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NFC West Week 1 Picks


Week one of the 2013 NFL season is finally here and and although NFL fans and bettors are clamoring for their favorite teams to kick things off today, eyes will be on the NFC West more than any other division in the league. With three teams expected to earn winning records this year – two of which are considered top Super Bowl contenders – the NFC West should provide plenty of excitement and thrills all year long, starting today with its three-game slate. Here’s who we like on the spreads in each of those ballgames:

Seattle Seahawks -3.5 at Carolina Panthers +3.5

With one of the league’s best youthful defenses, “Beast Mode” in the backfield and a dual threat quarterback in Russell Wilson, it’s easy to see why the Seattle Seahawks are one of the hot futures picks in the NFL this season. And it’s very easy to see why they are on the favorite line for today’s opener.

The Carolina Panthers have plenty of weapons of their own – including third-year QB Cam Newton – and home field advantage, but with a suspect defense and a subpar ground game, knocking off the Seahawks will be a tall order. Look for Seattle to cover -3.5 in its first win of the season.

Arizona Cardinals +4 at St. Louis Rams -4

The St. Louis Rams seem destined to finish third in the NFC West once again this season, but the one team they should be able to beat up on is the lowly Arizona Cardinals. Fortunately for the Rams, they’ll host the Cards today to begin their 2013 campaign and unsurprisingly, reside on the favorite line.

However, the Cardinals could be improved after acquiring a capable starting quarterback in Carson Palmer. Now that they have someone to zip strikes to Larry Fitzgerald, maybe the offense can finally start to produce points.

The Cards will likely be a stronger team in 2013, but I still don’t see them winning on the road against a young Rams squad. Expect St. Louis to cover -4 today as it moves to 1-0.

Green Bay Packers +4.5 at San Francisco 49ers -4.5

Colin Kaepernick shocked the football world in the 2012 playoffs when he slashed and dashed through and around the Green Bay Packers‘ defense. However, with almost an entire year to prepare for Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers for today’s match-up, the Pack should be ready.

However, as we saw time and time again last season, being prepared for the Niners still rarely resulted in a win against them. With a more experienced Kaepernick and the best defense in the league, the 49ers will be favored to beat the Packers for a third consecutive time. Look for San Francisco to start the year with a win and cover -4.5 in the process.

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