Football picksAugust 7, 2009

NFL Picks Previews 2009: NFC EAST

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH:
1. PHILADELPHIA
2. NEW YORK
3. DALLAS
4. WASHINGTON

PHILADELPHIA
LAST SEASON: 9-6-1
DIRECTION: UP

The biggest concern going into this season was Brian Westbrook who had two large bone fragments removed from his ankle in June. But all reports indicate he is ready to go. Sean McCoy was drafted to take some of the heat off Westbrook, and if he gives them yards in the backfield, the Eagles instantly get better. The biggest key to the Eagles will be Westbrook’s health, and finding someone to compliment him. If not McCoy, Lorenzo Booker remains the only viable option.

BETTING THE EAGLES – WHEN THEY ARE BAD:
Home sweet home? Not after two straight on the road, as the Eagles are just 1-7 ATS at home after two on the road.

BETTING THE EAGLES – WHEN THEY ARE GOOD:
NFC rulers of the roost, at 56-35 ATS vs. NFC opponents last eight years. Giant letdown? Hardy… The Eagles are 11-1 ATS after playing the Giants. The Eagles also 5-0 ATS after playing Washington.

NEW YORK GIANTS
LAST SEASON: 12-4
DIRECTION: DOWN

The Giants appear to be in a battle with the Eagles for supremecy in the East. They have excellent depth and their strength is found within an offensive line with all five together for a third straight season. Depth at linebacker and safety will be the key as it is an area they could become vulnerable with a key injury or two.

BETTING THE GIANTS – WHEN THEY ARE BAD:
The Giants are just 1-5 ATS in their last six as a dog on Monday Night Football.

BETTING THE GIANTS – WHEN THEY ARE GOOD:
Kingsize rewards backing the Giants on the road, at 21-6 ATS last 27 games. The Giants have been road warriors, turning in a 22-7 ATS the last three seasons. They are also 5-0 ATS before playing the Eagles (no look ahead here!).

DALLAS COWBOYS
LAST SEASON: 9-7
DIRECTION: STABLE

With the departure of Terrell Owens, the Cowboys offense now will feature Roy Williams and a handful of very talented running backs. The departure of TO should be a good thing for this team’s chemistry. If they can get someone to rise as the #2 reciever, the offense can only get better. Wade Phillips has control of a defense that must find consistency, to find themselves in a better overall place than last season.

BETTING THE COWBOYS – WHEN THEY ARE BAD:
The Cowboys are 12-107 ATS when they lose straight up.

BETTING THE COWBOYS – WHEN THEY ARE GOOD:
The Cowboys soar to a 12-3 ATS mark after playing the Eagles. The Cowboys come back strong after getting soundly beaten as they are 9-1 ATS after losing by double-digits.

WASHINGTON
LAST SEASON: 8-8
DIRECTION: UP

The Redskins might be improved this season, but will it be good enough, as the East is loaded with all good teams. The key to this team will be if all the money they spent two years ago on recievers, sees someone of the group emerge and rise above this season. Jason Campbell will finally be in the same offense for a second straight year, for the first time in his career and that should help his maturation.

BETTING THE ‘SKINS – WHEN THEY ARE BAD THEY ARE BAD:
The Redskins after a road win are 6-18 ATS. No homefield advantage for the ‘Skins early, just 4-9 ATS at home last 13 in September.

BETTING THE ‘SKINS WHEN THEY ARE GOOD:
The ‘Skins get mad after losing to Cowboys covering 60% in their game immediately following a loss to the ‘Boys.