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Here is the 2021 Pro Football Betting Guide preview for the NFC West.
THE FAVORITE: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
It appears 2021 might be a special sports year in San Francisco — look at the Giants! By merely getting some better injury luck, the 49ers can pick up where they left off in 2019. Indeed, improved health, not handing the offensive reins to first-round rookie QB Trey Lance, would be the best-case scenario. Remember, Jimmy Garoppolo led the Niners to the Super Bowl two years ago before a couple of trips to the injured list in 2020. He was hardly the only casualty last season. The infirmary also included TE George Kittle, RB Raheem Mostert, DE Nick Bosa, DE Dee Ford and CB Jason Verrett. For now, all seem ready for September. New defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, promoted to replace new Jets head coach Robert Saleh, has been playing to rave reviews this summer. At full strength, the 49ers romped through the NFC two years ago, including a pair of dominant playoff wins at home, and much of the core of that roster remains. While strength of schedule is often a dicey indicator, the fact that the Niners will play a fourth-place slate probably won’t hurt their chances to get back on top of the West.
LIVE DOG: ARIZONA CARDINALS
If the season had ended by Veteran’s Day the last two years, the Cardinals would have been in good shape. But a combined 5-11 mark the last halves of 2019 and ’20 suggest that perhaps Kliff Kingsbury hasn’t had enough depth on his roster. GM Steve Keim tried to rectify that in a busy offseason. He signed ex-Steelers RB James Conner and several other former Pro Bowlers, such as WR A.J. Green, C Rodney Hudson, DE J.J. Watt, CB Malcolm Butler and PK Matt Prater. Yet it’s the possibility of a breakthrough to the elite level by third-year QB Kyler Murray, running the progressive Kingsbury offense, that suggests the Big Red might be able to finally get to the postseason after sitting in playoff-qualifying position into late December last year.