The 2014 NFL schedule release went down Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT (with plenty of leaks ahead of time), and shortly thereafter, we started to get some opening lines from sports books. Our friends at Covers.com tweeted the opening lines courtesy of the Las Vegas Super Book. The highlight of it has to be all four NFC West teams opening as favorites in Week 1. Here are the lines
For those not clear on what the above means, it is stating that the 49ers and Cardinals are each 3.5 point favorites over their opponents, and the Seahawks and Rams are each five point favorites over their opponents.
The lines are going to change plenty between now and Week 1. We don't know what rookies will join the roster, and of course we don't know what that final roster actually entails among the veterans. But we do know the NFC West will be considered among the top divisions heading into the season. The division dominated in 2013, with three teams posting double-digit win totals, and the Rams putting together a 7-9 record even while coming in fourth in the division.
Plenty can change between now and September, but as it currently stands, the NFC West is prepared to defend its crown as the best division in football. The 49ers and Seahawks remain strong. The Cardinals will need to avoid regression, but getting Jonathan Cooper back on the line, and adding Jared Veldheer could be huge for Carson Palmer. The Rams need to figure out their quarterback situation, but with a pair of first round picks, they're in position to make some noise.
I expect all four teams to remain favorites as we move forward, but the real question will be how they hold up as the season moves along. I'll have a table of all the NFC West schedules for the morning.