Should the Eagles be the favorites to win the 2021 NFC East?
When NFL Week One came to it's conclusion on Monday Night, the NFC East standings featured only one team with a win and standing at the top of the division: the Philadelphia Eagles. The first weekend of the NFL season we saw the New York Giants being soundly beaten 27-13 by the Denver Broncos, the Washington Football Team losing their starting Quarterback in a 20-16 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Dallas Cowboys losing on a last second field goal to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night.
The start of NFL Week 2 features a showdown of two of the NFC East rivals as the Giants travel to Washington, meaning one of those teams will be 0-2 to begin their season. After the Dallas Cowboys play the Chargers this Sunday, they will be facing the Eagles in Week Three and the Giants in Week Five. So the rollercoaster ride of the NFC East for the 2021 season is just beginning.
According to Fan Duel Sportsbook, the latest odds for the NFC East features the Dallas Cowboys as the leader to win the division at +115 followed by the Washington Football Team and the Philadelphia Eagles tied with the same odds at +340 with the New York Giants holding the worst odds at +500 which is a real message early in the NFL season. The Giants lost their opening game of the season at home versus Teddy Bridgewater but the Cowboys lost their first game to the defending Super Bowl Champions and Tom Brady on the road. There is a clear talent gap between the teams in Dallas and East Rutherford so the odds at Fan Duel Sportsbook clearly reflects this reality.
So should Dallas be the favorites over Philadelphia and Washington? Well the Cowboys upcoming schedule will be a very interest litmus test for Jerry Jones' guys. They are facing teams with young Quarterbacks, with Sam Darnold, Jalen Hurts, and Daniel Jones coming to Dallas while they 'Boys play Justin Herbert and Mac Jones on the road before their Bye Week. So they could have a 3-3 or 4-2 record at Week Seven but then their schedule gets more difficult. The Broncos, Raiders, and Saints Defenses played well in Week One of the season while have to play the Chiefs and Saints on the road before they have to face off with the Washington Defense twice in three weeks in December.
Speaking of the Washington Football Team, they are planning to start Taylor Heinicke at Quarterback until further notice after Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip injury. After the Giants game on Thursday Night at home, Washington has four road games in the next six weeks. They have to travel to Buffalo, Atlanta, Green Bay, and Denver while one of their home games before the Bye Week is against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. So Washington could be 2-6 or 3-5 heading into Week Nine of the season. Then their defense gets really tested in November and December facing Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, then Dak Prescott twice in three weeks.
That leaves the Eagles in an interesting position to take advantage of their divisional rivals turbulent schedules. While the Eagles play three Quarterbacks who have started in the Super Bowl over the next five weeks (Jimmy Garoppolo, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady) after that the schedule gets less daunting with road games at the Detroit Lions and New York Jets while the Chargers and Saints have to come to Philadelphia. When the Eagles reach their Bye Week, there is a possibility their record could be 8-5 at Week 14 and then they have the NFC East gauntlet versus Washington twice plus the Giants and Cowboys to finish the season.
Since betting odds change weekly and sometimes daily, if you think the Eagles have a chance to win the NFC East then now is the time to make that bet over at Fan Duel Sportsbook inside Bally's off the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. There is value odds on all the team in the NFC East so no matter who wins, you can win too if you pick the right team. At +340 and tied for the second best odds among the NFC East teams, Philadelphia is trending in the right direction after a miserable 2020 season.