The balance of power has shifted in the NFC West. As two former contenders watch their windows close at an alarming pace, the other two teams feature rising quarterbacks coming off superb seasons.

Here are my win-total picks for the NFC West.

Los Angeles Rams

Pick: Under 10 +118 (Bookmaker)

The Rams’ first season under head coach Sean McVay was nothing short of incredible.

Just when the media had written off quarterback and former No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff, McVay entered the fold and brought the offense to life, leading the Rams to a divisional title while helping Goff nab a Pro Bowl nod.

Goff’s supporting cast features no shortage of weapons, with wide receivers Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp; running back Todd Gurley; and tight ends Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee. The Rams’ effort to bolster the line last offseason paid dividends too, making it one of the league’s most improved.

The defense is one of the best on paper, with notable names throughout – but questions persist. The Rams rounded up personalities aplenty, bringing in defensive backs Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib and tackle Ndamukong Suh. This unit could be great if it wants to be – but its volatility makes me wary.

Based on last season’s win-loss record, the Rams have the fifth-toughest schedule in 2018, a year after having the 17th-toughest strength of schedule. They get the Vikings, Eagles, Packers, and Chargers at home, but also go on the road to play in Denver and New Orleans. It’s a more difficult schedule for a team with a target on its back, and I think Los Angeles will regress from its 11-win season in 2017.

San Francisco 49ers

Pick: Under 8.5 wins -155 (BetOnline)

I would love to see the 2018 win total on this team if it had played the 2017 season in reverse.

All we seem to remember from last year was Jimmy Garoppolo going undefeated on the final lap of the season. Tom Brady’s onetime heir apparent in New England pasted a Band-Aid over the 49ers’ other flaws by winning two games by a combined three points and beating a Rams team that benched its starters in Week 17. Garoppolo was so lucky/good that he actually fooled people into thinking San Francisco could be a nine-win team in 2018.

The 49ers’ strength of schedule ranks in the middle of the pack. They’ll rack up the eighth-most mileage in the league, making three pit stops in the Midwest and a trip to L.A. in the first six weeks of the season.

Schedule and mileage aside, I’m not sure the 49ers are fully capable of topping .500, Garoppolo or not.

Seattle Seahawks

Pick: Over 7.5 wins EV (Bookmaker)

Following years of dominance, Seattle might finally be due to hit the skids. The stout defense the Seahawks rode to a pair of Super Bowl appearances has fractured and the offensive line, as usual, will likely struggle to protect Russell Wilson in 2018.

But I think the public is buying into that narrative a bit too much, making the Seahawks somewhat undervalued going into the season.

Seattle will face a schedule as tough as the Rams’, but the team does get the Chargers, Cowboys, Vikings, Packers, and Chiefs at home, where the Seahawks have a bigger advantage than any other team in the league.

Asking Wilson to lead his team to a playoff berth in 2018 might be foolish. But we don’t need a playoff berth – just a .500 record, which Seattle can achieve despite not being expected to make much noise in the NFC West.

Arizona Cardinals

Pick: Under 6 wins +115 (BetOnline)

I can absolutely see the Cardinals routing the Alex Smith-led Redskins in their home opener, then having the wheels completely fall off. Outside the conference alone, I’m not sure if there’s a road win on the schedule with visits to the Falcons, Vikings, Chiefs, Chargers, and Packers all on the docket after Week 5.

There are just too many question marks to trust Arizona. How will David Johnson and Sam Bradford respond after being injured for virtually all of last season? Will the offensive line hold up, or stay healthy? Beyond Patrick Peterson, how will the defense fare? Will the new coaching staff help or hurt?

Arizona is a team I want nothing to do with in 2018. I just hope Josh Rosen sees time before November.

Alex Kolodziej is theScore’s betting writer. He’s a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 11 years. He can quote every line from ‘Rounders’ and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AlexKoIodziej.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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