ASA’s NFC EAST PREDICTIONS – Aug 21, 2019

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys – 2018 record (10-6) – ATS Record (9-7) – Over/Under Record (7-9)

  • Yards Per Game Differential +14
  • Point Differential +15

2019 ASA prediction – Play UNDER 8.5 Wins for Dallas Cowboys

This is an interesting number.  The Cowboys won 10 games last year and the oddsmakers set them at just 8.5 this season.  Dallas is already a very public team so you can guarantee most are seeing this number and automatically playing this one over.  That’s when we swoop in on the UNDER 8.5 wins.  When you look closely at last year stats, Dallas was a shaky at best 10-6.  They only outgained their opponents by 14 YPG and their point differential for the entire year was +15 which was less than +1 PPG (average score was 21-20).  ALL of the Dallas wins were by 8 points or less (1 score games) with the exception of their 40-7 win over Jacksonville.  Five of their seven losses (includes playoff loss) were by at least 8 points.  They played 7 teams during the regular season that ended this year with above .500 record and the Cowboys are 3-4 in those games.  They were outgained in half of their regular season games last year and their yards per play differential was dead even (5.4 on offense, 5.4 on defense).  This team was very close to being 8-8 rather than 10-6.  Dak Prescott is a decent, not great QB in our opinion.  He needs a very strong running game to succeed and while they’ve had that, we anticipate Zeke Elliott wearing down at some point.  He’s led the league in carries in 2 of his first 3 seasons.  The defense should be solid again.  The NFC East is fairly weak, with the exception of the Eagles, and a few unexpected losses to the Giants or Redskins could do this team in.  That’s because their out of division slate includes Patriots, Packers, Saints, Bears, Rams and an improved Bills team.  We see 8-8 in the Cowboys future so we’ll take the UNDER here.

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Washington Redskins – 2018 Record (7-9) – ATS Record (9-7) – Over/Under Record (7-9)

  • Yards Per Game Differential -54
  • Point Differential -78

2019 ASA prediction – Play UNDER 6 Wins for Washington Redskins

This is a tough call for us as we have Washington pegged for a 6-10 season which is right on this number.  So if we make a prediction with the number where it is, the question becomes, do the Skins have a better chance of winning 7 or 5 games this year?  We lean slightly to 5 so the UNDER would be our recommendation if you decide to play it.  6 of their 7 wins last year came with Alex Smith at QB but he will not be playing in 2019 after breaking his leg in week 11 last year.  Once Smith was on the shelf, Washington went 1-6 with their only win coming by 3 points over a 5-11 Jacksonville team.  They averaged just 14 PPG over those final 7.  Now the Skins must pick between Colt McCoy, Case Keenum, or rookie Dwayne Haskins as their ever important QB position.  As of this writing in late June, McCoy is slated to be the starter.  If that holds up, McCoy has started 27 games in his career losing 20 of those which isn’t a good signed for Washington.  The Redskins have a brutal early season schedule as they will be an underdog in each of their first 6 games, including vs 3 playoff teams (Pats, Bears, and Cowboys)!  If they get off to a 1-5 or even 0-6 start, we would expect them to turn to the rookie Haskins at QB to learn the ropes, take his lumps, and get him ready for year 2.  If that comes to fruition, we see a very poor season for Washington.  The offense looks like they will struggle this year and the defense should be middle of the pack.  Again, slight lean to UNDER 6 wins here.    

Philadelphia Eagles – 2018 record (9-7) – ATS Record (7-9) – Over/Under Record (7-9)

  • Yards Per Game Differential -1
  • Point Differential +19

2019 ASA prediction – Play OVER 9.5 Wins for the Philadelphia Eagles

As long as QB Carson Wentz stays healthy, we feel this is the best team in the NFC East.  Two years ago the Eagles finished the regular season 13-3 and went onto win the Super Bowl topping the Patriots.  Last year they looked like they had a bit of a letdown after winning the Super Bowl and with Wentz playing in only 11 games after getting injured late in 2017, the Eagles went 9-7.  So in what we considered a poor year for them, they still won 9 games.  With his ACL injury now a full year and a half behind him, we expect Wentz to have a big season.  His weapons at wideout are very good, especially with the addition of home run threat DeSean Jackson.  The addition of former Chicago RB Jordan Howard will also help immensely.  The defense was very good in 2017 and not as much last year similar to the team as a whole.  We expect the defense to be much better this year after their “letdown” season coming off a Super Bowl win.  Even when the simply didn’t play all that well last year, they had a chance to win 10+ games.  Six of their seven losses were by a TD or less with two coming in OT.  This year’s schedule lays out nicely.  The Eagles only travel 10,000 miles which is 6th least in the NFL.  They get the AFC East and NFC North this year so their furthest trip west will be to division rival Dallas.  We have Philly favored in 11 of their 16 games entering the season and in their 5 games as a dog they are getting 3 points or less in each.  Potential big year in Philadelphia.  We like the OVER.    

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New York Giants – 2018 record (5-11) – ATS Record (8-7-1) – Over/Under Record (9-7)

  • Yards Per Game Differential -15
  • Point Differential -78

2019 ASA prediction – Play OVER 6 Wins for the NY Giants

As down as everyone seemed to be on the Giants last year, they were actually better than their 5-11 record in our opinion.  They were only outgained by 15 YPG and 8 of their 11 losses were winnable games into the fourth quarter.  Those 5 of their losses came by margins of 3 points or less.  The offense was actually decent ranking 10th in the NFL in yards per play.  QB Eli Manning took much of the heat but he was actually OK last year.  He completed 66% of this passes which was the highest in his career.  If he can cut down on his 11 interceptions the offense should be solid again with coordinator Mike Shula now in his 2nd season.  RB Saquon Barkley gives them one of the top players in the NFL at his position.  The defense was in the bottom 3rd of the NFL overall but should be better with a few key draft picks expected to come in and start immediately including DT Dexter Lawrence from Clemson.  Travel won’t be an issue for this team in 2019.  We mentioned the Eagles light travel schedule in our Philly analysis.  The Giants will travel even less logging only 8,000 miles this year.  The only team that will travel less is the Jets.  Coming off 3 wins in 2017 and 5 wins last year, we feel NYG are a bit undervalued entering the season.  In their previous 13 seasons entering 2017, the G-Men won at least 6 games in each.  We think 6 is their floor with an 8-8 year a potential ceiling.  We lean OVER here.