When you bet on the NFL, you should know all about the numbers. Numbers for stats, numbers for trends, numbers for betting lines, numbers for ‘totals’ – You should know it all. Here at Bang the Book, we are set to talk about the football betting lines for Week 14. Here are the most important numbers that you need to remember for the week!
0: The number of teams that have ever had a 4,000-yard quarterback, a 1,000-yard rusher, a 1,000-yard receiver, and a man with 20+ sacks on the same team in the same season. Why is that notable? Because the Houston Texans are going to likely do that this year. The closest team to reach that feat were the 1986 New York Giants, who got 3,487 passing yards from QB Phil Simms, 1,516 rushing yards from RB Joe Morris, and 1,001 receiving yards from TE Mark Bavaro to go with 21 sacks from DE Chris Doleman. The Kansas City Chiefs pulled off a similar stunt in 1990. However, no foursome is going to do more than what the Texans are going to amass this year. QB Matt Schaub has 3,062 passing yards, RB Arian Foster has 1,102 rushing yards, and WR Andre Johnson has 1,114 receiving yards. DE JJ Watt has 15.5 sacks, and he very well could still challenge the all-time sack record this year… If he can pass the current sack leader on the season, LB Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers, who has 17.5 sacks.
4: The number of playoff spots that were clinched up last week. The Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, and New England Patriots all got into the postseason, and the Falcons, Broncos, and Patriots all clinched their division titles. There could be a few more teams clinch playoff spots this weekend, and Houston could win the AFC South once and for all as well with a victory and a loss by the Indianapolis Colts. In all likelihood though, we’ll have to wait another week until we see some more X’s appear next to team names.
5: The number of touchdowns that Arian Foster has more than the rest of the NFL this year through 12 games. Foster has found pay dirt 15 times, while the next closest competitor has gotten there 10. To make matters worse for the rest of the league, WR AJ Green hasn’t been in the end zone in two weeks, and TE Rob Gronkowski’s season might be said and done with after he broke his forearm a few weeks ago. Foster is clearly going to ultimately lead the NFL in total TDs on the campaign, and he is probably going to be in the Top 5 in rushing yards as well.
6: The number of consecutive games that the St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills have played past the ‘total’ in their series. Granted, that does go back a good number of years into the 1980s, and yes, not all of the games have been these ridiculous 60-70 point barnburners, but in the end, your betting ticket only needs to be a winner by a hook or a point to be worth the same as if the game went 100 points past the ‘total’. The other good news for ‘over’ bettors in this one? The Rams have played five of their past six ‘over’ the ‘total’ as well.
8: The number of teams that are clumped together in the NFC playoff race that have records between 5-7 and 7-5. Odds have it, only two of the eight teams are going to get into the playoffs, though the Chicago Bears could reasonably slump back to the pack as well and make it nine teams fighting for three slots. The easiest way to get in is going to be through the NFC East, as the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys are both just one back of the New York Giants at 7-5, and at least one of those three teams has to get into the second season as the divisional champs.
10.5: The number of points that the San Francisco 49ers are favored by over the Miami Dolphins. That makes the Niners the biggest favorites on the NFL odds this week. San Fran is one of the three teams favored by double digits, and we have already seen one of those teams, the Denver Broncos successfully cover such a big number against the Oakland Raiders on Thursday Night Football. It should be an interesting week to see whether the Fins can go across the country and take down San Fran in one of the longest road trips possible for a team in the league.
18-2: The numbers representing Head Coach Norv Turner’s record in the final four games of the regular season for the San Diego Chargers over the course of the last five seasons. Norv has stormed back to save his job on a number of occurrences, and that includes last year when the team went 3-1 SU and ATS down the stretch of the campaign to at least get back into the playoff picture. The Bolts ultimately fell short, and they’ll do the same this year. Now, a miracle run to the playoffs or not, San Diego has announced that Turner is going to be out at the end of the season along with GM AJ Smith. This is still an interesting number to keep in mind going into this week’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
27: The number of consecutive games that the Cleveland Browns have been either an underdog or a favorite of less than three points in. That all will come to an end this week, as they are laying 6.5 to the Kansas City Chiefs. Of course, the last time that Cleveland was favored by more than a field goal in a game was in Week 1 of last year against the Cincinnati Bengals, and that game was lost by 10 points at home. The last time the Browns actually covered a point spread of -3 or larger was way back in 2007 against the San Francisco 49ers.
35.5: The number of points in the ‘total’ this week for the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. That makes this the lowest over/under on the board of the week by a relatively healthy margin. The Seahawks are at least scoring at a respectable rate, but as you will see in just a few more numbers, there is just no way that the Cardinals are going to be able to contribute much to this ‘total’ if they don’t improve and getting better play out of QB Ryan Lindley, or whomever is under center.
53: The number of points in the ‘total’ this week for the New York Giants and the New Orleans Saints. That makes this the highest over/under on the board of the week. Of course, the reason for that is because of the play of the New Orleans offense, which has scored 49 and 48 points in the last two games in this series against the G-Men. Obviously it goes without saying that getting to 40 in this one will darn near certainly result in an ‘over’ game, especially since the Giants are the favored team in this crucial NFC clash by five points.
81.5: The number of rushing yards per game that QB Robert Griffin III has to account for over the course of the last four games of the season to catch QB Michael Vick’s record for the most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a campaign. It isn’t likely, knowing that RG3 has averaged just 59.5 yards per game this year as a rusher, but it isn’t out of the question either. Of course, we have to remember that this is a man that is getting more and more confident throwing the ball too, as last year’s Heisman Trophy winner has thrown for nine touchdowns against just one pick over the course of his last three games, and he is completing over 73% of his passes in that stretch to boot.
86: The number of rushing yards that QB Cam Newton had against the Atlanta Falcons earlier this season. Of course, the very next week, Atlanta held down a very similar QB Robert Griffin III to just seven rushing yards, but stopping Newton seems to be a different story. The Carolina Panthers are just going to continue to run right at this defensive front, and they’re going to do it with several different backs and with Newton himself. There’s no doubt that this is the key to picking up a win for Carolina against one of the best teams that the NFL has to offer.
97: The number of legitimate offensive yards that the Arizona Cardinals had last week against the New York Jets. Technically, the offense produced 137 yards, but we’re taking out that 40-yard run on a fake punt. QB Ryan Lindley went just 10-of-31 for 72 yards, and there were just a total of two passes that went for more than eight yards. RB Beanie Wells didn’t do much better, ripping off just one run for more than five yards. In total, Arizona averaged 1.83 yards per play with the offense on the field. No wonder why this team has lost eight in a row after starting 4-0.
145.2: The number of yards per game that QB Christian Ponder has thrown for in his last six outings. He has only thrown for more than 160 yards in two of those games, and in another two of the six, he has failed to get to even 65 passing yards. That’s just a recipe for disaster when you’re supposed to be a franchise quarterback. Matters are only going to get worse this week against a Chicago Bears team that has held teams down to just 216.2 passing yards per game this year, especially knowing that Ponder only threw for 159 against this outfit two weeks ago up in Soldier Field. It’s going to take a heck of a lot more than that to beat the NFL betting lines in this one on Sunday afternoon.
790: The number of receiving yards that WR Calvin Johnson has put up over the course of the last five weeks. He has 45 receptions and four TDs in that spurt as well, but it is clearly the receiving yards that are the most impressive part about all of this. QB Matthew Stafford is back to his old ways of chucking the ball all over the field, and the ground game has once again disappeared, just like every other receiver has on the team. In the end, this ‘O’ is all about the Megatron, and though he is getting his stats, the Lions are back to their losing ways, as they have dropped four in a row and are clearly not going to make the playoffs this year.
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.