The NFC East was supposed to be the most-competitive division going into the 2017 NFL season. But the Philadelphia Eagles ran away with the division, finishing 13-3 and eventually winning the Super Bowl.
The Dallas Cowboys (9-7) and Washington Redskins (7-9) both had their moments. However, they each missed the postseason. The New York Giants, meanwhile, were one of the league’s worst teams at 3-13.
Anything can happen in the NFL from year to year. That said, any one of these four teams could capture the NFC East crown in 2018.
I’m going to look at this year’s odds on the division. I’ll also preview each team and discuss if their chances of winning the East match their odds.
2018 Odds on Winning NFC East
The following odds are listed on GTBets right now. But keep in mind that these are subject to change and are removed and re-added on a regular basis:
- Dallas +375
- New York Giants +450
- Philadelphia -150
- Washington +775
2018 NFC East Team Previews
Philadelphia Eagles (-150)
The big story right now is that Carson Wentz won’t be ready to start in Week 1 after tearing his ACL last year. Things don’t get any easier when considering that backup and Super Bowl hero Nick Foles has been terrible in the preaseason.
Despite Philly’s problems at quarterback, they do have plenty of offensive weapons to keep the chains moving. Tight end Zach Ertz and receiver Alshon Jeffrey are among the best at their positions and will help whoever’s at QB.
The defense could be even better than last year’s dominant group. Fletcher Cox is one of the league’s most-underrated player. The signings of Pro Bowlers Haloti Ngata and Michael Bennett have bolstered the defensive line even more.
Considering that Philadelphia crushed the NFC East last year and has an even deeper roster this year, they seem like a decent bet at -150.
Dallas Cowboys (+375)
However, Elliott is back and running behind what may be the NFL’s top offensive line. He’ll have to carry the load even more in 2018, given the depleted receiving corp.
Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are both gone. This leaves third-year QB Dak Prescott having to shoulder too much burden in the passing game.
Much of Dallas’ fortunes on defense lie with Sean Lee. The oft-injured linebacker helped the team hold opponents to 16.0 PPG when he was on the field. But they gave up 29.0 PPG when he was hurt.
The defense will benefit from adding linebacker Leighton Vander Esch in the first round. They also return DeMarcus Lawrence, who’s coming off a season where he tallied 14.5 sacks.
Overall, the Cowboys have some major questions to answer. Can Lee stay healthy? Will the receivers create enough separation for Prescott to get them the ball? They’re a risky bet at +375 until we know the answers.
New York Giants (+450)
The new coach will get a boost with a healthy Odell Beckham and No. 2 pick Saquon Barkley on offense. Barkley could be New York’s best running back since they’ve entered the 2000s. Tight end Evan Engram and receiver Sterling Shepard add additional weapons for this team.
The Giants have the pieces of a good defense. And new coordinator James Bettcher will try to get the most out of them.
Defensive end Olivier Vernon is very good at patrolling the edge on outside runs. Damon “Snacks” Harrison is one of the NFL’s top run-stuffers.
With a new coach and good additions, New York could surprise a lot of people this year. That said, they’re not a bad bet at +450.
Washington Redskins (+775)
Smith will have his work cut out, though, with limited skilled players on offense. Tight end Jordan Reed is the most talented Redskins offensive player. However, he’s often hurt and didn’t see the field much last year. Rookie running back Derrius Guice tearing his ACL will only make things tougher on the Skins.
The defense played good last year under coordinator Greg Manusky. However, they also lost corners Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller in the offseason. The linebacking corp is solid with Zach Brown and Ryan Kerrigan, while first-round pick Da’Ron Payne and 2017 first-rounder Jonathan Allen should improve the D-line.
You can tell by Washington’s long odds that they’re picked to finish last. And it won’t be any surprise if they do, given that they’re lacking on offense and have questions on defense.