The NFC West has been lopsided for the past few years. The Los Angeles Rams have ruled the division since 2017, and expect to do so again this year. They are -175 to win the division, with Seattle the second pick at +350.
But there is plenty of intrigue in this upcoming season. Can San Francisco climb up the standings now that they have quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo back from his ACL injury? They finished 4-12 last season, and sportsbooks have the over/under win total at eight.
NFC West 2018 Record Division Odds Super Bowl Odds
Los Angeles Rams 13-3 -175 +1000
Seattle Seahawks 10-6 +350 +3000
San Francisco 49ers 4-12 +350 +4000
Arizona Cardinals 3-13 +4000 +300000
Odds Courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook
Doubling the amount of victories from last year might be tough to do, especially having to face Los Angeles and Seattle twice. Even Arizona is expected to be better, so the 49ers will probably do better than last year, but not be as successful as many think.
What else will happen in the NFC West? We take a look at three other scenarios that will play out this season.
How Effective Will Todd Gurley Be?
How bad is Todd Gurley’s left knee. The Los Angeles Rams said it was inflammation and soreness that prevented him from being effective in the NFC Conference Championship and the Super Bowl.
Coach Sean McVay said the running back has been cleared to practice and he expects Gurley to be 100 percent.
“Todd’s going to be ready to go,” coach Sean McVay said Friday. “We’ve got a specific plan in terms of monitoring his workload and a lot of that will be predicated on the feedback he gives to us, but he’s feeling good, he’s going to be on the field and can’t wait to see Todd back out there with us.”
Last season Gurley rushed for 1,251 yards and led the NFL with 21 touchdowns despite sitting out the last two weeks of the season. If he can return to form, and stay healthy, the Rams should once again be Super Bowl contenders.
Will Kyler Murray Succeed?
The No. 1 pick in the draft always receives more scrutiny, but Arizona’s selection of Kyler Murray has been dissected more than a high school biology lab frog. Many believe that it was a huge risk for the Cardinals to trade away 2018-first-round pick for Oklahoma’s Murray.
Murray spent most of the months before the draft trying to prove to NFL scouts and general managers that he was worth the gamble.
Now with the season a little more than a month away, we shall see if it pays off for coach Kliff Kingsbury. His job very well may depend on it.
Is Russell Wilson Worth Money?
After an MVP-type season in which Russell Wilson threw for 3,448 yards and 35 touchdowns, the quarterback was up for a new contract. Seattle responded with a four-year deal, averaging $35 million annually. It makes the Seahawks quarterback the highest paid player in the league.
Now he has to show he’s worth it. That might be more difficult now that he has lost favorite target Doug Baldwin. Working with young receivers might allow Wilson’s numbers to come down from his career highs of last year.
Still coach Pete Carroll has always had a run heavy offensive philosophy. Another advantage for Wilson is that the defense should struggle this year, taking away a lot of attention from Wilson’s performance.