How far ahead of the NFC West divisional betting odds pack would the San Francisco 49ers be if they actually knew who their starting QB will be in Week 1? Because the Niners sit favored at +190 at FanDuel, even with the Jimmy Garoppolo vs Trey Lance competition playing itself out.
The division has been topsy turvy the past few years with different teams surging to the top and challenging for the Super Bowl. Its a division where a savvy bettor can find some excellent betting value in 2021.
San Francisco 49ers +190
Since Garoppolo joined the 49ers in 2017, they have a 22-8 record when he is the starter. According to the EPA per play statistic, they have also been a top-five offense when he is on the field.
And their defense could be just as good as it was in 2019 with Nick Bosa returning fully healthy. The 49ers as the favorites at +190 don’t provide enough value for my liking, but I understand why sportsbooks have them here.
Los Angeles Rams +200
Rams head coach Sean McVay went into this offseason knowing one thing: Jared Goff cannot be my quarterback for the 2021 season. He traded Goff and two first-round picks to the Detroit Lions for quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Stafford will bring a different dynamic to this offense. Goff had a ton of trouble under pressure, ranking 31st out of any quarterback under pressure over the last two seasons. Stafford ranks 7th. Just Stafford being able to make plays when the original read is not there should open up the playbook for McVay.
With two of the best defensive players returning in Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald, the Rams should be a contender this season.
Seattle Seahawks +280
Russell Wilson will work with his 3rd different offensive coordinator since entering the league this season. Shane Waldron spent the last four seasons under HC McVay in Los Angeles, so expect a ton more play-action passing, which would benefit Wilson’s skill set. Wilson is still a top-five quarterback in the NFL.
The big question for this team is their secondary. The Seahawks have arguably the worst cornerback room in the league, and star safety Jamal Adams is not great in coverage. This could be their downfall.
Arizona Cardinals +600
According to the EPA per play statistic, before Kyler Murray hurt his shoulder in Week 8, the Cardinals had the 7th best offense in the NFL. After that? The 26th ranked offense. The Cardinals added wide receiver A.J Green and defensive lineman J.J Watt this offseason. Unfortunately, the year is 2021, and those guys would have been great additions in 2016. Unless the Cardinals can recapture their early-season success, this team is destined to finished 4th in this division.
NFC West Prediction
I am very high on the Los Angeles Rams this season. Sitting at +200, according to FanDuel, is too good to pass up.
2020 NFC West Betting Odds archived article, Sept. 8, 2020
The NFC West is a deep and talented division where even the long-shot Arizona Cardinals are just 7-1 to win the division. It’s going to be one of the best divisions in football for years to come, and the defending champion San Francisco 49ers have their work cut out for them to justify the oddsmakers -106 faith in them.
Last season, 49ers should have won the Super Bowl (sorry KC fans) and it would not shock me if the team representing the NFC in the Super Bowl comes out of this division again. The 49ers are the favorites to win the division at -106 but Seattle and the LA Rams could also turn a profit for bettors.
San Francisco 49ers (-106)
The San Francisco 49ers enter the 2020 season as the favorites to win the NFC. Kyle Shanahan heads into his third season at the helm, and this is his best team by far – on paper.
Jimmy Garrapolo will look to continue to develop into an elite quarterback. He will have rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk to work with, who projects as one of the best field stretchers coming out of the draft.
The best defense in the NFL in 2019 is running it back in 2020, with the addition of one new starter in first-round pick Javon Kinlaw. He is one of my favorite prospects coming out of the draft.