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NFC East Notebook

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NFC West · NFC East · NFC South · NFC North
New York Giants

2013 Record: 7-9
Postseason: No Playoffs
Off YPG: 308 (28th)
Def YPG: 332 (8th)
Off PPG: 18.4 (28th)
Def PPG: 23.9 (18th)

2014 Total Win Analysis - LVH Total Win Opening Line: 7.5

After down years from the Giants, Redskins, and Cowboys, we feel that the Giants are most likely to bounce back with a winning campaign and we are slightly leaning towards the OVER here. They have a Super Bowl winning coach in Tom Coughlin and a Super Bowl winning quarterback in Eli Manning. They cleaned house on the offensive side of the coaching staff in a effort to bounce back after a disastrous performance in 2013 (28th in total offense and points scored). Under a new scheme, Eli's numbers will improve and the Giants will challenge for a playoff spot this season. The schedule isn't "easy," but it shapes up nicely for the G-Men. They get four of their toughest non-divisional games at home (Arizona, Atlanta, Indianapolis, and San Francisco) with manageable road games (@Detroit, @Jacksonville, @Tennessee, @St. Louis). Philadelphia elicits the most confidence among the four NFC East squads heading into the season, but we feel better about the Giants than either the Cowboys or Redskins. Slightly favoring the 'OVER' here.

Betting Notes

-- 2013 ATS-O/U Record: 7-9, 7-9
-- New York is just 16-23-2 ATS (41%) at home since 2009 - 25th in the NFL over that span.
-- While they've struggled at home, the Giants have excelled on the road. They are 37-22-1 ATS (62.7%) as an away team since 2007 - the best percentage in the NFL over that span.
-- The Giants are an NFL-best 29-18-1 ATS (61.7%) as an underdog since 2007. That includes a 23-13-1 ATS (63.9%) mark as an away underdog.
-- No. 1 in the NFL against NFC teams, with a 52-37 ATS (58.4%) record since 2007. They are just 13-16-1 ATS (44.8%) against AFC squads over that span.
-- The 'UNDER' is 11-3 in the last 14 meetings with Washington, averaging just 34.5 total PPG in those meetings.
-- NYG is just 3-9 ATS in the last 12 games against division-rival Philly. They are just 1-6 ATS at home over that span.
-- The Giants and Cowboys have finished 'OVER' the total in 11 of the last 15 matchups, averaging 54.4 points per game over those 15 matchups.

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Player & Team Notes

 
-- Defensively the G-Men played quite well in 2013 (8th in total 'D'). They played about as well as they could trying to protect their terrible offense. The numbers should improve if the offense can pick up some of the slack.
-- NYG will make the switch to a more west coast offensive scheme under new offensive coordinator and former Packers QB coach, Ben McAdoo. Expect fewer bombs and more dinking and dunking down the field for Eli Manning.
-- No one needs a scheme change more than Manning after he had arguably his worst season as a pro in 2013. He completed just 57.5% (worst since 2005) for 3,818 yards (lowest since 2008) with 18 TD (worst since 2004), and 27 INT (career worst).
-- The Giants let WR Hakeem Nicks go in free agency and replaced him by drafting Odell Beckham Jr. out of LSU. Beckham is a burner and appears to be a better fit for this new offense than the oft-injured Nicks would have been.
-- Two of the underrated signings of the offseason happened in the NYG secondary. The Giants brought in CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie via Denver and CB Walter Thurmond via Seattle.
-- The Giants already had a pretty stout pass-defense before the signings as they ranked 7th in pass TD allowed, 10th in pass YPG allowed, and 4th in yards per attempt.
-- One area that definitely needs to improve is the pass-rush. The Giants ranked 25th in sacks a year ago and let their most accomplished pass-rusher, Justin Tuck, walk in free agency.
-- Tom Coughlin and the Giants acquired RB Rashad Jennings via Oakland, and drafted RB Andre Williams from Boston College to share the workload and fill the void left by injured David Wilson.

Washington Redskins

2013 Record: 3-13
Postseason: No Playoffs
Off YPG: 370 (9th)
Def YPG: 354 (18th)
Off PPG: 20.9 (23rd)
Def PPG: 29.9 (31st)

2014 Total Win Analysis - LVH Total Win Opening Line: 7.5

The Redskins will not be as bad as they were in 2013 when they won only three games. However, with the roster that is put together right now, it will be tough for them to exceed seven wins. Robert Griffin has been healthy this offseason and is getting the reps necessary for a young quarterback; something that didn't happen during the disastrous 2013 campaign when he threw just 16 TD and 12 INT in 13 games. Griffin and this offense, with the addition of big-play WR DeSean Jackson, will be better. But the defense has a long way to go. This unit allowed nearly 30 points per game in 2013 and didn't do much of anything to improve during the offseason. The schedule, while not as bad as others in the division, still has them traveling to Houston to open the season, at Philadelphia in week three, vs. Seattle in week five, and at Arizona in week 6. The final six weeks of the season are an absolute nightmare. In six consecutive weeks, the Redskins play at San Francisco, at Indianapolis vs. St. Louis, at NY Giants, vs. Philadelphia, and vs. Dallas. Expect flashes of greatness from this offense, but with little talent or depth on defense, expect another long season in Washington.

Betting Notes

-- 2013 ATS-O/U Record: 5-11, 8-8
-- Washington is just 19-28-2 ATS (40%) at home since 2008, the 6th worst mark in the NFL over that span. Since that same time, the Redskins are just 6-12 ATS (33.3%) as a home favorite - third worst in the NFL.
-- Just 11-17-1 ATS (39.3%) as a favorite since 2007. The 6th worst mark in the NFL over that span.
-- The Redskins were just 3-8 ATS as an underdog in 2013 and just 1-5 ATS as a road underdog.
-- This year the Redskins matchup with the AFC South in inter-conference play. Since 2003, the 'Skins are just 15-24-5 ATS (38.5%) against AFC squads - the 2nd worst percentage over that span.
-- Washington has finished 'OVER' the total in just 40.8% of its home games since 2008 - the 2nd lowest 'OVER' percentage over that span.
-- The UNDER is 14-7 in the last 21 meetings with Philadelphia.
-- Washington is an impressive 12-3 ATS in the last 15 against Dallas, including just 6-1 ATS as a visitor
-- The 'UNDER' is 11-3 in the last 14 meetings with the New York Giants, averaging just 34.5 total PPG in those meetings

Player & Team Notes

-- The Redskins cleaned out on the coaching staff. They hired former Bengals OC Jay Gruden to be the head coach and promoted tight ends coach Sean McVay to offensive coordinator.
-- Jay Gruden worked wonders developing Andy Dalton in Cincinnati as Dalton has gone 20 TD, 27 TD, and 33 TD in his first three seasons. Gruden will hope to do the same with Griffin who severely regressed in his 2nd season in 2013.
-- Griffin won't have any shortage of offensive weapons at his disposal. Pierre Garcon led the NFL with 113 receptions last year and Washington added DeSean Jackson (82 receptions) via Philadelphia. They also have promising 2nd year TE Jordan Reed (45 receptions in 9 games).
-- Almost the forgotten man in last year's disastrous season was RB Alfred Morris. Morris rushed for 1,275 yards (back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons to start his career) and seven touchdowns on a 4.6 YPC average.
-- Washington ranked near or in the bottom 10 of most major passing defensive statistical categories: 21st in TD passes allowed, 21st in sacks, 20th in pass YPG allowed, and 27th in opposing QB rating. They have feared pass rushers in Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo, but the secondary is still a major weak point.
-- Signed DT Jason Hatcher via Dallas. Hatcher is coming off of a career year and the Redskins hope he becomes a fixture in their 3-4 defensive scheme; aiding Kerrigan and Orakpo to get to the QB.

Philadelphia Eagles

2013 Record: 10-6
Postseason:  L 24-26 to New Orleans in Wild Card Round
Off YPG: 417 (2nd)
Def YPG: 394
Off PPG: 27.6 (4th)
Def PPG: 23.9 (17th)

2014 Total Win Analysis - LVH Total Win Opening Line: 9

While Philadelphia has arguably the most talented roster of the weak NFC East bunch, we predict it'll be hard to repeat last year's success and we'll lean slightly towards the UNDER here. A lot of things went right for the Eagles last year. Nick Foles stepped in at QB and had one of the most efficient seasons we've seen from ANY QB in a while (29 TD, 2 INT in 13 games). LeSean McCoy stayed healthy and led the NFL in rushing yards. The Giants, Redskins, and Cowboys all underachieved, allowing the Eagles to run away with the division. Philly likely won't see those kinds of breaks again in 2014 and, as mentioned above, despite the fact that the Eagles have the most talent among the Giants, Redskins, and Cowboys; translating that talent into wins will be difficult considering the slate presented this season. Philly draws the NFC West, earning games against San Francisco (away), St. Louis (home), Arizona (road), and Seattle (home). They also draw games at Indianapolis, at Green Bay, and vs. Carolina. Looking at the schedule, there are eight games that Philly will likely be the underdog. Philly benefited from a weak schedule in 2013 and a down year from the rest of the division. That won't be the case in 2014 and it'll be difficult for the Eagles to exceed .500.

Betting Notes

-- 2013 ATS-O/U Record: 8-8, 9-7
-- Philadelphia ranks 3rd worst in the NFL with a 39-55-1 ATS (41.5%) at home since 2003. They are just 3-13-1 ATS (18.8%) over the last two seasons alone
-- That includes just 9-18-1 ATS (33.3%) since 2010 as a home favorite - 4th worst in the NFL over that span
-- They are among the top in the NFL on the road, however. Since 2007, they are 34-26 (56.7%) ATS as an away team - 5th best in the NFL
-- Philly hasn't found a ton of success against AFC squads, going 15-26 ATS (36.6%) since 2004 - 2nd worst in the NFL
-- The Eagles are 9-3 ATS in the last 12 games against NY Giants. That includes a 6-1 ATS mark @NYG
-- Philly has failed to cover three of the last four against Dallas - including both matchups in 2013 - and they've finished UNDER in seven of the last 11 meetings
-- The UNDER is 14-7 in the last 21 meetings with Washington.

Player & Team Notes

-- Chip Kelly's offense worked wonders in year one. It was explosive & efficient. QB Foles led the NFL with 9.12 yards per attempt with 29 TD and just 2 INT after becoming the starter in week four.
-- Philly led the NFL with 160.4 rush yards per game behind NFL rushing leader LeSean McCoy. The rushing attack should be even more dynamic this year after the team acquired Darren Sproles. Sproles rushed for 220 yards and caught 71 passes for 604 yards for New Orleans last year.
-- They lost big-play receiver DeSean Jackson (1,332 receiving yards) in free agency. But after the acquisition of Sproles via trade, Jeremy Maclin returning from injury, and Jordan Matthews & Josh Huff in the draft, Philly won't be hurting for playmakers.
-- The Eagles were dead last in the NFL in passing yards allowed last season (289.8 pass YPG). That number is a bit skewed considering that Philly's quick strike offense was 32nd in time of possession. That led to opponents attempting an NFL-high 670 passes against Philly.
-- The acquisitions of Nolan Carroll via Miami and Malcolm Jenkins via New Orleans should give this pass defense a boost. It will also help if Philly can get a consistent pass rush. They ranked 20th with just 37 sacks in 2013.
-- Second year tackle Lane Johnson, who was the 4th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft and started all 16 games as a rookie, will miss the first four games of 2014 after being suspended for consumption of a banned substance.
-- Part of Philly's success with the up-tempo offense is limiting the turnovers on offense and forcing them on defense. Philly ranked third in the NFL with +10 TO ratio.

Dallas Cowboys

2013 Record: 8-8
Postseason: No Playoffs
Off YPG: 341 (16th)
Def YPG: 415 (32nd)
Off PPG: 27.4 (5th)
Def PPG: 27 (26th)

2014 Total Win Analysis - LVH Total Win Opening Line: 8

We're leaning towards the UNDER here. Dallas will again boast one of the better offenses in the NFL with a healthy Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray, Jason Witten, and Dez Bryant, along with an improved offensive line. However, there are major concerns on the defensive side of the football. The Cowboys lost a lot in free agency and again will be without the services of star LB Sean Lee, who tore his ACL in summer practices. Dallas was 32nd in yards allowed and 26th in points allowed in 2013 and we don't see where this unit has improved in the offseason. They're sparse in talent on the defensive side of the ball and even sparser in depth. The strength of schedule is middle-of-the-pack, ranked 18th in the NFL, but it still represents some difficult tests. The NFC East should be a lot better this year with the Redskins and Giants having bounce back seasons along with Philly continuing to ascend. They also face the NFC West, possibly the best division in the NFL. And the final six weeks of the season are an absolute nightmare: @NYG, vs. Philly, @Chicago, @Philly, vs. Indy, and @Washington. Dallas has finished UNDER their projected total wins in each of the past two years and we expect that trend to continue in 2014.

Betting Notes

-- 2013 ATS-O/U Record: 9-7, 9-7
-- No team has been as over-valued as the Cowboys. Since 2010, Dallas is just 10-27-1 ATS as a favorite, the worst spread record over that span
-- That includes a 7-20 ATS (23.1%) mark as a home favorite since 2010, the second worst spread record over that span
-- When they are undervalued, however, is a different story. Dallas is 17-9 ATS (65.4%) as an underdog since 2010, 2nd best in the NFL
-- "Jerry's World" doesn't seem to favor the Cowboys as they are just 11-21 ATS at home since 2010, 2nd worst in the NFL
-- 3-12 ATS in the last 15 against Washington, including just 1-6 ATS at home
-- Dallas and the NY Giants have finished 'OVER' the total in 11 of the last 15 matchups
-- Dallas covered both meetings against division-winner Philadelphia last year and are 7-4 ATS in the last 11 meetings against the Eagles

Player & Team Notes

-- Were forced to cut ties with DeMarcus Ware in the offseason. Ware accumulated 117 sacks and 32 forced fumbles in nine seasons in Dallas.
-- Brought in DT Henry Melton via Chicago in free agency and drafted DE DeMarcus Lawrence in the draft to offset the loss of Ware and help a defense that ranked 25th in sacks last year (34 sacks).
-- The Cowboys were abysmal across the board on defense in 2013. They Finished 30th in both passing yards allowed (287 YPG) and touchdown passes allowed (33).
-- Also poor against the rush, ranking 27th in rush yards allowed (128.5 YPG) and 26th in rush TD allowed (17).
-- Those wanting to place blame on Tony Romo for Dallas' problems need to pay more attention. Romo is statistically one of the better QB's in the NFL. Last year he had 31 TD, 10 INT, and completed 64% of his passes.
-- Same goes for DeMarco Murray and the Cowboys rushing attack. Murray ranked 10th in the NFL with 1,121 yards with 9 TD and 5.2 YPC.
-- Dallas was very adept at keeping Romo upright (35 sacks allowed ranked 7th best) and opening holes for Murray last season and it should be even better this year after adding Zach Martin in the first round of the draft.
-- The Cowboys let longtime starting WR Miles Austin walk in free agency. Austin played in just 11 games last year and was scarcely effective because of injuries (24 catches, 244 yards). Dallas is hoping 2nd year WR Terrance Williams improves on his impressive rookie numbers (44 rec., 736 yards, 5 TD) and take control of the WR2 position.

  
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