NFL Inside The Numbers Week 12

Handicapping and Analyzing Stats – NFL Inside the Numbers Week 12

Throughout the NFL season, I review weekly box scores, stats, game recaps and more after watching many of the NFL games. For over a decade, I have kept a proprietary database of statistical information and utilized relevant rushing numbersstatistical guidelines and situations to better assist me in sports investing and providing point spread winners.  Each week we analyze the information and try to position our plays for success based on match-up advantages.  The running game and/or ability to stop the run is another way to isolate NFL point spread winners.

Here are some Week 12 stats of note.

Week 12 NFL favorites went 11-4 SU and  6-9 ATS and are now 118-57 SU and 88-89 ATS this season.  Totals went  7-8 O/U with the Thursday, Sunday and Monday night prime time games going over the total ( again ) and those Thursday, Sunday and Monday night prime time games are now 29-8 over/under this season.

Beating the NFL over the long-term involves an understanding of the match-ups, situations and stats, and how to apply them for success.  Good fortune in the turnover column helps too. After all, teams that are +3 or more in the turnover column in a game are a long-term 93% winning ATS situation.  This season, teams that are +3 or greater in the turnover column in a game are 34-1 SU and 32-3 ATS.  The Buccaneers ( 4-1 ) coughed up the ball and game against the Bears in defeat and suffered a negative TO margin of 3 ore more in Week 12.

Teams that had a meaningful rushing advantage over their opponent (at least 30 yards) went 8-3 ATS in Week 12 and are now 89-33 ( 73% this season – right near the historical average ). We’ll discuss our rushing guidelines throughout the season, but if you can correctly handicap this situation and advantage in a weekly NFL match-up and it plays out accordingly, you’re well on your way to cashing more tickets and point spread winners. For over a decade, teams that out-rush their opponent by at least 30 yards in a NFL game cover the point spread approx. 75% of the time. There has not been a season since 2000 when this has been below 70% on average.

Clients have paid me for over a decade for my expertise and ability to proficiently project point spread winners because I not only understand point of attack play and rushing guidelines used for success, but because it’s also important to understand situations and make adjustments to changes, personnel, match-ups, injuries, QB play, weather and more.   As the season progresses with more data to digest, our handicapping and match-up analysis usually becomes stronger as we project more point spread winners.

That was the case in Week 12 as we had our best week of the season on one of our biggest cards and releases to members.  All rated side plays went 8-1 ATS.  That included the Raiders ( +7 ) outright on Thursday over the KC Chiefs 24-20 and the Bills ( -2.5 ) bashing of the NY Jets 38-3 Monday in a rescheduled game.  In between we nailed a Top Play winner on Seattle as the Seahawks shut down the first-place Cardinals 19-3.  Our additional opinion plays to members went 2-1.

Week 12 big ground gainers in rushing included the Ravens ( 215 rush yards, 32 carries ), Broncos ( 201/35 – win, no cover ),  Raiders ( 179/30 ), who entered with the worst ground game and fewest rushes per game, Colts ( 175/35 ), Eagles ( 164/38 ), Browns ( 162/29 ), Packers ( 155/32 ), Bengals ( 139/43 ) and Redskins ( 136/27 ).  Those teams went 8-1 SU and 7- 2 ATS.  Week 12 teams that struggled to get their running game going were the Titans ( 52/19 ), Falcons ( 63/23 ),  Texans ( 64/19 ), Cardinals ( 64/20 ) and Bucs ( 66/22 ).  Those teams went 0-5 SU/ATS.

Handicapping point-of-attack play is not as easy as you might think.  Clearly statistical and match-up analysis is part of the projection, but you can learn much more by following or listening to film study experts, dig deeper into statistical analysis and sites like Pro Football Focus, and review beat writer reports and blogs and of course injury reports.

Teams that had strong offensive showings and efficient yards per play (yppl) in Week 12 victories were the Browns ( 475/6.7 ), Eagles ( 462/5.6 ), Broncos ( 450/6.3 ), Ravens ( 449/7.9), Patriots ( 439/6.0 ), Chargers ( 410/6.8 ) and Cowboys ( 385/7.3 ).   Inefficient offensive teams included the Jaguars ( 194/3.6 ), Bears (20 4/3.6 – win! ), Cardinals ( 204/4.2 ), Redskins ( 213/4.1 ), NY Jets ( 218/3.8 ), Texans ( 248/3.8 ) and Falcons ( 315/4.6 ).  The league average is approximately 5.45 yards-per-play.

Seven NFL teams are averaging at least 30 rushing attempts per game this season: Texans ( 32 ), Browns, Seahawks, Cowboys, Bengals, 49ers and Eagles (29.7 ).  All seven of those teams have also averaged at least 30 rushes per game over the last 3 games.  Teams what struggle to run the ball and average less than 23 rushes per game: Raiders ( 19), Bucs, Titans and Jaguars ( 23 ).  Those four teams along with Dolphins, NY Giants, Vikings, Lions and Bills have all averaged less than 24 rushing attempts per game over the last 3 games.  These numbers are some of the key indicators for winning and ATS success ( along with avoiding turnovers ).  Point-of-attack play is paramount, and quality QB play clearly makes a difference, and that’s why you see a team like the NY Jets struggle despite some solid rushing and run defense numbers ( top-5 in each ), as their QB play is incompetent and inefficient ( brutal! ).  Here is a link to all teams rushing yards-per-game and how they have done for the season, last 3 games, home and away and rushing YPG compared to last season.

Early Week 13 rushing projections with margin parameters appear to favor the Redskins over Colts, Ravens over Chargers, Bengals over Bucs, Steelers over Saints and NY Jets over Dolphins.  We’ll review more NFL stats and information each week as we continue to evaluate the results, match-ups and work to become even more proficient in point spread prognosis.

Stay on Course…


Author: FairwayJay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful handicappers and professionals. Follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay