Three of the teams in the NFC West have some wounded pride to deal with, while the fourth is entering the 2015 NFL betting season with a distinct feeling of having nothing whatsoever to lose. The San Francisco 49ers are only three seasons removed from a berth in the Super Bowl, and yet they went through organizational dysfunction as the franchise ended up sending away the extremely talented Jim Harbaugh as its head coach. The Seattle Seahawks lost Super Bowl XLIX in the most excruciating way possible, throwing a mystifying interception on their final offensive play, when all they had to do was give Marshawn Lynch the ball and score what would have been the game-winning touchdown. Still ridiculed for making the worst play call in history, the Seattle Seahawks definitely have a score to settle. The Arizona Cardinals roared out to a 9-1 start but had to limp in the rest of the season starting their third-string quarterback. They did make the playoffs, only to get drubbed by the Carolina Panthers. With the return of Carson Palmer to the helm, the team also feels like there is unfinished business. And then, of course, there are the St. Louis Rams, who beat Seattle on the road and almost beat Dallas at home, while losing a number of other winnable games. They look to resolve their inconsistency and beat more beatable teams this year – while also knocking off some of the top-tier opposition.
A Look at the NFL Betting Divisional Winner Predictions on NFC West
If Carson Palmer can play a full season at quarterback, there is no team that will knock the Arizona Cardinals out of first place in their division. The Cardinals have a defensive attack that is second to none in the NFC West – even better than the ironclad defense that the Seattle Seahawks offer. Coupled with a balanced offensive attack, Arizona looks to impose its will on games this season in the same way that it did last – choking the life out of the opposition’s offense and methodically driving down the field to win games in a convincing fashion. I predict that they will go 12-4 and win the division.
Seattle Seahawks will keep things interesting all season long. Even though he is waiting for a contract extension, Russell Wilson is a team player and will do the right things to lead his team on the field each week, and Marshawn Lynch returns to punish opposing defenses with his hard-nosed running style. Even so, as talented as Wilson is, he will still rely on the defense and running attack, and Seattle will lose more games than Arizona. Seattle will finish 10-6 and qualify for a wild card.
St. Louis is set to make a major jump this year – just not enough to vault past Arizona and Seattle. Nick Foles will continue his excellent play that was his mark in Philadelphia until he broke his collarbone, and the special teams and defense that made the Rams so scary to opposing teams will continue to flourish. I pick the Rams to finish 9-7 and just miss out on the postseason.
San Francisco is set for a rough year. They have a new head coach, and they have to assimilate a new running back thanks to Frank Gore’s departure through free agency. While the drama surrounding Jim Harbaugh has dissipated, the team still has some issues to fix – and they’re not in a division that affords them a lot of mulligans. The 49ers will finish 7-9.