Early 2014 NFC West Division Predictions + Sportsbook Betting Odds

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NFC West Division Outlook – Seahawks and 49ers Poised for Another Showdown

Summer is officially upon us – the NFL draft is over and teams have already held rookie camps. Yes folks, the NFL season may seem far away but it will creep up on us quicker than we can expect. Simply put – it is never too early to start talking about the teams we should keep our eyes on.

The NFC West is the most interesting of all divisions heading into the 2014 season. There could realistically be three teams that get into the playoffs – and the other could be lurking as well. The winner of the NFC West in turn will likely be the favorite to represent the Conference in the Super Bowl in February.

Let’s take a look at all four teams in the NFC West and discuss their chances of winning the toughest Division in football during the upcoming season.

Odds to Win from

Seattle Seahawks +120

It’s pretty hard not to love the Seahawks to once again be at the top of the ladder this year – there are simply no holes on this squad. A tough schedule and the presence of the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals within their own division poses some serious problems for the defending champs but likely not enough to knock them off their perch.

The Seahawks enter the 2014 season with the best defense in football again – Richard Sherman is a true difference maker and the supporting cast is off the charts as well. Then there is the 12th man – the Hawks went 7-1 at home last year – running the table at CenturyLink is a goal this year and something that should be attainable.

What about the offense? The perceived, and I stress perceived weakness on this team should have Percy Harvin for the whole season, Sidney Rice is back and healthy and Russell Wilson What about Marshawn Lynch? Well… he’s Marshawn Lynch.

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You could make an argument that there are more complete teams even within their own division but there is no doubt that Seattle has the difference makers in every aspect of the game – even their kicking game is strong! A tough division will only serve to raise the level of Seattle’s game week-in and week-out. Pete Carroll is used to being the hunted with his days at USC – this year in Seattle won’t be a whole lot different.

Seattle is on the verge of a dynasty folks! Like it or not.

San Francisco 49ers +150

The San Francisco 49ers will certainly challenge the Seahawks – the Niners and the Hawks are definitely the class of the NFC. Colin Kaepernick is improving day-by-day, Frank Gore exists as a rock solid rushing option and the passing game has weapons all over! Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree will be back ready to terrorize and the addition of Stevie Johnson makes this team dangerous for once in the passing game!
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San Francisco had the fifth best defense in the NFL last year – no reason to think they will be any worse this year – unless you consider the continued legal troubles of Aldon Smith and the ugly injury to Navarro Bowman. The 49ers have the best linebackers in the game – they alone are worth a couple of wins for San Francisco.

The 49ers has arguably one of the best drafts of any team in the NFL – they added a bruising running back, a speedster to catch passes from Kaepernick and a solid linebacker to strengthen al already stellar group. Although they are certain to make an impact in the future, it is unclear whether or not these draftees will be in the lineup Day 1.

San Francisco look like the second best team in the NFC – the unfortunate thing for them is that Seattle, within their own division will likely be the best.

St Louis Rams +900

NO team had a better draft than the St. Louis Rams – they went heavy on defense in the draft and came out with what looks on paper like a bunch of immediate starters to help on what was an above average defense last year. To keep up in the NFC West, defense comes first!

But and that’s a BIG BUT, the Rams will still lean on an underwhelming Sam Bradford at QB – a perennial underachiever coming off a major knee injury – and his best lineman Jake Long is also coming off knee surgery.

Look – optimism is rampant at this time of year for every team. It doesn’t mean that those teams will come up big starting in September. While I see the Rams being a .500 team I can’t see them challenging the top dogs in the division or even threatening for a playoff spot. The Rams are who they are – an average football team!

Arizona Cardinals +950

Perhaps no team comes into the 2014 season with more hype and expectation than the Cardinals who finished 10-6 and out of the playoffs last year. Head coach Bruce Arians seems to have a pretty good formula in the desert – Carson Palmer looks reborn and the Cards defense is absolutely no joke.

Second year running back Andre Ellington look like the answer to Arizona’s rushing woes – Arians has vowed to use Ellington as a Jamaal Charles type of back which should keep Carson Palmer upright and keep defenses honest. I don’t see much of a drop-off for Arizona this year – I also have a hard time believing they surpass Seattle and SF to win the division.

Look for the Cards to finish third in the NFC West and challenge for a playoff spot again!

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By DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.