2016 Expert Picks To Win NFC West
The Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals are the obvious NFL betting predictions to win the 2016 NFC West Division Championship and, barring any calamitous injuries, the two teams should be in a heated dogfight to the very end of the season. What about the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers? Well, if the offseason is any indication, the Rams will be a markedly better team and moving into a new city may act as a new source of motivation for success while the 49ers could equally make some noise under new Head Coach Chip Kelly, but when all is said and done, the NFC West crown will ultimately come down to the superior duo of Seattle and Arizona. With that backdrop in mind, here are our early NFL picks and thoughts on who is likely to win the 2016 NFC West Championship.
Analyzing The 2016 Expert Picks To Win NFC West
Favorite NFC West Pick 2016: Arizona Cardinals
In all honesty, there isn’t much to separate the Arizona Cardinals from the Seahawks in terms of title credentials. Both teams have good quarterbacks, good defensive units and good coaches. But in the end, we can only have one winner and we feel that the Cardinals will be that team. Unlike Seattle that will be dealing with questions in its running game and a relatively depleted offensive line, the Cardinals return with all the key pieces from their fluent ball-moving offense of 2015 intact. Meanwhile, the defense is likely to get even better after the team made upgrades in the offseason by adding big-time pass-rusher Chandler Jones and standout rookie DT Robert Nkemdiche. Throw in the additional fact that Arizona has the softest strength of schedule in the NFC West, it doesn’t take a genius to say that the Cards have the most edge in this title race.
Smart NFC West Pick 2016: Seattle Seahawks
With Zona serving as the best favorite pick, the Seahawks (who are placed as the odds-on favorites in most sportsbooks) will have to settle for the smart NFC West pick. Besides their aforementioned challenges, the Seahawks are pretty much solid in every department. Plus, even if the running game won’t be as lethal as it was in the days of the now-retired Marshawn Lynch a.k.a. Beast Mode, Russell Wilson has sufficient aerial targets in players like Tyler Lockett, Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin to keep the offense on song. And then, of course, we have that legendary Legion of Boom defense that has allowed the least points in the league for an NFL-record four straight years; a front that should give the team a much-needed boost in case the offense runs into a hiccup. All that considered, Seattle will remain a solid team in 2015 and make the playoffs, whether or not they do so as NFC West champs.
Longshot NFC West Pick 2016: Los Angeles Rams
The 49ers would have made a good longshot pick (or even a smart pick), but long gone are the days of Jim Harbaugh doing so much with very little. And with barely anyone formidable to work with in his team (especially in the offense), we don’t see Kelly taking that big a flight in his rebuilding agenda. The Rams aren’t particularly better than San Fransisco, but they do have a more experienced unit and rookie quarterback is talented enough to keep the Rams competitive in a good number of games. That, along with a new fan base in Los Angeles to cheer them, should be enough to serve the Rams as an appealing longshot NFC West betting pick.
2016 NFC West Predictions
If you are all about history and riding on the public wave, then Seattle should be your preferred NFC West winning pick. But if you are all about balanced talent and hoping that good football has its place in today’s league, then bank on the Cardinals to win the division in 2016, and mark the Rams to steal at least a couple of key games for a finish around the .500 mark. For the Niners, it’s all about rebuilding in 2016 so don’t waste your hopes by getting them up, unless you are looking to get disappointed.
My 2016 NFC West Winning Pick: Arizona