2013 NFC West Odds Preview & Prediction
After taking a look at each of the AFC divisions, we’ll now take a look at the NFC. The NFC West was the weakest division in football just a couple short years ago, but that is no longer the case. The San Francisco 49ers were just a few yards from a Super Bowl last year, and the Seattle Seahawks are a team built to win right now as well.
No longer is this the division where someone is going to win it with a 7-9 record as the Seattle Seahawks did in 2010. If you are going to win the NFC West in today’s NFL, you are going to have to step up and win a bunch of games!
Over the next few days, we’ll be looking at each of the NFL’s divisions one-by-one. We’ll give a brief summary of each team and then provide a free pick for the division winner in each preview. All odds listed below are from Bovada.
San Francisco 49ers (-125)
The 49ers didn’t just rest on their laurels, they got to work making some moves in the offseason. Defensively, they brought in Glenn Dorsey on the line. Nnamdi Asomugha and Craig Dahl were brought in to help out in the secondary. Anquan Boldin was the team’s biggest offensive pickup. Boldin will take on a big role right away with the injury of Michael Crabtree.
Losing Goldson at the safety spot will likely leave rookie Eric Reid to start from day one. The defense isn’t quite as good as it used to be, but they are still one of the top six or eight in the NFL.
The 49ers are absolutely stacked at running back. Frank Gore is a great main man in the backfield, and he’ll have the best backups in football behind him. Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, and Marcus Lattimore are all very talented runners. Colin Kaepernick has been given the keys to the team. Can he continue to improve in his second season as starter?
Seattle Seahawks (+140)
The Seattle Seahawks got a diamond in the rough when they drafted Russell Wilson. Wilson was absolutely superb as a rookie last year, and he looks to be primed for a terrific long career in the league. The Percy Harvin injury hurts because it takes away the team’s best play maker. Harvin needs to take his time and come back completely healthy. Seattle’s running attack is pretty good with Marshawn Lynch, and Christine Michael should get some looks this season.
The Seattle defense is very good as well. They have been excellent against the run, and they are pretty good against the pass. Seattle’s defense has tons of quickness and athleticism, and that is so important in today’s NFL.
Don’t forget how huge of an advantage this team gets from its home crowd. There isn’t a bigger home field advantage in the league.
St. Louis Rams (+650)
The Rams made a lot of nice moves in the offseason. Sam Bradford is going to have the most help he has had in his career on the offensive side of the ball this season. Jake Long at left tackle was a great move, and I liked them picking up Jared Cook. Zac Stacy is a better runner than most believe. Stedmon Bailey and Tavon Austin are play makers on the outside, and they have great chemistry already since they played together at West Virginia.
Alec Ogletree fell to the Rams at number 30 due to off the field problems. Ogletree absolutely has the ability to be one of the best rookies in the league this year. Remember, St. Louis wasn’t bad in 2012. The Rams were 7-8-1 overall. They were 2-1-1 against Seattle and San Francisco. This team isn’t up with the first two based on talent, but they are no pushover.
Arizona Cardinals (+2,000)
The Cardinals decided to make a move and pick up Carson Palmer in the offseason. Palmer is just 12-28 in his last 40 starts under center. Palmer has a lot to prove right now. Bruce Arians’ system should be a great fit for Palmer, and if Palmer doesn’t have a big season this year then his pro career is likely just about over. Having Larry Fitzgerald to air it out to deep should certainly help. Rashard Mendenhall was a nice upgrade at running back as well.
Arizona has a star in the secondary in Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals completely got rid of the rest of their solid secondary though, and they will be very young at this position in the year ahead. This team isn’t bad, but playing in this suddenly very tough division will hurt them a lot.
NFC West Free Pick: Seattle (+140)
I felt even stronger about this pick before Percy Harvin was hurt, but I like the Seahawks team. San Francisco could easily take a small step back, and I don’t see any real weaknesses on the Seattle roster. They should be extremely tough to beat at home. I like Seattle in this tough division.