In one week’s time, the bandwagon has emptied out for the Los Angeles Rams as frontrunner fans have answered the engineer’s final whistle and boarded the train of the undefeated Arizona Cardinals who are now perched atop the AFC West rankings.
The preseason futures odds posted at 18+ NFL betting sites predicted that the Cardinals would finish last in the AFC West Division, but after four weeks of play with wins over the previously mentioned Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, and the Jacksonville Jaguars, they’re now favored to claim the division title in 2021-22.
NFC West Odds To Win
- Arizona Cardinals +170
- Los Angeles Rams +170
- Seattle Seahawks +400
- San Francisco 49ers +525
The NFC West is living up to its “best division in pro football” designation up to this point in the 2021-22 season, and the argument would be cemented if not for the spectacular play of the AFC West.
The Super Bowl 54 opponents from 2020, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, both find themselves at the bottom of their respective divisions and they’re not even playing bad football.
Another NFL prop bet offered up at Bovada suggests that the NFC West will be the division that wins the National Football Conference and places a team into Super Bowl LVI.
2021-22 NFC Conference Odds For Winning Division
- NFC West+140
- NFC South+150
- NFC North+500
- NFC East+700
So, why do the odds for betting on Super Bowl LVI rank the perceived NFC West winner fifth when they also state that the division will produce the NFC Champion?
Super Bowl 56 Odds To Win
- Kansas City Chiefs +550
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers +600
- Buffalo Bills +750
- Los Angeles Rams +900
- Arizona Cardinals +1200
- Cleveland Browns +1200
- Green Bay Packers +1200
- Baltimore Ravens +1400
- Dallas Cowboys +1600
- Los Angeles Chargers +2000
- San Francisco 49ers +2000
- Seattle Seahawks +2500
- Denver Broncos +4000
- Las Vegas Raiders +4000
Another interesting side note to the above Super Bowl 56 odds are that all AFC West and NFC West franchises are included in the top fourteen teams, indicating that the entirety of both divisions will qualify for the 2021-22 NFL Playoffs.
All teams in a given division qualifying for the NFL Playoffs is a feat that is now possible due to last year’s installment of a 14-team postseason bracket.
Before 18+ NFL Playoff betting sites can properly access which teams outrank each other, there are several key inter-divisional games that need to be decided first.
Once such matchup occurs this weekend as the 49ers head to Arizona to try and remove them from the ranks of the unbeaten and pull ahead of .500.
San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
- SF +5.5, ARI -5.5 | SF +205, ARI -245 | O/U 50.0
The Cardinals are currently favored to win by 5 or more against the 49ers and move on to 5-0, and San Francisco enters this weekend with uncertainty at the quarterback position.
Starter Jimmy Garoppolo injured his calf in last weekend’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and his status for Sunday is not clear at this time. If he can’t suit up, rookie and third overall selection of the 2021 NFL Draft, Trey Lance, will get his first start of his young career.
If Lance does indeed start against the Cardinals, then wager carefully because his inclusion represents a wild card that could cause for the results to swing drastically in either direction.
Regardless, the proceedings will be fun to watch, and we suggest you do as well this Sunday at 4 Eastern.