2022 NFL Division Futures: Rams or 49ers in NFC West?

  • NFL Division Futures favor the reigning-champion Rams (+135) to repeat in the NFC West
  • San Francisco (+215) is giving the keys to Trey Lance after mortgaging their future to move up in the 2021 NFL Draft
  • The Seahawks (+1400) are entering the 2022 season with a Drew Lock-Geno Smith platoon at quarterback

Much of the NFC West is in a state of flux. San Francisco is transitioning to second-year quarterback Trey Lance, the Russell Wilson era is over in Seattle, and the Cardinals are dealing with ‘malcontent’ Kyler Murray and a looming six-game suspension for DeAndre Hopkins.

In comparison, last year’s Super Bowl champions are living drama free in Los Angeles, with their eyes on a fourth division title in Sean McVay’s six-year run. Before we look at the Rams’ chances, here’s where you can check out the top betting sites for NFL football in 2022 and see our Super Bowl betting guide.

NFC West

Los Angeles Rams+135+125
San Francisco 49ers+215+170
Arizona Cardinals+275+400
Seattle Seahawks+900+1400

Rams to repeat?

Since hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, Sean McVay and general manager Les “F them picks” Snead have taken a well-deserved victory lap. However, even with Matthew Stafford and three-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald in tow, this year’s Rams (+135) aren’t an exact replica of the championship version.

All-Pro left tackle Andrew Whitworth retired, Von Miller signed a mega-deal with the Bills and Odell Beckham Jr. remains a free agent after blowing out his ACL in Super Bowl 56. Los Angeles also traded Robert Woods to the Titans and signed Allen Robinson, who is about to catch passes from a competent quarterback for the first time in his career. And watch out for running back Cam Akers now that he’s a full year out from his Achilles injury.

Buried in the desert?

The Rams’ 34-11 playoff rout of the Cardinals destroyed an otherwise successful 11-5 season. However, Arizona (+275) could be headed for disaster with a sulking undersized quarterback, a suspended receiver and a defense featuring two potential first-round busts in Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins.

After signing an undeserved contract extension, general manager Steve Keim’s first order of business was to swap a first-round pick for Kyler Murray’s college teammate Marquise Brown. If it doesn’t work, this could be a long season in the desert.

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The Trey Lance era begins

A 20-17 loss to the Rams in the NFC Conference Championship narrowly kept the 49ers (+215) out of their second Super Bowl in three seasons. Successful franchises don’t usually move on from starting quarterbacks but Jimmy Garoppolo looks all but out the door in favor of Trey Lance.

While the 2021 third-overall pick looked like a fish out of water in limited playing time last year, expect Kyle Shanahan to scheme up a wildly different offensive game plan this season.

While Lance is a true wild-card heading into 2022, the raw 22-year-old talent could put up big numbers in Shanahan’s explosive run-first attack. At the very least, San Francisco appears to have a better transition plan than that of the division-rival Seahawks (+1400), who are set to replace Russell Wilson with an ungodly combination of Drew Lock and Geno Smith.

NFC West Pick: San Francisco 49ers (+215)

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Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on heart-clogging eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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