If you want to be successful in sports betting, you have to know more than the average bettor. That’s why research plays a big part in making winning bets.
Knowledge in sports betting starts with game statistics. These numbers tell the story not just of a game or of a team but an entire season. In the NFL, these statistics are compiled week after week and for you to get a clear picture of the season, you have to look into these statistics.
Most NFL bettors track statistics for quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs. But while these are important, these don’t tell the entire story and reflect only individual brilliance. Sure, teams with big-time performers will have the edge over weaker teams but when both teams have stars that cancel out each other, it’s team play that will matter in making winning bets.
Here are some key NFL team stats that bettors have to look into to find success in sports betting:
1. Team Offensive Yards Per Carry
It’s not enough to look into the performance of a team’s lead running back because it’s rare that only one running back makes every carry for a team. The Team offensive yards per carry gives you a better understanding of a team’s overall effectiveness when it comes to their rushing attack because this tracks team, not individual statistics.
This stat also gives you an idea of how good the team’s offensive line is. A good offensive line makes every running back better and having one makes a team prepared in case the lead back is hurt or injured.
2. Team Offensive Yards Per Pass Attempt
Like the team offensive yards per carry, this stat looks into the team’s success in the passing game, not just the quarterback’s. This stat is used to compare the efficiency of the air attack of different teams. The team with better numbers here as a good collection of quarterbacks, receivers, and offensive linemen. Again, this team has a better ability to adapt if in case a key player is injured.
To have a better gauge of success, it’s better if you will factor in yards lost by sack here. Likewise, interceptions should be considered when you are comparing the passing ability of teams.
3. Team Defensive Yards Per Carry
The Team Defensive Yards Per Carry lets you know how strong a team’s defense is on the ground. This is important because if the offensive team doesn’t have a good running game and they are playing against a good run defense, then the offensive team needs a quality passing game to compensate.
On the other hand, if a team with a strong running game is matched up against a team that has a poor run defense, the offensive team can control the time of possession and open up their passing game. A defensive team needs to put players in the secondary to stop the run. By doing so, it makes defending the play-action passes more difficult.
4. Team Defensive Yards Per Pass Attempt
When you look into this stat, you can measure a team’s ability to defend the pass. If a good passing team is matched up against a stout pass defense, then the game might go down to who has the better running game. Use this stat to analyze teams before making your bet.
Just like in team offensive yards per pass attempt, you have to include sacks in your evaluation here. Tracking everything gives you a better picture of how a defense pressures the quarterback and how they change the opponent’s passing game.
5. Percentage of Punts Inside the 20
Field position is the name of the game in the NFL. A team that starts farther from the goal needs a longer travel time to score and is more susceptible to committing mistakes. Therefore it is important to know how good a team is in punting the ball inside the 20-yard line.
Identifying teams with punters who let their opponents start deep in their territory helps you pick teams that give opposing teams less favorable spots to start their plays. These teams have better chances of forcing mistakes.
6. Average Offensive Starting Field Position
As we mentioned above, field position is very important in the NFL. If a team starts inside the 20 after a punt it needs to cover more yards to get into scoring position. If it can start a play nearer their goal, the better it is for the offensive team.
On the average, it takes a team 80 yards to score a touchdown or 50 yards to get into field goal range. Therefore a team that starts at a better field position needs less time to travel to the goal and has a better chance of scoring points.
7. Plus/Minus Turnovers
A quarterback can throw the ball at the right spot but if the receiver runs the wrong route, it can result in an interception. On the other hand, the receiver can run the correct route and put himself in a perfect position to catch the pass but because the quarterback was pressured by the defensive line, he was forced to hurry his throw and commit a turnover.
There are a lot of factors that can result in turnovers. But what is sure is that turnovers play a crucial part in every NFL game. When looking into turnovers, don’t just look at the number of turnovers that the offense commits but factor in also the number of turnovers that a team’s defense forces. A team with a better plus/minus score should be able to do better in tightly contested games.
8. Offensive Third Down Conversions
While you have to look into a team’s offensive third-down conversions, some teams are so good and dominant that they don’t need to go to a third-down to score touchdowns. But third-down conversions are still an important stat to gauge a team’s overall offense.
The best offensive teams still convert more third-down opportunities than mediocre teams. It is critical in sustaining drives and keeping plays alive. It speaks of a team’s ability to move the football forward, and eventually create scores that win games.
9. Defensive Third Down Conversions
The league’s best defensive teams force their opponents into third-down situations more than the weaker teams and they also allow their foes to a lesser third-down conversion percentage.
But just like in offense, you have to co-relate defensive third-down conversions with other statistics. For example, a team can give up plenty of yards in the middle of the field, thus giving up many third downs. But when the offensive team gets into scoring position, the defense tightens up and doesn’t allow any score.
10. Two-Point Conversion Attempts and Success
Teams and coaches don’t think about the spread betting lines. What matters to them is that they get the victory. But for a bettor, a two-point conversion can make or break a wager. Every point is important in sports betting, especially in a game like American football.
Also, look into teams that attempt and have more success in two-point conversions than others. This will come handy when you have to evaluate pick ’em games or games which are supposed to be tightly contested. As we said earlier, every point matters in the NFL, and a two-point conversion can be the difference in a game.