Can the Arizona Cardinals win the NFC West? The odds say they can
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Things can change very fast in the National Football League, especially in this craziest of years.
But is there anyone around who thought the Arizona Cardinals had a chance to win the NFC West a few weeks ago?
Flashback three weeks, and the Seattle Seahawks had clear control of the division, with the other three teams hanging on the periphery of the division race but in the midst of the playoff picture.
But that has changed dramatically, thanks to a Seattle swoon, and a Hail Murray pass last weekend. Heading into Week 11, the Seahawks, Cardinals, and Los Angeles Rams are all tied at 6-3, with a massive month of games on the horizon.
That all starts this week, with the two bookend contests on the schedule.
Thursday night, Arizona heads to Seattle for a massive showdown game to kick off the week. Monday night, to end the week, the Rams head to Tampa Bay to take on the 7-3 Buccaneers.
If you looked at the FiveThirtyEight NFC West prediction a few weeks ago, it overwhelmingly said the Seahawks had the best odds to win the division. But that is not the case now: Seattle has a 38 percent chance, Arizona 32 percent, and Los Angeles 30 (the Super Bowl loser’s curse strikes again with San Francisco).
The Cardinals already own a 37-34 win over Seattle from a month ago, and would effectively have a two-game lead over the Seahawks with a win Thursday night. That would, of course, change the FiveThirtyEight model again, most likely damaging the Seahawks more.
But all these things are great: what do the current odds say?
Right now, William Hill Colorado has the race a dead heat: both Seattle and Arizona have odds of +150, with the Rams +190, which is by far the closest race of all eight divisions. If you think the Cardinals are going to pull this out, you can get odds of +200 on them with Fox Bet (Seahawks +162, Rams +175), while BetMGM Colorado has the three teams even closer: +175 odds for Seattle and LA and +190 for Arizona.
Here is the deal. The Cardinals have the Rams twice, the Patriots, the Giants, and the Eagles on the schedule after Thursday. Can they get to 11-5 and win this division, or maybe even 10-6?
If the Cardinals do end up winning the NFC West, Kyler Murray, who started the season with odds of +2200 to win the NFL MVP, could be worth a bet right now at +650 as well. He has rocketed up the charts, and is now the fourth favorite. But a second win over Russell Wilson could see Murray move up to second on the list, behind Patrick Mahomes.
If you are going to take Arizona to win the NFC West, throw a few bucks on Murray as well to win the MVP, and join the trend of second season quarterbacks to win the award, following in the footsteps of Mahomes (2018) and Lamar Jackson (2019).
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