NFL Odds: NFC East Betting Predictions
by Darin Zank - 10/9/2013
There's a battle of attrition going on in the NFC East at the moment. Somebody will eventually “win” this division; they might be 8-8 or 7-9 when it's all over, but somebody is going to win this division. It might be like in 2010 when Seattle won the division with a 7-9 record. But, trust me, someone will win this bad boy!
And might we find some value in NFC East futures betting?
The Eagles and Cowboys have won just two of their first five games this season, but that puts them in a tie for the lead in the NFC East. The defending division champion Redskins, after going 10-6 last year, are 1-3. And the Giants, the team that just won the Super Bowl two seasons ago, bring up the rear at 0-5.
Dallas just got bombed for 51 points by Denver, although the Broncos are doing that to everybody right now. The Cowboys did manage to up their ATS record to 4-1, though, covering the spread last Sunday as nine-point home dogs.
Philadelphia opened the Chip Kelly era with that impressive win at Washington on opening weekend, but then lost its next three games and didn't look too good doing it. Sunday, though, the Eagles picked up a second divisional road victory, beating the Giants in New Jersey, 36-21.
Those Redskins, who had a lot of things roll their way last year, are finding the going a little tougher this season. Washington started 0-3 before getting their first victory of the season two weeks ago at Oakland. Then again, the 'Skins slow start isn't totally unexpected considering they went off this season with a wins “over/under” of 7.5.
Of course, the concern with Washington is the health of QB Robert Griffin III. He has quite obviously just not been the same player he was for a good part of last season, and while he's still pretty good, he's not making the magical plays with the frequency he did last year.
Then we come to the Giants. The 0-5 New York Giants.
The last time the Giants were 0-5 was back in the strike season of 1987. The last time a real Giants team started 0-5 was in 1979, Phil Simms' rookie season. That New York team actually won six of its last 10 games on its way to better things a few seasons down the line.
This year the Giants defense has allowed a league-high 36 points per game. In fact, according to the New York Post, the 182 points New York has given up is the most through the first five games of a season since the Oakland Raiders of the AFL back in 1961!
Quarterback Eli Manning has thrown 12 interceptions, and the Giants ground attack, if it can be called that, is producing an average of 57 yards per game.
And yet, even at 0-5, the G-Men are just two games out of first place in this wretched division, although no team in league history has started 0-5 and gone on to make the playoffs.
NFC East Futures Odds: What's Available
As of early this week, Dallas was the favorite to win the NFC East, getting +120 at Bovada.
Philly is the second choice on most updated NFC East betting boards at a price of +200.
Washington is the current third choice to win the NFC East, getting +300 at Sportsbook.ag.
And New York can be had at +2000 at Sportsbook.ag to rally and win the NFC East this season.
Do the Giants stand any chance at all of turning this train wreck around? It seems unlikely, but then again seven wins might do the job.
Are there seven winnable games left on their schedule? If they can't start stopping some people, and knock it off with the turnovers, the answer will be “no.”
But one win – perhaps Thursday night at Chicago – might help build some momentum, and there are seven more games with teams that didn't make the playoffs last year.
And not to get all “pie-in-the-sky” here, but if New York could get something going and make the playoffs, it does have a recent track record of unexpected playoff runs. In 2007 and 2011 the Giants entered the postseason as wild-card entrants then got hot and eventually upset the Patriots in the Super Bowls both years.
As of early this week Sportsbook.ag was offering New York at +75000 – that's 750-to-1, friends - to win Super Bowl 48 on its home field at MetLife Stadium in February.
The Road Ahead
Philly owns the early edge in the NFC East with those two divisional road victories. From here on out the Eagles get each division foe at home but finish the regular season with road game at Dallas.
Philly also has winnable home games against Arizona, Detroit and Chicago, and winnable road games at Tampa, Oakland and Minnesota.
Dallas, 1-0 in divisional play, gets Washington and Philly at home but still has all three divisional road games to play. The Cowboys also get Minnesota and Oakland at home but also host Green Bay and have to play at Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago.
Washington, 0-1 in NFC East play, also still has to play its three divisional road games, starting with Sunday's contest at Dallas. They later host the Giants and Cowboys. The 'Skins also have tough home games with Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco and Kansas City, and road games at Denver and Atlanta.
Finally New York, fighting that uphill battle after losing its first two divisional games, gets Dallas and Washington at home but has to play at the Eagles and the Redskins. The Giants also have tough home games with Green Bay and Seattle and have to play at San Diego and Detroit.
So I give Philly the advantage as far as the remaining schedule is concerned. What the Eagles might do with that advantage, though, is up for debate.
NFC East Futures Picks
I'm not necessarily a fan of Coach Kelly's approach to offense. That system worked in the Pac-12 with Oregon, but the NFL is a different game. Time of possession is one of the most important statistics, as far as winning NFL games and covering pointspreads goes, and the Eagles are not going to fare well in that category.
Still, Philly seems to have the inside track in the NFC East at the moment, so I'll go with a futures play on the Eagles to win the East at +200.
And for a real longshot I'll throw a unit bet on the Giants to win the Super Bowl at odds of 750/1. Yes, it might seem like I'm just throwing money into the wind, but when the G-Men come back and win this division, think how genius I'll look.
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