Expert Picks to Win the NFC West Division Title
The Seattle Seahawks may not have looked quite as formidable in 2016 as they had in some of their recent previous seasons, but Russell Wilson and company still managed to record a double-digit winning campaign a year ago and are now the odds-on-favorite to repeat as division champs in 2017 at a solid -350 selection. Thus, thanks to some expert NFL betting insight, you’re about to find out about the favorite, the ‘smart pick’ and the longshot betting odds to win the NFC West in 2017.
The question for NFL betting enthusiasts that want to place a wager on this division’s odds this coming season all want to know whether Seattle will fulfill their division odds or whether a division rival, namely, the Arizona Cardinals, could beat them out for the division crown as a +200 pick.
A Closer Look at the Expert Picks to Win the NFC West Division Title
The Favorite: Seattle Seahawks -350
The Seahawks went 10-5-1 SU and 8-8 ATS a year ago in what was a ‘modest’ season for the fairly recent Super Bowl champs. The problem for Seattle last season, was basically, their inability to rush and score the ball with any sort of consistency.
The Seahawks put up a pedestrian 22.1 points per game (18th) and finished 25th overall in rushing (99.4 ypg) and that simply wasn’t good enough for them to advance to the NFC Championship despite having another excellent year on the defensive side of the ball. Seattle ranked fifth in total defense in 2016, eighth against the pass, seventh against the run and a third in points allowed (18.2 ppg), so clearly, defense wasn’t the problem.
After drafting a handful of defensive players in the NFL Draft (yeah, just what they need), the Seahawks signed former Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy in free agency and plan to get back to the power rushing style that helped them win Super Bowl 48 and nearly repeat one year later. If the Seahawks can improve their offense and continue to play defense at a high level, they’ll be tough to beat in the NFC West, if not impossible.
The Smart Pick: Arizona Cardinals +200
Simple and plain…Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals (7-8-1 SU, 6-10 ATS) are looking to get back in the playoffs in 2017 after having their two-year postseason and three-year run of winning double-digit games run come to an abrupt halt a year ago.
There’s good news though and plenty of reasons to believe the Cardinals could rebound in a big way. First and foremost, the Cardinals finished ninth in total offense and sixth in scoring (26.1 ppg) in 2016 and they still have arguably the best and most versatile running back in all of football in David Johnson and a future Hall of Fame wide receiver in Larry Fitzgerald that is still playing at a high level. To address some of their offensive issues, Arizona drafted wide receiver Chad Williams in the third round and a trio of other offensive rookies with their next three picks.
Defensively, Arizona also was pretty solid in ranking second in total defense and inside the top 10 against both, the run and pass. Unfortunately they didn’t fare as well when it came to keeping the opposition off the scoreboard as they finished 14th in points allowed (22.6 ppg). To improve their defense, the Cardinals drafted linebacker Hassan Reddick with the 13th overall pick and safety Budda Baker at No. 36 overall. Arizona also signed veteran safety Antoine Bethea as well as brining back former linebacker Karlos Dansby in free agency. If all goes according to plan Arizona could get back to being a double-digit winner and playoff participant in 2017 while challenging Seattle for division supremacy. In the NFC West.
The Longshot: San Francisco 49ers +2800
While the San Francisco 49ers changed the direction of their team this season, starting in the front office, they’re still a huge longshot to win the NFC West in 2017 at their +2800 odds suggest. That’s okay though, I believe the Niners got a ton of things right this offseason. San Francisco won just two games last season as Chip Kelly finished his flame-out of the NFL in spectacular fashion.
First, owner Jed York hired former NFL safety-turned-TV commentator John Lynch as his rookie GM, who then hired former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as the team’s new head coach. After ranking 27th in scoring a year ago (19.3 ppg), the Niners parted ways with every quarterback on last year’s roster before signing veterans Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley in free agency and trading up in the third round of the draft to take Iowa’s C.J. Beathard.
San Francisco 49ers Offense Analysis
As bad as they were on offense last season, the Niners were even worse on the defensive side of the ball in finishing dead last in total defense, last against the run and last in points allowed (30.0 ppg).
The good news is that Lynch played the Chicago Bears for fools by trading down from No. 2 to No. 3 while getting a third- and fourth-round pick in this year’s draft and a 2018 third round pick. The best part of the move was that they still got the guy they were going to take with the second overall pick in Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas.
While the Niners didn’t make a big splash in free agency, the fact of the matter is that they have nowhere to go but up in 2017, although I maintain that I would have taken Clemson’s Deshaun Watson first overall. Save your money on the Niners as a long shot pick to win the NFC West. It’s not going to happen for a few years at the very least.
Final NFC West Predictions
It would be very easy to simply say the Seattle Seahawks, which is the best team within that division. But, as we all know, Football is a very weird sport and sometimes, what you would expect doesn’t happen at all. So, my best suggestion would be to keep on the lookout for your favorite team and their latest betting odds as well. Also, we’ll have more previews and guides once we’re close to the start of the regular season.