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Winning Stats 2014 NFL Season Preview: NFC and AFC East

The most talked-about division in the NFL has three very mediocre teams and a pretty good one, while there might be a new best team in the AFC East? Find out what the Winning Stats have to say about the NFC and AFC East.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It's time to preview the two East Divisions through the eyes of the Winning Stats. Take a look back at our North Preview, as well as our West Preview.

NFC East

Thanks to the giant TV markets in the NFC East, we get to see pretty much every divisional game on National TV, and it's sorely been lacking the last several years. Add in all the controversy about the nickname in Washington, and you get a group of 4 teams everyone knows about. So if you strip away all the media hype, how good are these teams? Let's let the Winning Stats lead the way:

NFC East
Team Wins 1 Seed 2 Seed 3 Seed 4 Seed 5 Seed 6 Seed Total
Eagles 9.7 10.5% 15.4% 26.1% 18.0% 1.7% 2.6% 74.4%
Cowboys 7.0 0.8% 1.8% 5.3% 5.9% 1.9% 3.2% 19.0%
Giants 6.7 0.5% 1.3% 4.1% 4.6% 1.5% 2.7% 14.7%
Redskins 6.0 0.2% 0.6% 2.0% 2.9% 0.7% 1.4% 7.8%

We have an overwhelming favorite here, and it's the same team who won the division a year ago, the Eagles. Personally, I love what Chip Kelly is doing in Philly, and I see them running away with this division. The other three teams have major flaws to them, which is why you see their average win total all below .500, and all under 20% to make the Playoffs.

Playoff and Division Odds:

Team Div. Title Wild Card Division Playoff Odds
Predict Predict Odds Yes No
Eagles 70.0% 4.4% 55.6% 62.3% 42.6%
Cowboys 13.9% 5.1% 18.2% 26.7% 77.8%
Giants 10.5% 4.2% 22.2% 33.3% 72.2%
Redskins 5.6% 2.2% 20.0% 30.8% 74.0%

The Vegas line for the Eagles was +125, but it has moved pretty significantly over the last two weeks, so we're going to stay away from the -125 bet that it is now. Everything else seems to line up with what Vegas is thinking, which means we stay away from betting. Remember, only the biggest discrepancies are what we're looking for to bet.

Wins Over/Under:

Team O/U O Odds U Odds Over % Under %
Eagles 9 58.3% 47.6% 55.1% 26.0%
Cowboys 7.5 40.8% 63.6% 40.5% 59.5%
Giants 8 45.5% 60.0% 17.5% 66.4%
Redskins 7.5 53.5% 53.5% 20.6% 79.4%

Everything looks pretty even here as well, except for going against the Redskins. It's tough to tell whether it's just the Robert Griffin injury from last year, or just that they are a bad team, but either way I'm comfortable with going Redskins U7.5 (-105). I think all the other ones are dead on, so we'll be staying away from them.

AFC East

If there was one division of the eight where you'd say to the Winning Stats "You're Nuts!", this would certainly be the one. The Patriots have dominated for over a decade. But a computer doesn't really know that, only numbers. And the numbers said towards the end of last season the Patriots weren't very good, and other teams in that division stepped up their game. Who does the Winning Stats think has the best chance of winning the AFC East? Here's the table with the answer:

AFC East
Team Wins 1 Seed 2 Seed 3 Seed 4 Seed 5 Seed 6 Seed Total
Bills 9.6 9.4% 13.4% 14.2% 13.6% 7.8% 8.0% 66.4%
Jets 8.4 3.5% 5.9% 7.6% 8.3% 8.0% 8.7% 42.1%
Patriots 8.0 2.7% 4.3% 5.7% 7.1% 6.2% 7.9% 33.9%
Dolphins 6.2 0.2% 0.6% 1.2% 2.1% 1.7% 3.1% 8.9%

Yes, it is not a mistake: the Bills, according to the Winning Stats, have the best chance of winning the AFC East. Bet you won't find that anywhere else. Do I, Matt, believe this to be the case? Of course not, but this looks at specific schedules, match-ups for each stat, and clearly the Bills have a very favorable schedule to their strengths to have a predicted win total of 9.6. It also has the Jets ahead of the Patriots, which means they also showed something towards the end of the season. There's actually more correlation to how you play at the end of a season, even if bad overall, to how the next season will go than you think there is. Only a new QB really makes a huge difference. Darrelle Revis got a lot of headlines by signing with the Patriots in the offseason, but it's at most a one game difference, and I doubt it's that high. It's also why I don't worry about the loss of Kiko Alonso for the Bills.

With such a different pick for the division, you'd be right in thinking we'll be jumping on the Bills in Vegas. Let's see where:

Team Div. Title Wild Card Division Playoff Odds
Predict Predict Odds Yes No
Bills 50.6% 15.9% 7.7% 20.0% 85.7%
Jets 25.4% 16.6% 11.8% 25.0% 80.0%
Patriots 19.8% 14.1% 80.0% 83.3% 22.2%
Dolphins 4.2% 4.7% 12.5% 26.7% 77.8%

I'll gladly take the Bills at +1200 to win the division and I'll take them at +400 to make the Playoffs. Just for fun, and because the numbers say so, we'll take the Patriots not making the Playoffs at +350. I find it second nature to root against them anyway.

Wins Over/Under:

Team O/U O Odds U Odds Over % Under %
Bills 6.5 53.5% 53.5% 94.5% 5.5%
Jets 7 58.3% 47.6% 67.4% 16.9%
Patriots 11 58.3% 47.6% 3.4% 90.4%
Dolphins 7.5 53.5% 53.5% 24.3% 75.7%

When I first started looking at these numbers, the Bills were -165 on the Over 6.5, and it's moved all the way back to -115. Good thing I waited, huh? I'll take the Bills O6.5 (-115), as well as the Patriots U11 (+110).

Let's recap the East Divisions:

  • Redskins U7.5 (-105)
  • Bills win Division (+1200)
  • Bills Make Playoffs (+400)
  • Patriots Miss Playoffs (+350)
  • Bills O6.5 (-115)
  • Patriots U11 (+110)