Welcome to Bet Labs 2017 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 2017 NFL season 10,000 times using team projections and adjusting for Strength of Schedule.
Let’s begin with the NFC East where the Cowboys look to become the first repeat division winner since 2004.
2016 Record: 13-3
Home Games: LAR, GB, KC, LAC, SEA
Away Games: DEN, AZ, SF, ATL, OAK
Dallas went 13-3 last year, tied for best record in franchise history, won the division and earned the top seed in the NFC. Can the Cowboys repeat? There are a lot of reasons to think the ‘Boys can finish on top once again. The team brings back Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott, the NFL rushing leader in Ezekiel Elliott and one of the best lines in football.
However, 13-3 is not probable. There is just a 5.1% chance the team finishes with more than 12 wins. This may disappoint fans of America’s Team but the most likely record for Dallas is 9-7 (occurs 20.1% of the time), but this is enough to make Dak and crew the division favorites.
The bookmakers have set Dallas’ season win total at 9.5 games. There is a 50.4% chance the Cowboys win 9 or fewer games and a 49.6% chance the team wins 10 or more games. There is value betting the UNDER (+110).
New York Giants
2016 Record: 11-5
Home Games: DET, LAC, SEA, LAR, KC
Away Games: TB, DEN, SF, OAK, AZ
The Giants signed Brandon Marshall in the offseason to pair with Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard. Eli Manning now has more weapons and a defense that finished 2nd in DVOA last year but expectations shouldn’t be too high for New York.
The Giants most likely season ends in an 8-8 campaign, which occurs in 20.0% of our simulations. A .500 season isn’t what the fans are hoping for after going 11-5 last season and making the playoffs. New York did manage to sweep the Cowboys last year, if they want to win the NFC East for the first time since 2011 knocking off Dallas is their best bet.
The team has a season win total of 8.5 games. There is a 52.0% chance the club wins 8 or fewer games. Remember the team’s most likely record is 8-8. There is value betting the UNDER (+130).
2017 NFL Season
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2016 Record: 7-9
Home Games: AZ, SF, DEN, CHI, OAK
Away Games: KC, LAC, CAR, SEA, LAR
The NFL is a quarterback-driven league. The Eagles started the 2016 campaign hot winning their first three games with rookie quarterback Carson Wentz throwing 5 touchdowns and zero interceptions. The shine soon faded as the team went 4-9 the rest of the season as Wentz threw 11 touchdowns against 14 interceptions.
Wentz ranked 28th in DYAR, defensive-adjusted yards above replacement, last year among qualified starters. Baring a major leap, the Eagles are projected to go 8-8 in 2017, happens 21.7% of the time in our 10,000 simulations.
This projection is right in line with the Vegas win total of 8 games. Philly is another team where there is value on the UNDER (+105). The Eagles win 8 or fewer games 51.6% of the time.
2016 Record: 8-7-1
Home Games: OAK, SF, MIN, AZ, DEN
Away Games: LAR, KC, SEA, NO, LAC
2016 was an up and down year for Washington. The team had its first back-to-back winning seasons since 1997 but failed to make the playoffs and finished third in the division. Kirk Cousins had a fine year throwing for 4,917 yards and 25 touchdowns but the defense ranked 24th against the pass and 25th against the run.
The offense lost 1,000-yard receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, while the defense will try to incorporate new pieces to fill its many holes. On top of all that, Cousins remains unsigned and will likely play under the franchise tag for another season leaving questions about his future with the club.
All signs are pointing to another disappointing season in 2017. The most likely result is a 7-9 campaign. The ‘Skins season win total is listed at 7.5 games. There is a 53.0% chance Washington wins 7 or fewer games. However the UNDER is listed at -120, which means there is no value betting it, nor is it wise to bet the OVER (+100). This is a win total to pass on.
NFC East Division Odds
Dallas isn’t likely to dominate the division like it did a year ago but with an average record of 9-7 and a 49.6% chance of winning 10 or more games the team is the clear favorite to win the NFC East. There is value on the Cowboys +125 to win the division against a bunch of .500 or worse teams.
|Team||Odds||Projected Chance (%)|
Check back tomorrow when we preview the AFC East.