Before the 2020 NFL season got underway, the NFC West was tipped to be the most competitive division in football, and so far it hasn’t disappointed. Entering Week 13, all four teams still have a chance of making the playoffs.
Table-toppers Seattle Seahawks welcome the New York Giants to CenturyLink Field and are heavy favourites to make it three wins in a row, despite Big Blue’s recent good form. Meanwhile, two of the ‘Hawks division rivals face off in a potentially pivotal match as the Arizona Cardinals play host to the Los Angeles Rams.
Both teams come into the game off the back of a loss so neither can afford any slips in the race for the playoffs.
Murray Can’t Shoulder Cards Hopes Entirely
It is no coincidence that the form of the Cardinals has dipped at a time when quarterback Kyler Murray is battling a shoulder injury. The second-year QB has put the team on his back this year, with some help from wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and had that sat in first place in the NFC West at the end of October.
However, three defeats from the last four matches has dropped the Cards to 6-5 and third place in the division, with Murray’s usually effective rushing game having been limited by the coaching staff for fears he could make his shoulder issue worse.
The Rams have quarterback issues of their own with Jared Goff blowing hot and cold of late, turning the ball over three times in last week’s 23-20 loss to the Niners which dropped LA to 7-4.
While Goff and the offence have been inconsistent, the Rams defence, lead by Defensive MVP favourite Aaron Donald, have kept them in the division race, conceding the fourth-fewest points and yards per game on average.
With so many questions over the two offences on a show and a top-notch defence in the mix, taking the under 48 total points at
20/21 might prove worthwhile. Both the Cardinals and the Rams have seen eight of their 11 matches go under the total points line this season.
Giants to Slow Down Hawks
Seattle currently sit one game clear of the Rams at the NFC West summit at 8-3 after two straight wins and their soft schedule for the remainder of the season has seen them installed as
4/9 favourites to win the division.
The Seahawks have made key improvements on defence to complement their high-powered offence and will expect to take care of business against the New York Giants.
However, the Giants have proven to be a resilient bunch, winning their last three games to move top of the NFC East standings. Big Blue’s defence has made big strides forward this season and is now ranked in the top-10, while the offence has also looked better in recent weeks.
The big concern for the Giants is the potential absence of starting quarterback Daniel Jones, who is doubtful with a hamstring injury. Should he miss out then veteran Colt McCoy will get the start.
Even without Jones, the +11 handicap for the Giants still looks a little big, especially with New York having covered the handicap in 21 of their last 29 away games. It is worth taking a chance on them to cover again at
Down-Trodden Eagles to Be Sent Packing
While the Giants are on an upwards trajectory, their fierce NFC East rivals the Philadelphia Eagles are heading in the opposite direction after three successive defeats.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz appears to be on borrowed time after a string of poor displays and he looks in for another tough afternoon against an improving Packers defence.
Green Bay have covered the handicap in seven of their 11 matches this season and look capable of covering the -10 mark set for this game.
No team is averaging more points per game than Aaron Rodgers’ Packers and they can put the Eagles on ice on a chilly day at Lambeau Field.
*All odds correct at time of writing