Never mind the records. The NFC East hits a season-high level of optimism before NFL Week 8.
NJ sports bettors will be tempted to back a division schedule so friendly that three of the four teams, the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, and Dallas Cowboys, compete in games for which they have an excellent chance to win.
The other, the New York Giants, come off the division’s lone Week 7 triumph, a 25-3 defensive masterpiece over the Carolina Panthers.
Everybody’s riding high.
A closer look at the NFC East Week 8 slate
The 2-5 Eagles have a minus number for the first time all season when visiting the winless Detroit Lions. Sunday’s 33-22 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders was deflating and the Lions did gain the first betting love, knocking the spread below a field goal.
But still, the Eagles are favored.
The Giants are up, strutting their stuff and awaiting the tough task of facing the Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football.
Mahomes has recently looked just above average. What if Big Blue is catching him at the right time?
Only the bye week could stop the 5-1 Dallas Cowboys. They visit the Minnesota Vikings as money in the bank, 6-0 against the spread and authors of five straight victories. They also have attractive betting odds, with a moneyline win practically a spread-bet triumph too.
The Washington Football Team, 2-5 and scuffling, faces an equally-sputtering Denver Broncos team, the losers of four straight.
The Football Team contained the potent Green Bay Packers offense during a 24-10 loss Sunday and were done in only by their ineptitude near the goal-line.
NFC East by the numbers
Here are the current NFC East team records on the moneyline, spread, and over-under (using DraftKings Sportsbook figures at kickoff).
- 5-1 vs moneyline
- 6-0 vs the spread
- 5-1 on the over
- 2-5 on the moneyline
- 3-4 vs spread
- 3-4 on the over
- 2-5 on the moneyline
- 3 -4 vs spread
- 3-3-1 on the over
- 2-5 on the moneyline
- 1-6 vs the spread
- 4-3 on the over
Eagles vs. Lions odds at NJ sportsbooks
Eagles flounder for extended periods
Quarterback Jalen Hurts remains one of the best garbage-time quarterbacks in the NFL. While that may not appeal to fans, it entices bettors who cashed tickets on the “over” with his two fourth-quarter scores Sunday.
He could have been benched when the Eagles trailed 30-7 and after he fumbled away an imminent score late in the third quarter. But Hurts was allowed to stay in, pad some stats, and at least help “over 49” bettors triumph.
The defense is a major concern going forward. It yielded 30 consecutive points and allowed Raiders quarterback Derek Carr to complete 31 of 34 passes. Number of sacks? Zero.
The Eagles imploded collectively, showing the mark of a bad team.
Running back Miles Sanders’ injury will be evaluated throughout the week. He was lost early in Sunday’s game after injuring his ankle.
The Eagles appear more committed to Kenneth Gainwell anyway. This could be a spot for Boston Scott, depending upon Sanders’ status.
What about the Eagles’ opponent?
The Lions are due for a big game eventually. Is this the one?
They delivered one of the gutsiest efforts of the week in losing to the Los Angeles Rams 28-19.
Consider these moves:
The Lions scored on a 63-yard touchdown pass to D’Andre Swift on the opening drive. Consider him for yardage and TD props when they go up.
After the score, the Lions tried an onside kick. And made it.
Thus, they snapped the ball with the lead for the first time this year.
They executed a fake punt to keep the next drive alive and went up 10-0.
They executed another fake punt later in the game.
This team won five games last season. The Lions are better than 0-7 this year, losing on the final play via long field goals to the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens.
They are due to unload on somebody.
The Eagles hope it is not them.
Giants vs. Chiefs odds at NJ sportsbooks
New York Giants: Can they be ‘D-lightful’ again?
It was a virtuoso performance by the Giants defense. After recording six sacks against the Carolina Panthers, forcing the benching of Sam Darnold, and holding the Panthers to 173 yards, they move forward with a swagger.
This was a potential make-or-break game for Darnold, a former New York Jet.
It was “break” as the Giants continued making him look like a Jet. Darnold’s new team stands 3-4 after a 3-0 start and his leash gets shorter.
The G-Men now face Mahomes, who has recently been rattled. Quick, which team in the NFL has the most turnovers, with 17? A-ha, none other than the defending AFC champs.
Defenses are taking away the deep routes and crossing patterns from the Chiefs and Mahomes tosses the ball up for grabs rather than take a sack. Amid whispers that he’s slipping, Mahomes may have a chip on his shoulder for this game.
On the offensive front, quarterback Daniel Jones has been making fewer mistakes for the Giants. He led an efficient effort against the Panthers. Devontae Booker may be Big Blue’s next man up in the backfield, depending upon when Saquon Barkley returns.
Cowboys vs. Vikings odds at NJ sportsbooks
Dallas, the juggernaut of the NFC East, returns
Did the Cowboy mystique improve during the bye week? Yes.
We outlined here last week that the Patriots could be ready to step into the realm of top teams after nearly beating the Cowboys last week.
So, what did New England do? Torched the Jets 54-13.
This shows the relative strength of both Dallas and New England.
The Cowboys flash the exploits of quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, emerging tight end star Dalton Schultz and a backfield combo of Tony Pollard and Zeke Elliott.
Nobody has been able to stop the Cowboys.
Minnesota will try to win the shootout with Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, and Co. But the Vikings are nothing special defensively.
Washington vs. Broncos odds at NJ sportsbooks
Washington facing a winnable game
There were flashes of improvement for one of the league’s worst defenses against Green Bay. And quarterback Taylor Heinicke connected for a deep early score. He just missed a second, much to the chagrin of Caesars Sportsbook bettors who had +300 for Heinicke to get clear 237.5 yards and 1.5 touchdowns.
Heinicke had the yards, 268, with only one score. Washington knocked on the door a couple of times without getting anything more.
Washington still has optimism going into Denver. It outgained Green Bay in yardage, 430-304.
AP Photo/David Becker