Will the loss of DeSean Jackson derail Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins’ playoff hopes? Last but not least, will the New York Giants add a rushing attack to help Eli Manning and company in their quest for Super Bowl success? Let’s find out what’s going to go down in the competitive NFC East in 2017. Find the latest NFL betting lines here.
2017 NFL Season NFC East Win Total Over/Under Picks
Dallas 9.5 WinsHome: Redskins, Giants, Eagles, Seahawks, Rams, Packers, Chiefs, Chargers Away: Redskins, Giants, Eagles, 49ers, Cardinals, Falcons, Raiders, Broncos
Analysis: The Cowboys had a phenomenal season in going 13-3 a year ago as rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott led the team into a new era in stunning fashion by ranking second in rushing (149.8 ypg) and fifth in scoring (26.3 ppg). Still, Dallas has an extremely difficult schedule in 2017 that could be cause for concern.
I’ve got the Cowboys opening their 2017 campaign with a home win over the Giants before squeaking past Denver in the Mile High city in Week 2. A road loss at Arizona in Week 3 will be followed by a home blowout of the Rams and narrow home loss to the Packers just before Dallas’ Week 6 bye.
In Week 7, the Cowboys will rout the quarterback-less 49ers in San Francisco before heading to Washington for a narrow loss against the Redskins. I think Dallas will then lose at home to Kansas City in a nail-biter before falling at Atlanta in a high-scoring shootout. A trio of home victories over Philadelphia, the Los Angeles Chargers and Washington should follow that, but Dallas could lose their final four games of the season at New York and Oakland, at home against Seattle and at Philadelphia to finish at either 8-8 or 9-7 in a best case scenario.
Pick: Under 9.5 Wins
NY Giants 9 WinsHome: Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles, Seahawks, Rams, Lions, Chiefs, Chargers Away: Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles, 49ers, Cardinals, Buccaneers, Raiders, Broncos
Analysis: Eli Manning was solid and the Giants were outstanding defensively as they finished second in points allowed (17.8 ppg) and that alone means the G-Men should be competitive in 2017. Unfortunately, New York’s wide receivers, including Odell Beckham Jr. got the ‘dropsies’ in the playoffs and New York’s rushing attack was no-existent as they finished 29th overall (88.2 ypg). Still, I like the Giants to split their six NFC East matchups, just because the four teams that make up the division are very close in talent and have a deep-seated hatred for one another. I also like the G-Men to get home victories against the young Rams, inconsistent Lions and rebuilding (again) Chargers and road wins against the atrocious 49ers and possibly the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, although that’s certainly not a given. Despite some decent offseason acquisitions and a solid NFL draft, New York’s difficult schedule means they could go 7-9 or 8-8 at best in 2017.
Pick: Under 9 Wins
Washington 7.5 WinsHome: Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, 49ers, Cardinals, Vikings, Raiders, Broncos Away: Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Seahawks, Rams, Saints, Chiefs, Chargers
Analysis: Washington went 8-7-1 last season to miss the playoffs after getting in the year before, but like their NFC East counterparts, they face a difficult schedule in 2017 that could keep them out of the postseason again, especially if they don’t improve a defense that ranked 28th overall (377.9 ypg).
Washington will kick off its 2017 season with a home win over Philly and a road win against the Rams before coming back home to lose to Oakland in a high-scoring affair. The Skins then fall at Kansas City before their early Week 5 bye. A home win over Frisco, a road loss in Philly, a home win over Dallas and a road loss at Seattle will take place before Washington hits Week 10.
I like Kirk Cousins to lead Washington to a home win over Minnesota before Washington narrowly loses on the road in a shootout against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. In Week 12, Washington will beat the Giants at home before losing in Dallas and Los Angeles against the revamped Chargers.
Finally, I think it’s more than possible that Washington loses its final three games of the season at home against Arizona and Denver and at the Giants to finish at either 6-10 or 7-9 in a best case scenario. Either way, I think Cousins and the Skins fall just short of topping their win total odds.
Philadelphia 8.5 WinsHome: Cowboys, Giants, Redskins, 49ers, Cardinals, Bears, Raiders, Broncos Away: Cowboys, Giants, Redskins, Seahawks, Rams, Panthers, Chiefs, Chargers
Analysis: The Philadelphia Eagles went 7-9 last season, but the best news is that they clearly found a franchise signal-caller in now, second-year star Carson Wentz. The Birds finished the 2016 season ranked a respectable 16th in scoring (22.9 ppg) and even more impressive 12th in points allowed (20.7 ppg).
Unfortunately, Philadelphia gets its 2017 season started off with a pair of road losses at Washington and Kansas City before coming home to beat the Giants and then hitting the road to lose a nail-biter to Phillip and the Chargers. A home loss to Arizona and road loss to Carolina will take place in Weeks 4 and 5 before the Eagles come back home to beat Washington and San Francisco.
A home loss against Denver will take place just before Philly’s Week 10 bye and then the Birds will sandwich a pair of road losses at Dallas and Seattle around a Week 12 home blowout over the Bears. Wentz and the Eagles should then close out the regular season with a road win over the Rams, followed by a pair of losses at the Giants and Raiders before squeaking past Dallas in their regular season finale.
In the end, there’s no way I see the eagles reaching the 9-win plateau in 2017, even though the Birds could be really legitimate Super Bowl contenders by 2018.
Pick: Under 8.5 Wins