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Redskins Favored to Win NFC East; Don’t Have Best Super Bowl Odds in Division

Alex Smith and the battered Washington Redskins o-line
Despite leading one the league's most lackluster offenses, Alex Smith is poised to make the playoffs for the fifth time in the last six seasons. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License]
  • The Washington Redskins picked up another win in Week 10, pushing their record to 6-3
  • The Cowboys beat the Eagles on Sunday night, giving the Redskins a two-game lead in the NFC East
  • See the odds to win the division

On Sunday, the Washington Redskins pulled out another win so ugly, not even a mother could love it.

But their 16-3 rock fight with Tampa Bay wasn’t why their playoff odds got a big boost. Rather, it was the Philadelphia Eagles surprising loss to the Dallas Cowboys that cemented the preseason long shot Redskins as the odds-on favorite to win the division.

Odds to win the NFC East

Team Record Odds
Washington Redskins 6-3 -130
Philadelphia Eagles 4-5 +230
Dallas Cowboys 4-5 +325
New York Giants 2-7 +2000

Yet despite that gap in their chances to make the playoffs, Washington and Philadelphia have the exact same odds to win the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl 53 Odds for NFC East Teams

Is this a situation where the Skins are undervalued? Are the Eagles getting too much love? Or maybe these odds make perfect sense.

How is Washington winning?

In an NFL where scoring is king, Washington has somehow mustered six wins on the season, while averaging under 20 points a game.

Entering this week, they’re scoring less than the laughable Giants offense. They have a +1 point differential on the season. When even Matt Barkley is feasting in the passing game, the Redskins have stats like this.

So how has Washington gotten to this point? Defense and a little schedule luck.

First the defense: their line of rookie Daron Payne, sophomore Jonathan Allen and third-year pro Matt Ioannidis has been excellent, and helped the team rack up 25 sacks and 18 takeaways. (BTW: The offense has turned those takeaways into just 39 points.)

However, the Skins have also benefit from an easy ride to this point and it doesn’t look like it will get much tougher.

Washington has beaten only one opponent that currently has a winning record. They only play two more winning teams down the stretch, both coming from the so-so AFC South. That’s why they’re favored to win the division.

But if they do make the playoffs, they have the look of one of those teams that won’t be there for long. Both Washington and starting quarterback Alex Smith are 1-4 in their last five playoff appearances. See if you can spot a trend.

Redskins’ and Alex Smith’s Last Five Playoff Games

Washington Alex Smith
35-18 Loss vs Green Bay Packers (2016) Game 1 22-21 Loss vs Tennessee Titans (2018)
24-14 Loss vs Seattle Seahawks (2013) Game 2 18-16 Loss vs Pittsburgh Steelers (2017)
35-14 Loss at Seattle Seahawks (2008) Game 3 27-20 Loss at New England Patriots (2016)
20-10 Loss at Seattle Seahawks (2006) Game 4 30-0 Win at Houston Texans (2016)
17-10 Win at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2006) Game 5 45-44 Loss at Indianapolis Colts (2013)

Outside of that wacky Colts comeback, neither Smith or this franchise has been capable of generating a lot of points in the postseason.

You know where that might be a problem? In an NFC where every other current playoff team is averaging 24.6 points per game or better. Remember what the Saints did to them at home?

Washington would have to outscore them in the dome and then likely do the same thing to the Rams offense. Even if their decimated offensive line all miraculously got healthy, it’s not happening.

The Eagles could go deep, but likely won’t get a shot

Most of the year, oddsmakers have been waiting for the Eagles to find it in the second half and go on a run.

The only reason Philly has identical Super Bowl odds, is that people still have 2017 glasses on when they look at this team. Carson Wentz still hasn’t regained his form following that ACL tear and the defense is dropping like flies.

Hope abounds because Philly has two more games against Washington, so they can close the gap with a pair of wins. But considering they also have road games against the Rams, Saints, and Cowboys, finishing anything better than 9-7 is unrealistic for the 2018 version of this team.

How bout dem Cowboys?



Where is the value?

Look around the league. No other division winner with a two-game lead is getting odds this nice.

Heck, Houston only has a one-game lead in the AFC and they’re -200 odds. Take Washington to win the East. Take none of these teams to win the Super Bowl.

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