Are the Seahawks poised to repeat as NFC West champions? The oddsmakers think so, as Seattle is listed as a heavy favorite to win the division over the Cardinals, Rams and 49ers.
The Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals have won the previous two NFC West titles, and both will be fighting for first place in the division this season.
The Seahawks are the defending NFC West champions, and they won it last year with a 10-5-1 record. This year, Seattle is a strong -275 favorite (bet $275 to win $100) to repeat and claim the division for the fourth time in five years at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The demise of the San Francisco 49ers has made this a two-team race, although the Cardinals could be heading in a similar direction if they do not rebound this season.
Arizona won the division in 2015 with a 13-3 mark but finished 7-8-1 in 2016. The Seahawks took advantage of that down year and nearly earned the second-best record in the NFC. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw for a career-high 4,219 yards and will need more support from the running backs, who must stay healthy.
Led by a pair of veterans offensively in quarterback Carson Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals will likely lean a lot more heavily on 25-year-old running back David Johnson to carry a bigger load.
Palmer and Fitzgerald might be playing their last season together in the NFL, and they are hoping to ride off as champs despite being the +300 second choice (bet $100 to win $300) to take home the NFC West title.
The Los Angeles Rams are the +1200 third choice to win the division, and they are hoping to see some progress from quarterback Jared Goff in his second year. Goff, the top overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, played just seven games a season ago and threw for 1,089 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Those numbers will need to improve dramatically if Los Angeles is going to finish anywhere near the .500 mark.
The 49ers went 2-14 last year, their worst campaign since 2004. With new general manager John Lynch taking over, there is some reason for optimism, especially after he robbed the Chicago Bears in a trade for the second overall pick in the NFL Draft.
There will be no more distractions in San Francisco with Colin Kaepernick gone and veteran Brian Hoyer taking over under center. However, the Niners are still +1800 long shots on the NFC West odds this season for good reason. They do not have the pieces to compete.