The staff at Oskeim Sports takes an in-depth look at the teams in the NFC East for the upcoming NFL season. This NFL betting preview focuses on the Eagles, Giants, Redskins and Cowboys.
Be sure to visit Oskeim Sports’ Blog daily for an NFL betting preview on the various divisions in the NFC and AFC conferences. On Monday, Oskeim’s staff will publish an NFL betting preview on the teams residing in the NFC North.
The Philadelphia Eagles stormed through the NFC East behind MVP candidate Carson Wentz. After Wentz went down with multiple tears in his knee against the Rams in December, very few gave the Eagles a shot in the playoffs.
In fact, they were the only number one seed ever as an underdog against a number six seed. Behind backup Nick Foles the Eagles defeated the Falcons, steamrolled the Vikings to enter Super Bowl LII.
After taking down Tom Brady and the Patriots in one of the biggest shootouts in Super Bowl history, the Eagles completed the unbelievable. So what happens this year with the Eagles and the NFC East?
While Philadelphia is clearly the team to beat, Dallas should be improved and don’t count out the Redskins and Giants. Here’s an early preview of the division for this season.
1. Philadelphia Eagles
The good news for the Eagles is that Carson Wentz is by all reports, ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee surgery. He could be ready for opening day. If not, everyone knows what Nick Foles is capable after winning MVP of the Super Bowl.
According to ESPN.com, the Eagles are second only to the Patriots in the power rankings. Their over/under in wins of 10.5 is also second to New England. The defending Super Bowl champions lost some key components this offseason in LeGarrette Blount, Torrey Smith, Donnie Jones, Mychal Kendricks, Trey Burton, Patrick Robinson and Vinny Curry.
However, Darren Sproles, Carson Wentz and Jason Peters will return from injury. They had a solid draft, adding a potential red-zone weapon in tight end Dallas Goedert.
In addition, they signed wide receiver Mike Wallace, linebacker Corey Nelson, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and former Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett.
Linebacker Nigel Bradham also resigned for five seasons. The road will be more difficult this season as the Eagles won’t sneak up on anyone. They also have a first place schedule and likely will see each team’s best.
However, there is enough talent for the Eagles to win the division and have one of the top seeds in the conference, barring a post-Super Bowl letdown.
2. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys looks to rebound after a disappointing 9-7 season, which was marred by the absence of running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games due to suspension.
Without Elliott, the offense sputtered and Dak Prescott was not nearly the same quarterback as he was in 2016. Expected a performance this year better than last season but not up to his unbelievable rookie campaign.
Dallas is an over/under of 8.5 for wins this season and near the middle of the pack in ESPN’s power rankings. They will have to replace tight end Jason Witten, who retired and wide receiver Dez Bryant, who was released.
Very quietly this offseason, Dallas signed defensive ends Kony Ealy and David Irving. Nine-year veteran linebacker Sean Lee missed five games due to injury. Looking to bolster the linebacking core, the Cowboys drafted Leighton Vander Esch out of Boise State in the first round of the NFL draft.
Wide receiver Michael Gallup out of Colorado State was selected in the third round, but one must wonder what else Dallas will do to make up for the loss of Witten and Bryant.
Dallas has enough weapons in Prescott and Elliott to remain competitive but likely won’t be elite without more pieces. Expect 9-7 or 10-6 and a wild card appearance in the playoffs. A deep run in the postseason doesn’t appear likely.
3. Washington Redskins
After a 7-9 season in 2017, the Redskins look to push over .500 and get back into contention for the division title. However, they are still only the third best team in the division and have to face Philadelphia and Dallas twice.
Veteran Alex Smith takes over at quarterback, coming over from the Chiefs. He replaces Kirk Cousins, who will call the signals for the Minnesota Vikings. Getting back to .500 may be difficult, as Washington is an over/under of 7 for wins and are just 21st in ESPN’s power rankings.
In the draft, the Redskins selected Da’Ron Payne, defensive linemen out of Alabama, in the first round. He should pay immediate dividends. No skill position players were selected by the Redskins, so unless they pick up a free agent, they will go into the season relying on second-year running back Samaje Perine (603 yards, 3.4 average) to carry the load.
Jamison Crowder should be Smith’s main target this season, but there aren’t many other weapons on this roster. Washington will need to improve on a defense that ranked 27th in the league in points allowed and the offense doesn’t have the firepower to carry this team.
A .500 record would be a great accomplishment for this team in 2018.
4. New York Giants
The Giants had a woeful 3-13 record last season marked with an injury to Odell Beckham Jr, ending his season after just four games. Quarterback Eli Manning started to show his age, recording a mediocre 80.6 quarterback rating.
After an over/under of 9 wins a year ago, the Giants come in at 6.5, which would be a big improvement over last year’s win total. They are 26th in the power rankings and very few expect the Giants out of the cellar in this division.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall was released, as was running back Paul Perkins. Jonathan Stewart was signed to replace Perkins. The biggest reason for optimism is the drafting of running back Saquon Barkley out of Penn State.
Arguably the best and most versatile player drafted this season, Barkley immediately makes the Giants better. However, unless the passing game improves, teams will key on the run, making life that much more difficult for the Giants’ run game.
New York ranked 31st last year in scoring and 27th in points allowed. Those are likely to improve this season, but even significant improvement to 6 or 7 wins lands the Giants in the basement in the NFC East.
They are at least another year away from serious playoff contention.
We hope you enjoyed Oskeim Sports’ NFL betting preview of the NFC East. Oskeim’s staff is working hard to provide sports bettors with the best NFL betting preview in the industry.
Oskeim Sports’ NFL Betting Preview Schedule:
- NFC East – 7/22/18
- NFC North – 7/23/18
- NFC South – 7/24/18
- NFC West – 7/25/18