NFL Handicapping: The NFC West
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The NFC West’s been so top-heavy for years that it’s almost stopped being fun. But it remains a home of two legitimate Super Bowl contenders so it requires our attention, even if the division’s other two teams couldn’t be any further removed from that conversation.
2017 NFC West Predictions: Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals Odds to Win 2017 Super Bowl: +3300
Cardinals Odds to Win 2017 NFC Conference: +1400
Cardinals Odds to Win 2017 NFC West Division: +300
The Cardinals roster of 2017 will look very similar to the group that disappointed in 2016 – but that’s not a bad thing. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald flirted with the idea of retirement, but they’ll be back to lead Bruce Arians’ passing attack.
Running back David Johnson established himself as one of the most dynamic rushers in the game, and also a threat in the passing game, last season, and he’ll be leaned on heavily once again this season.
The defense will again rely heavily on big plays. The loss of Calais Campbell hurts, but there’s still plenty of talent on that side of the ball.
2017 NFC West Predictions: Los Angeles Rams
Rams Odds to Win 2017 Super Bowl: +15000
Rams Odds to Win 2017 NFC Conference: +6600
Rams Odds to Win 2017 NFC West Division: +1200
The first year of the Rams’ return to Los Angeles was forgettable.
And their prospects for Year 2 aren’t great as they’ll be turning to Jared Goff at quarterbacks. If that isn’t bad enough, the group of receivers he has to throw to isn’t any good, so there’ll be some trouble scoring points.
They’ll need Todd Gurley to re-find his rookie form to carry the offense. And the defense took a big step backward last season.
Defensive tackle Aaron Donald is one of the best kept secrets in football, but past the defensive line, the defense doesn’t have much talent.
2017 NFC West Predictions: San Francisco 49ers
49ers Odds to Win 2017 Super Bowl: +20000
49ers Odds to Win 2017 NFC Conference: +10000
49ers Odds to Win 2017 NFC West Division: +1800
The 49ers enter the Kyle Shanahan era with very little talent on the roster.
They let both Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert leave town, leaving new additions Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley to duke it out in one of the uglier quarterback battles in recent years.
Running the ball with Carlos Hyde will again be a key part of the offense. The team added Kyle Juszczyk, who is one of the better fullbacks in the league, to pave the way for Hyde.
Pierre Garcon was also added to be the new No. 1 receiver, taking over for the disappointing Torrey Smith. The defense is Navorro Bowman and absolutely no one else.
Credit to John Lynch for a strong draft, but there’s still a lot of work to do to fix this franchise.
2017 NFC West Predictions: Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks Odds to Win 2017 Super Bowl: +1200
Seahawks Odds to Win 2017 NFC Conference: +550
Seahawks Odds to Win 2017 NFC West Division: -350
The Seahawks are again favoured to win the division, returning the strongest roster in the NFC. Russell Wilson will again lead the offense, with Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham representing his top two passing options.
The ground game will look different with the addition of Eddie Lacy, who will compete with Thomas Rawls and C.J. Procise for touches in the Seahawks’ backfield.
But this team is still all about the defense, which figures to be as dominant in 2017 as it has been in recent years.
Cappers Picks 2017 NFC West Predictions
The NFC West has improved by strides and bounds from the division that less than 10 years ago was sending teams into the playoffs that were winning just over half their games – if that. Now it fields two of the powerhouses in the NFC, although the odds this season don’t quite project that.
And that’s where bettors can find value when putting money down in the NFC West.
It’s easy to look at the Seahawks and say they’ll run away with it.
But those willing to look past the Cardinals’ stumble in 2016 can find some real value in backing Arizona both in the NFC West, and in the NFC. All the key pieces are still there for a big bounce back in 2017.
More 2017 NFL Division By Division Gambling Previews
- 2017 AFC East Predictions
- 2017 AFC West Predictions
- 2017 AFC South Predictions
- 2017 AFC North Predictions
- 2017 NFC East Predictions
- 2017 NFC North Predictions
- 2017 NFC South Predictions
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