In 2020, it was the NFC Least. But in late July and early August this year, it becomes the NFC Feast for New Jersey online sports bettors.
The NJ sports betting wagering menu for the NFC East is both diverse and creative for gamblers awaiting the Sept. 9 NFL season opener.
The Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, Washington Football Team, and the Dallas Cowboys present a fascinating NFL betting puzzle.
And the Cowboys are opening the 2021 regular season in that Sept 6 game against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
They are part of a rapidly expanding, entertaining lineup. Now that NFL training camps are open, it’s the perfect time to take a closer look at these teams.
Recent NFL betting developments
DraftKings Sportsbook as a prop to select the top-scoring team in the NFL, with the Kansas City Chiefs favored at +500. Or an over-under of 510.5 yards (each side -110) as the highest passing yardage in any game this season.
William Hill (now Caesars) has some excellent alternate-win totals on NFC East teams and an emerging prop to select the exact number of wins for various teams. Only some teams have been selected so far, but watch this one develop in the coming weeks.
There’s also a prop for the over-under on sacks (18.5) for the eventual league individual leader. Take the “over “at -120 and every defensive lineman in the league plays for you. Take the “under” at +100 and the offensive line is your team.
BetMGM has some defensive-award potential recipients via odds on Chase Young from the Washington Football Team and Micah Parsons from the Dallas Cowboys.
WynnBET has several intriguing Giants-related props.
Several books have the longest play from scrimmage at over 96.5 yards at varied prices. Last year it was an over, as Ronald Jones of the Buccaneers rumbled for a 98-yard score.
Overview of NFC East teams
Let’s start with the current NFC East odds from DraftKings. Remember last season, none of the teams finished with a winning record. Washington ended up making the playoffs with a 7-9 record.
However, it’s those Cowboys with the slight edge heading into camp:
- Dallas +135
- Washington +200
- New York Giants +450
- Philadelphia +550
Eagles trying to shed ‘rebuild’ tag
How does 4-11-1 happen, especially when the Eagles averaged five rushing yards per play, third in the NFL last year?
This is how the Eagles had 29 turnovers, which ranked 30th in the league.
And the unseen stat, lost in the clamor and excitement of drafting marquee names like Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, is quarterback sacks. The Eagles not only led the league in sacks allowed but towered above it, at 4.1.
Look at the correlation between sacks and an early off-season. Of the 13 teams that yielded the most, only one, the Seattle Seahawks, had a winning record last year.
Besides the Eagles, these teams allowed the most sacks:
- New York Giants, Houston Texans. Washington Football Team, and Seattle Seahawks, 3.1
- Cincinnati Bengals, 3.0
- Dallas Cowboys, 2.8
- New York Jets, 2.7
Conversely, look at this efficiency from successful teams:
- Pittsburgh Steelers, 0.8
- Indianapolis Colts, 1.2
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1.4
- Green Bay Packers, 1.4
- Cleveland Browns, 1.5
- Kansas City Chiefs, 1.5
What do these teams have in common?
They all made the playoffs.
It makes sense. Yielding four sacks per game could disrupt four out of 12 or 13 game possessions. If the Eagles cut that number in half under second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts, they can flirt with .500.
Otherwise, the rebuild tag fits.
New York Giants, breakout or bust in NFC East
Saquon Barkley has dropped from +650 to +500 at MGM for Comeback Player of the Year.
He gets betting love but shows reluctance about returning from the Week 2 injury that finished his 2020 campaign. He’s on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list and is a question mark for opening day. So consider this for an in-season prop.
The Giants may try to protect Barkley by pounding the ball with more durable backs, using him more in the passing game. They also signed talented wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Golladay and seek a quick contribution from top pick, receiver Kadarius Toney.
The G-Men share a big problem with the Eagles. They yielded more than three sacks per game last year and quarterback Daniel Jones still makes crucial mistakes.
This is likely a do-or-die season both for him and Barkley.
The Giants established an excellent culture under new head coach Joe Judge, going 6-10 after an 0-5 start. Judge, coming from the New England Patriots, established the ball-control philosophy the Pats had.
As a side note, WynnBET has some excellent Giants-specific props. The book has specific odds for exact team win totals. Some extremes include a 12-win season at +1500 and a four-win campaign at +5000.
The sweet spot, eight wins at +300 and nine at +400, is in line with the team’s projected win total across the books.
Golladay is +2500 to lead the league in receiving yardage.
And it’s game on. Prop bets for this season are already strong.
Dallas Cowboys are once again NFC East team to watch
They have the most skill-position players in the division. And by far the worst defense.
Moneyline bettors don’t like that combo, but “over” bettors do. Consider the point totals in four games before QB Dak Prescott was lost for the season, 79, 69, 87, and 71. The overs were clinched halfway through the third quarter.
Compare this offense with the Eagles:
- Amari Cooper led the Cowboys with 1,114 receiving yards.
- Rookie CeeDee Lamb had 935
- Michael Gallup delivered 843 yards.
- Tight end Dalton Schultz had 615 yards.
And the top Eagle?
Try WR Travis Fulgham with 539 receiving yards. That’s less than the fourth Cowboys receiver.
Two props reflect the Dallas storyline.
Prescott, back from the injuries, last year, is +180 for Comeback Player of the Year at BetMGM.
Not much value, but he’s the favorite.
Micah Parsons represents the bold direction Dallas headed with the draft The Cowboys took six defensive players, starting with Parsons.
The Penn State linebacker is the +400 chalk to be the top rookie at MGM.
Dallas was wise with the draft. “Dem Cowboys” had a Swiss-cheese defense, surrendering a division-high 473 points last year. That’s a shade under 30.
Washington, the 2020 NFC East champs, yielded just 329, a bit over 20.
Washington Football Team is Young at heart
The defending division champions obtained a minding-the-store quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick rather than roll the dice in the draft. Fitzmagic will improve Washington’s offense, but the team needs a quarterback for the future.
The defense, meanwhile, is one of the best in the league.
Washington’s Chase Young resembles Lawrence Taylor, who transformed the Giants into a Super Bowl champion in the 1980s.
Young is listed third for the top defensive player award at BetMGM. He’s a hefty +700, right behind favorite and three-time winner Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams at +500 and Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns at +450.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger