NFC East Season Odds Preview
Year in and year out, no division in the NFL is harder to predict than the NFC East. This point is illustrated by the fact that each of the last four years has seen a different team crowned as division champion, with Washington in 2012, New York in 2011, Philadelphia in 2010, and Dallas in 2009.
In 2009 and 2010, the division was decided by tie-breaker as two teams tied for the top spot. Over the last two years, the division has been decided by a winner-take-all matchup in Week 17. No matter how you slice it, you know it will come down to the wire in the NFC East.
New York Giants (Odds to Win Division at Bovada +200)
New York’s title defense got off on the right foot with a 6-2 SU record over the first half of the season, but a 3-5 SU and ATS slide down the stretch left the Giants on the outside looking in come playoff time.
Eli Manning and the defense weren’t sharp in the second half, which is uncharacteristic of this Giants team. The defense should bounce back to form in 2013, and Manning will have new tight end Brandon Myers and young running back David Wilson to help lessen his load on offense. For the Giants, it simply comes down to playing to their potential.
Dallas Cowboys (Odds to Win Division at Bovada +210)
The Dallas Cowboys have been on the wrong end of two straight Week 17 losses that spelled the difference between being NFC East champion and missing the playoffs entirely.
While it must be heartbreaking, all the Cowboys can do is keep their heads up and try again. All eyes will be on Tony Romo, who must not only be the focal point of Dallas’ offense, but shake his reputation as a choke-artist in the process. Without question marks surrounding the defense and the running game, the team will go as far as Romo can take it; which, over the last two seasons, has been right to the wire.
Washington Redskins (Odds to Win Division at Bovada +250)
Robert Griffin III was nothing short of sensational last season, winning rookie of the year while leading the Redskins to a 7-0 SU and ATS finish to the regular season with five wins against division rivals. Unfortunately, Griffin’s season ended in the first game of the playoffs with a brutal knee injury.
If Griffin III were 100% healthy and was guaranteed to play all 16 games this season, the Redskins would likely be favored to win the NFC East. He is set to start the season, but fans and bettors alike will be holding their breath with every hit he takes.
Philadelphia Eagles (Odds to Win Division at Bovada +375)
Chip Kelly led the Oregon Ducks to multiple Pac-12 championships with an exciting and lightning-fast spread attack. Will his scheme work in the NFL, or will NFL defenses be able to solve it?
If the success of the read option around the league is any indication, Chip Kelly’s offense could fit right in in the NFL. Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson, and LeSean McCoy all seem like great fits in theory. Logic dictates that it will take some time for the team to get acclimated to the new coach and system, but logic doesn’t always prevail in the NFC East.
The Eagles are Super Bowl contenders, an alleged Dream Team in Green and stacked with talent and depth on both sides of the ball.
Editor Note: NFC East odds preview for 2012, click here.
Small wonder the Philadelphia Eagles are a prohibitive favorite on the odds to win the NFC East at every sportsbook on the planet. They boast potential Pro Bowlers at every skill position and have improved the defense that was leaky at times in 2010.
Philadelphia Eagles (Odds to Win Division at Bovada -140)
Betting on the Eagles could prove an expensive and risky proposition in 2011. Expect them to be favored heavily in the early going as the preseason hype goes strong in the media. But with every team that is stacked on paper, they need to prove it on the field.
That could generate some profitable situations in 2011 where betting NFL underdogs against the much-hyped Birds will pay off nicely. It could also lead to a situation like the 2007 Patriots where they easily covered double-digit spreads for the first half of the season.
Dallas Cowboys (Odds to Win Division at Bovada +300)
The Cowboys are not nearly as deep as the 2010 version but shedding talented underachievers like Roy Williams and Marion Barber (both of whom take their Jekyll and Hyde performances to Chicago) opens the door for steadier duty for others.
That means more Felix Jones and Tashard Choice in the backfield and more Dez Bryant and Miles Austin at wideout. A full season of Tony Romo should get the Boys off to a better start and make them more friendly to Dallas bettors in 2011.
New York Giants (Odds to Win Division at Bovada +300)
Free agency chipped away their depth, and injury and discontent have chipped away at their Osi Umenyiora. Can the Giants hang with the competition and be legitimate NFC East odds threats in 2011?
The WR lineup is talented but young and the TE position is even less experienced. The Giants could be an OVER waiting to happen all season long with a potentially awesome offense and potentially awful defense.
Washington Redskins (Odds to Win Division at Bovada +2000)
Can addition by subtraction help the Redskins improve in 2011? Gone are controversy lightning rods Donovan McNabb (to Minnesota) and Albert Haynesworth (to New England), but they were also veterans who could play.
With John Beck threatening to win the starting QB role, the Redskins' odds to win the NFC East are long (but maybe not long enough). The receiving corps looks solid, but if neither Beck nor interception expert Rex Grossman can get them the ball it could be a long season in Washington despite a softy schedule.
Betting on the Redskins could be profitable if you get great underdog value at shops like Bovada.