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 16. Here are the most important numbers that you need to remember for the week!
1: The number of teams to ever miss the playoffs after starting 9-2 in a season since the NFL changed the playoff format to 12 teams. The only team prior to this was the 1993 Miami Dolphins, who won their final game on Thanksgiving Day against the Dallas Cowboys in the snow game where Leon Lett just had to stay away from the football. Had he done that, the Cowboys would have won, and the Fins would have finished on a six-game skid to close out the year at 8-8. (Dallas, just for the record, didn’t lose another game that year and went on to win the Super Bowl.) Now, the Baltimore Ravens are trying to avoid the same problem this year, as they were 9-2 before dropping three straight games. If they lose Sunday and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals, there’s a good chance that the only way to stop the collapse from happening would be to win in Week 17.
1: The number of quarterbacks on the roster for the New York Jets that have any possibility whatsoever of returning to the team in 2013. QB Tim Tebow wants out, and QB Mark Sanchez would be best served just trying to get a job as a backup somewhere outside of the city that never sleeps. As it turns out, it is QB Greg McElroy that is getting the job as the starter for the team in Week 16 (and presumably Week 17 as well), and if he plays well, he has a decent chance of going into the offseason as the starting quarterback for this team next year. Of course, this number of ‘1’ might be the total number of games that the Jets win next year as a result.
3: The number of teams that the Houston Texans have never beaten in their franchise’s history. One of those teams is on tap this week, the Minnesota Vikings. Of course, this has been a season of firsts for Houston. It’s the first time the team has ever won more than 10 games in a regular season. It’s the first time the team has ever won more than 11 total games in a campaign. It is going to be the first time that the team has a bye in the first round of the playoffs. And with one more win either this week or in Week 17, it will be the first time that they win the regular season conference title in the AFC and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs that comes with it.
4: The number of consecutive games that the road team has won in the series between the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints. These two teams have been playing each other a lot lately in some crucial spots, as each of their last 10 meetings dating back to 1990 have come on Thanksgiving Day or later. But most importantly over the course of these last four games, New Orleans has three wins here in Big D, and now, it is going to need to keep that streak going if it is going to keep together any hopes of getting into the playoffs this year. The Cowboys also need this one, knowing that they might very well be virtually eliminated by the time the week is said and done with if they get beaten by QB Drew Brees and the gang.
5: The number of teams that are favored by at least 9.5 points this week on the NFL odds. That’s a remarkable statistic, but it is probably just as remarkable to think that there are two games that feature teams that are separated by eight games from one another in the standings.
5: The number of wins and covers that the Pittsburgh Steelers have scored in a row against the Cincinnati Bengals. That’s probably about the only reason why Pittsburgh is favored by 3.5 at home against the Bengals on Sunday, as it is clear that the boys from the Queen City have played better ball than the men from the Steel City over the course of the last few weeks. If the Bengals ever had an upset in them in this series, this is the one that the team would want to have, as it would be the win that put them in the playoffs and the one that knocked the hated Steelers out.
9: The number of wins that Bruce Arians would have under his belt as an interim head coach if the Indianapolis Colts beat the Kansas City Chiefs next week. Head Coach Chuck Pagano is scheduled to make his emotional return to the sidelines in Week 17 against the Houston Texans, and that means that Arians is going to be set to step back to his Offensive Coordinator duties. That number nine is important though, as it is the most number of wins that an interim coach has ever had in the history of the NFL.
12: The number of touchdowns that WR James Jones now has on the season after scoring three times last week for the Green Bay Packers. It’s odd to think that Jones has 12 TDs, knowing that he only has 51 receptions on the campaign. When all of the Packers’ options are healthy, it is clear that WR Randall Cobb, WR Jordy Nelson, and WR Greg Jennings are better options for QB Aaron Rodgers to throw the ball to, and TE Jermichael Finley might be as well. That’s what makes this so remarkable for Jones, who leads all receivers in the league in touchdown catches this year.
14.5: The number of points that the New England Patriots are favored by over the Jacksonville Jaguars. That makes the Pats the biggest favorites of the weekend, and it also makes them the biggest implied favorite of the year as well. Put this game on a neutral field, and New England would be favored by 17.5, and put it in Foxboro, and the implied spread is New England -20.5. Of course, the Jaguars are a train wreck, so it isn’t all that much of a surprise, especially when you consider the fact that the Patriots were beaten last week by the San Francisco 49ers and absolutely have to have this game if they are going to stand any chance whatsoever of getting a first round bye in the playoffs.
36.5: The number of points in the ‘total’ this week for the Chicago Bears and the Arizona Cardinals. That shouldn’t be a shock that it is the lowest ‘total’ of the weekend, and one of the lowest of the whole campaign as well. QB Jay Cutler and QB Ryan Lindley are two of the worst quarterbacks in the league at the moment, and both of these defenses have some teeth to them as well. It would honestly be surprising if either of these teams got into the 20s against the other, and if it did happen that way, we would immediately ask how many points the defenses and the special teams scored.
51.5: The number of points in the ‘total’ this week for the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints. This is one of the lower highest ‘totals’ for the week that we have seen in quite some time, and we are wondering why in the heck the number is this low. Both QB Tony Romo and QB Drew Brees could still throw for 5,000 yards this year, and both teams are going to throw the ball a zillion times and run in significantly fewer times. The last three meetings have featured 57, 41, and 59 points as well, so it has to be considered likely that we are going to see a number that is a lot more like the first and third result and less like the middle one on Sunday.
58: The number of receiving yards that WR Reggie Wayne needs to become the 14th receiver in the history of the league to have at least 13,000 receiving yards. Wayne sits at 12,942 right now, and he is coming up on Steve Largent, Andre Reed, Torry Holt, Henry Ellard, and Cris Carter, all of which ended their careers in the 13,000-14,000 yard range. Wayne already holds the record for the most consecutive games with at least three receptions with 62 games, a streak that was only just barely kept intact last week on the final play of the game against the Houston Texans.
181: The number of receiving yards that WR Calvin Johnson needs for the Detroit Lions over the course of his last two games of the season to break the all-time mark for the most receiving yards in a single season. The great WR Jerry Rice had 1,848 yards and 1995 in what was considered to be one of the best years a receiver ever had in this league. Johnson will always be marred by the fact that he only has five touchdowns all year long when you go back and look at this record, but it is virtually impossible to think that it won’t be broken. The Lions have nothing else to play for this year but this record, and Megatron has had at least 118 receiving yards in seven straight games. Not only that, but he has 10+ receptions in three games in a row to show for his work as well. There’s just no stopping the Megatron.
293: The number of rushing yards that RB Adrian Peterson needs over the course of the last two games of the season to break the all-time rushing record for a single season, held by RB Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams. Peterson has had at least 150 yards on the ground in three straight and five out of six in a row, and he is just looking to get stronger and stronger as the season goes on. For those that think that the Houston Texans’ defense, which is holding teams to just over 90 yards per game on the ground this year, is going to stop All Day, check out the stats that he had against another vaunted rush defense, that of the Chicago Bears. Peterson had 31 carries for 154 yards and two TDs that day.
10,002: The number of rushing yards that RB Steven Jackson has had in his illustrious career. Believe it or not, he is the only man that is at 10,000+ rushing yards that is active, and no one is even remotely close behind him. Jackson reached the 10k mark last week against the Minnesota Vikings, and the St. Louis Rams have to be thankful for what they’ve got in the former Oregon State back. Jackson has slowed down a step, but he is still just 28 years old and easily could amass at least another 3,000 yards by the time his career is done with. That being said, he is now one of the 27 backs in NFL history to have rushed for at least 10,000 yards.
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.