How To Bet On NFC West

Many of the NFL’s divisions do not have clear separation among their teams. Maybe there is one standout performer and three wild cards, or two certainties and two question marks. The NFC West division is different. There is a clear pecking order, with just two teams, as of now, sticking out as major betting plays. That makes life a little bit easier for all sports gamblers who despise having to decipher a jumbled hierarchy. The Seattle Seahawks rank as the NFC West’s top dogs. [+]

They didn’t have the best record of the bunch in 2015, but that’s because they started off slow. They returned to Super Bowl form by the end of season and figure to win more than 10 games in 2016.

Seattle is followed by the Arizona Cardinals, who are also everything wagers. They boast enviable balance on either side of the ball, deploying one of the league’s top offenses and defenses. They won 13 games in 2015 and have kept enough of the roster intact to challenge that number again.

Now picture a 50-foot gap. After that chasm, you have the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams. Neither team is built to contend for much of anything in the near future.

The 49ers rattled off just five wins in 2015, and it’s unclear if they’ll be any better in 2016. Colin Kaepernick is still the quarterback…we think. But new head coach Chip Kelly is implementing a different kind of offense that may or may not benefit the players already aboard.

The Rams aren’t much better off. They snagged seven victories in 2015, which seems like an ambitious total in 2016, given their uncertainty at the quarterback position, in addition to them moving from St. Louis to Hollywood.

So where the 49ers and Rams are your situational game plays, the Cardinals and Seahawks are your everything wagers. Remeber that, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful stint betting on the NFC West.

What Are The NFC West Standings

These are the latest NFC West standings. This is a basic look at where each team sits relative to one another, but it’s especially valuable to all midseason futures enthusiasts. [+]

Monitor the records of everyone in the NFC West, and you’ll have a handle on which team you should be investing in to win the division. If you see that the Arizona Cardinals are neck and neck with the Seattle Seahawks, while the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams are barreling toward sub-.500 records, you’ll know to limit your divisional plays to Arizona and Seattle.

Try taking these records and stacking them up against the rest of the NFL. If the Seahawks, for example, are on pace to win 13 games or posting a record that reasonably compares to the performances of teams you know to be NFC and/or Super Bowl contenders, that’s enough cause for you to start working Seattle’s midseason futures. If not, you’ll know to stay away and check out another NFC West squad, be it the Cardinals, 49ers or Rams.

Either way, these standings can tell you which, if any, NFC West units are worth some attention on the futures front.

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# team P W L + - %
1 New England Patriots New England Patriots 16 13 3 458 296 0.813
2 Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers 16 13 3 406 308 0.813
3 Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia Eagles 16 13 3 457 295 0.813
4 Minnesota Vikings Minnesota Vikings 16 13 3 382 252 0.813
5 New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints 16 11 5 448 326 0.688
6 Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Rams 16 11 5 478 329 0.688
7 Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers 16 11 5 363 327 0.688
8 Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars 16 10 6 417 268 0.625
9 Kansas City Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs 16 10 6 415 339 0.625
10 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Falcons 16 10 6 353 315 0.625
11 Los Angeles Chargers Los Angeles Chargers 16 9 7 355 272 0.563
12 Tennessee Titans Tennessee Titans 16 9 7 334 356 0.563
13 Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens 16 9 7 395 303 0.563
14 Seattle Seahawks Seattle Seahawks 16 9 7 366 332 0.563
15 Detroit Lions Detroit Lions 16 9 7 410 376 0.563
16 Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys 16 9 7 354 332 0.563
17 Buffalo Bills Buffalo Bills 16 9 7 302 359 0.563
18 Arizona Cardinals Arizona Cardinals 16 8 8 295 361 0.500
19 Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers 16 7 9 320 384 0.438
20 Washington Redskins Washington Redskins 16 7 9 342 388 0.438
21 Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati Bengals 16 7 9 290 349 0.438
22 Oakland Raiders Oakland Raiders 16 6 10 301 373 0.375
23 San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers 16 6 10 331 383 0.375
24 Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins 16 6 10 281 393 0.375
25 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 5 11 335 382 0.313
26 Denver Broncos Denver Broncos 16 5 11 289 382 0.313
27 New York Jets New York Jets 16 5 11 298 382 0.313
28 Chicago Bears Chicago Bears 16 5 11 264 320 0.313
29 Indianapolis Colts Indianapolis Colts 16 4 12 263 404 0.250
30 Houston Texans Houston Texans 16 4 12 338 436 0.250
31 New York Giants New York Giants 16 3 13 246 388 0.188
32 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns 16 0 16 234 410 0

How To Win NFC West Bets

There are a variety of ways in which you can successfully approach betting on the NFC West. Below you’ll find a few ideas, explained in detail, that can help you win some money.

Take the Seattle Seahawks as your offseason division winner. Their odds should be more favorable to you, the bettor, than the Arizona Cardinals’ numbers because the latter won three more games in 2015.

It’s the Seahawks, however, who look like they’ll be the better team, if only because they’re younger. Carson Palmer, quarterback of the Cardinals, has nearly a decade on Russell Wilson, who is under center for the Seahawks. Even Seattle’s receive corps is younger. So if you can find a site that ranks the Cardinals as division favorites over the Seahawks, go with Seattle all the way.

But also be sure you’re using both the Cardinals and Seahawks as NFC championship and Super Bowl candidates. Just because Seattle should be better during the regular season than Arizona doesn’t mean the Cardinals aren’t worthy contenders. Division winners don’t reallly shape that argument.

Both squads should end up eclipsing 10 victories, and the one game playoff structure invites you to roll the dice on multiple teams from the same division.

For the Los Angeles Rams, see if you can find a site that sets the over/under on their win total at seven or eight. And when you find that sportsbook, bet the under. Though the Rams impressed on the defensive side for much of last season, their gridiron policemen started cracking by the end of the schedule.

We’re expecting the defense to regress overall. And that, coupled with a bizarre quarterback battle between rookie Jason Goff, Nick Foles and Casey Keenum, should make wins hard to come by in Los Angeles.

Avoiding any San Francisco 49ers futures is probably the smartest course of action at this point. They haven’t significantly upgraded the roster since tallying just five wins, but Chip Kelly’s system is also a mystery.

Sometimes it transcends talent, as it did for two years in Philadelphia. There’s a chance the 49ers actually obliterate initial projections because Kelly’s fast paced spread offense is catching opponents off guard.

Of course, if you really want to bet on the 49ers’ behalf, the over on their win total, assuming it’s no higher than six or seven, isn’t the worst way to go.

The return should be fairly lucrative, and it’s not too fartched to see Kelly’s system accumulate a ton of points and, by extension, a few extra wins.

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