Champs Will Be Tough To Beat
There hasn’t been a repeat winner in the National Football Conference’s East Division since 2004 when the Philadelphia Eagles won their fourth consecutive divisional crown.
All four teams have won this title at least once in the last seven years, but the Super Bowl champions are the odds-on favorites (-170) to repeat this season (odds provided by TopBet).
The Eagles, led by backup quarterback Nick Foles, won their first ever league championship when they outgunned Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis on Feb. 4, 2018.
The Eagles won the East last season by four games. They also led the conference with the highest point differential at +162.
Betting Numbers For The NFC East
- Dallas (+285)
The Cowboys, who were 9-7 last season, finished second after winning the division the year before. They are +285 (or 2.85-1 odds) to win the division this year. That means a winning $285 money line wager on the Cowboys will return a $285 profit plus the $100 bet for a total return of $385.
A $20 bet would pay 20 x 2.85 = $57 plus the $20 bet for a $77 total return.
- New York Giants (+800)
The Giants, who were 3-13 last season, finished fourth and last with their worst record since a 2-12 season in 1974. They are +800 (8-1) to win the division this year. That means a winning $100 wager on the Giants will return a $800 profit plus the $100 bet for a total return of $900.
- Philadelphia (-170)
The Eagles, who were 13-3 last season, finished first and won their third division title in the last eight years. They are odds-on favorites (-170) to repeat as division champs again this year. That means a bettor must wager $170 to make a $100 profit for a total return of $270.
- Washington (+700)
The Redskins, who were 7-9 last season, finished third in the division for the second straight year. They are +700 (7-1) to win the division this year. That means a winning $100 wager on the Redskins will return a $700 profit plus the $100 bet for a total return of $800.
It’s Time To Pick A Divisional Winner
Dallas (Last title: 2016)
The Cowboys have won this division twice in the last four years, but the team from Texas hasn’t been close to a conference or league title in more than 20 years.
Dallas will enjoy a full season of running back Ezekiel Elliott, but the team released receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten retired. The loss of these two stars will put even more pressure on third-year quarterback Dak Prescott and the offense.
The Cowboys have seven games against teams that made the playoffs in 2017, including two against the defending Super Bowl champs. Jason Garrett’s head coaching job may be in jeopardy with another mediocre finish.
New York Giants (Last title: 2011)
The Giants have a horrible schedule to start the season, with road games at Dallas, Houston, Carolina and Atlanta in the first seven weeks. Throw in a home game in Week 5 against the Super Bowl champions and New York will be lucky to be .500 before its Week 9 bye.
Eli Manning, who enters his 15th year behind center, has posted some subpar seasons recently. In order to return to the playoffs for the second time in seven years, the Giants will need a healthy and happy Odell Beckham Jr. and a dynamic season from rookie running back Saquon Barkley.
New head coach Pat Shurmur should help the sputtering offense, which scored a conference-low 246 points (15.4 per game).
Philadelphia (Last title: 2017)
New England was the last team to repeat as Super Bowl champions in 2004-05. The Eagles will look to match that accomplishment, even if franchise quarterback Carson Wentz isn’t ready for the season opener on Sept. 6.
The Eagles face seven teams that made the playoffs last year. But the defending champs return 19 of 22 starters, and will be fueled by a talented group of players coming off injury led by Wentz. They also improved their defense in a trade with Seattle for veteran Michael Bennett.
Philadelphia plays five games in prime time this season, plus a trip across the Atlantic where the Eagles will tackle Jacksonville in London in Week 8.
Washington (Last title: 2015)
The Redskins opted to let Kirk Cousins test the free agency market after dealing for veteran Alex Smith. It’s debatable that the 14-year QB will help the Redskins improve on their 7-9 record from last year, especially since the team did little else in the offseason.
If the Redskins plan on making a playoff run this season, they had better pile on the wins early in the schedule. Four of their last six games are on the road, including a home-and-home series against the Super Bowl champs.
Jay Gruden’s head coaching job is likely on the line this season for the Redskins, who play three games in prime time, including a Thanksgiving Day visit to Dallas.
VGB’s pick — Philadelphia (-170). The Eagles are one of the few teams in the NFL that can still win without their franchise quarterback. They should easily repeat in the East.