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NFC East Preview
by ASA - 07/17/2017
Dallas Cowboys – 2016 record (13-3) – 1st in the NFC East
· Off YPG – 376.7 (5th) – Def YPG – 343.9 (14th)
· Points scored 26.3 (5th) – Points allowed 19.1 (5th)
2017 Total Win Analysis
2017 ASA prediction – Play UNDER 9.5 Wins for Dallas Cowboys
Things that make you go Hmmm? Dallas won 13 games last year with a rookie QB and they were the talk of the league for much of the season. So now the oddsmakers set their total wins at 9.5? As most will look at this and immediately take the OVER, where this number is set makes us lean UNDER. QB Dak Prescott was great last year but took many by surprise. Now with a full year of film on him, expect defensive coordinators to adjust and Prescott to take a step back in 2017. The guy threw 4 interceptions the entire season! That number will absolutely rise this year. Defensively the Boys were a middle of the pack team in total defense yet allowed only 19 PPG. In other words, the yardage they allowed should have actually resulted in higher PPG allowed numbers as well. We think that catches up with them this season. A close look at last year’s schedule reveals that Dallas had just a 3-3 record vs other playoff teams. That included a home playoff loss to Green Bay. They have a tougher slate this year which includes 3 sets of back to back road games. Dallas could actually get off to a slow start as they start the year vs the Giants (lost both games to NY last year), @ Denver, @ Arizona, vs the Rams, and vs the Packers. That gives them four losable games in their first five. We just feel a lot went right last year for this team to get to 13-3 and we foresee a 9-7 type season in 2017.
Against The Spread – 10-6 ATS record / 6 Overs, 10 Unders
· Dallas is consistently one of the more over valued teams in Vegas. In fact, since 2010, they have THE WORST record in the NFL as a favorite at just 23-43-1 (35%)
· They also have the worst spread record in the NFL at home since 2010 with just 20 covers in their last 59 home games (35%).
· If favored at home, it gets even worse for Dallas where they have a spread record of only 12-30 ATS which is just 28%
· However, if you can catch Dallas as a home underdog, they are very profitable with a 31-16-1 spread record since 1990 which is a 66% success rate
Washington Redskins – 2016 record (8-7-1) – 3rd in the NFC East
· Off YPG – 403.4 (3rd) – Def YPG – 377.9 (28th)
· Points scored 24.8 (12th) – Points allowed 23.9 (19th)
2017 Total Win Analysis
2017 ASA prediction – Play UNDER 7.5 Wins for Washington Redskins
We have the Skins pegged for a 7-9 record this season. The offense was one of the best in the NFL last year but look for a drop off on that side of the ball. QB Kirk Cousins has proven he can be a top 10 type QB, however he lost some serious weapons from a year ago. His top two WR’s from last season are both gone. Pierre Garcon, 79 catches for 1,041 yards, and DeSean Jackson, 56 catches for 1,005 yards, have both moved on taking a huge chunk out of this offense. On top of that, offensive coordinator Sean McVay who was the orchestrator of that offense is now the head coach of the Rams. If it wasn’t for the offense last year this team would have really struggled. The defense was poor allowing 378 YPG which rank them right near the bottom of the NFL. They only beat two playoff teams last year and this season Washington has 7 playoff teams from last season on the schedule. They travel to the west coast 3 times this year and have other out of division road games in tough venues (KC & New Orleans). This team needed a very explosive offense last year to get to 8 wins. With the losses on that side of the ball, we think it’s unlikely the duplicate that this year.
Against The Spread – 10-6 ATS record / 12 Overs, 4 Unders
· Since 2003, Washington has been one of the strongest UNDER teams in the NFL when facing a division opponent. They have 34 OVERS, 46 UNDERS and 4 ties vs NFC East teams since ’03.
· Washington has been a play against team when they are favored going just 14-25-1 ATS their last 40 times as a favorite.
· Washington has been a money maker against division rival Dallas putting up a 16-7-1 ATS record the last 24 meetings
· Since 2005, the Skins are an impressive 41-29-2 ATS vs NFC East teams. That’s the 2nd best ATS division record in the NFL during that span.
Philadelphia Eagles – 2015 record (7-9) – 4th in the NFC East
· Off YPG – 337.4 (22nd) – Def YPG – 239.5 (13th)
· Points scored 22.9 (16th) – Points allowed 20.7 (12th)
2017 Total Win Analysis
2017 ASA prediction – Play OVER 8 Wins for the Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles started with a perfect 3-0 record last season and looked like they were headed in the right direction with rookie QB Carson Wentz at the helm. After their bye on October 2nd, the Birds lost 4 of their next 5 but were leading with under 4:00 minutes remaining in 2 of those losses. They ended the season with a 7-9 record but were very close to having a much better record with 6 of their 9 losses coming by a TD or less. They also proved they could beat the best topping the NFC’s Super Bowl entrant Atlanta, along with Pittsburgh and Dallas. A whopping 9 of their 16 games came against teams that made the playoffs and Philly was a decent 4-5 on those games. Three of their five losses vs playoff teams came by 5 points or less or in overtime. Despite their losing record, the Eagles had a +36 point differential which was 6th best in the NFC. The offense struggled at times but we expect a big jump from Wentz and he has a solid running game to complement him (10th in the NFL in rushing). We also really like the addition of WR Alshon Jeffrey who will give Wentz the type of target he didn’t have last year. The defense was better than their final stats in our opinion. They shut down some impressive offense including holding Atlanta to 15 points, Pittsburgh to 3 points, and Dallas to just 13. If they can get through their first four weeks with two wins (3 of their first 4 are on the road), they can really make a run after that with 4 of their next 5 at home before their bye. We like the Eagles to be one of the more improved teams in the NFL. We’ll call for at least 9 wins in 2017.
Against The Spread – 8-8 ATS record / 9 Overs, 7 Unders
· When tabbed as a home underdog, Philly is a dreadful 3-11 ATS since 2007.
· The Eagles were just 2-4 ATS last season as a road underdog. However, coming into last year they were 34-22 ATS their previous 56 games as a road dog.
· If the Eagles are tabbed an underdog, there is a pretty solid chance they will go OVER the total in that particular game. Since 2003, when an underdog, Philly has gone OVER the number at a rate of 50-29.
· However when favored during that same span (since 2003), they went OVER 71 times and UNDER 81 times with 5 ties.
New York Giants – 2016 record (11-5) – 2nd in the NFC East
· Off YPG – 330.7 (25th) – Def YPG – 339.7 (10th)
· Points scored 19.4 (26th) – Points allowed 17.8 (2nd)
2017 Total Win Analysis
2017 ASA prediction – Play UNDER 9 Wins for the NY Giants
Not only do the Giants play a tough schedule this year (ranked 8th in the NFL in strength of schedule) they play a whopping 4 games versus teams coming off a bye week. There opening month and a half schedule is as tough as any. They play 6 games before their bye on October 29th and 4 of those games are on the road. Their 2 home games during that stretch are both against playoff teams from last year (Detroit & Seattle). Their road tilts during that opening stretch are @ Dallas, @ Philadelphia, @ Tampa, and @ Denver. We wouldn’t be surprised if they went into their bye week with a 2-4 record. A 1-5 mark isn’t out of the question and 3-3 might be best case scenario. Anything below .500 over the first 6 weeks would make it tough to top 9 wins for the season. New York finished 11-5 last year but they were fortunate to do so with a number of down to the wire wins (7 of their 11 wins came by less than a TD). Even though they were a full 6 games above .500, their point differential was only +26 which was the third best in their division and just 12th best in the NFL. Surprisingly, this team really struggled offensively and the defense carried them. The defense took such a huge jump last year allowing just 19 PPG after giving up nearly 28 PPG a year earlier. We’re not sure they can sustain that in 2017 and the offense relies too heavily on QB Eli Manning with no running game to support him (29th in the NFL averaging only 87 YPG). A step back is almost a given this year for the Giants. We see 9-7 as their ceiling so we like the UNDER here.
Against The Spread – 9-6-1 ATS record / 4 Overs, 12 Unders
· Since 2006, the Giants have the 2nd best ATS road record in the entire NFL at 53-37-3. Only the Patriots are better.
· New York has the 3rd best spread record in the NFL since 2005 when facing NFC teams. They are 85-64-5 ATS against conference teams
· The Giants & Cowboys went UNDER the total in both meetings last year. However leading up to last season these two NFC East rivals had gone OVER the total in 15 of their previous 19 meetings averaging nearly 54 PPG over that span
· The Giants & Redskins have gone UNDER the total in 14 of their last 20 meetings averaging just 36 PPG in those meetings