With the NBA and NHL playoffs now over, we can start to focus on the upcoming NFL season. We already previewed the futures market for the Coach of the Year award, and now we’ll look at win totals in the NFC East.
The Dallas Cowboys are the +115 favorites to win the NFC East for the second straight season, so it’s no surprise they have the highest win total in the division. The Philadelphia Eagles, who are +190 to win the NFC East, have the second highest win total.
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NFC East Win Totals
Provided by BetMGM
|NFC East Team||Over||Under|
|New York Giants||7.5 / +130||7.5 / -160|
|Washington Commanders||8.5 / +140||8.5 / -165|
|Philadelphia Eagles||9.5 / -110||9.5 / -110|
|Dallas Cowboys||10.5 / +105||10.5 / -125|
When projecting win totals, the two most important things to factor in are a team’s strength of schedule and any noteworthy changes to their roster. Thus, we’ll begin our analysis by assessing each team’s upcoming schedule, while addressing possible key personnel changes during the offseason.
This season, the NFC East’s intraconference opponents will be from the NFC North, while their interconference opponents will be teams in the AFC South. The 17th game will feature teams from the AFC North.
While there are no easy game in the NFL, NFC East teams will benefit from facing the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC South. No other division in the league had two teams that won fewer games than the Jaguars (3-14) and Texans (4-13) last season. As a result, it’s no surprise that the Action Network’s predictive analyst Sean Koerner ranks the Giants, Eagles and Commanders with the three softest schedules in the league.
New York Giants Under 7.5 Wins
The Giants finished last in the NFC East at 4-13 (.235 win percentage). According to TeamRankings.com, New York ranked 20th in strength of schedule after Week 18. Thus, even with a strength of schedule that ranked in the bottom half of the league, the Giants only managed to win four games.
Part of the Giants’ struggles came down to injuries, as starting quarterback Daniel Jones missed the final six games of the regular season. New York went 0-6 during that span but 4-11 in the games Jones started. Three of the six losses at the end of the season were against the Dolphins, Bears and the Commanders. While the Giants might have fared better if Jones was available for those games, I think the best-case scenario was to go 2-1 against those opponents.
I took a look at the Giants’ upcoming schedule, and I think their ceiling is seven wins. Since Jones took over as the starting quarterback in 2019, New York hasn’t won more than six games.
What’s important to note here is that teams within the division, like the Eagles and Commanders, got significantly better in the offseason. The Cowboys are still the Cowboys and deserve respect as the division champions.
Thus, even with a relatively more manageable schedule that includes the Texans and Jaguars, the Giants will continue to face a tough challenge within their division. The new coaching staff is a big upgrade, but not enough to get the G-Men to .500 in 2022.
Washington Commanders Over 8.5 Wins
The Commanders showed plenty of grit in 2021 after losing starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 1 to a hip injury. Washington still managed to win seven games behind backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke. In the offseason, the Commanders upgraded the position by landing Carson Wentz via trade with the Indianapolis Colts.
Wentz became persona non grata in Indianapolis after the Colts’ no-show job in Week 18 against a three-win Jaguars team with a playoff berth on the line. However, looking at his overall stats, one could argue that he still put up decent numbers.
Wentz finished the season with 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions while throwing for 3,563 yards. I know he’s been a bit turnover-prone with the fumbles, but we’re talking about a player who threw for 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions in his second year before missing the rest of the season with a knee injury.
There’s no question that Wentz is a lightning rod, but he’s still a competent quarterback. Is he not worth at least two more wins on a Commanders team that also lost its top pass rusher in Chase Young to an ACL injury in Week 10?
I think some are underselling the Commanders’ chances to compete in 2022. I like the Wentz move and even added a Ron Rivera Coach of the Year future to my portfolio. I’ll take a shot with Washington to go over their win total at the plus price of +140.
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Philadelphia Eagles Under 9.5 Wins
Last season the Eagles were a team favorite of NFL analytical geeks because of their ability to win on third down. According to TeamRankings, Philadelphia was tied for third with 5.9 conversions per game. That’s a big reason the Eagles managed to win nine games and clinch a playoff berth.
This year, the Eagles figure to be much better now that quarterback Jalen Hurts has an entire season under his belt. If Hurts can continue to evolve as a down-field passer, he could start to draw comparisons with Bills star quarterback Josh Allen, another young strong-armed, dual-threat quarterback.
However, achieving double-digit victories in the National Football League is no small feat, particularly in a division where Hurts might be the third-best quarterback behind Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz.
And with a standard juice of -110 in both directions, perhaps the oddsmakers are somewhat ambivalent about this win total.
I think a lot has to break right for the Eagles to get to ten wins, even after all their offseason additions like receiver A.J. Brown. As a result, I’d look to play the under when it comes to Philadelphia’s win total.
Dallas Cowboys Under 10.5 Wins
No team knows the importance of a starting quarterback more than the Dallas Cowboys. With a healthy Dak Prescott under center, Dallas finished the year at 12-5, resulting in six more wins than their previous season.
Dallas racked up 12 wins while playing the third-most difficult regular season schedule, according to TeamRankings. However, six of its 12 wins came against divisional foes.
There’s been some concern about the Cowboys taking a step back following the Amari Cooper trade to the Cleveland Browns. And while some Cowboys fans might question whether Cooper ever reached his full potential with the team, his departure will still be a void they’ll have to overcome.
With the other NFC East teams all improving, I don’t foresee the Cowboys going undefeated in the division for a second year in a row
This win total is right where it should be at 10.5 games, so it’s either the under or pass for this bettor.