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Seahawks Odds Soar in NFC West

Now five years removed from a Super Bowl berth, the Seattle Seahawks have fallen on dark times in the NFC West. Matt Hasselbeck’s bad back has derailed the offense and the “D” continuously underachieves despite having plenty of playmakers on paper. But there’s reason for optimism in 2010 if you’re pondering a wager on Seattle. The two-time defending division champion Arizona Cardinals are depleted and the Seahawks worked hard to improve in the offseason – especially through their outstanding draft. Does Seattle have a shot at redemption? Odds to Win NFC West: +275 at Bovada Regular Season Win Total: 7.5 (OV +105, UN -135)at Bovada Super Bowl Odds: 60 to 1 at Bovada

The Seattle Seahawks finished in the NFL’s bottom half offensively last season and that was largely a product of ageing impact players. It wasn’t just Hasselbeck. Offensive tackle Walter Jones was a legend with Seattle but was forced to retire due to a knee injury.

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Even imported wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh started to show his age as he crept into this 30s. But the Seahawks are slowly piecing together a new and improved offense. They traded for shifty scatback Leon Washington this offseason and will mix him in with Justin Forsett and Julius Jones. They also used a first-round pick on their probable long-term replacement for Walter Jones: Russell Okung. Better yet, they used another draft pick to get Golden Tate, an athletic, speedy wideout, from Notre Dame. But Seattle’s offense won’t become a juggernaut overnight. Okung will have a learning curve and is already battling an ankle sprain; Tate has openly admitted that he’s struggling with the playbook. And worst of all, Hasselbeck looks more like 40 years old than 34. He may be done as an above-average starting quarterback. Unless you believe Charlie Whitehurst is the man, the Seahawks don’t have a signal caller of the future. The Seahawks were especially bad defensively against the pass last season, allowing 245.4 yards per game. But they used – you guessed it – a high draft pick to hopefully rectify the situation this season with safety Earl Thomas. With him and last year’s first rounder, Aaron Curry, Seattle could have two future pillars.

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Are eight wins generous to expect this season? Yes, when you consider that they’re rebuilding on the fly, but not when you look at the Seahawks’ schedule. They play a grand total of four games against playoff teams from 2009 – and two of those are against Arizona, who may not make the big dance this season. The Seahawks are a team in transition but a healthy season from Hasselbeck and quick learning from the rookies could make them a mild surprise this year.