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Cardinals aren't getting enough respect in NFC Championship odds

Profile Picture: Andrew Champagne

October 12th, 2021

There’s a fascinating oddity on display this season in the NFL, and it involves a strange difference in odds between two NFC West teams.

The Cardinals are perched atop the NFC West

The Arizona Cardinals appear to be for real. After a 17-10 win over San Francisco on Sunday, the redbirds are 5-0 and sit atop the NFC West. As a result, they’re favored to win one of the most power-packed divisions in the National Football League. The Cardinals sit at +105, while the Los Angeles Rams are close behind at +130.

NFC West 2021/2022

Sun, January 9 2022, 9:25 PM

Arizona Cardinals

+105

Los Angeles Rams

+130

San Francisco 49ers

+800

Seattle Seahawks

+1400

Keep that in mind, and then go look at the odds to win the NFC Championship. As mentioned last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are logical favorites to repeat. After a blowout win Sunday over the Miami Dolphins, they’ve dropped to +300. However, the second choice is Los Angeles at +425, with the Green Bay Packers behind them at +500. If you’re looking for the Cardinals, you’ll find them as the fourth choice. They’re +550.

NFC Championship 2021/2022

Sun, January 30 2022, 5:00 PM

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

+300

Los Angeles Rams

+425

Green Bay Packers

+500

Arizona Cardinals

+550

Dallas Cowboys

+700

San Francisco 49ers

+1600

New Orleans Saints

+1800

Minnesota Vikings

+2800

Seattle Seahawks

+3000

Chicago Bears

+4000

None of that is a misprint. The favorite to win the NFC West is the fourth choice to win the NFC... and one of the teams ahead of them, in that wagering, is the second choice in the NFC West.

The Cardinals are a steal at +550

I’m not quite all-in on the Cardinals just yet. Kyler Murray has looked spectacular at times, but three of their five wins have come over subpar teams in Minnesota, Jacksonville, and San Francisco. However, if you like them at all, +550 to make it to the Super Bowl is a heck of a price, and it may be as low as you’ll get for quite a while.

Arizona's upcoming schedule is soft

The Cardinals travel to Cleveland for a stiff test against the Browns next Sunday afternoon. Following that contest, though, is a run of four games that includes contests against Houston, San Francisco, and Carolina. Arizona should be heavily favored in all three games, and they may be good enough to beat the Packers at home later this month as well.

Even if Arizona loses at Cleveland and against Tampa Bay, they should be 8-2 10 games into the season. I can’t see that +550 number going anywhere but down moving forward, and that’s the value proposition I’d recommend this week.

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