NFC East Odds: Betting the Exact Order After Free Agency
NFC East Odds: Betting the Final Order After Free Agency
The league-wide free agent and trade frenzy probably isn't over, but as the dust settles and the calendar dives further into April, the month of the draft, it's come time to do some preliminary evaluations around where teams stand. This is not only the case for overall power rankings, either.
The race is all the way on for this year's division chases, and as a result, DraftKings went ahead and dropped betting odds on how each of the eight divisions could shake out. Odds are listed for each of the exact scenarios, listing the division winner at the top through the last-place finisher in fourth.
Let's see what the NFC East has to offer.
Top 5 Scenarios of NFC East Odds After Free Agency
|NFC East Exact Order||Odds|
|1st DAL Cowboys/2nd PHI Eagles/3rd WAS Commanders/4th NY Giants||+475|
|1st DAL Cowboys/2nd PHI Eagles/3rd NY Giants/4th WAS Commanders||+650|
|1st DAL Cowboys/2nd WAS Commanders/3rd PHI Eagles/4th NY Giants||+700|
|1st PHI Eagles/2nd DAL Cowboys/3rd WAS Commanders/4th NY Giants||+800|
|1st PHI Eagles/2nd DAL Cowboys/3rd NY Giants/4th WAS Commanders||+1000|
|1st DAL Cowboys/2nd NY Giants/3rd PHI Eagles/4th WAS Commanders||+1000|
At -115 odds, the Cowboys are favored to repeat what they did last year when they went 12-5 and took the division by three games over the Eagles. Their win total has been set at 10.5 wins, or at least two clear of the other three teams in the division.
Philadelphia (+350 to take the division) is next in line at 8.5 wins on the heels of a season in which they overachieved and reached the playoffs as a wild card team. Jalen Hurts is going to be the guy behind center once again, and since the new year began the defense has added free agent Haason Reddick to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks like Prescott. They'll aim to do more in the draft as they'll have two picks (after trading one away recently) in the middle of the first round, with which they'll likely add a receiver and another talent to the middle or back-end of the defense.
Now with Carson Wentz acquired via trade, the Commanders are third at +400 to win and boasting a projected win total of 7.5. And though they didn't make massive splashes in free agency, they did go and get Andrew Norwell to hold down a guard spot in front of the franchise's new and high-priced quarterback. The defensive promise is there as well when you consider the cornerstone of that is defensive end, Chase Young.
Speaking of promise, there hasn't been a lot of that on either side of the ball for the Giants. Daniel Jones has underachieved his draft status to this point, while Saquon Barkley has been up-and-down since suffering a few injuries in the past two years. Their defense was among the worst in the league a year ago, but all eyes will be on Jones and if he can do more behind two new guards. Most notably, they handed Mark Glowinski $18.3 million to shore things up. Despite that, the oddsmakers have them back at seven wins and +650 for the division.
The landscape is certain, but is there substantial value in thinking things will play out differently?
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NFC East Exact Order Value After Free Agency
|NFC East Exact Order||Odds|
|1st PHI Eagles/2nd WAS Commanders/3rd DAL Cowboys/4th NY Giants||+2200|
This division is different from others in that there could be a completely mashed-up top three between the Cowboys, Eagles, and Commanders. It's not inconceivable that Philadelphia would go ahead and overachieve for a second straight season, with another season under Hurts' belt and their additions via free agency and the upcoming draft. Assuming they add another weapon on the outside in the draft, the offense will be solid, but the defense is where they could overtake Dallas. Reddick will be opposite Derek Barnett, and Fletcher Cox is back to man the middle upfront. And even more recently, they were able to bring in Kyzir White to be a better coverage defender from the middle linebacker spot (in place of Alex Singleton). According to Football Outsiders, they were 25th a year ago defensively, but they should make up a lot of ground and be at least a top-15 unit if not top-10 based on what they add with one of their two first-round selections.
The Dallas faithful will surely be up in arms about this, but there is a non-0% chance that Washington comes in second and pushes the Cowboys to third in the East. Admittedly, this would require a bit of a misstep from Dallas. Still, the Commanders have a new quarterback, and the 11th pick could fill one of their holes they weren't able to address in the free-agent market. The scenario where they surpass Dallas, though, lies with their defensive line and what they were expected to do last year after ranking third in defensive DVOA in 2020. If that 2020-level defense is back, and Wentz can be the quarterback he was last year, they're in good shape to win upwards of 9 or 10 games.
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As for the Cowboys and that potential misstep, there's more to it than just relying on Michael Gallup to return from injury and fill the void left by Amari Cooper being traded to the Browns. They boast last year's second-ranked defense, which will only feel the loss of defensive end Randy Gregory. They brought back Jayron Kearse, so they should be solid once again. It's the offensive line, now without Connor Williams and La'el Collins, that could be the problem point. After all, the Eagles and Commanders present some trouble in the division with how well they could pressure the quarterback this season. Dallas could certainly have another 8- or 9-win season and clear the Giants with ease, but there's room for Washington to take the second spot.
Fourth isn't up for debate. Unless a number of players -- especially those in key spots -- make leaps and bounds to improve in 2022, there's little hope for the Giants to best any of their divisional opponents by the season's end. Daniel Jones has yet to prove he's anything but the fourth-best quarterback in the division at this point, and they have a ton of holes on a defense that rated 18th by DVOA and 23rd in scoring last season. They'll gain some ground in the draft, but there's not enough experienced talent to go around.
This version of the NFC East landscape warrants consideration if you're one to weigh the odds with the potential payout. At +2200 odds, that's an additional $1,725 on a $100 wager. The opportunity is there.
Brett Oswalt has been writing about sports for five years, has covered everything from the NBA to College Football DFS, and previously served as an editor at numberFire. He is a Senior Workforce Planning Analyst at Highmark by day, and an avid sports fan and girl-dad by night. He resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife, Marley, daughter, Aria, and goldendoodle, Braun.