We begin our NFL previews with the NFC West. We will sprinkle some plays in here where we see value, but keep in mind, these are NOT BTB or BTBJesse’s plays. You can join us for the full season or four weeks at a time by clicking Buy Packages above.
Last season: 12-4, first in division.
This season the Seahawks have a win total posted of 10 games. Personally, I think this is a bit of a gift, even though Russell Wilson was on the trading block (supposedly). Since Wilson took over as a starter in 2012, the Seahawks have won double digits all years except one. This year, they get an extra game to reach that total because of the new 17-game regular season. I do see reason for tempered expectations, because the Cardinals and Rams have improved, and the 49ers should have improved QB play. Wilson is still the most reliable quarterback in the division at +275 to win the division I could see it happening but will pass. He was under pressure all season and their once vaunted defense gave up points all too easily.
Last season: 10-6, second in division
Matthew Stafford has a coach for… well, maybe the first time in his career. He goes from the dysfunctional Detroit team to Sean McVay. McVay may be overrated as a coach – depending who you ask, but we will quickly see based on what he does with one of the last few prime years of Stafford’s career. They did already lose Cam Akers, which is rough, but with their schemes, I think the Rams will make it work and Darrell Henderson Jr. They have a solid WR corp and a strong defense anchored by the best defensive player, Aaron Donald. I like them to win the division this year at +190. Donald is also +500 to win the Defensive Player of the Year. I’ve made significantly worse bets than that one.
Last season: 8-8, third in division
We know the Cardinals are reliant on Kyler Murray. Pretty much every team relies on their quarterback, but the Cardinals need Murray to do more than other teams need. For the Cardinals, the biggest question is how much is left in the tank for two often injured players, AJ Green and JJ Watt. Green could be the best second WR in football if he returns to his talent level of just a few years ago. JJ Watt will still command attention, but he has only played two full seasons in his last five. The total for the Cardinals is 8.5, I think they get to eight, but I don’t see them getting the ninth. I won’t touch it though. Murray has a rushing TD total of 7.5. He had 11 last year, scoring them in nine games, and only four in his rookie season. I prefer him to get over 680 rushing yards as touchdowns are far more inconsistent than rushing.
Last season: 6-10, fourth in division
The 49ers were victims of the injury bug last season. They lost their starting QB, they lost Nick Bosa, it wasn’t pretty for a while where they started a bunch of random guys. This year the biggest question is going to be who will finish as QB for them this year. Will it be Jimmy G, or will it be 3rd overall pick Trey Lance? On defense, if they stay healthy, they will be able to compete against the entire division. If not, I don’t know that their offense has the firepower to keep up with the others. Their win total is at 10.5 and I’d lean towards the under but don’t know how comfortable I am with it.
- David Troy
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