The L.A. Rams took a huge step forward last season after winning the NFC West with an 11-5 record. However, their season ended with thud as they lost 26-13 to the Atlanta Falcons in the Wild Card round. But some big offseason moves have many thinking that the Rams will be even better this year.
Jimmy Garoppolo comes into 2018 with big expectations. Can he lead the San Francisco 49ers to the playoffs?
The Seattle Seahawks enter this year with their least-talented roster in recent memory. Russell Wilson might need an MVP campaign to lift his team into the playoffs.
The Arizona Cardinals are a team in transition, considering that they have a new quarterback and plenty of new defensive pieces. They’re unlikely to compete at the top of this division.
Keep reading to see the NFC West odds along with previews of each team.
2018 Team Odds on Winning NFC West
The following NFC West odds come courtesy of GTBets. Keep in mind that these lines are available on and off until the regular season begins:
- Arizona +1800
- Los Angeles Rams -210
- San Francisco +350
- Seattle +575
2018 NFC West Team Previews
L.A. Rams (-210)
The Rams had plenty to celebrate after a major turnaround that saw them win the division. Head coach Sean McVay rightfully earned the 2017 Coach of the Year award. QB Jared Goff took a huge step forward in his second year. And running back Todd Gurley tallied 2,093 yards from scrimmage, despite playing only 15 contests.
Gurley and Goff give this team two offensive stars to lean on. Plus, the Rams brought in receiver Brandin Cooks, who should step in as the top target.
L.A. made some serious offseason upgrades to an already strong defense. They added corners Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, along with DT Ndamukong Suh. These player should fit nicely with Aaron Donald, who’s one of the league’s elite run-stopping tackles.
The Rams should pick up where they left off and possibly improve upon their 11 wins. They’ll also be hungry to erase last year’s playoff disappointment and march towards the NFC title game or beyond.
San Francisco 49ers (+350)
The 49ers committed to rebuilding their team last year under head coach and offensive genius Kyle Shanahan. They also made a trade for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who had been in Tom Brady’s shadow in New England.
Garoppolo got five starts after the trade, and his numbers would be on pace for 4,934 yards and 19 touchdowns. More importantly, what looked to be a lifeless San Francisco team won all five of these games.
The one problem is that the receiving corp isn’t very good. But new arrival Jerick McKinnon, who’s a strong pass-catching running back, should help in this department.
The defense has an opportunity to be good in coordinator Robert Saleh’s Cover-3 scheme. Defensive linemen Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, and Solomon Thomas could form an elite unit. Reuben Foster just needs to get his off-field life in order to become a potential All Pro. And corner Richard Sherman could give the secondary an immediate boost.
Many are buzzing about the Niners’ potential after the five-game winning streak with Garoppolo under center. These wins included beating eventual playoff teams in Jacksonville and Tennessee.
Sometimes unproven teams have the tendency to step back after a strong finish. However, Shanahan could very well guide this squad to the playoffs in his second year at the helm.
Seattle Seahawks (+575)
Outside of receiver Doug Baldwin, this team has questions all over. Who’s going to step up and be the No. 2 receiver. Will first round pick Rashaad Penny be able to improve a beleaguered run game?
Above all, Seattle didn’t do much to improve their porous offensive line. Hopefully, Wilson can stay upright and carry this team once again.
The Legion of Boom is no more after the team parted with Sherman, Michael Bennett, Kam Chancellor, and coordinator Kris Richard.
However, the defense can bank on linebackers K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner. They also have emerging young players in DT Jarran Reed and Frank Clark.
2018 brings great challenge to this Seahawks team. They have holes at a number of positions and may not even be able to reach .500.
Arizona Cardinals (+1800)
The good news for Arizona is that running back David Johnson is back after a season-ending wrist injury in Week 1. He’s arguably the league’s best dual-threat tailback and should carry this offensive unit.
The Cardinals have two quarterbacks on the roster that could play, including Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen. Bradford will undoubtedly start the season, but the understudy Rosen will definitely see some snaps.
The ageless Larry Fitzgerald will once again be the team’s top receiving option. Expect he and Johnson to see numerous passes when considering Arizona’s lack of skill position talent.
The defense shouldn’t be bad for the Cardinals. New head Coach Steve Wilks and new coordinator Al Holcomb are running a simpler scheme than what was featured in past seasons. The goal is to force opposing offenses to execute, rather than trying to outsmart opponents.
Star corner Patrick Peterson and All-Pro defensive ends Budda Baker and Chandler Jones give this team some strong defensive anchors.
Overall, the Cardinals are a team in transition that’s not really looking to make waves this season. They have a new coach, defensive coordinator, and two new quarterbacks. This being said, their +1800 odds seem appropriate when considering that they could be the NFL’s worst team in 2018.