More Sports:

June 03, 2021

NFC East 2021 betting breakdown

Odds, team analysis and the best bet

NFL Eagles

Content sponsored by Limited - PICKSWISE Sponsorship Badge

Football field general Thomas Park/Unsplash

The NFC East was a doormat and a laughingstock last season. Each team finished below .500, and Washington was able to win the division at 7-9. The Eagles have fallen on hard times since their Super Bowl run, the Cowboys dealt with a devastating Dak Prescott injury, and the Giants’ 6-10 campaign was somehow seen as somewhat of a success given their recent ineptitude.

Will the NFC East improve in 2021, or will they remain the NFL’s worst division? Let’s break it all down, starting with the NFL odds for each team to win:

• Dallas Cowboys +125

• Washington Football Team +260
• New York Giants +350
• Philadelphia Eagles +500

Let’s take a look at each team’s case one by one:

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys didn’t exactly start the Mike McCarthy era off with a bang. Prescott broke his ankle early in the season, and things went off the rails. He was putting up monster numbers before going down, and with Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup at his disposal, there are reasons for optimism for the offense. 

The team fired defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, which was a step in the right direction for the defense. If rookie linebacker Micah Parsons can deliver on his star potential, the unit should be significantly improved at the very least. All things considered, the Cowboys look like a great NFL pick for the NFC East.

Washington Football Team

Washington won the NFC East last year, yet they find themselves significantly behind the Cowboys in the betting odds. Alex Smith retired, meaning Washington will likely have free agent signee Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. They signed Curtis Samuel away from the Panthers, but the skill position group is still a bit underwhelming beyond Terry McLaurin. 

The defense was fantastic last year, and is still very young. Their youthful core on the defensive line, led by Chase Young, should only continue to get better. But as a reward for a first-place finish, they now have to play a first-place schedule. Tough games against teams like the Bills, Packers and Seahawks (that the rest of the division won’t play) now await as a result.

New York Giants

The Giants finished 6-10, but just about everybody was pleased with Joe Judge’s first year in charge. The team beat expectations, and fought hard until the very end. Daniel Jones was up and down, which is perhaps putting it kindly, but the defense was really good the whole year. New York was bold this offseason, signing Kenny Golladay and Adoree’ Jackson to big contracts. 

Perhaps unfortunately, their 2021 aspirations will still live and die with Jones’ development. If he doesn’t take a big leap forward, it’s tough to see them making much noise, even with Saquon Barkley returning to full health after his ACL tear. The defense probably overachieved a bit in 2020, and they didn’t do enough to shore up the offensive line.

Philadelphia Eagles

All that brings us to the Eagles, who were undisputed kings of the division just a couple of short years ago. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. 

Philly now finds themselves with the worst odds in the NFC East as they enter a transitional year. Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson are out; Jalen Hurts and Nick Sirianni are in. The Eagles had a solid draft by trading down and still landing a potential top receiver in DeVonta Smith. The offensive line should be much improved with guys like Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson coming back. Still, Hurts’ group of pass-catchers isn’t ideal, especially if Zach Ertz is traded or released. A lot of the key guys on defense, like Fletcher Fox, Brandon Graham, Darius Slay, Rodney McLeod, etc., are all on the wrong side of 30 and not getting any younger.

Best Bet

It might be boring, but getting any plus-money has me liking the Cowboys at +125 as my NFL prediction. Washington’s defense should regress a little bit as it’s hard to play like the league’s best unit two years in a row. Their schedule is getting a lot more difficult as well. Dallas has by far the most talented offense in the division, and the only top-tier quarterback. Jones isn’t going to lead any team to double digit wins, and the Eagles still don’t have the skill position talent or the defense. If the Cowboys’ defense can just become an average unit, they should win the NFC East easily.

Pickswise is the #1 home of free NFL picks, predictions and odds. Find the latest lines and opinions for every game. 21+ Please gamble responsibly.