NFC East: No Love for America's Team? Bettors Backing Eagles
Despite being listed as NFC East favorites at +140 odds (up from last month’s +120 and last week’s +130), the Dallas Cowboys see minimal action from bettors, representing just 12.1% of tickets and 8.3% of the handle.
NFC East Betting Insights @ BetMGM
Highest Ticket%: Eagles 59.7%
Highest Handle%: Eagles 69.3%
Biggest liability: Eagles
It’s the opposite story for the Philadelphia Eagles, who, at +160 odds (down from last month’s +185 and +170 a week ago), are taking in a significant 59.7% of tickets. The pros are enamored, with the ticket percentage representing a whopping 69.3% of the handle. Not only do they lead the NFC East in tickets, but they are also the most bet team to win their division in the entire NFL at BetMGM Sportsbook, with the second largest handle, behind only the Indianapolis Colts.
Why so little faith in the Cowboys?
Well, there is a multitude of factors. While the Eagles added star wide receiver AJ Brown to pair with second-year wideout Devonta Smith, Dallas, outside of CeeDee Lamb, is facing severe depth concerns at the position. Not only did the Cowboys decide to move on from Amari Cooper, but they are likely to be without Michael Gallup for the early portion of the regular season as he continues to recover from last year’s torn ACL.
Ex-Steeler James Washington, expected to see his share of snaps as a WR3, is now out for 6-10 weeks with a fractured foot. This adds more pressure on third-year receiver CeeDee Lamb as he assumes the WR1 mantel and rookie wideout Jalen Tolbert. The gap between the ticket and handle percentages suggests the so-called smart money is adopting a “wait-and-see” approach to the Cowboys for now at their current odds. Though the odds of Dallas capturing the division have drifted from opening odds of -120 to +140, the handle percentage has increased only slightly relative to Philadelphia over the past month.
Fly Eagles Fly
Expanding on the Brown signing, his presence in the Eagles’ passing attack can’t be overstated. A true alpha, the former Titan, presents a big-bodied target for quarterback Jalen Hurts, who continues to make strides as a passer. Buoyed by an already elite running game, bettors appear swayed that Brown will significantly impact his new team, presenting a formidable, more balanced attack.
From opening odds of +300 to the current moneyline of +160, the stampede of capital backing the Eagles has fallen off only modestly on a relative basis since early July.
I-95 New York to DC
Even the Washington Commanders (+500) are seeing more action than Big D, with ticket and handle percentages of 17.7% and 14.4%, respectively. Only the New York Giants (+750) are gaining less traction than America’s Team. The G-Men have seen their ticket and handle percentages climb modestly in the past month to 10.6% and 8.0%, respectively.
The futures market is also recognizing the offseason efforts of the Washington Commanders beyond finally landing on a team name. Veteran Carson Wentz takes over at quarterback after one season with the Indianapolis Colts, where arguably, Wentz shouldered more than his share of the blame for the Colts’ collapse down the stretch. The Commanders added depth at wide receiver, trading down and selecting Jahan Dotson from Penn State with the 16th overall selection in the 2022 Draft. He joins All-Pro Terry McLaurin and a now-healthy Curtis Samuel in what shapes up to be a more diversified, dynamic passing attack. A playoff team in 2020, at +500 odds, the Commanders are attracting attention as the regular season approaches.
After an injury-plagued 2021, the New York Giants are currently at +750. Under new head coach Brian Daboll, and on the back of a strong 2022 Draft, optimism in Big Blue’s camp is rising. However, until they start playing for real, at current odds, it is hard to imagine a dramatic shift in futures market sentiment from here.
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