The NFC West could very well be the best division in football. Not only did last year’s Super Bowl champion come out of this division – L.A. Rams – but a team from the NFC West has represented the NFC in the Super Bowl in three of the last four years. Three of the four teams qualified for the postseason last year and the Rams are seeking their fourth division title in the last six years. Oddsmakers have L.A. as the +125 favorite to win the West with San Francisco close behind at +175. The Rams are +1100 to win the Super Bowl with the 49ers sitting at +1600.
NFC West Standings 
The Rams have elite playmakers on both sides of the ball in wide receiver Cooper Kupp and defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Both are favorites to win their respective Player of the Year honors this season. Among the key departures were linebacker Von Miller, receiver Robert Woods and offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth (retired), but the team is still stacked. Quarterback Matt Stafford will have a great backfield duo in Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson, assuming Akers stays healthy this season. Allen Robinson was brought in to replace Woods at wide receiver and the team still has one of the best tight ends in Tyler Higbee. The secondary is still in good shape with cornerback Jalen Ramsey and safeties Jordan Fuller and Taylor Rapp.
Odds to Win NFC West (as of 8/7/22):
Los Angeles Rams +125
San Francisco 49ers +150
Arizona Cardinals +400
Seattle Seahawks +1800
It’s a new beginning in San Francisco with a young quarterback and running back in Trey Lance and Eli Mitchell to run the offense. Current quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo probably won’t be around by Week 1, as the team is trying to trade him. Leading receiver Deebo Samuel, who had 1,405 receiving yards and another 365 on the ground, can be an MVP candidate. Him and tight end George Kittle give Lance a pair of elite receiving options. The offensive line is improving with 2021 draft picks Mike McGlinchey and Aaron Banks. The defense will be led by defensive end Nick Bosa and linebacker Fred Warner. The secondary will lost safety Jaquiski Tartt as well as cornerbacks Josh Norman and K’Waun Williams. Safety George Odum and cornerback Charvarius Ward were signed to replace them.
The Arizona Cardinals have no quarterback issues with the contract extension given to Kyler Murray. The Cardinals brought in Murray’s former teammate at Oklahoma in receiver Marquise Brown. The two should find chemistry quickly. Star receiver DeAndre Hopkins will serve a six-game suspension after testing positive for a drug on the banned list by the NFL. Once he is back, the offense can be unstoppable. The defense let Arizona down late in the season. The Cardinals dropped four of their last five regular-season games and then bowed out in the first round to eventual Super Bowl champion L.A. Arizona allowed 30.8 points in those five losses. Top pass rusher Chandler Jones will be hard to replace and the Cardinals didn’t have a first round draft pick. Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders were both drafted in the third round to help.
Season Win Totals (as of 8/7/22):
Los Angeles Rams 10.5 o130
San Francisco 49ers 10 u125
Arizona Cardinals 8.5 u120
Seattle Seahawks 5.5 o135
The Seattle Seahawks finished last in the division and more than likely will occupy the basement once again. To say it’s a new era would be an understatement. Longtime and Super Bowl winning QB Russell Wilson was dealt to the Denver Broncos. The franchise’s second all-time leading tackler Bobby Wagner, signed with the Rams. Drew Lock, who came over from Denver, will compete for the quarterback job with Geno Smith. Quite a downgrade from Wilson. Star receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are returning and will give either quarterback a fighting chance. Offensive tackle Charles Cross was acquired in the first round as well as tackle Abraham Lucas. Running back Kenneth Walker out of Michigan State was drafted in the second round. He is listed as one of the favorites to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Linebacker Jordyn Brooks returns to lead the defense that ranked 28th a season ago.
Jay’s Season Win Total Best Bet: Seattle only won seven games with Russell Wilson under center. Now it’s Drew Lock or Geno Smith? Getting to six wins is going to be awfully challenging in this division. The non-division games include Wilson’s Broncos, Chargers, Bucs, Raiders and Chiefs. The 12th Man homefield advantage has been fading the last few seasons as well. I see five wins at the most.
Seahawks UNDER 5.5 +115
Jay’s Pick to Win Division: The Rams are still the team to beat. Stafford was the piece they were missing and the team is relatively the same that won the trophy back in February. I don’t see Trey Lance leading the Niners to a division title quite yet and the Cardinals’ defense is a problem.
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