As the most popular pro sport in America, the NFL is relevant 365 days a year. For the first time since 1978, when the slate went from 14 to 16 games, the NFL lengthened the regular season again this year. The 2021 NFL schedule was released on May 12 and all 32 teams will play 17 games over the 18-week season. That means NFL fans get an extra week of NFL betting and fantasy football action. It will also affect win total wagering.
Week 1 opens with Dallas visiting defending NFL champion Tampa Bay on September 9. The week ends with Las Vegas hosting Baltimore in the Monday Night Football fight. Regular season action concludes with Seattle visiting Arizona on Jan. 9, 2022. Wild Card Weekend, Divisional Round playoffs, and Conference Championship Sunday follow. The season ends with Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13, 2022, at SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, Cali.
NFC East Division Futures Odds
Following a sub-par 2020 season, by all four teams, which squad will claim the 2021 NFC East Division championship? Washington was first, with a 7–9 record, but will The Football team repeat? Plagued by injuries last year, will Dallas or New York rebound from 6–9 records? Rounding out the weakest division, in the NFL last season, will Philadelphia get back into contention after finishing last overall with a 4-11-1 mark?
Those are a few questions to consider prior to wagering on the NFC East champion and team win total odds. With Offseason Team Activities underway, and preseason games still to come, the futures odds and prices shown below are subject to change. That said unless there’s an earth-shaking trade (or injury) the lines won’t move much prior to NFL 2021-22 Kickoff Thursday. The most notable moves will likely be the prices.
For just the third time, in Super Bowl era history, a team “earned” a playoff berth with a losing record. The first time it happened has an asterisk attached to it as Detroit and Cleveland made the playoffs with 4–5 records during the strike-shortened 1982 season. Washington matched Seattle, who won the NFC West Division title with a 7–9 record back in 2010. The Football Team snapped a four-year playoff drought but was quickly eliminated after a 31–23 loss to Tampa Bay in the NFC Wild Card round. It’s wise to wonder how far the WFT will get with 38-year starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
New York and Dallas both suffered a big blow when they lost star players early in the season last year. Giants’ RB Saquon Barkley tore his ACL in Week 2 and Cowboys’ QB Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5. While both players are expected to return, at full health, Prescott is arguably the more important player for the respective teams. The Carson Wentz experience is over in Philadelphia and second-year QB Jalen Hurts will lead the Eagles' offense this season. Betting on Prescott staying healthy, and their defense improving, I am backing Dallas to win the NFC East title.
NFC East Champion Prediction: Dallas Cowboys (+125) moneyline
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Dallas Cowboys – NFC East Win Total Futures
After posting their worst record, since they went 4–12 back in 2015, Dallas (6–10) is aiming to avoid back-to-back losing seasons. The Cowboys have not recorded two straight sub-.500 seasons since they went 5–12 over three years from 2000 to 2002.
Dallas is hoping RB Ezekiel Elliott returns to form. Elliott averaged 107.4 total yards, with six touchdowns, over five games with Prescott under center. He averaged 78.0 total yards, and scored just twice, over 10 games without him. The entire offense gets a boost with Prescott’s return. I am betting on Dallas winning at least 10 games this season.
Key Players Resigned: QB Dak Prescott, CB Jourdan Lewis, ST/DB CJ Goodwin
Key Additions: DL Brent Urban, OT Ty Nsekhe, EDGE Tarell Basham
Key Departures: QB Andy Dalton, CB Chidobe Awuzie, LS L.P. Ladouceur
Key 2021 Draft Picks: LB Micah Parsons, CB Kelvin Joseph, DT Osa Odighizuwa
Dallas Cowboys Win Total Prediction: OVER 9.5 (+107) wins
Washington Football Team – NFC East Win Total Futures
Following a 2–7 start, Washington won five of their final seven games to claim the NFC East title with a 7–9 record. Including a gutsy start by QB Taylor Heinicke, during the NFC Wild Card playoffs, four different quarterbacks started at least one game for the Football Team last season. A revolving door, at the QB position, is never a good thing.
Following two seasons in Miami, 15-year NFL veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick signed with the WFT. Fitzmagic is projected to start ahead of Heinicke and Kyle Allen. Leaning towards OVER, but not liking the juice, a 9–8 record seems about right for the WFT.
Key Players Resigned: OG Brandon Scherff (franchise tag), QB Kyle Allen
Key Additions: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, WR Curtis Samuel, WR Adam Humphries
Key Departures: QB Alex Smith, DE Ryan Kerrigan
Key 2021 Draft Picks: LB Jamin Davis, OT Samuel Cosmi, WR Dyami Brown
Washington Football Team Win Total Prediction: PASS (OVER lean)
New York Giants – NFC East Win Total Futures
Making a late run at the division title that no team seemingly wanted to win, New York (6–10) was one victory short of claiming the NFC East championship last year. One has to wonder if the season would have turned out differently had Barkley not been hurt.
New York finished second last, behind only the New York Jets (279.9 / 15.2), with just 299.6 total yards and 17.5 points per game on offense. The loss of Barkley, plus injuries of his own, stunted the growth of sophomore QB Daniel Jones. New York was active during the offseason, especially on offense, and I am betting OVER on their win total.
Key Players Resigned: DE Leonard Williams, OT Nate Solder, NT Austin Johnson
Key Additions: WR Kenny Golladay, WR John Ross III, RB Devontae Booker, CB Adoree’ Jackson, TE Kyle Rudolph
Key Departures: RB Wayne Gallman, QB Colt McCoy, WR Golden Tate
Key 2021 Draft Picks: WR Kadarius Toney, LB Adze Ojulari, CB Aaron Robinson
New York Giants Win Total Prediction: OVER 7.0 (-130) wins
Philadelphia Eagles – NFC East Win Total Futures
Three years after upsetting New England, 41–33 during Super Bowl LII, Philadelphia (4–12) posted their worst record since 2021. Few things worked well for the Eagles, as they managed just 20.9 points per game on offense and allowed 26.1 ppg on defense.
Not helping their cause, Philadelphia ranked 29th overall with a -10 turnover ratio as they had 29 giveaways and just 19 takeaways. QB Carson Wentz was benched during Week 13 action and rookie Jalen Hurts took over as the starter. The Eagles are in a rebuilding stage, and another rough season is on the horizon in 2021.
Key Players Resigned: C Jason Kelce, LB Alex Singleton, DE Brandon Graham,
Key Additions: DE Ryan Kerrigan, RB Kerryon Johnson, S Anthony Harris
Key Departures: WR Alshon Jeffery, WR DeSean Jackson, S Jalen Mills
Key 2021 Draft Picks: WR DeVonta Smith, C Landon Dickerson, CB Zech McPhearson
Philadelphia Eagles Win Total Prediction: UNDER 6.5 (+127) wins
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