NFL Futures Betting – Odds and Picks for the NFC East

No one would be out of line for saying that the NFC East will be a two-team race. 

The Philadelphia Eagles are unquestionably in the position of having to redeem themselves after what has to be characterized as an embarrassing effort in their playoff game against Tampa Bay. Considering that they had appeared in the Super Bowl the season before, you know what the standard is, and their front office was hard at work in the off-season in returning them to supremacy in the NFC.

The Dallas Cowboys have slipped and fallen too often for owner Jerry Jones to handle. And if he loses patience, it’s understandable. Another failure in 2024 might prompt him to make a move with head coach Mike McCarthy or even quarterback Dak Prescott. 

The New York Giants will depend on a quarterback who, when it comes down to it, they prefer not to move forward with. Can he come back from injury and take advantage of the talents of the team’s first-round draft pick? And the Washington Commanders are going through a complete upheaval, from the ownership on down, and will be betting their future on a quarterback coming off a Heisman Trophy campaign. 

For more insights on NFL betting, including over-under bets, visit our articles on NFL Betting – AFC Over-Under Regular Season Win Bets and NFL Football Betting – NFC Over-Under Regular Season Win Bets.

Let’s take a look at the NFL betting odds posted on the NFC East:

  • Dallas Cowboys +100
  • Philadelphia Eagles +100
  • New York Giants +800
  • Washington Commanders +800

Dallas Cowboys (+100) 

  • 2023 record: 12-5 SU, 10-7 ATS
  • Head Coach: Mike McCarthy 

Last season was another disappointment for Jerry Jones, who isn’t getting any younger. We’re saying there isn’t a lot of time left for him to win another Super Bowl. He hired a head coach who’d won a ring before, but Mike McCarthy couldn’t deliver the degree Jones was looking for. 

To a certain extent, the same can be said for the well-paid Dak Prescott, who has produced great numbers but nothing in the way of a conference championship. Who knows how long Prescott’s going to be around? Much may depend on what he does this year, and we’re not being overly dramatic when we say that.

McCarthy’s contract ends after this season, and Jones has been reticent to give him an extension. 

That’s not unintentional. Jones wants to pay his players AND his coaches based on performance, and it makes sense that he wants to see McCarthy achieve the goal of reaching the Super Bowl. If not, there are a lot of candidates waiting in line. That’s the truth, and Jones knows it. Besides, he has gone on record stating that there is far too much “dead money” that teams incur after firing coaches before the expiration of their contracts, and he sees no reason to create more of that.

“I think that’s a benefit to the organization, that they’re able to allow players and coaches to go into their last year and put a little pressure on them,” says ex-Cowboy quarterback Troy Aikman, now the color commentator for Monday Night Football. “And I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.”

It was very aggravating for Jones to see his team go down so meekly in the first round of the NFC Playoffs and to McCarthy’s former employer, no less (Green Bay). 

More disappointment came in the off-season. The team lost offensive tackle Tyron Smith and center Tyler Biadasz. Retooling on the O-Line will be a process, and toward that end, the Cowboys drafted OT Tyler Guyton of Oklahoma in the first round. 

Replacing running back Tony Pollard (now property of the Tennessee Titans) will be more problematic. Pollard may not have been an every-down back, but he supplied that element of explosiveness that isn’t always found at the position. Ezekiel Elliott, who was once arguably the league’s premier tailback, is back in Dallas after a stint with New England. We don’t know exactly how he’ll be used, but it would surprise us if he became the #1 option in the backfield. Jones is said to have coveted University of Texas running back Jonathon Brooks, but he could not land him in the draft.

Athletic linebacker Eric Kendricks, who was an All-Pro five years ago, will try to bounce back with the Cowboys after getting released by Jim Harbaugh and the Chargers. However, Dallas has been far from active with personnel moves in the off-season. That contrasts the Philadelphia Eagles, who knew they couldn’t afford to sit still.

Philadelphia Eagles (+100) 

  • 2023 record: 11-6 SU, 7-8-2 ATS
  • Head Coach: Nick Sirianni 

It was almost depressing how the Philadelphia Eagles came down the stretch in the 2023 season. After beating the Cowboys, Chiefs, and Bills in consecutive games, they were 10-1 and regarded by fans and the media as the best team in the NFL and a favorite to win the Super Bowl. 

But there were warning signs. They had been outgained for four straight contests. This manifested itself in their finish, which saw them lose five of their last six regular-season games, banged up, stumbling, and generally outplayed. Then they walked into Raymond James Stadium and rolled over, getting slapped around by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, outgained by 150 yards, and losing a 32-9 decision.

This does not sit well with General Manager Howie Roseman, who is always on the move. The Eagles may have done as much as anyone in terms of addressing what they had to do. 

Remember that Nick Sirianni originally got this program rolling with a run-based offense. And they may have their best running back in years, as Roseman went out and signed Saquon Barkley. Barkley had 962 yards while missing three games last year and had a career-high in rushing yards in 2022. If Barkley can stay healthy, he is a premier back and the kind of guy who can hurt an opponent whether he’s running the ball or receiving. 

Quarterback Jalen Hurts dealt with injuries last year. He had 15 rushing touchdowns but fell short of four yards a carry and was intercepted fifteen times. They need something better from him. Wideouts AJ Brown and Devonta Smith topped 1000 yards, but I’m not sure DeVante Parker adds too much. They will have to find the successor to Jason Kelce, the future Hall of Fame center who called it quits in the off-season. 

Only one team allowed more passing yards last season than the Eagles. So they brought in safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson and spent their top two draft picks on Toledo’s Quinton Mitchell and Iowa’s Cooper DeJean to bolster the secondary. 

Other changes to the defense include the trade of linebacker Haason Reddick, the release of safety Kevin Byard, a two-time All-Pro, and the retirement of great defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. Regarding the latter, they depend even more on second-year man Jalen Carter up front.

This is now the time to erase the bad vibes that might have gathered in the late stages 2023. Will the Eagles demonstrate they are closer to the team that won ten of the first eleven last year? They still have more on the ball than anyone else in the NFC East.

New York Giants (+800) 

  • 2023 record: 6-11 SU, 8-8-1 ATS
  • Head Coach: Brian Daboll

The New York Giants are in the doldrums; there’s no question about it. Things looked pretty promising after the 2022 season, as they had made the playoffs in Brian Daboll’s first year as head coach. He had come with high recommendation from the players he had worked with in Buffalo, so let’s face it – he looked like a genius after guiding Big Blue into the postseason.

But last season became a disaster. Quarterback injuries led to them using undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito as their starter. It is true that DeVito progressed as he got more snaps, and as a local kid, he became a folk hero of sorts. He has secured himself a spot on the roster going into training camp, but he was not ready to be an NFL starter.

The question as things stand now is whether Daniel Jones is ready to be that guy for the long term. When those first-round picks sign, it’s for four years, and then the team has an option year. After that, the player can go to free agency. The timing was perhaps not so fortuitous that Jones had an encouraging season in ’22, throwing only five interceptions in 472 attempts and leading his team to the playoffs. The team feared losing him and signed him to a four-year, $160 million contract extension. And then, of course, there was a second neck injury and a torn ACL that took him out for the season.

So, there has understandably been some buyer remorse. It was common knowledge that the Giants were exploring the possibilities of a deal with the Patriots for the #3 pick, which turned out to be Drake Maye. And you have to wonder what that does for Jones’ confidence coming into this season.

Another situation that presented concern was that surrounding running back Saquon Barkley. As you know, when he’s healthy, Barkley can be the cornerstone of an offense. The Giants put the franchise tag on him before last season but lost him to the Philadelphia Eagles. So now they will have to figure out a solution back there. The workmanlike Devin Singletary was signed, but he’s not the kind of guy who can compensate for the lack of a quality passing game. 

We can’t say we are fans of what Daboll and his staff have done with receivers. It was miraculous that they succeeded in 2022 with the group they were working with. Kadarius Toney, a first-round draft pick, couldn’t even get on the field. They didn’t like his attitude, and they had a point. But there’s no arguing with the fact that Toney went on to play a starring role in the Super Bowl after he was dealt to the Chiefs. Somehow, tight end Even Engram was ineffective for several years, but when he got to Jacksonville, he caught 114 passes. 

So you have to be somewhat skeptical this season, considering that they never got the best out of speed-burner Jalin Hyatt (23 catches for 373 yards as a rookie). Will Hyatt take another step? And how much will they get out of first-round pick Malik Nabers of LSU?

The defense ranked 27th in the NFL last year. The up-front guys were soft, allowing 4.7 yards per carry. There was a lot of friction between Daboll and coordinator Wink Martindale, which was a distraction. So he’s gone, and the new coordinator is Shane Bowen, who held that position with the Titans for the last three seasons. 

Martindale loved to blitz; the Giants will do that less under Bowen and play more zone. So what they needed was more pressure from the defensive line. They hope to pick that up from edge rusher Brian Burns, a Pro Bowler who came in a trade with Carolina. His contract guarantees him $87.5 million. 

The Giants have all their chips on the table with an injury-prone quarterback right now. If something goes wrong, they’d have to turn to the newly-acquired Drew Lock or DeVito again. And at that point, Daboll’s job is very much on the line. 

Washington Commanders (+800)

  • 2023 record: 4-13 SU, 6-10-1 ATS 
  • Head Coach: Dan Quinn 

The Washington Commanders are an organization that has undergone massive change in the off-season. To begin with, they have new owners. And those owners, right away, were hit with many interests that wanted them to come up with a better nickname. I’m not sure that’s forthcoming. 

They dropped Ron Rivera and hired a new head coach. Dan Quinn got the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl, of course, the Super Bowl in which they blew a huge second-half lead to the New England Patriots. Eventually, he was let go and redeemed himself as the defensive coordinator with the Dallas Cowboys. 

Now he’ll be charged with reviving a franchise that not only deteriorated on the defensive side of the ball (allowing 389 yards per game) but has found itself in quarterback hell in recent years. We don’t really want to blame Sam Howell too much, as he’s got talent and some potential. But the offensive line hung him out to dry, and he didn’t have enough to compensate for it. Howell threw for 3946 yards, but he also tossed 21 interceptions and sustained 64 sacks. 

Eric Bienemy, who has sulked about not being hired for a head coaching job, had an opportunity as the offensive coordinator. But he produced no protection and had a substandard running game. Consequently, the Commanders threw the football 66% of the time, the highest frequency of any NFL team. 

Bienemy is now employed at UCLA.

Meanwhile, here comes Kliff Kingsbury, who mostly struggled as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals but has a good reputation for developing quarterbacks. His project as the new O-coordinator is Jayden Daniels, the Heisman Trophy winner who was the second overall pick in the draft. Daniels has the run-pass abilities to make this attack dynamic. What he needs is to gain some experience.

And he’ll get it. To make it a more pleasant experience, the Commanders reached out to get him some help. Austin Ekeler, who gained more than 1600 yards from scrimmage in 2022, could not get a contract extension from the Chargers before last season, which made him a very unhappy camper. So, he came to the nation’s capital as a free agent. Center  Tyler Biadasz left Dallas for its hated rival, and Nick Allegretti, who filled in at guard for Joe Thuney and won a Super Bowl for the Chiefs, has also arrived. The tight-end situation is in better shape with Zach Ertz and second-round draft pick Ben Sinnott.

The Commanders will be more exciting on offense, but there is a long way to go on the stop unit, even though it will benefit from the presence of LB Bobby Wagner, who was with Quinn in Seattle (where he was the D-coordinator) and rejoins him here. 

NFC East Forecast: Eagles Edge Cowboys Amid Competitive Division Shake-Up

As we forecast the NFC East, the Philadelphia Eagles appear to have a slight edge over the Dallas Cowboys, thanks to their proactive offseason moves and depth. However, the division remains competitive, with the Giants and Commanders looking to surprise under new leadership and restructured rosters. Betting on the NFC East is not just about picking a favorite; it’s about understanding the dynamics and potential shifts each team brings into the season.