By Justin Mark, SGPN Football Handicapper
With the NFL season almost upon us, the NFC East will remain a very competitive division. In fact, lines from WynnBET show that under the projected win totals for all teams is plus money, meaning the books expect all teams to hit the over. The last time the NFC East had back-to-back division champions was back in 2004 when the Eagles won the division four years in a row from 2001-2004.
Come back next week as I dive in for a handicapper’s look at the Eagles’ Week 1 matchup against the Lions. As the season progresses, I’ll make a pick vs. the point spread on each game and provide some prop recommendations on Eagles players and opposing stars. Here’s a look at my division prediction win totals in order of anticipated accomplishment.
Win Totals: O 9.5 (-135) U 9.5 (+120)
The Eagles made a big move by trading for A.J. Brown this offseason to improve their offense. Georgia rookies Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean should amp up the defense as well. Last year Jalen Hurts led all quarterbacks in rushing yards. As long as he continues to improve in the passing game, where he finished 21st last year, this team will only get better. Starting the season with Lions, Vikings, Commanders, and Jaguars, the Eagles could easily go 4-0. They are ranked as having the second easiest schedule and I foresee them getting 11 wins and stealing the division (+145) from the Cowboys. I like over 9.5 wins at -135.
Note: In sports wagering lingo, -135 means that the bettor would risk $135 or $13.50 to win $100 or $10. +120 means that the bettor would risk $100 or $10 to win $120 or $12.00.
Win Totals: O 10.5 (-150) U 10.5 (+135)
Despite no longer having Amari Cooper, the Cowboys return a strong offense with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot, Tony Pollard, CeeDee Lamb, and more. They finished 1st in yards per game last year with 407. However, the offensive line now faces questions after starting left tackle Tyron Smith was injured in practice and will need surgery that will put him out for three to four months. The offensive line is one of the strengths the Cowboys have over other teams and with that in jeopardy, they may struggle. Looking at their schedule, I see the team winning exactly 10 games, so I like the under 10.5 wins at +135.
Win Totals: O 7.5 (-155) U 7.5 (+140)
Many have the Giants ranked with the easiest schedule. Still, questions linger about Daniel Jones’ ability to be a franchise quarterback and Saquon Barkley’s ability to stay healthy. The Giants’ receivers certainly don’t have a lot of depth. The defense should be improved and play more aggressively under defensive coordinator Wink Martindale. Brian Daboll, former offensive coordinator of the Bills, should bring improvements to the team overall. Due to the easy schedule, I think they clear 7.5, even if barely. I’m taking over 7.5 at -125.
Win Totals: O 7.5 (-125) U 7.5 (+115)
This offseason the Commanders traded for Carson Wentz, despite promise shown from Taylor Heinicke. Rookie running back Brian Robinson looks poised to take over from Antonio Gibson and the Commanders have one of the better wide receivers in the league, Terry McLaurin. Still, Wentz has struggled to stay healthy, which could throw the chemistry off if a mid-season injury occurs. Even if he remains uninjured, Wentz hasn’t looked like the successful quarterback from Philadelphia for quite some time. The defense finished as the 11th worst in the league last year, and not enough improvements were made. I’m taking under 7.5 at +115.
Justin Mark is co-host of SGPN Fantasy Football’s show “Old-Fashioned Football” and a writer for the Sports Gambling Podcast. Follow him @JMarkFootball and The Sports Gambling Podcast @GamblingPodcast.