NFL Odds 2014: Who Will Win The NFC West?
With the two favorites to win the entire NFC conference being in this division (Seattle, San Francisco), the NFC West should be a two-horse race all year. The Seahawks and 49ers played an epic NFC Championship game a year ago and with both favored to meet there again, the winner of that contest (should they play) may come down to who has home field advantage. Therefore winning this division is a must for both teams.
ODDS TO WIN NFC WEST DIVISION 2014:
San Francisco (+155)
St Louis (+800)
All four of these NFC West teams have to deal with the NFC East and AFC West this year and that means w will get a Super Bowl rematch between Seattle and Denver (Week 3). Denver must play the other three teams as well which isn’t good news for the Rams or Cardinals as they try to keep ascending in the ranks. In fact, while St Louis and Arizona have the easier schedules of the four, I don’t believe either of them will have the staying power to be atop this division by the time the regular season is concluding. Both will be able to pull off some surprising upsets this season (especially at home), but finishing 8-8 will not get you an NFC West title anymore (Seattle won it with a 7-9 SU record a few seasons back).
The odds may be enticing at +800 and higher for one of these two teams to dethrone the reigning order of things, but Arizona and St Louis are still a year or two away from being seriously considered as a division winner.
That leaves us with Seattle and San Francisco.
Seattle is going to get a lot of love being the defending division champion, Super Bowl champion, and having the best home field advantage in the league. But with that first place result comes a first place schedule and that means dates with Green Bay (Week 1) and the Panthers (Week 8) which no other NFC West team will have to face. Both of these teams also meet twice in three weeks late in the year (Weeks 13 and 15) which will likely decide the division, but the 49ers will have an edge with the first meeting at home and being more rested with their Bye Week coming in Week 8 while Seattle is resting during Week 4. That’s a long stretch of games for Seattle to go through at the end and with five of their last six against division opponents, there won’t be any easy ones.
San Fran has the revenge angle on their side in this rivalry and having been to three straight NFC Championship games, they are consistently good. Their year is nicely broken up with that bye week coming right in the middle and they have a chance to reel off plenty of wins prior to that week of rest. The 49ers have all the weapons to give Seattle (and the rest of the league) fits and with how good their defense is up front and on the back end, scoring on them will continue to be a chore. The 49ers won’t have the bounty on their head that Seattle does being the defending champs and that should help San Fran alleviate some of the pressure-packed situations they could face.
Since the Seahawks and 49ers are so equal in every facet of the game, I’m going with the team that has the better price (+155) and a bit more motivation this year to dominate. The 49ers saw how tough it was going up to Seattle last year for that NFC Championship game and if they could make the Seahawks or any other NFC team come to their yard with a Super Bowl berth on the line, the 49ers will like their chances.
Take San Francisco to win the NFC West (+155)