Suddenly, the NFC East flaunts relevance for New Jersey online sports bettors.
With five weeks left in the regular season, two of its four teams hold a playoff spot and a third sits just beyond the cutoff.
The division-leading Dallas Cowboys (8-4) and the red-hot Washington Football Team (6-6) hold playoff berths if the post-season started now. Washington enters NFL Week 14 winners of four straight.
The 6-7 Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Jets in the 1 p.m. game Sunday to temporarily hold a playoff perch. That lasted all of three hours. Washington booted them out with a 17-15 triumph over the Las Vegas Raiders in the afternoon game.
The Eagles, Cowboys and Washington all have implications for their remaining games.
Only the 4-8 New York Giants have nothing to play for, but at least have been predictable for gamblers, who can profit by Big Blue’s weak offense and stout defense.
With the Eagles having the week off and having a stake in the outcome of other NFL games, here’s a slightly expanded NFC East betting preview.
Dallas vs. Washington odds at NJ sportsbooks
NFC East Week 14 schedule
The Birds will be scoreboard watching this week as they have an NFL Week 14 bye.
So this means NFC East fans will be keeping a close eye on Dallas at Washington game. Kickoff is 1 p.m.
New York Giants at Los Angeles Chargers with a 4 p.m. kickoff.
How NFC East teams shape up by the numbers
- 6-7 on the moneyline
- 7-6 versus spread
- 7-6 on the over
New York Giants:
- 4-8 on the moneyine
- 6-6 versus spread
- 3-8 -1 on the over
- 8-4 on the moneyline
- 9-3 versus spread
- 7-5 on the over
- 6-6 on the moneyline
- 5 -7 versus spread
- 5-7 on the over
Reality check: Yes, the Eagles still in the NFC playoff conversation
The Eagles hit their bye week with a 33-18 triumph over the Jets. Gardner Minshew played well in relief of injured Jalen Hurts, Miles Sanders had his first dominant rushing performance and tight end Dallas Goedert tallied two first-half touchdowns.
So what’s next?
After its week off, Philadelphia hosts the Washington Football Team on Dec. 19 and that game is for their season.
So this week they are rooting for…hold your breath – The Cowboys.
Nonetheless, that’s the case as the Cowboys visit the hottest team in the division.
It’s a good betting game on both sides.
Washington has a reliable quarterback in Taylor Heinicke, who we’ve always liked. He’s feisty, continually improving and able to lead this team, as he did with a game-winning drive in the final minute Sunday.
Heinicke is a good betting option to hit the 200-250 yard passing range.
Antonio Gibson tallied a touchdown Sunday. Gibson, J.D. McKissic and Terry McLaurin are bonafide scoring threats.
Washington’s defense suddenly showed up in the last couple of weeks.
That’s why the Football Team did something rare in a six-day period. It beat the Seattle Seahawks and the Raiders by identical 17-15 scores.
This team has found its attitude. If Washington defeats Dallas, it will clear a major playoff hurdle.
Dallas: Now this game matters
The NFC East was all-but-conceded to the Cowboys after their sizzling start.
But now they need a victory.
The Cowboys lead Washington by two games and play the Football Team twice down the stretch. The division race will become suddenly interesting if Dallas does not win here.
The Cowboys have hit a speed bump and look ordinary.
Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and the backfield duo of Zeke Elliott and Tony Pollard give them slightly more weapons than Washington. Dalton Schultz gains increasing significance as a tight end too.
But it was Dallas’ defense that notched four interceptions and a defensive score in its recent 27-17 triumph over the New Orleans Saints.
The Eagles need the Cowboys to have one more good game in them. If the Cowboys prevail, the Eagles and Washington will have the same 6-7 record heading into their Dec. 19 showdown.
Giants vs. Chargers odds at NJ sportsbooks
Giants offense running on low
The Giants play the same gritty, smash-mouth football week after week. They play tough defensively and have an offense that’s as exciting as watching paint dry.
Big Blue has one touchdown in its last two games. None of its offensive players show spark.
That’s good for bettors to know regarding the point totals of games. The Giants’ 20-9 setback to the Miami Dolphins Sunday marked six consecutive games for the under.
They may not do much for their fans, but the Giants have been offering something reliable for bettors to hang their hats on.
New York visits the up-and-down Los Angeles Chargers. And after pounding the Cincinnati Bengals 41-22 on Sunday, things are looking up. And as a result, the Giants’ odds are showing them as a king-sized underdog.
The Chargers are traditionally one of the worst home favorites in the NFL.
Why the Eagles are rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Well, it starts with the Thursday Night Football matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings.
The Eagles’ rooting interest is Pittsburgh.
Minnesota stands 5-7, just behind the Eagles. The Vikings are one of the league’s prime Coulda Woulda Shoulda teams.
They beat the Green Bay Packers at home and then went south. They lost in Week 12 to the Niners and in Week 13, as a touchdown favorite, were beaten by the previously winless Detroit Lions. And it happened on the game’s final play.
Minnesota played soft defense and allowed the league’s worst team to go the length of the field and produce the game-winning touchdown as time expired.
That enabled the Eagles to vault the Vikings in the standings. Minnesota did not look the same once Adam Thielen was hurt early in the game and did not return. He suffered a high-ankle sprain and those injuries don’t heal quickly.
His status for Thursday will impact Minnesota.
Pittsburgh just snapped its three-game winless streak with a 20-19 triumph over the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens tied the game in the final seconds but went for two points because it was out of cornerbacks.
The play just missed.
Bengals vs. 49ers watch
Fast-forward to Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals is another biggie.
And Eagles’ rooting interest is Cincinnati
The Niners were blowing the Seattle Seahawks out, but wound up blowing their last game. The 6-6 Niners, who currently hold the last NFC playoff spot, will have the same record as the Eagles if the Bengals can beat them.
But the 49ers own a head-to-head win against the Birds as a tiebreaker.
Cincinnati self-destructed in a 41-22 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. It roared back from a 24 -0 hole, got within 24-22 and in Chargers territory. But they yielded a scoop and score and they were done.
A big betting factor: the pinky of Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow. He injured it during the game and will play through it, but he can’t get as much on the ball. This will add more time to how long his downfield passes take to reach favorite target Ja’Marr Chase.
Monitor the Burrow situation.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger