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49ers have narrow lead over Seahawks in NFC West race

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The 49ers are expected to be challenged by the Seahawks for the NFC West title in 2020. We break down the odds of each team in the division.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo during Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium.  Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers came up short in the Super Bowl, but they’re still favored to win the NFC West for a second straight year in 2020. The Seattle Seahawks are expected to be San Francisco’s stiffest competition, but the Los Angeles Rams aren’t too far behind on DraftKings Sportsbook. The Arizona Cardinals aren’t expected to be contenders, but their blockbuster deal for DeAndre Hopkins could help them be a much better team in 2020 than they were in 2019. We break down the odds of each team in the division after one week of free agency here.

San Francisco 49ers (+120)

The 49ers should have a prolific rushing attack with the quartet of capable running backs they’ll have at their disposal in 2020. If Jerick McKinnon can be productive alongside Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and Matt Breida, the ground game could be even more formidable. San Francisco needs help at wide receiver to help Jimmy Garoppolo be more of an asset under center. While the 49ers retained key players and flipped DeForest Bucker for the 13th pick in the draft, their odds dropped from +105 by the end of free agency’s opening.

Seattle Seahawks (+250)

A team led by Russell Wilson will always be in the hunt, and he benefitted from having rookie receiver DK Metcalf to pair with Tyler Lockett out wide in 2019, as well as a strong running game. Things broke down for Seattle when three running backs suffered season-ending injuries toward the end of the year, and its depleted defense wasn’t enough to stop quality opponents from scoring.

The Seahawks opened the year at +235 and have signed Greg Olsen and Bruce Irvin ahead of the 2020 season. But they could also lose Jadeveon Clowney, which would deal a major blow to their struggling defensive line.

Los Angeles Rams (+300)

The Rams didn’t have a bad year in 2019. They finished 9-7 behind the 49ers and Seahawks and weren’t nearly as explosive on offense as they had been in the past. Jared Goff threw a career-high 16 interceptions with only 22 touchdowns, and Todd Gurley didn’t get close to the MVP level once. Brandon Cooks and Cooper Kupp were a dynamic duo at wide receiver.

Losing Gurley, Clay Matthews, Michael Brockers, and Donte Fowler likely contributed to Los Angeles’ odds dropping from +270. It hasn’t made any big-time offseason moves yet, but the group it has is good enough to compete.

Arizona Cardinals (+750)

The Cardinals were solid in Kyler Murray’s rookie year and managed to win five games while playing in one of the NFL’s tougher divisions. Murray showcased lots of potential as a passer and made plays with his legs, and his ceiling should be raised with Hopkins as his number one receiver. Having a versatile back like Kenyan Drake from Week 1 will also make him more comfortable in year two. Arizona saw its odds take a huge jump after bringing in Hopkins and fortifying its defense. It went from +2000 to +750 by the end of the first wave of free agency. The offensive line needs work, but the Cardinals have all the tools to get a lot better.

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