Thursday, September 10 marks the opening of the NFL season. And the AFC West favorite Chiefs are involved. Kansas City will be hosting the Houston Texans. With that begins a season unlike any other in pro football history. While no preseason games were welcome departure teams aren’t happy.
Week one will give players and coaches the feel of flying blind. Few humans are as paranoid as NFL head coaches. Coronavirus football will feed into that. Most important of all the online betting dynamics that you can check at BestOnlineSportsbooks.info will be a difficult early read. West Division races look up for grabs.
For the Rams, Chargers, and 49ers 2023 is the ultimate coin. To be an exact opportunity and peril present themselves on each side.
Chargers Open as Decided Underdogs
The Los Angeles Chargers are +4500 to win the Super Bowl, +2200 to win the AFC, and +800 to win the AFC West. So too do the Chargers have an over-under win total of eight.
Los Angeles Charger fans will get a team in transition. Additionally, they have a coach on the hot seat. Anthony Lynn’s team fell from 12-4 in 2018 to 5-11 last year. Mainstay quarterback Philip Rivers is now an Indianapolis Colt. Replacing Rivers is backup level quality, Tyrod Taylor. What was most frustrating was that the Chargers had good 2023 betting on NFL metrics. Consider LA ranked 10th for total offense and sixth for defense. Problematic was a rushing attack ranked 28th in the NFL. This killed the Chargers in the red zone. And failed to give the defense sufficient rest.
And then there is the disappointment of SoFi Stadium. LA’s new crown jewel will be empty to start the year. Lost revenue will add to the pressure for wins. Los Angeles does have a quarterback of the future. First-round draft pick Justin Herbert flashes plenty of promise. He may end up taking over for Taylor. On the job training in the NFL is usually brutal for rookies. Especially in an AFC West headed by Kansas City. LA should be a better team for 2023. Except at the most important position of all.
Rams Offer the Potential for a Comeback Campaign
The Los Angeles Rams are +4000 to win the Super Bowl and +1800 for the NFC title. And LA has an over-under win total of 8.5. In turn, the Rams are +550 for the NFC West championship.
Last year at this time coach Sean McVay was heralded as the man that reinvented football. McVay’s assistants all got NFL head coaching interviews. Absurd laurels were heaped upon the wonder boy’s mind of pro football. A dynasty was predicted after a 13-3 NFC championship season for 2018. Instead, the Rams took a big step back going 9-7 in 2023. Los Angeles paid a Betting on football price for their near flawless 2018 season. Not much went wrong that year. Football Gods have a way of evening the score and did. Yet going off the deep end isn’t wise either.
The first among reasons for optimism is McVay himself. He didn’t become an idiot in just one year. Among the toughest lessons, young coaches and teams learn is NFL margins. There is very little difference between success and failure. It is true that LA wasn’t quite as sharp last season. Lady Luck did little to help the Rams and McVay too.
Counter to all of that is a sense of renewal with the Rams for 2023. SoFi Stadium may be empty but it’s indicative of a bright future. Most important of all is new blood in the lineup and coaching staff. Gone is Todd Gurley II and Brandin Cooks. Cory Littleton and Dante Fowler JR. were unable to re-sign. Two new coordinators will bring fresh ideas. Brandon Staley replaces veteran Wade Philipps on defense. While Kevin O’Connell takes over as OC with McVay calling the plays.
O’Connell will mostly focus on getting quarterback Jared Goff back on track. Last year Goff suffered a steep drop from 101.1 to 86.5 for his rating. He went from a 32/12 touchdown to interception ratio is 2018 to 22/16 last year. While not all of that was Goff’s fault it caused justifiable alarm. At age 25 the fifth-year veteran still has a potential upside.
Improved rushing by committee is mandatory to help for Goff. Offensive line play should be better this year. Injuries were a 2023 problem upfront. Goff is not as bad as many say. Nor is he Superman. To be exact Goff needs a productive supporting cast. In comparison so do nearly all other quarterbacks. And in 2023 Goff didn’t get the help necessary to flourish.
Defensively the Rams were not bad last year. Nevertheless, McVay made Philips the scapegoat. Staley will keep the 3-4 scheme. An edge rusher may be the missing piece needed for improvement. Also concerning is the departure of kicker Greg Zuerlein.
Did 49ers Come Too Far Too Fast?
The San Francisco 49ers are +900 sports betting choice to win the Super Bowl. In addition, the Niners are +450 to win the NFC and -106 to take the NFC West. San Francisco’s win total is 10.5.
Los Angeles Rams prices were high in 2023 for a repeat. It follows that the 49ers weren’t taken seriously. San Francisco stunned the Rams and much of football with an NFC championship. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Consequently, the 49ers won’t catch anyone napping for 2023. The surprise element is gone.
Further, San Francisco was exposed in the Super Bowl. Defensively they couldn’t hold off the Chiefs comeback at the end. San Francisco blew a 10-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. Offensively the 49ers lacked a game breaker to put Kansas City away.
On this occasion, it’s confirmed that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is a superior game manager. What Jimmy G. is not is a Patrick Mahomes type that can take over games on his own. In comparison, the 49ers return 18 of their 22 starters. Naturally, the talent is there for a Super Bowl run. What is not known is the 49er’s mental state. Along the same lines, everything went right for the Niners in 2023. Just as it did for the Rams in 2018. Accordingly, that is something for everyone to ponder.
Best Bets: Chargers under eight wins, Rams over 8.5 wins, Rams to win NFC West
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