2020 NFC East Preview – Prediction and Best Bet
13 August 2020
Thanks for stopping back for our next division in our eight part series, by division, to get you primed for the NFL season. We will provide some insight on each team in the division, what to expect in 2020 and ultimately the pick to win each division and whether or not that team is worth a wager
Working our way from the west coast to the east coast, the next division up in our series of previews is the NFC East. Much like the first division we previewed, the AFC East, we are looking at a two horse race for the divisional crown.
The current odds for the NFC East are as follows:
🏈 Dallas Cowboys -110 🏈
🏈 Philadelphia Eagles +140 🏈
🏈 New York Giants +1000 🏈
🏈 Washington Football Team +1300 🏈
Dallas Cowboys -110
The Cowboys have been a popular choice for the divisional crown, as they were +135 earlier in the summer. Needless to say, action has rolled in on them as they are now moved to -110. The most notable change for the franchise this offseason was at the head coaching position. After Jason Garrett went on his way, the team brought in long time Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy coached the Packers through the prime of Aaron Rodgers career, but never seemed to fully unleash the potential the teams he was coaching had. I personally find it difficult to argue how or where McCarthy would or could be an upgrade over Garrett, but this is a team that could hide his own deficiencies with the amount of explosive talent on offense. The Cowboys still boast a strong offensive line, but not quite the one that was the best in football a couple seasons ago. They also have a bell cow back in Ezekiel Elliott and a high powered passing game that will see Dak Prescott taking his choice of Amari Cooper, Blake Jarwin, Michael Gallup and Ceedee Lamb on the majority of his throws. This is an extremely high end group of skill position players and an offense that should hum provided it gets sound coaching and quarterback play. The defense will remain middle of the pack as simply a “good enough” unit that will do just enough to allow the offense to dictate the level of success their season will bring.
I believe the Cowboys will have double digit wins this season and I believe them to be a playoff team. They may have to settle for a wild card slot though, because the divison’s best team is…
Philadelphia Eagles +140
The Eagles no longer being the betting favorite to win the division is something that can only be viewed as silly. The 2019 divisional champs return their core and sound coaching staff, in addition to some new faces that will truly make a difference and perhaps even ascend them back to their Super Bowl winning level from the 2017 season. Elite quarterback Carson Wentz still takes snaps behind the league’s best offensive line, and should have playmaker Desean Jackson back this season as well as first round pick Jalen Reagor to solidify a wide receiving corps that was headlined by replacement level Greg Ward down the stretch in 2019. Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert also provide the best tight end tandem in the league, and we are likely to see a resurgence from Wentz back to his MVP form. The defense will remain an attacking one on the front end, which was an issue in 2019. The scheme often calls for island man coverage and the cornerback play was soften subpar, leading to too many splash plays allowed. The Eagles addressed this hole signing Darius Slay to be a lockdown stud, as well as bringing in Nickell Robey-Coleman.
The Eagles very well could be the most balanced and most dangerous team in the NFC and are simply nor getting the respect they rightfully deserve from the oddsmakers. They are the pick to win the division and they are quite the value bet at any plus figure, let alone +140. The Eagles are a divisional bet to attack!
New York Giants +1000
The Giants biggest offseason splash, like the Cowboys, was in the coaching change made. They rightfully opted to fire second time failure as a head coach and replace him with Joe Judge. Shurmur is a decent, middle of the road offensive coordinator but has proven he is simply not head coaching material. We get to find out if Joe Judge is, after being an assistant under both Belichick and Saban. Also notable is that the Giants brought in Jason Garrett to be their offensive coordinator after the division rival Cowboys cut him loose. Where the Giants are handicapped is in having one of the worst general managers in the league in Dave Gettleman. He will be fired after another losing season, and it is essentially his fault that will be happening. The offense will be fun this year as sophomore Daniel Jones leads the offense with elite back Saquon Barkley by his side. Where the wheels fall off is with the defensive side of the ball. One of the league’s worst units last season will not be much improved, if at all, and will be the achilles heel of the team. The bright side is that will likely lead to some fun shootouts, particularly within the division, but that’s almost certainly the end of the silver lining for this season.
The Giants have pieces in place to make an ascension in the future, but will need more competence in the front office to realize that goal.
Washington Football Team +1300
While the Giants could surprise with a new coaching staff and a second year leap from Daniel Jones, the former Redskins are simply the lesser version of the above scenario in every aspect. They also have a new head coach in Ron Rivera, who is competent enough, but is being handed a nearly empty tool box. Second year first round quarterback Dwayne Haskins was not remotely good in his rookie season and showed why many of us thought he was overdrafted last year. The Team will often be running in mud on offense due to Haskins limitations and the lack of pass catching weaponry after wide receiving breakout candidate Terry McLaurin. Their top backs are the aged version of Adrien Peterson and two talented backs who have potential but are yet to play an NFL snap in Antonio Gibson and Bryce Love. The defense is in no better shape than the offense and it will be a long season in the nation’s capital.
Incompetent ownership is the main culprit for the current direction of this franchise and the team very well may need to be sold before a turnaround of any significance takes place.
All in all, the Eagles remain the best bet to win the division once again, and are a betting value at +140 that should be attacked!