level for the Seattle Seahawks for the first time in almost a decade. This is hardly surprising, of course, because without Russell Wilson at the helm, this is an unknown team.
Pete Carroll inherited Drew Lock from the Denver Broncos in the Wilson trade. A lock is nothing more than a placeholder. From what we’ve seen from the young quarterback so far, it’s not looking auspicious for the Seahawks going into 2022. Hence, they’re lowly odds across the board.
Six wins doesn’t sound like an insurmountable number, but considering the depth of the NFC West, it probably is in Seattle’s case. Indeed, according to the NFL Strength of Schedule analysis, the Seahawks have the 11th toughest schedule in the league. This is directly a function of said depth as well as drawing some of the league’s top contenders.
You can expect the Seahawks to struggle for wins in their six-division games. Moreover, the 11 remaining games featuring non-division opponents are no cakewalk either with heavyweights such as Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Los Angeles Chargers.
To be fair, the Seahawks will be lucky to crack five wins, never mind six. Thus, the smart play here might be the UNDER.Follow us on Twitter