They came within one yard of winning back-to-back Super Bowls, and at press time, the Seattle Seahawks are –250 favorites to take down their third straight NFC West title. Their competition doesn't look as fierce this year; the Arizona Cardinals are a distant second on the odds list at +450, with the St. Louis Rams at +650 and the San Francisco 49ers bringing up the rear at +900.
Seattle's Legion of Boom secondary might be vulnerable early on, as cornerback Richard Sherman (elbow), free safety Earl Thomas (shoulder), strong safety Kam Chancellor (knee) and cornerback Jeremy Lane (arm, knee) recover from injuries they suffered in the playoffs. The offensive line is also in question after center Max Unger was traded to the New Orleans Saints for tight end Jimmy Graham. But the Seahawks still have arguably the best roster in the league after topping the Football Outsider efficiency charts three years running.

 

Carson City

 

Arizona managed to go 11-5 SU and ATS last year despite QB Carson Palmer (95.6 passer rating) only starting six games – he was 6-0. If Palmer can recover from his torn ACL, the Cardinals can compete. Otherwise, the cupboard is thin at quarterback, and their upgrades on the offensive line (Mike Iupati, first-rounder DJ Humphries) have been met with mixed reviews.
The Rams are continuing to rebuild, and could squeeze a winning season out of their defense and power running (including new running back Todd Gurley). But the 49ers might be in organizational free-fall after pushing head coach Jim Harbaugh out the door and replacing him with Jim Tomsula. No wonder their players are retiring early.

 

*Odds as of June 19, 2015