NFL Inside The Numbers Week 13

Handicapping and Analyzing Stats – NFL Inside the Numbers Week 13

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 13 stats of note.

Week 13 NFL favorites went 10-6 SU and  8-8 ATS and are now 128-63 SU and 96-97 ATS this season.  I graded the Denver Broncos as a favorite and winner despite KC taking game day money and closing as a 1-point favorite.  Totals went  9-7 O/U with the Thursday, Sunday and Monday night prime time games going 1-2 O/U and those Thursday, Sunday and Monday night prime time games are now 30-10 over/under this season.  We cashed Top Play winners on the Bears/Lions game over the total Thursday and the Broncos on Sunday.

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 38-1 SU and 36-3 ATS.  The 49ers ( 3-0 ), Titans ( 4-1 ), NY Giants ( 3-0 ) and Raiders ( 5-0 ) suffered turnover troubles in Week 13 defeats.

Teams that had a meaningful rushing advantage over their opponent (at least 30 yards) went 11-3 ATS in Week 13 and are now 100-36 ( 74% this season – right at 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 13 as we had another winning week including 2-0 on Top Plays.

Week 13 big ground gainers in rushing included the Eagles ( 256 rush yards, 45 carries ), Broncos ( 214/45 ), Rams ( 172/26 ), Seahawks ( 157/34 ), Saints ( 143/26 ), and Falcons ( 142/34 ).  The Panthers rushed for 178 yards and out-gained the Vikings 348-210 but couldn’t overcome 2 blocked punts returned for TD in a 31-13 loss. And then there is the NY Jets, who rushed for 277 yards on 49 carries while the Dolphins had 74 rushing yards on 18 carries.  How can New York lose 16-13 when the tunovers are even at 1-1?  The worst QB play we’ve seen in some time, that’s how. Miserable, and no we didn’t bet the game.  Week 13 teams that struggled to get their running game going were the Bears ( 13/8 – not a misprint ), Cardinals ( 35/11 ), Chiefs ( 41/15 ), Raiders ( 61/21 ), 49ers ( 64/18 ) and Chargers ( 64/18 ).  Those teams went 1-5 SU/ATS with the Chargers able to pull out a last-minute TD victory and also overcome a 2-0 turnover margin.

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 13 victories were the Falcons ( 500/6.6 ), Colts ( 487/9.9 – wow! ), Packers ( 478/6.8 ), Lions ( 474 /6.8 ), Eagles ( 464/6.2 ),  Texans ( 457/6.6 ), Chargers ( 440/68), and Saints ( 393/7.3 ).   Inefficient offensive teams included the Chiefs ( 151 /3.4 ), 49ers ( 164/3.2 ), Vikings (210/4.4 – win! ), Bucs ( 263/4.8 ), Cowboys ( 267/4.6 ), Bears ( 269/4.6 ).  The league average is approximately 5.5 yards-per-play.

Seven NFL teams are averaging at least 30 rushing attempts per game this season: Texans ( 32 ), Seahawks, Eagles, Browns, NY Jets, Cowboys and Bengals ( 30 ).  Which team doesn’t belong and is the only team with a losing record?  The Jets!   Teams what struggle to run the ball and average less than 23 rushes per game: Raiders ( 19), Titans, Bucs, Jaguars and Bears ( 23 ).  Those five teams along with Cardinals, Vikings, Lions and Dolphins have all averaged 23 or less 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 14 rushing projections with margin parameters appear to favor the Ravens over Dolphins, Texans over Jaguars, Lions over Buccaneers, NY Jets over Vikings, Broncos over  Bills, Patriots over Chargers and Packers over Falcons.   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 handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay