ASA’s NFL Prediction NFC East – Sept 2018

NFC East Predictions 2018

Dallas Cowboys – 2017 record (9-7) – ATS Record (8-7-1) – Over/Under Record (6-10)

  • Yards Per Game Differential +14 / Yards Per Play Differential +0.2
  • Point Differential +22 (9th in the NFC / 15th in the NFL)
  • Turnover Differential -1 (16th in the NFL)

2018 ASA prediction – Play OVER 8.5 Wins for Dallas Cowboys 

Last year we took Dallas UNDER 9.5 wins and cashed in as they finished with a 9-7 record.  We felt they were a little over valued coming off a 13-3 season and we were correct.  This year it might be the opposite.  We think the Cowboys are a bit under valued at 8.5 and look for at least a 9-7 campaign from them.  We look for the offensive production to improve this year after dropping from 26 PPG in 2016 to 22 PPG last year.  The run game will be the catalyst and the hope is Ezekiel Elliott will play a full season after appearing in only 10 games last year due to suspension.  He still ran for nearly 1000 yards even with the 6 game layoff.  We felt QB Dak Prescott’s numbers would definitely drop after a fantastic rookie season and they did.  He should improve and look much better in year 3 and the subtraction of WR Dez Bryant should actually be a positive thing for Prescott.  The defense has been pretty solid the last 2 years holding teams under 21 PPG in each (both top 10 finishes in PPG allowed).  The Boys will be without one of their top pass rushers the first 4 games of the season as David Irving is suspended.  The schedule sets up nicely as they only play 2 road games vs teams that made the playoffs last year (Eagles & Falcons) and they only play back to back (or more) road games only once all season.  Dallas should be able to pull off another 9-7 season or better.

Against The Spread Numbers

  • Dallas is consistently one of the more over valued teams in Vegas. In fact, since 2010, they have the 2nd worst record in the NFL as a favorite at just 30-47-2 (39%)
  • They also have the worst spread record in the NFL at home since 2010 at just 23-42-1 (35%).
  • If favored at home, it gets even worse for Dallas where they have a spread record of only 15-35 ATS which is just 30%

 

Washington Redskins – 2017 Record (7-9) – ATS Record (7-9) – Over/Under Record (8-8)

  • Yards Per Game Differential -23 / Yards Per Play Differential +0.0
  • Point Differential -46 (10th in the NFC / 17th in the NFL)
  • Turnover Differential -4 (23rd in the NFL)

2018 ASA prediction – Play OVER 7 Wins for Washington Redskins

We have the Skins pegged for 7-9 as their floor this season with a chance for a better record so we lean OVER here.  Washington finished 7-9 last year and 8 of their 9 wins came vs teams that finished the season with above .500 records.  They did lose QB Kirk Cousins to the Vikings but picked up Alex Smith from KC to take his place.  Smith had a fantastic season for the Chiefs (26 TD’s and 5 interceptions) and has some weapons here in Washington so we expect the offense to be at least as good as last season.  The defense allowed 24 PPG which was near the bottom of the NFL, yet only allowed 5.3 yards per play which placed them in the middle of the pack overall.  In other words, they were better than their PPG numbers indicated.  The Redskin rush defense was a huge issue.  It was the worst in the NFL allowing 134 YPG.  First round draft choice DT Daron Payne (Alabama) and the return of Jonathan Allen from injury should allow the Skins to have much better numbers against the run this year.  If they can do that, there’s no reason this team can’t get to .500 this year.

Against The Spread Numbers

  • Since 2003, Washington has been one of the strongest UNDER teams in the NFL when facing a division opponent. They have 37 OVERS, 49 UNDERS and 4 ties vs NFC East teams since ’03.
  • Washington has been a play against team when they are favored going just 17-28-1 ATS their last 46 times as a favorite.
  • Since 2005, the Skins are an impressive 42-34-2 ATS vs NFC East teams. That’s the 4th best ATS division record in the NFL during that span.

 

Philadelphia Eagles – 2017 record (13-3) – ATS Record (10-6) – Over/Under Record (8-8)

  • Yards Per Game Differential +55 / Yards Per Play Differential +0.4
  • Point Differential +162 (1st in the NFC / 1st in the NFL)
  • Turnover Differential +11 (4th in the NFL)

2018 ASA prediction – Play UNDER 10.5 Wins for the Philadelphia Eagles

We often like to look toward the UNDER the year after a team has a break out type season.  They are often over valued heading into the next year.  We feel that might be the case here with the Eagles.  Even though they won 13 games last year, the oddsmakers have their total set at 10.5.  Most will look at that number and automatically take the OVER.  Not us.  There is no guarantee QB Carson Wentz will be back at 100% to start the season after tearing his ACL late last year.  If he’s not ready to go the Eagles have Nick Foles as a luxury at back up, however we can’t expect him to perform like he did last year stepping in for Wentz and leading this team to a Super Bowl win.  While Foles stepped in admirably, he only completed 56% of his passes in relief of Wentz and his 31.4 QBR actually would have had him near the bottom of the NFL.  We would not anticipate this offense being as efficient as they were last year so look for a drop off in production.  Defensively they were solid but not great.  While they allowed just 18 PPG, their YPG allowed and YPP allowed numbers were just outside the top 10.  The defense lost a few key defensive linemen (Curry & Allen) and their leading interceptor on the back end (Robinson) to free agency.  Their out of division games include @ Rams, @ Saints, @ Titans, vs Jags, vs Panthers, and vs Vikings.  This team will be very solid, but we think a 10-6 record is more than realistic keeping the Eagles UNDER this number.

Against The Spread Numbers

  • When tabbed as a home underdog, Philly is a dreadful 3-12 ATS since 2007.
  • The Eagles are a profitable 39-27 ATS their last 66 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 54-30.

 

New York Giants – 2017 record (3-13) – ATS Record (7-9) – Over/Under Record (6-10)

  • Yards Per Game Differential -59 / Yards Per Play Differential -0.8
  • Point Differential -142 (16th in the NFC / 31st in the NFL)
  • Turnover Differential -3 (20th in the NFL)

2018 ASA prediction – Play OVER 6.5 Wins for the NY Giants

Last year the Giants win total was set at 9 and after a 3-13 season that number has dropped all the way to 6.5 this season.  We think that drop is too much and the value is now on the OVER 6.5 wins.  The Giant offense last year was a wreck.  They struggled to score averaging only 15 PPG which was 31st in the NFL.  However, with WR Odell Beckham playing healthy, they averaged 23 PPG and the games he was out New York put up just 13 PPG.  Beckham is back and healthy and along with first round draft pick RB Saquon Barkley, the Giants should have plenty of weapons on offense.  Eli Manning had one of the worst years of his career in 2017 (3,468 passing yards and just 13 TD’s) and we expect him to perform much better in 2018.  New offensive coordinator Pat Shurmer will also help this stagnant offense.  The defense dropped off big time last year allowing 24 PPG after giving up just 19 PPG a year prior.  If this defense can finish somewhere in between those 2 numbers, they should get to at least 7 wins as the offense should be much more dynamic.  The point differential and YPG differential numbers were very poor last year for this team.  That always makes it tough to predict a turnaround the following year however we feel the pieces are in place for an improved season.  Since Manning took over as the regular full time QB in 2005, the Giants have averaged 8.5 wins per season and have held under 6.5 wins just 3 times in 13 seasons.   We’ll tab this team for at least 7 wins in 2018.

Against The Spread Numbers

  • Since 2006, the Giants have the 2nd best ATS road record in the entire NFL at 57-41-3. Only the Patriots are better.
  • New York has the 3rd best spread record in the NFL since 2005 when facing NFC teams. They are 89-72-5 ATS against conference teams
  • The Giants & Redskins have gone UNDER the total in 16 of their last 22 meetings averaging just 35 PPG in those meetings

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