The New York Giants are starting to emerge as the team to beat in the NFC East in light of key injuries with Dallas and Philadelphia's unexpected poor start. The one thing you can probably count on when it comes to this division is that things will find a way to remain tight in this race all season long.
Each and every week of the NFL regular season I will be taking a brief look at all the games in the NFC East and releasing my top "pick of the week" with the use of Doc's Sports Unit Betting System and betting odds from BetOnline. While I have dug myself an early hole through the first four weeks, the ultimate goal is to generate an overall profit for the year with my picks.
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Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons (Sunday, Oct. 11, 1 p.m.)
The Redskins have to be pleased with their 2-2 start both straight up and against the spread considering that they won only seven games in their last two seasons combined. They stole a victory away from Philadelphia last week on a late scoring drive, which should do wonders for Kirk Cousins' confidence level at quarterback. Washington also has the top rushing offense in the league with an average of 139.5 yards a game.
Atlanta will be going for the NFC East sweep after beating the first three teams in this division both SU and ATS. The Falcons have been unstoppable so far with Matt Ryan throwing the ball to Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman tearing things up on the ground. This offense is averaging 403.2 total yards a game and scoring an average of 34.2 points. One minor crack in foundation has been a defense that is allowing an average of 390.5 yards a game, but it has not really hurt Atlanta on the scoreboard with a points allowed average of 23.2.
Washington heads into the Georgia Dome as a seven-point road underdog with the total set at 48.
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday, Oct. 11, 1 p.m.)
The Saints were able to snap a three-game skid to start the season with last Sunday night's 26-20 overtime victory against Dallas as three-point home favorites. This team has traditionally struggled on the road in recent years, but it comes into Sunday's game with a 5-2 record against the spread in its last seven road games. New Orleans should also benefit from Drew Brees directing a passing offense that is ranked third in the NFL in yards per game (304.5)
Just when it looked like the Eagles were going to get back on track with a solid win against the New York Jets in Week 3, they found a few more ways to shoot themselves in the foot last week against Washington. One big concern in what could be another tight matchup this week is Philadelphia's situation at kicker. Filling in for the injured Cody Parkey, new kicker Caleb Sturgis missed both an extra point and a field goal against Washington that would have probably given his team the win in that game.
Philadelphia opened as a 5.5-point home favorite, but that has been pushed down to 4.5 points on BetOnline's latest board. The total in this one has been set at 49.5
New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, Oct. 11 4:25 p.m.)
The Patriots are coming off an early bye week after cruising to a 3-0 SU (2-0-1 ATS) start. After running past Buffalo 40-32 on the road in Week 2, they slapped 51 points on Jacksonville their last time out. Everything is clicking on offense with Tom Brady at the helm, but in typical New England fashion, its defense is ranked 20th in yards allowed (368.7) and 17th in points allowed (23.2).
The loss of both Dez Bryant and Tony Romo continues to take a toll in the Cowboys' current two-game skid following a promising 2-0 start. They have now failed to cover in three of their first four games. Some good news on the defensive side of the ball is the return of Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain from a league suspension, but that could easily be negated if linebacker Sean Lee (concussion) is not cleared to play.
New England has been listed as an 8.5-point road favorite in this inter-conference clash, and the betting line for the total has been set at 49.5.
NFC East 'Pick of the Week'
San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants at Buffalo Bills (Sunday, Oct. 11, 8:30 p.m.)
The 49ers started the season with an unexpected 20-3 victory against Minnesota as three-point home underdogs, and it has been all downhill from there with three losses both SU and ATS by a combined score of 107-28. San Francisco's decimated defense is ranked 23rd in the NFL in yards allowed (377.2) and 28th in points allowed (27.5), but it probably has even bigger issues on the other side of the ball. Colin Kaepernick continues to have major issues moving the ball down the field through the air, and the offense as a whole is ranked dead last in the league in scoring with 12 points a game.
New York stumbled out of the blocks with two losses in games it was in position to win, but Tom Coughlin's crew is starting to turn things around with back-to-back wins against Washington at home and Buffalo on the road. The key to this turnaround has been the steady play of veteran quarterback Eli Manning. He has thrown for 976 yards and seven touchdowns while completing 62.9 percent of his passes, but the most important stat has been just one interception in 143 passing attempts.
This matchup is between two teams headed in complete opposite directions. The 49ers have some major problems on both sides of the ball, while the Giants are in excellent position to take early control of this division with a third straight win. My confidence level remains high I got it right this week with a 5-Unit play on New York.
5-Unit Play Take New York (-7) over San Francisco
YTD: 0-4 ($-1540)
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