What Sharps Think About NFC West



The four teams in the NFC West are about to take the field in the next couple of days. So, this seemed like a great time to run through what the sharps (professional wagerers) are thinking about the division this year.

It's a very tough division to handicap for a variety of reasons:

  • Arizona is changing quarterbacks, and nobody in Las Vegas or Reno is really confident that Matt Leinart is going to be able to pick up where Kurt Warner left off. When Leinart was at USC, sharps thought he had a good chance to be a pro star. Thus far he hasn't really impressed.
  • St. Louis is starting a rookie quarterback this year, Sam Bradford of Oklahoma. Sharps tended to bet AGAINST Bradford and Oklahoma in big games when he was in college. Coach Bob Stoops has underachieved in showcase spots lately. Bradford had some good moments, and some bad moments in big games.
  • Seattle has changed head coaches, with Pete Carroll coming over from USC in the colleges. Sharps tend to assume the worst whenever a college guy jumps levels, whether you're talking football or basketball.
  • San Francisco is all that's left. They hit people hard. But, can they be trusted as a favorite? Head coach Mike Singletary is unproven in that role. Even if he was proven, he'd be dealing with a shaky quarterback position.

Somebody has to win the division!

The legal sports betting market currently has it this way in terms of Regular Season Wins:

San Francisco 8½ to 9
Arizona 7½
Seattle 7 to 7½
St. Louis 4½ to 5½

The moneylines are favoring Under with San Francisco, Over withi Arizona, Over 7 but Under 7½ with Seattle, and obviously Over 4½ and Under 5½ with St. Louis.

I'm sure you know that a .500 record is 8-8 for a full season. The market only has one team cracking that threshold, and nobody reaching 10 wins even though playing in an easy division gives you a shot to pad your record if you know what you're doing.

This is my read on what the sharps are thinking based on my discussions with many in recent days. I won't quote them directly, or publish their names. They'd never talk football with me again!

  • San Francisco is a team that will get respect as a defensive dog when playing outside the division, or if they happen to be a road dig inside the division. I don't anticipate sharps laying points with San Francisco until they see more from the offense. Well, I should say it this way...sharps will be looking to fade SF as favorites unless they see more from the offense.
  • Everybody else is on the "go against" list until they prove they don't belong there. Now, I'm talking about the regular season...not the Preaseason. Sometimes ugly teams play well in August because they're trying to build some confidence while opponents are just going through the motions to get the games over with. I could well be on Arizona, Seattle, or St. Louis this weekend even if I don't plan on backing them out of the gate in September.

Should Leinart show some good form, sharps will put Arizona back in the mix. Should Bradford play well for a rookie, sharps will take St. Louis as big underdogs, and probably as home underdogs indoors in great passing conditions. Should Seattle play with the kind of enthusiasm that sometimes shows up when a college coach takes over...maybe they'll get some shots early on.

For the most part, this isn't a conference generating much regular season enthusiasm. Let's see what the Preseason schedule looks like for the NFC West this week:

Arizona vs. Houston Saturday Night
St. Louis vs. Minnesota Saturday Night
Seattle vs. Tennessee Saturday Night
San Francisco at Indianapolis Sunday Afternoon

Three home games, and a winnable road game because Indianapolis has such a poor Preseason history.

I have some strong opinions Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in the NFL. You can purchase my game day releases online, or get aboard my Preseason package for a very affordable rate. Have your credit card handy when you make a few clicks. More details are available in the office at 1-877-822-2276. Be sure to ask about baseball when you call. I won't be writing much about baseball now that football is here. We're still building our bankrolls daily in that sport. Remember that Nevada baseball lines get softer when oddsmakers start to get buried in football!

If you missed my earlier "what the sharps think" reports on the AFC North, NFC East, and NFC South, please check the archives. I'll be discussing the other NFL divisions in the coming days.

Football...baseball...preseason...regular season...or postseason...the best information is always going to come to you DIRECT FROM NEVADA!


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