TO = Team Stats and Opponents Stats
PF = Points For
PA = Points Allowed
OFR = Offensive Yards Rushing Per Game
YPR = Yards Per Rush
OFP = Offensive Yards Passing Per Game
YPS = Yards Per Pass Attempt
YPPL = Yards Per Play
Total = Total Yards Gained Per Game
OYPP = Offensive Yards Per Point Scored
The defensive stats are to the right with the "D" in front of each column.
Looking at the table above, letís make sure we understand what the numbers mean. If you look at NE, they are averaging 24 points per game against teams allowing just 19 points per game, meaning their offensive output, from a scoring standpoint, is five points above average. They are allowing only 18 points per game against teams averaging 21 points per game. Looking at the yards per play numbers, NE averages 5.6yppl against teams allowing just 5.1yppl, making their offense well above average. On defense, they are allowing just 5.1yppl against 5.2yppl, making their defense about average or slightly above average.
As you use these numbers over the years, you will become more and more familiar as to what to look for. The scoring averages give you a good idea of not only how well an offense is performing but also if that team is finishing their drives or turning the ball over. Last year Minnesota and Kansas City were both 0.8yppl better on offense than their opponents were allowing, but KC was averaging eight points more on offense than their opponents were allowing and Minnesota was averaging only three points better. Both teams moved the ball equally as well but one team was either converting yards into touchdowns, or getting defensive scores, that were showing up in their overall scoring average, etc.
Again, there are many ways to look at these numbers but they tell a better story than just looking at teamís overall numbers. NE allows 5.1yppl against teams averaging 5.2yppl, making their defense about 0.1yppl better than average. Houston allows 5.6yppl, which would make their defense, on the surface, look terrible when compared to the NE defense. But, if you dig a little deeper, you would know Houston is allowing 5.6yppl against teams averaging 5.5yppl, which makes their defense just slightly worse than average by 0.1yppl. Those two defenses arenít too far off. Houston has just played some very good offenses this year. But, looking at the numbers from a traditional viewpoint, Houston appears to have a defense, which is about 0.5yppl off, which isnít the case.
So, with a little better understanding of what these numbers mean, this is what I am looking at in terms of totals. First, weíll operate from a standpoint that the average points scored in a game this year is 21 points per team, or 42 points per game. The NE offense is well above average, gaining 5.6yppl against teams allowing just 5.1yppl. While the NE offense is well above average, the Rams defense is well below average, allowing 5.7yppl against teams averaging just 4.9yppl, making their defense about 0.8yppl worse than average. Going the other way, the Rams offense is well above average, gaining 6.0yppl against teams allowing 5.2yppl and they will face a NE defense, which is allowing 5.1yppl against teams averaging 5.2yppl. That makes the NE defense slightly above average, but the Rams offense is so good, that they should be able to play well above average of an NFL offense, probably close to about 0.7yppl better than average. With the average NFL offense gaining 5.3yppl, this would mean they would gain something closer to 6.0yppl. The NE offense can be expected to average something closer to around 6.6yppl. With NE being on the road, their offensive numbers might be a little worse and the Rams offensive numbers might be a little better, but both teams should average better than 6.0yppl.
The total in this game is around 48 points. To go over a total, I am looking to play two better than average offensive teams with two average to below average defenses. We have that here and if this total was just 42 or 43, which is an average NFL total, this would be a strong over play. The linesmaker is asking us to lay about six points more than an average NFL game to bet the over in this game but I like the chances of this game going Over. Once I find a game like this, I will look a little further. For a game to go over, I want two teams who can pass the ball and thus score plenty of points quickly. Both teams can throw the ball, with NE averaging 6.9yps against teams allowing 5.9yps and the Rams averaging 6.8yps against teams allowing 6.2yps. On defense, NE defends the pass better, allowing just 5.9yps against teams averaging 6.2yps and the Rams have been terrible, allowing 6.5yps against teams averaging 5.6yps. Both teams should be able to move the ball through the air.
This is just one of the ways I use this data to help find totals to wager on each week in the NFL. Although the method is subjective, it allows the bettor to find some solid wagering opportunities. Next, Iíll take a look at an objective methodology I use to help predict side winners in the NFL.
The sooner you realize the NFL is a contrary league, the sooner you will begin winning on a regular basis. You have to be willing to bet on teams that most people donít think have a chance to win games to win on a consistent basis in this league.
Last year I looked at all teams that were below .500 against the spread when playing teams who were above .500 against the spread. Itís very hard for ďsquareĒ bettors to wager on teams who are not covering the spread, especially when playing teams who are covering every week. This is exactly what gets people into trouble when wagering on the NFL. Beginning with week seven (once we have allowed teams to accumulate some spread records and for the public to begin to form an opinion about these teams), these below .500 spread teams when facing above .500 spread teams are 652-555-37 54.0% since 1983. That simple method has only had four sub .500 seasons over the last 21 seasons and has averaged 1.97 units won in each of the last 21 seasons, with a 10% vigorish.
Of course, if youíve read my book, you know Iím not stopping there because our Z-Factor is too low for me to use. I then looked at how these teams performed when playing at home. Our below .500 against the spread teams, when facing above .500 against the spread teams, went 339-257-22 56.9%. Not only did our win percentage go up by almost three percentage points, this method only had three sub .500 seasons over the past 21 seasons and the average units won per season increased to 2.68 units.
I took it one step further with the help of my trusty little database, which allows me to research thousands of different situations to try and improve the results we have already found. By making our home teams, who are below .500 against the spread and facing opponents who are above .500 against the spread, a home favorite of less than four points or a home underdog, our record improves to 278-187-21 59.8%. Not only did we now increase our win percentage almost six percentage points from our initial research, we have improved our average units won to 3.44 average units won per season over the past 21 seasons. Over those 21 seasons, there has only been three seasons that were below .500 against the spread.
There are two teams that apply to that method this week. Miami is just 2-6 ATS this year, while Arizona is 4-3 ATS. And, the Rams are just 2-4-1 ATS this year and New England, despite their loss last week, is 4-1-2 ATS. Denver would also apply if their line was less than four points. The fact that both teams, NE and Arizona, lost against the spread last week, doesnít hurt our chances here. The numbers are still about the same either way. Your two winners this week are Miami and St. Louis.
If you would like to receive a free complimentary issue of my written analysis on every NFL game, just send me an email at Info@SixthSenseSports.com and let me know you would like to receive a free issue, courtesy of TwoMinuteWarning.com and I will be happy to send you a copy. That written analysis is usually available by 7:00 p.m. central each Friday evening.
Again, I appreciate the opportunity to be here this week and good luck to everybody the rest of the season.
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