The NFC West is shaping up to be the toughest division in football for the upcoming 2021 season. Over the last six years, all four teams have won this division at least once.
Last year, the Seahawks outlasted the Rams for the divisional crown. This year, the Rams, 49ers and Cardinals have made several splashy offseason moves to improve their overall rosters and their chances of capturing the West.
With all four teams set at QB, and plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, this division is going to be a battle from start to finish.
When the dust settles, which team will be left standing to claim the NFC West crown?
Let’s huddle up to examine the latest NFC West betting odds, courtesy of the best NFL betting sites, and make some division winning predictions.
Los Angeles Rams Preview
The Los Angeles Rams and 49ers have identical betting odds for their finishing position in the NFC West. Yet, it’s the Rams that have the slightly higher Over/Under, which means that some online betting sites give them the slight edge to win the division.
Last year, the Rams had the best defense in the NFL and they bring much of that core talent back for the 2021 season, but they also have some holes to fill in the back half of the defense. This could be a chink in the armor of what was an elite unit in 2020.
Where they have improved the most is at the QB position. Out went Jared Goff and in came Matthew Stafford.
The Rams' quest for a 3rd NFC West division title since moving back to Los Angeles starts now as training camp kicks off in Irvine.https://t.co/FSzFX2yo8M
Limited by a poor franchise in Detroit, Stafford will head to sunny California for a brighter future which could result in an NFC West divisional title and a deep run in the Playoffs.
Stafford will have plenty of talent around him with passing weapons like Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee. They also have Van Jefferson and DeSean Jackson.
Yet, there is concern with the run game after they lost Cam Akers for the season. Additionally, offensive coordinator Brandon Staley left to take the Chargers head coaching job.
Over/Under 10.5 Wins
Over 10.5 (+105)
Under 10.5 (-135)
We’ll find out how good the Rams are in the first five games of the season when they take on the Bears, Colts, Buccaneers, Cardinals and Seahawks. I see LA going 3-2 over that stretch.
They should win the next three games against the Giants, Lions and Texans. You can bet that Stafford has that October 24th game against Detroit circled on his calendar.
LA will be 6-2 heading into a tough two week slate against the Titans and the 49ers. Last year, the Rams went 3-3 in the division, this year I see the same record. This division is just too tough.
The Rams have a Week 11 bye where I believe they will be 7-3 at best. Their final seven games should produce a 4-3 record as it will be a tough slate with games against the Packers, Seahawks, Ravens and 49ers.
This O/U is a tough one at 10.5 wins because the Rams could finish anywhere from 10-7 to 12-5. With that in mind, let’s go with the Over, but only a small wager on this option.
Los Angeles Rams –Over 10.5 Wins (+105)
San Francisco 49ers Preview
The 49ers had one of the worst seasons I’ve ever seen in regards to injuries. They lost their best players on both sides of the ball either for the entire season or long stretches of games.
This year, the team is back to full health and looks great on paper. However, there is some concern regarding the QB controversy that was sparked after the team drafted Trey Lance in this year’s NFL Draft.
Jimmy Garoppolo will go into the season as the starter, but poor play or excellent practices and preseason by Lance could really put the coaching staff in a bind.
The team will have a strong running game like usual, but I also expect the passing game to be solid with TE Greg Kittle and Deebo Samuel being healthy.
The defensive line is one of the best in the league especially with Nick Bosa returning. I expect this defense to be a Top 10 unit and help lead the 49ers to a winning season.
Over/Under 10 Wins
Over 10 (-145)
Under 10 (+115)
Last year the 49ers went 3-3 in the division, this year I see the same record. I also believe they will go 3-1 against the NFC North and 3-1 at worse against the AFC South. That’s 9-5 with the following three games remaining: Bengals, Falcons and Eagles.
The 49ers should easily win those three games and possibly go 12-5 on the season. Even if they slip up and go 2-2 against the NFC North or AFC South, I still see the San Francisco 49ers finishing with an 11-6 record at worse.
I feel more comfortable with the 49ers going Over 10 wins than I do the Rams going Over 10.5 wins.
San Francisco 49ers –Over 10 Wins (-145)
Seattle Seahawks Preview
Last year, the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West largely due to Russel Wilson’s fantastic season. However, there was a lot of buzz about Wilson’s frustrations during the offseason which led to smoke regarding potential trades.
Ultimately, Seattle did what they could to appease the face of their franchise. Yet, on paper, it doesn’t look like it may be enough to repeat as divisional winners.
Offensively, they retained top running back Chris Carson, signed TE Gerald Everett from the Rams and traded for one of the top guards in Gabe Jackson from the Raiders.
However, defensively, they lost Shaquill Griffin as their starting corner and will not have linebacker KJ Wright for the first time in a decade.
The concerns on defense are valid unless some of the young players and draft picks can step up to fill in the losses and help a unit that was a liability at times for Seattle last year.
Over/Under 9.5 Wins
Over 9.5 (-155)
Over the last three seasons, the Seahawks have won 10 or more games each year. In fact, since Russell Wilson was drafted in 2012, the Seahawks have never finished worse than 9-7.
So, taking Seattle to go Over 9.5 wins is one of the safest bets in the NFC West. Now, let’s see how they can do it.
The Seahawks have a brutal opening slate with four of their first six games on the road. Over that stretch, they play against the Colts, Titans, Vikings, 49ers, Rams and Steelers.
I’m going to say that Seattle gets off to a slow start and goes 2-4. But, don’t worry because things get easier for them as they will beat the Saints and Jaguars to end up 4-4 heading into a Week 9 bye.
Following the Bye Week, Seattle has nine games left in the season. Right off the bat, they should beat the Washington Football Team, Houston Texans and Detroit Lions. I also see the Seahawks edging out the Bears since it will be at home. That will boost their record to 8-4 with five games left to examine.
Those five games are against the Packers, 49ers, Rams, and Cardinals twice. I believe Seattle will beat the Cardinals at least once and take that 49ers game since it’s at home and I had them losing at San Francisco in the first half of the season.
That’s 10 wins for the Seahawks regardless of what they do against the Rams and Packers in November and December. Look for Seattle to have double digit wins for the 4th straight year.
Seattle Seahawks –Over 9.5 Wins (-155)
Arizona Cardinals Preview
I am definitely surprised with how the football betting sites view the Arizona Cardinals this season. The Cardinals were on the cusp of making the Playoffs last year, but a late-season injury for star QB Kyler Murray hampered their chances.
Murray is healthy and the team has improved their talent on both sides of the ball. On offense, they added former Pro Bowlers WR A.J. Green, RB James Conner, and Center Rodney Hudson along with the talented rookie WR Rondale Moore. I expect this offense to be even more explosive this year.
Defensively, the Cardinals added DE J.J. Watt, DB Malcom Butler and drafted a talented linebacker in Zaven Collins. Furthermore, despite his trade demands, Chandler Jones is healthy and should play most of the season which will help this defense tremendously.
Even with the additions on this side of the ball, the Cardinals defense is still a concern for many pundits after being such a liability to the team during the second half of the 2020 season. If they can be a middle of the pack unit, this team should be Playoff bound.
For a team that went 8-8 last year and 2-4 in the division with an inferior roster compared to this year and several key injuries, I have a hard time figuring out how their odds can be so low to win the NFC West and to finish with at least nine victories on the year.
Over/Under 8.5 Wins
Over 8.5 (-115)
Under 8.5 (-115)
I believe the Cardinals will go 3-3 in the division this year. I also see them going 2-2 against the AFC South which bumps them to 5-5.
The other NFC matchups on the schedule are against the NFC North which I see a 2-2 record, the Panthers who I see them beating, and against the Cowboys which can go either way. For argument’s sake, let’s say they beat Dallas. That puts them at 4-2 in those games and 9-7 for the season.
They also have a matchup against the Browns which will be a tough one. This team should go at least 9-7 on the year and I wouldn’t be surprised if they win double digit games. I fully believe that Kyler Murray is going to take a big leap in his third year.
Arizona Cardinals –Over 8.5 Wins (-115)
Who Wins the NFC West in 2021?
Keeping with the trend of four different winners in the last six years, I believe we will have a different winner this year. I don’t see the Seahawks repeating as NFC West champs.
This season, I like the 49ers or the Rams to win. Based on the schedules, the 49ers have a slightly easier schedule than the Rams do.
Additionally, when you combine that with their team returning to full health, San Francisco is in a good position to win the NFC West for the second time in the last three seasons.
I have the Rams finishing 2nd in the NFC West, but it’s a tossup between them and the Seahawks. Either way, I see both LA and Seattle making the Playoffs.
That leaves us with the Cardinals bringing up the rear. Yet, I still see Arizona being a winning team. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the NFC West takes all three Wild Card spots this year.
NFC West Results
San Francisco 49ers Finish 1st (+205)
Los Angeles Rams Finish 2nd (+200)
Seattle Seahawks Finish 3rd (+230)
Arizona Cardinals Finish 4th (-110)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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