For the better part of the past few years the NFC West has been regarded as one of the most grueling divisions in sports. Such is life when powerhouses like the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers reign supreme. Much to the NFL betting community’s astonishment, one team has defied all odds and held down first-place in the pairing since opening day. That team is the Arizona Cardinals.

Riding a four-game winning streak, the Cardinals are -7 favorites to improve their 2014 record to 8-1 against the St. Louis Rams. The Cardinals are 10/1 to win the Super Bowl.

Arizona fans have their defense to thank for the early success. Through eight games, the franchise has the fifth-least points per game (19.5) and the third-least rushing yards. Those figures almost make up for the fact that they’re dead last in pass defense.

That defensive presence is nice, but many are left wondering just how much it will translate into postseason success. If the club is to truly contend for a title, they’ll have to start putting up more points of their own.

Regardless of Arizona’s long-term forecast, the Cardinals are a compelling option with their NFL odds advantage over the Rams in Week 10. Should they reach 9-1, they’ll be even harder to dismiss.

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