Rewarding The Worst: All NFC East Teams Still With Realistic Playoff Hopes

Written By Nate Weitzer on October 2, 2020 - Last Updated on October 4, 2020
Eagles Cowboys Giants Washington Football Team NFC East

All NFC East teams are off to horrid starts in the 2020 NFL season as the Cowboys, Eagles, Giants and Washington Football Team have a combined 2-9-1 record.

That said, all of their playoff hopes are alive and well. Not only will the winner of this putrid division get a playoff berth, but the runner-up could possibly sneak in as well. If the teams in stacked divisions like the NFC West beat one another up too much, we could see 8-8 and 7-9 teams be rewarded come January.

There have been only two NFL division winners that have finished below .500, with the 2014 Panthers and the 2011 Seahawks getting into the dance. Will we have another one this year in the NFC East?

In this article, we look at NFC East division odds, break down the odds of each team to make the playoffs and analyze their respective futures markets.

2020 NFC East odds

Dallas Cowboys

Odds are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • To Win Division: -230
  • To Make Playoffs: Yes -278 / No +220
  • Current Win Total: 9
  • To Win Super Bowl: +1800

The Cowboys are a much better team than is reflected by their 1-2 record. While underachieving has been their issue for several years, Mike McCarthy can point to a tough schedule to justify the rough start this year, and his team has been quite competitive despite facing top teams. The Cowboys secondary has been demolished by injuries with starting CBs Anthony Brown (groin) and Chidobe Awuzie (knee) on IR and Tyron Smith (neck) has been out multiple weeks.

Dallas can take control with three straight winnable games at home, followed by road tests at Washington and Philadelphia. If they can run the table or finish that stretch with only one loss, 10 wins would be quite attainable.

This team is a longshot to win the Super Bowl, but shouldn’t be counted out entirely. The team will take some time to gel under McCarthy, their young secondary will have to learn on the fly, and they’ll have to get healthy. On paper, the Cowboys are as good as any team in the NFC and Dak Prescott is taking his game to another level to complement their well-established run game.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • To Win Division: +300
  • To Make Playoffs: Yes +275 / No -360
  • Current Win Total: 6.5
  • To Win Super Bowl: +6600

The Eagles may not deserve the respect as they’ve gotten in years past. This version of the Eagles is not stopping the run at the same level and ranks 23rd in DVOA pass defense despite trading for top CB Darius Slay. Offensively, Carson Wentz has been inefficient and under constant duress thanks to his injury-plagued line. DeSean Jackson is already dealing with multiple injuries, Jalen Reagor (finger) is on IR, and Alshon Jeffery (foot) might not rush back given rumors that he’s hoping for a trade.

The Eagles have lost four of their last five against the Cowboys and couldn’t even hold a 17-point lead against rebuilding Washington. Their non-division schedule is extremely difficult with matchups against the 49ers, Steelers, Ravens, Packers, Saints, and Seahawks, so even if they win two against the Giants and beat Washington, it’s hard to imagine Philly getting to seven wins this season.

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Washington Football Team

  • To Win Division: +800
  • To Make Playoffs: Yes +625 / No -1000
  • Current win total: N/A
  • To Win Super Bowl: +17500

Washington started strong under Ron Rivera and has one of the best defensive lines in football by most metrics. But now No. 2 overall pick Chase Young (groin) is hobbled and DT Matt Ioannidis (biceps) is done for the year. Their secondary remains exploitable and Washington’s offense simply isn’t good enough to win high scoring games. Dwayne Haskins continues to struggle with ball security and he’s playing behind an offensive line that ranks 28th in adjusted sack rate.

“The Football Team” is clearly rebuilding, and while a Week 1 comeback win over the Eagles is a nice sign for the future they’re an extreme longshot for any type of futures bet.

New York Giants

  • To Win Division: +2000
  • To Make Playoffs: Yes +1200 / No -3335
  • Current Win Total: 4
  • To Win Super Bowl: +20000
  • To Go 0-16: Yes +1700 / No -10000

With Saquon Barkley (knee) done for the year, the Giants have arguably become the worst team in football. Daniel Jones needs a bell cow back of Barkley’s caliber to avoid taking risks down the field and he’s been ridiculously turnover-prone even when Barkely is active. The Giants offensive line ranks dead last in adjusted RB yards (1.80) by a huge margin. They’re hoping to get rushing production from plodder Wayne Gallman or free agent Devonta Freeman behind what became one of the worst offensive lines in football once LT Nate Solder opted out.

The only question for this betting market is whether the Giants will win five games, zero games, or somewhere in between. The Jets are the only other team getting a proposition on zero wins this season. The Giants will have a shot to win a game or two since they face the other stinkers in this division twice and also take on the Bengals after a Week 11 bye.

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