Midseason Update Through Nine Weeks Of Play
The NFC West is one of the most surprising divisions in terms of mid year standings. If you thought the Seahawks would be in first place and the only team above .500 in the division, you are the only one and a genius! The 6-3 Seahawks have a game and a half lead on the 4-4 49ers, who are a game ahead of the Rams and a game and a half ahead of the Cardinals.
The Seahawks have been a very fun team, and the quarterback play of Geno Smith has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season. They are a high scoring team that allows opponents to score as well, leading to enjoyment of watching. Only the Chiefs have scored more than the Seahawks and only five teams have allowed more points.
In the rest of the division, one side of the ball has been a huge issue for each team. The Rams and 49ers have played well defensively, but have been very stagnant offensively. The opposite is true for the Cardinals, as they are the third worst scoring defense in the league.
Looking at current divisional odds, it is not the Seahawks the oddsmakers favor to win the division. Th3 49ers are currently the -135 chalk, with the Seahawks returning +150. The Rams are +900 and the Cardinals are +3000.
The plus figure currently offered on the Seahawks is an extremely surprising one. It is fair to say the 49ers, with McCaffrey in hand, are a better team going forward. The caveat is that they are already a game and a half behind the Seahawks and the Seahawks have a very easy schedule the rest of the way. They run into just one team over .500 in their last eight games. The +150 line on the Seahawks is the best of any team in any division, and is a quality wager.
The Seahawks win total is also set egregiously low. Despite having six wins and having a cake schedule the rest of the way, their total is set at just 9.5. Playing the slate of low end teams at .500 the rest of the way is enough to cash an over bet, and that is another high quality full season prop bet at this time.
Full Season Preview
As we roll on through our divisional predictions, we get to the NFC West. The Super Bowl champion Rams will kick off the season on Thursday night in Buffalo. They are once again the favorites to win the division, in what projects to be a tight divisional race. The 49ers and the Cardinals should be in the mix throughout the season. The Seahawks are something of a team in shambles and should not be expected to be in competition to win the division.
2022 NFC West Futures & Betting Odds
NFC West Odds Betting Preview
A look at the current odds at time of writing to win the NFC West division and regular season win totals:
- Los Angeles Rams +130 To Win NFC West , 10.5 Over/Under Win Total
- San Francisco 49ers +150 To Win NFC West, 10 Over/Under Win Total
- Arizona Cardinals +400 To Win NFC West, 8.5 Over/Under Win Total
- Seattle Seahawks +2000 To Win NFC West, 5.5 Over/Under Win Total
Risk Free Bets
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams had a dream season in 2021. They brought in Matthew Stafford to replace Jared Goff at quarterback and that paid perfect dividends. The Rams had the perfect sweep of divisional, conference and Super Bowl titles, sporting a 12-5 record. They return any and all key players for the 2022 season and are set up perfectly to keep the success rolling. The Rams return all of their key players from last season with the exception of Von Miller, who signed with the Bills in the offseason.
Stafford will continue to lead a high powered passing attack. Cooper Kupp played at a higher level than any receiver in the NFL last year, and will continue to be the focal point of the offense. He will be complemented by Allen Robinson and Van Jefferson, who are very high end complementary options. The Rams will return Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson at running back, a tandem they only had both available in the Super Bowl last season.
The defense takes a hit with the loss of Miller, but they are not wanting for talent. Aaron Donald remains on the short list of the best defensive players in football. They also still have high end Jalen Ramsey in the secondary. The Rams also brought in Bobby Wagner to improve the linebacking corps. In totality, the NFC West has three high end teams, so we are not going to make a wager on the division. We are going to make a wager on the Rams, as the 10.5 win total is one of the best values for any team. The 12 win team did nothing to get worse, and we will attack the over 10.5 wins
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers were also very good last season, boasting a 10-7 record and reaching the playoffs. They are one of the three higher end teams vying for the divisional crown once again. They return a very similar team to last year, with one massive exception. Second year quarterback Trey Lance will take over for Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback. The offense and defense are both solid as a whole. The coaching philosophy will remain exactly the same. How good the 49ers are and just how far they can go will be determined by the play of Lance. It is a lone variable, but it is a massive variable. One which keeps us from firing a bet either way on the 49ers.
The Cardinals were the second place finisher in the division at 11-6. They were also a playoff team and are the third of the three higher end teams looking to win the NFC West this season. They return Kyler Murray and James Conner in the backfield. What will look different is the pass catchers. Christian Kirk departed for Jacksonville. Deandre Hopkins is suspended six games for PED usage, and is at an age where it is fair to question whether PEDs are needed. They have brought in Marquise Brown from Baltimore and we will see an elevated role for Rondale Moore. How that pivot will go is completely open for interpretation and is a major variable in the Cardinals season. The Cardinals will return an above average defensive unit and will be competitive in the division once again. They are a good team, just not an elite team and one to stay away from on seasonal props.
The Seahawks traded Russell Wilson this offseason, essentially waving the white flag on this season. They will start either Drew Lock or Geno Smith at quarterback, and we are likely to see both. The bright spot they have is at running back. Rashaad Penny, finally given a chance, was the league’s best runner down the stretch last season. He is now complemented by rookie Kenny Walker. Even with a good wide receiving corps and running backs, the quarterback play will be a huge limitation. The 5.5 win total is set low enough that it becomes difficult to attack an under, so no wager on the Seahawks.