NFC Betting Trends- Odds to Win the NFC West
The opening of NFL training camps in preparation for the start of 2013 season is still over a month away, but it is a great time to take a closer look at BetOnline’s futures odds for all 32 teams to win their respective division. After previously covering all four divisions in AFC, this week NFL Betting Trends moves on to the NFC starting in the West to focus in on the odds to win that division for all four teams.
San Francisco 49ers -125
It stands to reason that the 49ers would be heavy favorites to win their third-straight NFC West title given that BetOnline has opened them at +375 favorites to win the conference and co-favorites with New England at +700 to win Super Bowl XLVIII. They have gone to the last two NFC Championship Games and last season’s Super Bowl, so the expectations of bringing home the Vince Lombardi Trophy this season are running sky high.
Colin Kaepernick is now firmly entrenched as the team’s starting quarterback and the addition of wide receiver Anquan Boldin through a trade with Baltimore adds another strong weapon to the passing game. San Francisco finished the 2012 season ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing behind Frank Gore and it was ranked third overall in team defense.
Seattle Seahawks +130
Seattle has established itself as the main contender for the division crown after finishing just a half game behind the 49ers last season at 11-5. It went a perfect 8-0 at home last season and was just a field-goal away from playing San Francisco in the NFC title game. Its defense remains one of the best in the game after ranking fourth overall in the NFL in 2012.
The big question for the Seahawks moving forward will be the play of second-year quarterback Russell Wilson. If he continues to progress from last season’s spectacular rookie performance with both his arm (3,118 passing yards and 26 touchdowns) and legs (489 rushing yards and four touchdowns) Seattle should give the 49ers a run for their money for the NFC West crown right down to Week 17 of the regular season.
St. Louis Rams +700
The Rams went 7-8-1 last season and appeared to have turned the corner behind quarterback Sam Bradford and an offense that showed solid balance between passing and running the ball. The defense also moved in the right direction in 2012 to finished ranked 15th or better in the NFL in almost every major category.
The biggest problem that St. Louis faces this season is trying to get past two of the best teams in the conference to try and win a division title or at least qualify for the playoffs as a wildcard team. It made a splash in the draft by selecting former West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin in the first round before adding his teammate wide receiver Stedman Bailey in the third. At the very least, the Rams should be fun to watch this season with the addition of these two bona fide playmakers.
Arizona Cardinals +3500
Arizona is hoping that the hiring of former Indianapolis offense coordinator Bruce Arians as its new head coach is the first major step towards building a winning teams after last season’s disappointing 5-11 campaign. It parted ways with quarterback Kevin Kolb and appear content with handing the starting role over to veteran signal caller Carson Palmer. The Cardinals also added former Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall to help bolster a rushing attack that finished dead last in the league last year in yards per game.
The main strength of this team remains a defense that was ranked 12th in the NFL overall and fifth against the pass. The addition of veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby and cornerback Antoine Cason along with rookie linebacker Kevin Minter and rookie cornerback Tyrann Mathieu through the draft should go along way at making this unit that much better in 2013.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.