Welcome to Bet Labs 2016 NFL preview series where we will look at all eight of the league’s divisions. As part of the preview, we will highlight each team’s chances of winning their respective division and take a look at their season win total.
To create our projections we simulated the 2016 NFL season 10,000 times using our NFL Strength of Schedule.
Let’s begin with the NFC East; a division the oddsmakers and our model think will be competitive.
2015 Record: 4-12
Home Games: CHI, CIN, BAL, TB, DET
Away Games: SF, GB, CLE, PIT, MIN
From worst to first, Dallas is projected to retake the crown in the NFC East. Much of last year’s disastrous season can be blamed on Tony Romo’s injury. The starting quarterback played only four games due to a broken collarbone. With Romo back under center and an easy schedule, the Cowboys most likely result is a 9-7 season (Washington won the division last year with nine wins) but the Boys win nine or more games 63.6% of the time.
The bookmakers have set Dallas’ season win total at 9 games.
|Dallas O/U||Over%||Under%||Implied Odds|
If you were to bet over 9 wins, you would want to get a line of -115 or better to have a positive expected value.
New York Giants
2015 Record: 6-10
Home Games: NO, BAL, CIN, CHI, DET
Away Games: MIN, GB, LA, CLE, PIT
The Giants most likely season ends in an 8-8 campaign, which occurs in 19.9% of our simulations. A .500 season isn’t what the fans were hoping for after seeing Tom Coughlin depart and likely won’t be enough to win the division. New York does win nine or more games 38.5% of the time in our simulations, which helps to give Eli Manning and crew a better than one-in-five chance of winning the NFC East. It has been five seasons since the Giants took the division.
|Giants O/U||Over%||Under%||Implied Odds|
Do you think Ben McAdoo can breathe new life into the Giants? If you take over eight wins then you want to get better than +108 odds.
2015 Record: 9-7
Home Games: PIT, CLE, MIN, GB, CAR
Away Games: BAL, DET, CIN, AZ, CHI
Washington surprised everyone last year by winning the NFC East. Kirk Cousins set five Redskins’ records including throwing for 4,166 yards, 29 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. The young passer wanted to be paid like a top tier quarterback in the offseason but Washington gave him the franchise tag taking a “wait and see” approach. The uncertainty at quarterback is a reflection of the organization as a whole. Few expect Cousins to repeat or exceed his performance from a season ago (our model agrees), as such the ‘Skins are unlikely to finish on top of the division. Washington’s most likely result is a 7-9 record (occurs 20.4% of the time).
|Redskins O/U||Over%||Under%||Implied Odds|
There looks to be some value on fading Washington this season. Look to take the under 7.5 wins if you can get better than +117 odds.
2015 Record: 7-9
Home Games: CLE, PIT, MIN, ATL, GB
Away Games: CHI, DET, SEA, CIN, BAL
Chip Kelly is gone but Sam Bradford is still in Philly! The Eagles are hoping Carson Wentz becomes the franchise’s quarterback of the future but he isn’t expected to see much playing time in 2016. Philadelphia went a ho-hum 7-9 last year and is projected to do so again this season (happens 20.4% of the time in our 10,000 simulations).
|Eagles O/U||Over%||Under%||Implied Odds|
Another team where taking the under might provide some value. Of course it all depends on the odds you get. Under 7.5 at +133 or better provides value.
Dallas is the most likely NFC East winner but at 9-7 they don’t run away with the division. Basically these are four 8-8 teams slugging it out. It might not be pretty but it’ll definitely be interesting to see which club can come out on top.
|Team||Division Win Probability|
|New York Giants||23.1%|
Check back tomorrow when we review the AFC East.