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NFC West Odds & Betting Preview: A Division Up For Grabs

Trey Lance and the San Francisco 49ers lead NFC West odds.

The NFC West may or may not be the best division in football. But it will certainly be one of the closest division races in the 2021 NFL season. It appears to be a wide open race between all four teams with oddsmakers generally ranking three of the teams closely and one just a bit behind them. 

Online sportsbook Bovada has listed the San Francisco 49ers as early favorites at +175, the Los Angeles Rams right behind them at +190, the Seattle Seahawks at +280 and the Arizona Cardinals at +575. 

Want to get in on the action ahead of the start of the NFL season? Check out our NFL page for odds and analysis on props, futures, player awards and game lines.

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49ers Edge Rams As Slight NFC West Betting Favorites

Odds to Win the NFC West in 2021-22
TeamCurrent OddsOpening Odds
San Francisco 49ers+175+200
Los Angeles Rams+190+175
Seattle Seahawks+280+280
Arizona Cardinals+575+550

Odds as of September 9 at Bovada

NFC West Odds: San Francisco 49ers (+175) 

Like many NFL teams, the story for the San Francisco 49ers’ season will likely come down to the quarterback.

But unlike most teams, the Niners have two potentially viable starters, including one who they just selected with the third overall pick in the NFL draft. Bettors and fantasy players alike will be waiting for the day when Trey Lance officially takes over as the full-time starter for the Niners, but it appears the team will open the year with incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo under center. Lance is also entering the season with a minor finger injury.

Regardless of who’s playing QB, though, we know coach Kyle Shanahan and the Niners will run the ball a ton and run it effectively. Expect the Niners to play a lot of ball-control football by keeping their pass attempts to a minimum. The Niners were 15th in run-rate last season despite an injury-ravaged roster that forced the team to play from behind a lot. Their 2019 run rate would have ranked second in the league last season.

The defense ranked sixth in DVOA last season and this year returns several starters who were lost to injury a year ago, including defensive player of the year candidate Nick Bosa.   

With a solid defense in place, playmakers on offense and one of the league’s best play-callers, the 49ers could be a force in the NFC if their shiny new quarterback turns out to be a star.

NFC West Odds: Los Angeles Rams (+190) 

Rams head coach Sean McVay has established himself as one of the top head coaches in the league, but one thing he has never really had is a high-end quarterback to run his offense.

While opinions may vary on Matthew Stafford’s time in Detroit, he is one of the most talented throwers of a football in the league and a big upgrade over previous Rams starter Jared Goff. 

Stafford will have at his disposal one of the best groups of weapons of his career (Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, DeSean Jackson, Tyler Higbee) and the best play-caller he’s ever had (McVay), so it’s no wonder this team is a favorite in Super Bowl odds.

The loss of emerging star running back Cam Akers to a preseason injury stings, but this offense should be one of the league’s best. 

The defense was top five in the league last year by DVOA and should be a very good unit once again, despite losing a few pieces in free agency. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald, the favorite to win his fourth (!) Defensive Player of the Year Award, is still the heart and soul of this team.

NFC West Odds: Seattle Seahawks (+280)

Will Russ cook?

It’s the seemingly eternal question bettors and fantasy football enthusiasts have been asking for years. We know Russell Wilson is one of the league’s best passers. We know he has one of the league’s best receiving duos. So why have Pete Carroll and the Seahawks been so insistent on limiting his pass attempts and instead opting for the less efficient, less effective and downright boring run-heavy approach?

Well, this year, things could be different. New Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron helped the rival Rams finish top three in passing yards in three of the last four seasons and it looks like an uptick in passing-game usage could be on the way for Wilson. Unleashing Wilson with star wideouts D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett was a successful strategy at the beginning of last season as the team started 5-0 before abandoning that approach.

Bettors will have to hope we see the light-the-league-on-fire Wilson who is capable of leading this team to a division title. 

NFC West Odds: Arizona Cardinals (+575)

Kyler Murray looks like a human joystick out there on Sundays. He has turned into one of the league’s premier weapons with both his passing and rushing ability.

Murray was top 20 in the league in rushing yards last season (more than Antonio Gibson, JK Dobbins or Chris Carson) and is once again set up to give opposing defenses headaches every single week.

But will Murray’s dynamism lead to more wins for the Cardinals? The Cards finished 8-8 last season despite how good Murray was at times, largely because of their lack of efficiency on offense and a poor divisional record. They also lost a couple of close games to far worse teams.

The defense was actually good last season, ranking 10th in DVOA. But the offense ranked 19th despite Murray’s gaudy numbers. 

Bettors counting on a breakthrough year for the Cards will hope the additions of Rondale Moore through the draft, and A.J. Green and James Conner through free agency can help the offense be more effective and maximize young Murray’s rare talent.

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Understanding NFC West Odds

When you visit any NFL sportsbooks, you’ll notice the odds appear like they do in our chart. The team with the minus sign (-) in front of its odds is the favorite. The rest are underdogs. In some cases, especially in August, you may not see any minus signs. In scenarios like that, the squad with the lowest odds is the fave.

Let’s say you’re looking at San Francisco at +175. If you were to lay down $100, you’d get a payout of $275 – your $100 is returned along with your winnings of $175. On the other hand, you may look at Seattle at +280 and think they’re going to win the division. That same $100 would give you a payout of $380 – your original money comes back to you, coupled with your winnings of $280.

Our Odds Calculator will show you what you’d win based on the odds and amount bet.

Underdogs are a riskier bet, which is why they come with a bigger reward. However, don’t bet on them blindly, especially if their odds are too high. When oddsmakers create futures betting lines, they look at everything, including schedule, past performances and roster moves.

What Is An NFL Futures Bet?

To place a bet on NFC West odds, you would be making a futures bet. This is a wager made weeks or even months in advance of the end of the NFL season on which team you think has the best odds of becoming divisional champion.

We suggest taking odds you like right away. The lines will move as injuries happen, coaches are fired, and teams move up or down in the standings. You don’t want to miss out on great odds.