NFC West Outlook
July 2, 2017
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-- 2016 record (7-8-1) – 2nd in NFC West
-- Off YPG – 366.8 (9th) – Def YPG – 305.2 (2nd)
-- Points scored 26.1 (6th) – Points allowed 22.6 (14th)
2017 ASA prediction – Play OVER 8 Wins for Arizona Cardinals
We’re getting some nice value with the OVER for Arizona here. Last year they entered the season with a win total of 9.5 and finished with a 7-8-1 overall record. QB Carson Palmer struggled working behind a banged up offensive line that is now healthy. Despite their sub .500 record, the Cards outgained their opponents by an average of 61 YPG.
Their defense was 2nd in the NFL allowing just 305 YPG while offensively they put up 26 PPG (6th in the NFL). Let’s not forget this team was 13-3 two years ago and made it to the NFC Championship game. Arizona has a fairly weak strength of schedule rating as their opponents this year had a record of 118-135-3 last season. We don’t think it’s too much to ask for this team to top 8 wins in 2017.
Betting Records: 6-10 ATS / 10 Overs, 6 Unders
-- Since 2005, 56% of the Cards games have gone OVER the total (112-88-1). That is the 2nd highest OVER rate during that span – 2nd only to New England.
-- If you happen to find Arizona as a home underdog you might want to jump on them. The Birds are 32-16-1 in that spot since 2003 – that includes a 28-21 SU record.
-- However if they are a road underdog, consider staying away. They are just 39-48-1 ATS in that spot since 2003.
-- Arizona is just 14-26 ATS (35%) as a favorite of -7 or more dating all the way back to 1980.
Los Angeles Rams
-- 2016 record (4-12) – 3rd in NFC West
-- Off YPG – 262.7 (32nd) – Def YPG – 337 (9th)
-- Points scored 14.0 (32nd) – Points allowed 24.6 (23rd)
2017 ASA prediction – Play UNDER 5.5 Wins for LA Rams
The Rams were 4-12 last year and we’re projecting a similar record in 2017. The NFL is now a scoring league and the Rams are terrible at putting the ball in the endzone. Their 14 PPG average was the worst in the NFL. They only reached 20 points four times last season. That won’t get you many wins. Jared Goff looks like the full time starter at QB but when the Rams threw him to the wolves in their final 7 games last season, he stunk.
LA was 0-7 in those games and averaged 12 PPG during that final stint. RB Todd Gurley went from being one of the league’s best his rookie year to putting up the 2nd lowest YPC average in the NFL. No passing attack will do that. The defense was solid but still gave up nearly 25 PPG. The defense would have to be lights out to give this team a chance this year. Seven of their twelve losses were by double digits last season and we just can’t see this team getting to 6 wins this year. To make it even tougher, this team travels more than any other team in the NFL this year – a total of 32,500 miles! Under is the play.
Betting Records: 4-11-1 ATS / 7 Overs, 9 Unders
-- Since 2003, the Rams have the 2nd worst spread record in the NFL at 34-50-1 (40%). Only the Titans are worse.
-- Since 2011, the Rams have been favored only 25 times. They’ve won only 10 of those games outright (9-16 ATS).
-- The Rams have been an OVER team at home. They’ve rolled up 62 OVERS and just 47 UNDERS (2 ties) at home since 2003.
-- The last 10 times that LA has been a underdog of 10 or more, their game has gone UNDER the total.
San Francisco 49ers
-- 2016 record (2-14) – 4th in NFC West
-- Off YPG – 308.1 (31st) – Def YPG – 406.4 (32nd)
-- Points scored 19.3 (27th) – Points allowed 30.0 (32nd)
2017 ASA prediction – Play UNDER 4.5 Wins for San Francisco 49ers
Despite a new coach and new QB, we expect the Niners to be one of the NFL’s worst again this season. We have them as an underdog in 14 of their 16 games and only a slight favorite @ home vs the Rams and @ home vs the Jags. We project they will be at least a full TD underdog in 8+ games this year. San Fran was 2-14 last year and it wasn’t as if they were close to turning the corner with 9 of those losses coming by at least 10 points. Their only two wins came vs the hapless Rams.
The schedule doesn’t set up well this year with a tough start (home vs Carolina and @ Seattle) and includes 3 straight road games in October @ Arizona, @ Indy, and @ Washington. While QB Brian Hoyer will be an upgrade for San Francisco, a similar team (the Bears), brought him in last year to try and resurrect their fortunes and he responded with a 1-5 record in his 6 starts. While the offense will struggle again, the defense allowed more points than any team in the NFL last season. Total rebuild here and we like the UNDER.
Betting Records: 5-11 ATS / 10 Overs, 6 Unders
-- The last 3 seasons the Niners are only 17-29-2 ATS (37%). Only the Titans are worse.
-- San Fran is an imperfect 0-8 ATS the last 8 times they’ve been tabbed a favorite (2-6 SU record in those games – dating back to 2014).
-- When playing other teams from the NFC West, the 49ers have been an UNDER play. Since 2006 they have had 39 UNDERS, 27 OVERS, & 1 tie vs division opponents.
-- The UNDER is 18-6 the last 24 times that San Francisco has been tabbed as a favorite.
-- 2016 record (10-5-1) – 1st in NFC West
-- Off YPG – 357.2 (12th) – Def YPG – 318.7 (5th)
-- Points scored 22.1 (18th) – Points allowed 18.2 (3rd)
2017 ASA prediction – Play OVER 10.5 Wins for Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have the luxury of not having to travel on back to back weeks this entire season. Their only “back to back” road games come with a bye inserted in between. While we expect Arizona to be much better this year, the NFC West remains fairly weak with 4 most likely type wins vs the Rams & Niners. Defense was outstanding again last year ranking in the top 8 in almost all key categories & they allowed just 18 PPG. The offense sputtered at times last year due to an inexperienced offensive line and an up and down running game.
The O-Line has been shored up with two new starting tackles including LT Joeckel who has been one of the better ones in the league for Jacksonville the last few years. Eddie Lacy has been added to the mix and if he stays healthy they will be much better off at that position. Three of their five losses came by 6 points or less and their +62 point differential was the 3rd best in the NFC behind only Dallas & Atlanta. This team was better than their record last year and we feel they get to at least 11 wins this season.
Betting Records: 8-8 ATS / 9 Overs, 7 Unders
-- The Seahawks are 22-6-2 ATS their last 30 games as an underdog dating back to 2011.
-- Since Russell Wilson took over at QB in 2012, the Hawks are 53-37-2 ATS overall which is the 3rd best mark in the NFL during that span.
-- They are 29-15-1 ATS (66%) at home since Wilson took over at QB in 2012.
-- However, dating back to 2003, this Seattle team has the 2nd worst ATS record on the road coming in at just 51-68-2 (43%).
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