NFL Inside The Numbers Week 15

Handicapping and Analyzing Stats – NFL Inside the Numbers Week 15

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 15 stats of note.

Week 15 NFL favorites went 10-6 SU and 8-8 ATS and are now 150-73 SU and 111-114 ATS this season.  Totals went 3-13 O/U for the lowest scoring week of the season with an average of 36 PPG scored.  Thursday, Sunday and Monday night prime time games went 1-2 O/U and those Thursday, Sunday and Monday night prime time games are now 32-13 over/under this season.  We cashed two totals including the 12-6 Cardinals win over the Rams Thursday and our rare 20* Big Bertha Top Play under the total in the Lions 16-14 win over the Vikings.   Members enjoyed another winning week going 4-1 which included a teaser play this week and our rated plays not including teasers the past four weeks are 19-5.   Join other members for more December winners and get registered for free and inquire about the playoffs.

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 39-1 SU and 37-3 ATS.  The Eagles suffered turnover ( 4-1 ) troubles in their Sunday night loss to the Cowboys 38-27.

Teams that had a meaningful rushing advantage over their opponent (at least 30 yards) went 5-5 ATS in Week 15 and are now 114-44 ( 72% this season – just below 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 15 again as we focused on totals and had another winning with Denver our lone side selection, and the Broncos out-rushed the Chargers 111-49 in controlling the ball, clock and chains in a 22-10 victory.

Week 15 big ground gainers in rushing included the Bengals ( 244 rush yards, 45 carries ),  Seahawks ( 152/32 ) and Cardinals ( 143/33 ) with the Packers ( 158/25 ) running well in defeat.  Week 15 teams that struggled to get their running game going were the Browns ( 53/17 ), Chargers ( 56/20 ), Rams ( 69/20 ), Eagles ( 75/21 ) and Raiders ( 78/17 ).  The Steelers ( 45/22 ) and NY Giants ( 49/22 ) managed to win despite poor running games.

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 15 victories were the Saints ( 443/6.9 ), Steelers ( 400/7.0 ), Patriots ( 395/6.2 ) and Chiefs ( 388/6.6 ).   Inefficient offensive teams included the Browns ( 107/2.8 – wow, welcome to the NFL Johnny! ), 49ers ( 245/4.3 ), Jaguars ( 248/3.6 ), Bears ( 278/4.8 ), Rams ( 280/4.6 ), Chargers ( 288/4.3 ), Texans ( 289/4.3 ).  In victories the following teams also struggled on offense  – Lions ( 233/4.7 ), Bills ( 253/4.0 ), Cardinals ( 274/4.3 ), NY Jets ( 277/4.6 ), Colts (278/4.3 ), NY Giants ( 287/5.0 ) and Seahawks ( 290/4.8 ).  The league average is approximately 5.5 yards-per-play.

Here is team list of rushing attempts per game,  and when we combine this with recent form in running the football along with rushing defense stats to project point-of-attack advantages in Week 16 match-ups, we see that the following teams could have success against their opponents at the point-of-attack and in the running game:

Packers over Buccaneers, Steelers over Chiefs, Panthers over Browns, Rams over NY Giants, Cowboys over Colts ( check RB Murray status ), Seahawks over Cardinals.

Last week our rushing projections were correct as 7 of the 9 teams listed out-rushed their opponent, and had you bet those nine teams you would have gone 5-3-1 ATS.

Point-of-attack play is paramount, and quality QB play clearly makes a difference.  We must also note teams in playoff contention and those that have nothing to play for in evaluating who might run and/or pass the ball efficiently in the final weeks contests.

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