NFC West Betting Breakdown: Seahawks Could Challenge 49ers - Prediction Machine

NFC West Betting Breakdown: Seahawks Could Challenge 49ers

NFC West Betting Preview

NFC West Betting Preview

Much like the NFC East, the NFC West is expected to be a two-horse race and fans are wondering if last season’s second-place pony (Seattle) has done enough to close the gap with the defending division champions (San Francisco). 

The 49ers have QB Brock Purdy back at full health, and remember, San Francisco gave more snaps to Trey Lance and Nate Sudfeld in training camp last season, so this off season should help Purdy’s development. Do-it-all running back Christian McCaffrey is experiencing his first training camp with the 49ers and you know coach Kyle Shannahan has been scheming up plays for him all summer. The 49ers have my favorite fantasy football draft recommendation this season, WR Brandon Aiyuk, in a loaded offense with George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. Reports from camp suggest Aiyuk has been impossible to cover so far.

The 49ers’ defense led the league with 16.3 PPG allowed and they should be even better this season. Javon Hargrave comes over from Philadelphia and gives the 49ers the best defensive line in football with DPOY Nick Bosa on the outside. A strong defensive line is bad news for the NFC west as Pro Football Focus projects the Rams, Cardinals, and Seahawks all to be bottom 5 offensive lines in 2023. 

San Francisco has a seemingly light schedule for a division winner, but keep in mind they also have the worst net rest days (-20) advantage in the NFL, meaning their opponents will often be more rested and prepared. The Rams have the second worst (-17), the Seahawks’s schedule ranks 23rd (-4) and the Cardinals’ schedule rank 10th at +5.

I think the 49ers have the best chance to win the division, but the price is too steep for me at -175. The Seahawks represent the best futures value in the division at +220 and I like them a lot at -125 to make the playoffs in a weak NFC as well. The 49ers – Seahawks battle could come down to which roster is able to avoid the training room.

Team Win Division Win Total Make Playoffs Miss Playoffs
San Francisco 49ers -175 11.5 -450 +330
Seattle Seahawks +220 8.5 -125 +100
Los Angeles Rams +900 6.5 +265 -350
Arizona Cardinals +2500 4.5 +1225 -2500

A lot of people are calling for regression from Geno Smith, but there doesn’t seem to be any substance behind those predictions. Seattle’s offense should be improved and their weapons will keep defensive coordinators up at night. Speedy WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba was added in the draft to take attention away from DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett and that trio will keep safeties on their heals opening up running lanes for Kenneth Walker who had 4.6 YPC and 9 TDs in his rookie season.

While offense isn’t a concern for Seattle, the other side of the ball definitely is. Last season, Seattle ranked 21st in defensive DVOA and it was ultimately their demise as they allowed 41 points to San Francisco in their playoff loss. Seattle addressed some of those concerns with old friend Bobby Wagner, Devin Bush, Jarran Reed, and No. 5 overall pick CB Devon Witherspoon.

Bettors may want to keep an eye on the news wire before making NFC West wagers because Walker is recovering from a groin injury, Cooper Kupp tweaked his hamstring, Bosa is holding out for contract reasons, and Kyler Murray may not be healthy enough for Week 1.

The best news for the Rams is that, unlike last season, Matthew Stafford enters training camp fully healthy and probably with a little chip on his shoulder. Los Angeles had a ton of injuries last year and their depth was exposed. Los Angeles has subtracted Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd, and Taylor Rapp from a defense that ranked 18th in DVOA last season.

The Rams didn’t draft in the first round this season, but they had a ridiculous 14 picks in the draft so watch closely during camp and the preseason to see if any gems emerge. With help from competent rookies, this Rams squad will struggle with depth again.

The Cardinals are expected to be perhaps the worst team in the NFL, nevermind the division. It’s conceivable that Arizona finishes the season with the worst offense and defense in the league. The Cardinals are in serious rebuilding mode and lost Deandre Hopkins, JJ Watt, Byron Murphy, Justin Pugh and Zach Allen as well as their head coach Kliff Kingsbury.


Nick Bosa won this award last season and unlike other awards, voters don’t seem to mind repeat winners. JJ Watt won this award three times between 2012 and 2015 and Aaron Donald captured it in 2017 and 2018. While the threat of a holdout is a small concern, Bosa is a freak of nature athletically so there isn’t concern about him reporting out of shape once his contract is resolved. Bosa will be facing some mediocre left tackles this season and theoretically he’ll see less double teams playing next to Javon Hargave so I took a swing at +1000 here.

Aaron Donald had a 90.5 PFF grade last year and is always in consideration for this bet. While having a winning season isn’t a prerequisite for this award it does help and Donald’s pass rush attempts may be suppressed if the Rams are playing from behind.

Player Odds
Nick Bosa - DE, SF +1000
Aaron Donald - DT, LAR +2000
Fred Warner - LB, SF +4000
Bobby Wagner - LB, SEA +10000


There are two rookie WRs I like for this award. One is in the AFC West and the other is Jaxon Smith-Njigba who will play some really bad defenses this season including the Cardinals and Rams twice as well as the Lions. Barring injuries from Tyler Lockett or DK Metcalf, I don’t think Smith-Njigba will have 80+ receptions, but he will have plenty of opportunities to catch deep balls in this offense and he has the skill set to cash them in.

Player Odds
Jaxon Smith-Njigba - WR, SEA +900
Zach Charbonnet - RB, SEA +2500
Stetson Bennett IV - QB, LAR +8000


I haven’t bet any NFC West players in this market yet, but Ja’Ayir Brown is really tempting me. The 49ers’ safety is playing behind one of the best defensive lines and one the best linebacker groups in football so quarterbacks should be forced to get the ball out quickly. Brown averaged 5 INTs the last two seasons at Penn State and don’t be surprised to see new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks send him on blitzes. Brown had 4.5 sacks last season for the Nittany Lions. I want to make sure Brown is still getting rave reviews once the pads go on and then I’ll likely fire away. 

Player Odds
Devon Witherspoon - CB, SEA +1000
B.J. Ojulari - LB, ARI +3300
Ji'Ayir Brown - S, SF +4000
Derick Hall - LB, SEA +5000
Garrett Williams - CB, ARI +10000