NFL Inside the Numbers – Week 2

Handicapping and Analyzing Stats – NFL Inside the Numbers

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Throughout the NFL season, I review box scores, stats, game recaps and more after watching many of the NFL games, and recap in my weekly NFL Inside the Numbers article. For over a decade, I have kept a proprietary database of statistical information and utilized relevant rushing numbers, statistical guidelines and situations to better assist me in sports investing and providing point spread winners. Each week you can listen to my NFL Podcast where I provide insight and analysis into the upcoming Sunday games.


Here are some Week 2 stats of note.

Week 2 NFL favorites went 12-4 straight-up (SU) and 8-8-1 against the spread (ATS); nearly identical to week 1 and now 24-8 SU and 15-16-1 ATS year to date.  Over/under totals were 8-8 and now 16-16 YTD. There were 689 points scored in week 2 for an average of 43 points per game (ppg). Interesting note on totals as there were six games with at least 54 points scored, but the average was kept down as seven games finished with 33 or less points scored.

The close games and excitement of the NFL has played out well for the fans and broadcast networks through two weeks, as a record 22 games have been decided by 7 points or less.

Betting and beating the NFL over the long-term involves an understanding of the match-ups, situations and stats, and how to apply them for success. I didn’t apply them too well in week 2, although one of my winners played out as planned with the Bucs ground game dominating the Saints (160-75) in a 16-14 ATS win for Tampa Bay but tough SU loss in the closing seconds for the Bucs.

NFL Inside the Numbers

Turnover troubles!

Turnovers will always have an impact on NFL games and especially against the spread (ATS), as I’ve tracked the impact of 3 or more turnovers for over a decade along with a 2-turnover differential advantage or disadvantage.  After all, teams that are +3 or more in the turnover column in a game are a long-term 93% winning ATS situation.  The NY Giants had another terrible turnover week (4-1), and along with the Jets (4-0) and 49ers (5-1) they were unable to overcome the turnover deficiencies in SU/ATS losses.

Teams that had a meaningful rushing advantage over their opponent went 9-4 ATS in week 2. 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, weather and more.

Week 2 big ground gainers in rushing included the Raiders (226 rush yds/6.6 ypr), Texans (172/6.1 ypr), Seahawks (172/47 rushes!) and Buccaneers (160/4.8).  These teams went 3-1 ATS.

The Giants (23 rush yards), Jaguars (34), Falcons (36), Cowboys (37), Steelers (44), Lions (49), Patriots (54) and Browns (65) all struggled to get their running game going.  These teams went 2-6 ATS. While the game flow, situations and score can impact a team’s game plan and use of the running game, it’s proven over and over, season after season that teams who fail to commit to the running game or lack consistency in the ability to run the ball and control the ball, clock and chains are more often on the losing side of the ledger, both SU and ATS.

Teams that had strong offensive showings in total net yards and efficient yards per play (yppl) in victory were the Chargers (539 yds/6.8 yppl), Packers (480/8.3), Bills (436/6.0) and Broncos (416/5.8).  The NFL team average yards per play (yppl – link) is approx 5.4.  Inefficient offensive teams included the 49ers (207/4.1), Patriots (232/3.6 – won!), Jaguars (again, 248/4.0), Titans (248/3.7), Browns (259/4.2).

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. Be sure to listen to my NFL Podcast each week for more insight, analysis and sports betting information.

Stay on Course…



Author: FairwayJay is a leading national sports betting analyst, writer, handicapper and sports betting insider providing insight and information you can bet on for nearly two decades from Las Vegas. He chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events for leading media and sports betting sites and companies. Follow him on X (Twitter): @FairwayJay