As we survey the NFC East odds for 2022 it seems like a lifetime ago that this division was winning Super Bowl after Super Bowl after Super Bowl. Update: It is a lifetime ago.
In the late 80s and early 90s Washington, the New York Giants and Dallas were dominating as the NFC rode roughshod over the itty bitty AFC. It was one-way traffic people.
Since then it’s been slim pickings – particularly for the Cowboys and Commanders, who once had the best rivalry in the NFL. We know, difficult to believe, right?
The Giants and Eagles have both won Super Bowls in the last few years but in the nation’s capital and in ‘Big D’ the wait is now well over two decades.
Things have gotten so bad in this onetime powerhouse of a division that some folks have taken to renaming it the ‘NFC Least’. Sad to say, a pretty fair description.
There are a few signs that things may be on the up at last, so let’s see where things after the first wave of free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft.
NFC East Odds
Dallas started favorite to win the East a year ago, with the Commanders second best. The Cowboys head the line again but sportsbook expect them to have much tougher competition this year.
The gap between the Cowboys and the rest appeared to close a little during the NFL Draft. Dallas was -115 (bet $115 to win $100) going into the offseason but the ‘Boys now have a + ahead of their name.
The Philadelphia Eagles – three games behind Dallas last season – had a terrific Draft, starting by snagging the freakishly talented Georgia DT Jordan Davis and also trading its other first-round pick for Tennessee Titans WR A.J. Brown. Philly immediately handed Brown a four-year contract worth $100million – with $57million guaranteed.
The New York Giants meanwhile made great use of their two first-round picks by taking Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux at 5 and Alabama OT Evan Neal at 7. Two foundational pieces up front on both sides of the ball.
As for the Cowboys – they apparently reached bigtime at #24 overall to pick up Tulsa OT Tyler Smith. He is a physical mauler but was also a penalty machine in 2021 (isn’t what they are trying to eradicate after Connor Williams?).
The net result of all the offseason events so far is that the Cowboys are bigger odds than they have been for a long time – now available at +130. Unheard of in the last 12 months. Philly meanwhile is now pretty close – best odds for the Eagles are +210.
Washington is a +500 shot to win the East in 2022, while the Giants are still a little ways off contention in the eyes of sportsbooks – out at +1000.
Here is the latest from major online bookmakers:
- +130 Dallas Cowboys (DraftKings)
- +210 Philadelphia Eagles (FanDuel)
- +500 Washington Commanders (Widely available)
- +1000 New York Giants (DraftKings)
NB: Odds correct on May 30, 2022
NFC East Predictions
Okay so we have seen enough to dip our toes into the murky waters of NFC East predictions for 2022 – time to make our early best bets to win the division.
In a few months time people, you will be thanking Jerry and Stephen Jones for making such a mess of this offseason. Because even though they have, Dallas is still the class of the division.
What people seem to forget is that the Dallas roster is still full of talent, and is the only one in the NFC East with a bona fide franchise QB. Dak Prescott – prominent in the betting for league MVP – is alone enough to make the Cowboys a worth favorite.
Yes the Eagles are better now than in 2021, but any notion of winning the East will still come down to Jalen Hurts. Washington has a nice roster but it will still rely on Carson Wentz to get it over the hump. And the Giants – yep, still a year away at least.
So instead of thinking Dallas is mortally wounded (it is not) you need to look hard at the odds and realize that now is the team to bet on ‘America’s Team’. Because love them or hate them, it makes financial sense.
OddsCritic Predictions & Best Bets
- Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC East at +130 (DraftKings)
Offseason moves: Free agency and trades
Dallas Cowboys: We haven’t seen Cowboys fans this pissed off in years – and that is taking into account all 26 years and counting of futility with Jerry Jones at the helm. Trading WR1 Amari Cooper to Cleveland and somehow allowing DE1 Randy Gregory to leave for Denver in free agency has the most entitled fanbase in sports frothing at the mouth. Throw in losing starting offensive linemen La’el Collins and Connor Williams and it’s hard not to argue Dallas is WORSE than it was when free agency began. They still remain the best roster in the division, but right now that aint saying much…
Philadelphia Eagles: Philly has been relatively quiet so far this offseason as it looks to build on a surprise trip to the postseason in 2021. But most of the action should come in the Draft – when the Eagles hold THREE first-round picks. The foundations of a talented roster is there and we expect a serious infusion of young talent at the end of April. The big question mark surrounds QB Jalen Hurts. Nobody really knows yet if he’s the longterm answer in the City Of Brotherly Love, but we should do after 2022. If he’s not, then Philly will be back in the QB market. Either way, should be good enough to be above .500 and give the Cowboys a challenge in the East.
Washington Commanders: Ugh, this is so grim. The Commanders, or whatever they are called these days, have messed things up so bad over the last two decades (Dan Snyder anyone). A franchise which has been wandering blindly in the wilderness made another swing for the fences by trading for Indianapolis QB Carson Wentz. We hated the trade people, hated it – both the compensation and the fact WASH took on his entire contract. The rest of the roster absolutely has promise with some talented playmakers on offense and a defense which surprisingly underachieved in ’21. It all comes down to Wentz though, which one will we see? MVP-caliber 2017 or the ugly shell of the last two years. The smart money is on middle ground, and that is not good enough.
New York Giants: Big Blue has been a miserable franchise to watch in recent years, lurching from one front office crew to the next with losing season after losing season. Now Brian Daboll gets the HC hotseat in East Rutherford and we’re hopeful that at least things will get better. The G Men are allegedly bought into fourth-year QB Daniel Jones – they need to find out this year whether he can be the answer longterm. There are similar question marks about RB Saquon Barkley – those two guys sum up the franchise, careers stuck in neutral. Better offensive line play is a must both to give Barkley a fair shot and to keep Jones upright. Things which didn’t happen in 2021. Right now last place in the betting odds looks a pretty fair assessment.
NFC East Schedules for 2022
We don’t know when the games will be played yet, but we do know each team’s 2022 opponents:
Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Road: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans
Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Football Team, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans
Road: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Football Team, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts
Washington Football Team
Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans
Road: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers
Home: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts
Road: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans
Well like we said it’s the Dallas Cowboys at +130 and we do not see that changing until we are into the 2022 regular season. Maybe then we’ll get some movement.
The East is a unique division – it is the only one in pro football where all four teams have won a Super Bowl. Funny when you consider how sorry it is these days. In total the NFC East has accounted for 13 Lombardi trophies. Dallas has won five, the Giants four, the Commanders three and the Eagles that one in 2017.
If two or more teams finished tied for wins at the end of the regular season, it works out like this:
* Head-to-head record
* Best division record
* Best record in common games.
* Best conference record
* Strength of victory in all games.
* Strength of schedule in all games
* Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed in all games.
* Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed in all games.
* Best net points in common games.
* Best net points in all games.
* Best net touchdowns in all games.
* Coin toss
Right now our answer is pretty simple – Cowboys again. However we are not making our official picks until after the 2022 NFL Draft. Philly remember has three first-round picks so a lot can change.