Will Seattle be able to compete for back-to-back Super Bowls if they don’t win the division? The NFL odds are very close in the NFC West, and the Seahawks are in serious danger.
Seattle Seahawks (+130)
At Bovada Sportsbook, the Seahawks are slight favorites to win the division over the 49ers, but it’s as sight as it gets. The Hawks lost a total of 11 players from last year’s Super Bowl roster, and most notably, their secondary is very new this year. The newly paid, Richard Sherman is still holding down the top corner spot, and even though the starters are relatively the same, the depth (or lack thereof) behind them is almost all new. If the Seahawks are vulnerable through the air, it might be the death of their chances at repeating as champs. They already lost two very good pass rushers this offseason, and that may be enough to give the other teams in this division some edge.
San Francisco 49ers (+140)
Of course the biggest one of those potential challengers is the 49ers, who have stocked up this offseason, and look like one of the best teams in the entire NFL. However they have recently been struck with some bad luck on offense. So far this training camp, they have lost backup running back, Kendall Hunter to a torn ACL, and LaMichael James is also expected to miss most of the preseason with an elbow injury. Those two were expected to play a huge role in spelling Frank Gore this season and with only the newly healthy, Marcus Lattimore, and Carlos Hyde behind him, the Niners are looking thin at running back.
Arizona Cardinals (+700)
After the two favorites there is a steep drop off to the two underdogs, who are both priced in the NFL Odds at +700. The Cardinals are one or two player sway from being a true playoff contender, and of course last season their 10 wins were not enough to get them into the playoffs. Their biggest issue this offseason has been losing Daryl Washington to a yearlong suspension, and not having many options to replace him. The Cards are currently slated to go with a starting middle linebacker combo of Larry Foote and Kevin Minter. While Minter is only a second-year player, Foote is a well-seasoned veteran who might even be a bit fragile. Needless to say, it’s a far cry from Washington and Karlos Dansby from last season for the Cards. It might not derail their odds of making it to the Super Bowl playoffs, but it sure stings a lot.
St. Louis Rams (+700)
I grew up outside of St. Louis, and even though I am not a fan, I seem to be one of the only Rams apologists this season. The Rams might be above .500 this season and no one is talking about it. Sam Bradford is reportedly looking good in training camp, and even thought they may be one of the youngest teams in the NFL, their talent level on both sides of the ball has been steadily and silently growing. After a 7-9 SU season in 2013, the Rams may be poised for a breakout both straight-up and against-the-spread. However with the talent ahead of them in the West, they are not yet valuable enough in the NFL odds.