DraftKings Sportsbook has gone ahead and released the odds for each team to earn a playoff berth at the end of the 2020 season. The most significant part of NFL free agency is wrapped up, and while there are still some big names left to sign, much of the NFL is focusing on the upcoming NFL Draft. With that in mind, we’ll take a look at each team’s odds to make the 2021 NFL playoffs — breaking it down by division. Today, we look at the NFC West.
San Francisco 49ers: Yes (-305), No (+238)
The 49ers made some big moves this offseason, trading DeForest Buckner and seeing Emmanuel Sanders depart in free agency. They were not overly active in making roster additions, but coming off a Super Bowl runner-up campaign and adding a mid-first round pick in the Buckner trade, they have a chance to add an impact player.
Even if they take a step back from their 13-3 season, they finished two games up on Seattle and return their key coaching staff decision-makers. With Kyle Shanahan back guiding the offense and Robert Saleh back as defensive coordinator, they should be in a good position to compete for the division title. With LA and Arizona a step back from San Francisco and Seattle, a division title or wild card berth are strong possibilities.
Seattle Seahawks: Yes (-143), No (+118)
The Seahawks have had a busy offseason. Losing George Fant and Germain Ifedi has not been ideal for the offensive line, but they’ve added some talent in return and likely will improve further with the draft. One of their best moves was trading a fifth round pick for cornerback Quinton Dunbar. The Legion of Boom went by the wayside, but they suddenly are in position to have one of the stronger secondaries with their recent moves. The big question remaining is if Jadeveon Clowney return, and reports lately indicate probably not.
Seattle is a step above LA and Arizona, and it appears the rivalry with San Francisco is back on the upswing. Russell Wilson remains the ultimate x-factor in the NFC West. The improvement in the secondary coupled with Wilson give the Seahawks a puncher’s chance. They are a strong wild card bet at the very least.
Los Angeles Rams: Yes (+163), No (-200)
When you’re maybe the third best team in your division, it’s hard to get super excited about playoff possibilities — especially with Tampa Bay adding Tom Brady, Carolina upgrading from Kyle Allen at quarterback, Dallas potentially taking a step forward, and several other teams in the mix for a wild card berth.
The Rams have a talented roster, but they also appear to be making a bit of a transition. The team released Todd Gurley, declined Nickell Robey-Coleman’s option, and lost Dante Fowler and Cory Littleton in free agency. They have cap issues to deal with, and without a first round pick, they’ll face some pressure to nail their three picks on day two. They hold less value to me than the Cardinals, but that could also be recency bias with the Hopkins trade.
Arizona Cardinals: Yes (+275), No (-360)
The Cardinals offer more value than the Rams if I were to pick someone other than the 49ers and Seahawks to claim a playoff berth. The Cardinals impressed in the first year of Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray, and made a huge splash in the offseason by trading for DeAndre Hopkins. The key in the draft will be upgrading their 23rd ranked defense.
The Cardinals have a ways to go from their 5-10-1 season to get to the playoffs, but they’re an intriguing sleeper. Murray could very well regress in year two, but if he can build on his rookie season, this is a dangerous team.
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