The Arizona Cardinals are still feeling the ripple effect of plummeting through the final three quarters of the 2012 regular season; at the very least when it comes to the odds Vegas is giving. Despite last year’s 4-0 start the Cards are regularly receiving a season win total line of five, according to RJ Bell of Pregame.com.
Super Bowl and division odds aside, Arizona’s a very enticing team to me due largely to their years-late attention paid to the offensive line and quarterback position this offseason. The additions of Carson Palmer along with top-10 rookie interior lineman Jonathan Cooper seriously address the issue holding this team back the most in recent years.
Every team in the NFL is valued at a higher season win total save for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are also generally set at five, and Arizona is superior on both sides of the ball. Daryl Washington‘s suspension for the first four games gave me pause in my optimism for this squad improving dramatically, but the recent signing of former Card Karlos Dansby will soften the blow. The trade for slot corner Javier Arenas was another late-offseason move of brilliance.
I want nothing to do with Arizona’s Super Bowl title odds of 200-to-1 or division title odds of +3300, but I’m actually pretty surprised that St. Louis Rams have so much respect on them at +800.
The NFC West very much has the feel of a two-horse race between Super Bowl contenders San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks — making longshot picks in this division unsavory — I don’t see that much separation between St. Louis and Arizona. Both fit the mold of respectable defensive squads with improving offensive lines and question-mark quarterbacks, and both have the look of 6-to-9 win teams in my opinion.