Plot thickens, odds shrink in NFC West after Stafford, Watt acquisitions

Friday, 05 March 2021 13:41 EST

First, the disclaimer: Yes, NFLbets is well aware it’s too early to be making serious wagers on the “To Win Super Bowl LVI” proposition bet, but that’s not stopping the speculation nor the concomitant shifting of odds is response. And after a second big name-player transaction, the teams of the NFC West are seeing some action months before the NFL draft, even.

Odds on the four NFC West teams to win Super Bowl LVI are as follows, with the current line running first followed by the lines posted directly after the conclusion of LV:

Los Angeles Rams: 12/1, 15/1
San Francisco 49ers: 16/1, 14/1
Seattle Seahawks: 25/1, 22/1
Arizona Cardinals: 28/1, 40/1

Odds in the “To Win the NFC West” prop are:

Los Angeles Rams: +190
San Francisco 49ers: +200
Seattle Seahawks: +300
Arizona Cardinals: +475

Now NFLbets admits that we threw a few moneys at the Rams in the Super Bowl prop on the Monday following the Tampa Bay championship win, with the calculus that the team as is plus a better-than-Goff quarterback could well be enough to handle both the aging and the upstarts of the NFC. Within 48 hours, McVey ditched Jared Goff for Matthew Stafford and the prop-bet line underwent the appropriate shrinkage.

Then the Cardinals went and snagged J.J. Watt, who probably eschewed potentially better competitive situations in Cleveland and Buffalo to stay in warmer climes. And speaking of heading south, so too did Arizona’s odds, with bettors clearly crediting Watt with an outsized contribution in advance.

NFLbets realizes that over the past 10 seasons, J.J. has been the NFL’s top pass rusher statistically but pragmatically speaking, he’d’ve been hard pressed to find a division with better OLs top to bottom: A season-ending article at Pro Football Focus ranked all four NFC West lines between 3rd (the Rams) and 14th (Seattle). And since 2015, Watt’s played just two full seasons (2018 and 2020) with stats nowhere near his All-Pro levels in the first half of the 10s; he’s managed to top 7 points in the approximate value (AV) metric just once in the past five seasons.

The point: Maybe you like the chances of Murray-to-Hopkins becoming a top QB-WR battery or that Watt will help shore up an inconsistent Cardinals defense, but can one defensive lineman, particularly one maybe six years past his peak, realistically increase a team’s Super Bowl chances by 12%?

NFLbets would say Cardinals backers would be better advised to simply take ’em to win the NFC West at +475: Russell Wilson has intimated his dissatisfaction with his lack of support, which we’re taking as a harbinger of an underwhelming 2020 season for the Seahawks, while the 49ers may be giving up on giving up on Jimmy Garoppolo despite the confidence he’s not inspiring in San Francisco. With this many divisional question marks, Watt could indeed be juuuuuust enough to push Arizona past L.A. for a playoff home game – depending on what Stafford has to say about things…

–written by Os Davis