July is here, which means training camp is near.
Virtually everyone is gearing to place NFL futures if they haven’t already, and in an uninspiring NFC Conference, why not take a long shot bet on a surprise champion at this point of the year?
The favorites are clearly the Philadelphia Eagles (+350) and San Francisco 49ers (+400), who boast the most talented and best rosters in the conference and dueled in last year’s NFC Title game, which Philly won en route to a Super Bowl appearance.
The Dallas Cowboys are generally unreliable even when really good.
And the Detroit Lions (+900) will be a sexy pick for a lot of teams after overachieving last regular season.
But why not the Seattle Seahawks?
Seattle Seahawks to win NFC (+1300, FanDuel)
Geno Smith was outstanding last season, and his production generally feels mostly repeatable.
He had 4,282 passing yards with a league-best 69.8 completion percentage with 30 passing touchdowns to 11 interceptions.
It’s the closest he’s been to his West Virginia self since being drafted.
The Seahawks also bring forth two dynamic running backs in PFWA All-Rookie Teamer Kenneth Walker and second-round pick Zach Charbonnet.
They selected wide-receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba with the No. 20 overall pick in Round 1, who’ll catch passes alongside DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Plus, their offensive line is expected to make a leap.
Defense is where they needed to improve most this off-season.
Betting on the NFL?
They selected cornerback Devon Witherspoon at No. 5 and defensive end Derick Hall at No. 37 — both picks acquired in the Russell Wilson deal.
They also brought back Bobby Wagner, poached Dre’Mont Jones from the Broncos, and Julian Love from the Giants, addressing all three levels of defense, among other signings.
Because the 49ers are in their division, the Seahawks defense needs to make a meaningful jump from being in the bottom third of the league last season, but if they do, they could compete with anyone in the NFC, and a little flier might be worth your time.