The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles have already resumed battling, carrying their in-season excellence to off-season betting respect at DraftKings.
Here are the NFC East odds as of March 27, 2023:
- Eagles: +110
- Cowboys: +190
- Giants: +500
- Commanders: +900
How This Bet Compares With Last Year
This is a slight flip-flop from opening day last year. That’s when the ‘Boys were the +140 chalk and the Eagles were next at +160.
Both teams made money for their bettors.
Philadelphia won the division at 14-3, rewarding its backers. Dallas was next at 12-5 and, like Philadelphia, cashed its Over projected win total (10) for its bettors.
Both teams both came away with optimism for next year.
The season split between them featured each team winning on its home field and neither losing team having its quarterback that day.
Philadelphia’s 26-17 triumph marked Dak Prescott’s last game on the injured list before he returned from a fractured thumb.
The Eagles’ Jalen Hurts was out with a shoulder injury when the ‘Boys turned the tables 40-34 at home.
We never saw Prescott versus Hurts, but that will be lined up for this year.
This Is One of the Most Enjoyable Wagers
The Futures bet is one gamblers can make both now and throughout the campaign. It adjusts every week after Opening Day. Whenever bettors see value, they might want to play it.
Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told How Bout Them.
“We put up action and right away some people got onto the futures bet to win the division.
“There are a lot of reasons. Some people just can’t get their minds off football, so here is a bet you can make. If you want to bet the Cowboys at +190, you might do that because you feel they will be the favorite later and you won’t get a price like this.
“When you think about the Giants at +450 and the Commanders at +800, you will be getting an excellent price and you may take it now to get ahead of any trade rumors or deals that will knock the price down.
“If you like the value now, you can make these bets. Otherwise, you can just wait until the season starts.”
Because there are only four NFC East teams, buying on the dip is a popular strategy gamblers will monitor throughout the season.
An early or mid-season loss by the ‘Boys or Eagles will likely propel the betting odds into ranges of +300 or higher. That’s an excellent time to buy in, providing there is at least one head-to-head matchup remaining between the teams.
Dallas gave its backers a thrill last season, closing from three games out to one against the Eagles, who snuffed the flames by winning their season finale to clinch the division.
The Cincinnati Bengals were a great in-season buy last season. They slid to +500 from +170 because they trailed the Baltimore Ravens by one game and still had to face the Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.
Backers who took them then were rewarded, as Cincinnati swept all three games and Baltimore lost two. The Bengals won the division.
Here’s what gamblers know they are getting right now:
-Running back Tony Pollard is officially retained. The Cowboys put the franchise tag on him this week after a monster year.
Pollard, who will only be 26 in April, will cost the Cowboys’ $10.1 million if he signs the tender and doesn’t sign a long-term contract.
Dallas has the option to sign him long-term or take a one-year wait-and-see approach regarding his injury status. Pollard broke his left leg and suffered a high-ankle sprain during the Cowboys’ division-round loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Pollard earned his tag and his first Pro Bowl performance. He rushed for 1007 yards and nine touchdowns, along with 371 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The yardage and touchdowns were career highs.
If they want to give him the franchise tag in 2024, the price goes up.
Dallas knows that because it had the option to put that tag on tight end Dalton Schultz for a second year at roughly $13 million now. He made more than $10 million last year with the franchise tag.
It was a tough choice to make now because Schultz earned his money last year. He caught 57 passes for 577 yards and five touchdowns during the regular season. In the post-season, he tallied three times in two games.
The ‘Boys were a potent offense when he got involved. But if they don’t have the budget for him, Peyton Hendershot may be called upon to give them depth at the position. He averaged more than 8 yards per catch last year. What happens if he becomes a more frequent target?
Compare that with the backfield, in which Dallas simply had to retain at least one big player.
Zeke Elliott has been in a slow decline, but is still serviceable. He has offered to reduce his contract, perhaps for more guaranteed money. That could be a positive development. But his status is uncertain.
Pollard is staying put. And Dallas also has the option of selecting a college running back in contrast to nearly all mock drafts.
By any measure, Dallas has a nucleus from which to build.
The question bettors ponder now is whether they like the +190 division future.