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THE NFL AT THE QUARTER POLL … A REVIEW OF OUR INDICATORS


By: Joe Gavazzi
Date: Oct 8, 2015
   
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If you have been following along since early August, I have written numerous articles regarding the importance of the running game, as a statistical indicator, to isolate ATS success. The 2 major areas that we focused on were the disparity in the opponents’ rushing yardage in a specific game, as well as the number of rushing attempts. In addition, we reviewed numbers regarding TO margin and the way in which those numbers impact the pointspread.

From a historical perspective, I noted that teams who outrush their opponent by 30 or more yards in any given game had a 75% chance to beat the pointspread this millennium. That statistic has held true in the previous 4 seasons, leading up to 2015 with a record of 515-171 ATS (75.1%). In a similar way, recent history has shown us that any team, who runs the ball for 30 or more times in a game, while their opponent does not, has been an 81% pointspread winner in recent seasons. At the other end of the spectrum, we find that playing AGAINST any NFL team who runs the ball 22 or less times in a game, if their opponent does not, has been an 84% ATS winner. With that historical background, let’s take a look at how these indicators have held up at the Quarter Poll of the NFL Season, in which most teams have played 4 games.

· 32-11 ATS (74.4%) … the record for any NFL team who outrushes their opponent by 30 or more yards in a given game. · 31-5 ATS (86.1%) … the record for any NFL team who runs the football 30 or more times, if their opponent does not. · 27-7 ATS (79.4%) … the record to play AGAINST any NFL team who runs the ball 22 or fewer times, if their opponent does not.

These rushing statistics, as you can see, are very similar to the long-term records indicating that teams who control the line of scrimmage, present a positive correlation between a successful running game and ATS success. Though these statistics are back fit to the results, it points out the importance of focusing on teams who control the line of scrimmage, when handicapping football games.

Any NFL handicapping model will never be successful, if it is forced to overcome multiple TOs in a game. The long-term record of NFL teams with a +3 net TO margin or better is approximately 92%. In the previous 4 seasons, this record was 177-16 ATS (91.7%). Now, let’s take a look at how that record has played out this season. Plus, I will add an additional record of NFL teams with a (+2) net TO margin and a (+1) net TO margin.

· 13-0 ATS (100%) … any NFL team who has a (+3) or more net TO margin for a game. · 6-3 ATS (67%) … any NFL team who has a (+2) or more net TO margin for a game (this will most likely approach 80% by year end). · 24-6 ATS (80%) … any NFL team who is exactly (+1) net TO margin for a game (this statistic will most likely regress to the 70% range at the conclusion of the year). · 43-9 ATS (82.7%) … the 4 week record this NFL season of any NFL team who has a positive net TO margin in a game.

The TO pointspread records above are mind-boggling, considering how hard most of us work to get on the right side of an NFL contest. When your well-analyzed NFL winner goes up in flames, the first place to look is the net TO differential. In late August, I also quoted a statistic to you regarding how important it is to “just pick a winner” in competitively priced NFL games. From a historical perspective, in any game where the opening pointspread number is 6 or fewer points, there is a 90% chance that the team who wins the game SU, will also cover the pointspread. In the most recent 4 seaosns, that record has played to form with a log of 562-59 ATS for a record of ( 90.5%). Let’s take a look at how this is holding up through the first 4 weeks of the season.

· 50-3 ATS (94.4%) … the ATS record of any NFL team who wins the game SU, if the opening line is 6 or less points.

In regard to this final mind-blowing statistic, I am NOT advocating that you stop shopping for lines when you are making your NFL wagers. Rather, I am suggesting that you focus your attention on competitively priced NFL games with the SU winner, rather than agonizing over the pointspread when making your selection. In short, “just pick a winner” in competitively priced NFL games and you will do just fine with the ATS outcome.

Written by Joe Gavazzi
 

  Paul Chirimbes
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