A recent tweet from Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay regarding a Week 1 point spread seemed like a good excuse to mine some NFC West gambling information -- for entertainment purposes only, of course.
Chad Millman's Insider blog does not disappoint. Millman, editor in chief for ESPN The Magazine, blogs about the culture of sports gambling. He says the early money suggests gamblers think the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams will exceed Vegas' expectations:
"When totals were posted last week there were some pickings that wiseguys ate up very quickly. At the Las Vegas Hotel, they hit the Cleveland Browns over 4.5 wins, Houston Texans over 9.5 wins, the New England Patriots under 12.5 wins, the Seattle Seahawks over seven wins and the St. Louis Rams over 5.5 wins."
Action on the Seahawks and Rams was heaviest.
One potential explanation for money following the Rams: They suffered through an unusual number of injuries last season. Their schedule was tougher than anticipated, thanks in part to San Francisco's improvement and games against both Super Bowl teams from the previous season. They could appear in line for a natural correction that could take them from 2-14 to better than 5-11 without much trouble.
Millman did not explore why the Seahawks have been a popular play among bettors. Expectations for improvement at quarterback would be one logical factor.
Perhaps Irsay has a few theories.