NFC West Odds Outlook
June 25, 2018
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2018 NFC West Division Odds
The NFC West in 2018 is expected to be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL.
The Los Angeles Rams are the defending division champs and they are listed as a slight favorite, while the San Francisco 49ers are the second choice.
The Seattle Seahawks used to be the power in this division, but they are now just the third choice in the betting odds, while the Arizona Cardinals are the longshot.
Let’s look at the odds and NFC West predictions.
2018 NFC West Division Odds - per BetDSI
Los Angeles Rams -105
San Francisco 49ers +190
Seattle Seahawks +335
Arizona Cardinals +1265
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams went 11-5 last season under first-year head coach Sean McVay. The Rams didn’t sit still in the off-season, as they added Brandin Cooks on offense and added Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Ndamukong Suh on defense. There is no question that Cooks should be an excellent addition to the offense, but it will be up to defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to manage the egos of Peters, Talib and Suh.
The Rams were exciting on offense last season as McVay proved that a good coach could turn Jared Goff into a very good quarterback. Goff was nearly ruined under Jeff Fisher, but under McVay he blossomed. He threw for nearly 4,000 yards and had 28 TDs and just 7 interceptions. The Rams went from last in the NFL in total offense in 2016 to leading the league in points in 2017. Goff has one of the best running backs in the NFL behind him in Todd Gurley, who had 1,305 yards rushing and 13 TDs. He also caught 64 balls for 788 yards and six TDs. The addition of Cooks should take some of the pressure off of Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.
On defense the Rams should be much better in the secondary, as they were last in the league last season with just seven interceptions. Getting Peters and Talib should vastly improve the secondary. It also doesn’t hurt that the Rams can team up Suh with All-Pro Aaron Donald on the defensive line.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers went 6-10 last season but that record doesn’t tell the whole story, as when the 49ers traded for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo everything changed. Garoppolo started the last five games and the 49ers went 5-0. The 49ers have a very good head coach in Kyle Shanahan who knows how to get the most out of an offense. Shanahan will have an additional weapon this season, as the 49ers signed running back Jerick McKinnon to a four-year deal. The 49ers are hoping McKinnon can do for them what Gurley does for the Rams. The 49ers have solid receiving options in wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin and San Francisco upgraded the offensive line with the additions of Weston Richburg and Jonathon Cooper and they took right tackle Mike McGlinchey in the first round.
The defense is still a concern for the 49ers, as they ranked 24th last season. Not much was done in the off-season to improve the defense but San Francisco did add Richard Sherman and they hope he is healthy and a major contributor this season.
The Seahawks run of greatness ended last season and it may be over for quite some time. The Seahawks still have Pete Carroll as their head coach and Russell Wilson at quarterback, but they lost a lot of players in the off-season from a team that went 9-7 last season and missed the playoffs. The Seahawks did get another big year from Wilson in 2017, as he threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 34 TDs. He had to run around constantly because the Seahawks stubbornly refuse to improve their offense line. It allowed 43 sacks last season and the only addition heading into this season is D.J. Fluker who didn’t look that great with the Giants. Seattle did take Rashaad Penny in the first round of the NFL Draft so perhaps they will have a running game this season. It should also help that Chris Carson is returning from injury. The Seahawks also added Brandon Marshall but they lost Jimmy Graham.
The defense will be different this season, as Ken Norton Jr. takes over as defensive coordinator. Norton Jr. had a great career as a player, but his defenses haven’t been that great. Seattle is no longer a great defense, as gone are Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett and there are rumblings that Earl Thomas may not stay.
The Cardinals finished 8-8 last season and missed the playoffs for the second straight season. Bruce Arians retired and Steve Wilks takes over. Wilks is the former defensive coordinator for Carolina and he should improve Arizona’s defense in 2018. The Cardinals will also have a new offensive coordinator, as Mike McCoy takes over after being with Denver last season. The Cardinals are expected to go with Sam Bradford at quarterback until top draft pick Josh Rosen is ready to take over. The good news for Arizona is that David Johnson returns from injury. He was considered one of the top running backs in the NFL before getting hurt. The Cardinals still have the ageless Larry Fitzgerald at receiver and they added Christian Kirk in the draft and picked up Brice Butler from Dallas. The offensive line was a disaster last season, allowing 52 sacks. The Cardinals picked up Justin Pugh and Andre Smith and they drafted Mason Cole from Michigan.
The defense was very poor last season, so Wilks brings with him Al Holcomb who coached the linebackers last season for Carolina. Holcomb will be the defensive coordinator this season and he has his work cut out for him. The Cardinals do have All-Pro linebacker Chandler Jones and All-Pro safety Budda Baker but not much else.
2018 NFC West Predictions
The Rams have the 5th-toughest schedule in the NFL this season, but they also have the most talent in this division. There is no value on the Rams at odds-on to win the division, but there is a little bit of value on the 49ers at odds of almost 2-1. The Rams and 49ers should fight it out all season for the NFC West, while the Seahawks and Cardinals will try and finish above .500.
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