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 17. Here are the most important numbers that you need to remember for the week!
0: The number of quarterbacks in the history of the NFL that have ever thrown for 5,000+ yards three times in a career. QB Drew Brees needs to throw for just 219 yards to reach that point, and that’s something that he’ll probably end up doing by halftime against the Carolina Panthers if the game turns out to be as much of a shootout as everyone figures that it is going to be. Brees is truly putting together one of the more elite careers that a quarterback has ever had, as he is also going to become the first (or second) man to throw for 5,000+ yards in back to back seasons as well, joining the Detroit Lions’ QB Matthew Stafford, who needs 305 yards to get to 5K.
2: The number of sacks that DE JJ Watt needs for the Houston Texans against the Indianapolis Colts to tie DE Michael Strahan for the most sacks in a single season. Watt has 20.5 sacks already, and he had a dominating game two weeks ago against these same Colts that he’ll be playing against on Sunday. Of course, Watt also has to look out from behind, knowing that LB Aldon Smith has 19.5 sacks for the San Francisco 49ers, and he has a much easier draw to get his three sacks against the hapless Arizona Cardinals than Watt does of getting his two against Indianapolis. Smith needs just a half sack to become the 10th man in NFL history to get to 20+ sacks in a single season since the stat became an official part of the NFL.
3: The number of quarterbacks that can reasonably reach 5,000 yards this year. Brees is clearly going to get there with 219 yards, while Stafford is next in line with 305 yards. QB Tony Romo is only 10 yards behind Stafford and could get the job done as well in a do or die game for the Dallas Cowboys against the Washington Redskins. Anything beyond that would be a miracle. We don’t expect QB Matt Ryan to play much on Sunday, let alone throw for 519 yards, and QB Tom Brady needs 457 yards against the Miami Dolphins to get there. We just don’t see Head Coach Bill Belichick letting him throw for that many against Miami with the playoffs starting either next week or in two weeks unless this one really ends up making that much of a difference.
4: The number of teams that are favored by double digits this week in the NFL. It’s really odd seeing this many favorites of so many points, but the discrepancies between the haves and the have nots in the NFL is out of this world. The New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, and Seattle Seahawks are the four teams that are getting the nod by at least 10 points, though the Niners and the Broncos are the two teams that are considered slam dunks to win, as they are favored by 17 and 16 points respectively.
4: The number of consecutive games that the road team has won in the series between the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders. These two teams are going to go at it again in Week 17 this year, and the game really doesn’t mean anything to either side aside from positioning for the NFL Draft. If Oakland is going to have to pull off the upset in this game, it is going to come with QB Matt Leinart calling the shots, as QB Carson Palmer was knocked out for the rest of the season last week.
8: The number of quarterbacks that have thrown for 40+ touchdowns in a single season. Remember when QB Peyton Manning threw for 49, and then QB Tom Brady threw for 50 and we never thought that we would see that type of production again? QB Drew Brees is just one touchdown pass away from 40 for the year, and there is no way that he doesn’t get that against the Carolina Panthers and their sometimes porous secondary. QB Aaron Rodgers could get to this mark as well if he has five touchdown throws, but that is highly unlikely for the Green Bay Packers against the Minnesota Vikings.
17: The number of points that the San Francisco 49ers are favored by this weekend over the Arizona Cardinals. That makes the Cards the biggest underdogs of the entire year. San Francisco has to have this game to ensure itself no worse than the No. 3 seed in the NFC. Not only is the NFC West title up for grabs against the Seattle Seahawks, but a win parlayed with a loss by the Green Bay Packers will give San Fran a crucial week off and a home game in the divisional round of the playoffs, which is why the stock on the Niners in this one is oh so high.
38.5: The number of points in the ‘total’ this week between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals. That makes this the lowest ‘total’ of the weekend. It’s not a shock to see Arizona playing in a game with a ‘total’ this low, as this has clearly been an epically bad offense this year. San Francisco’s defense has been as shoddy as could be over the course of the last two weeks though, and it needs to get back on track against the Cardinals to get the job done in a game that will determine playing at home or going on the road in the playoffs (and potentially getting a first round bye as well).
43: The number of passes that QB Brian Hoyer had thrown in his career before coming into the game last week. Hoyer is already 27 years old, and he hasn’t done much before in his career aside from being a backup, but for the first time, he is going to be called upon as a starter against one of the most ferocious defenses that the league has to offer, that of the San Francisco 49ers.
54: The number of points in the ‘total’ this week between the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers. That makes this the highest ‘total’ of the weekend. As you’ll see just below, it’s not a shock to see a number this high, especially in this series. But all things considered, with both QB Drew Brees and QB Cam Newton playing so well, there is a great chance for these quarterbacks to push this one past the number all by themselves.
57: The minimum number of points that the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers have put up against each other over the course of the last three meetings. Needless to say, all three clashes, including a 35-27 win for the Panthers back in Week 2 of this season, eclipsed the ‘total’. This might be one of the highest ‘totals’ of the season at 54, but with that stat in mind, it is clear that it might be best to back the ‘over’ in this one.
59: The number of points that the New England Patriots need to score this week to tie the all-time record for scoring in a season. It’s remarkable to think that it is even in the discussion for the Pats to break the record for the most points scored in a campaign, something that was done in 2007 when they went through the regular season undefeated. Granted, we know that New England is almost certain to fall short, but in a game that means a lot to the team with a statement that could be made to the rest of the AFC, we have to wonder if the Patriots are going to take their foot off of the gas pedal or not in this one.
108: The number of receiving yards that WR Calvin Johnson needs to become the first man in NFL history to account for 2,000 or more receiving yards in a single season. Though the touchdowns aren’t there, there is no doubt that the Megatron has had one of the best seasons that a receiver has ever had in the NFL. He hasn’t had a single catch of more than 53 yards, and he only has five touchdowns to show for his work, but in the end, he has 117 receptions on 190 targets with 1,892 yards, numbers that no one in the league can stack up against this year.
120: The number of points that the Seattle Seahawks have outscored their last three opponents by. There isn’t a team in the NFL that is hotter than the Hawks, who are just dominating on both sides of the football. However, without the San Francisco 49ers unpredictably losing to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, these last three wins really haven’t done a heck of a lot of good for Seattle, knowing that it has done nothing but ensure that it is in the playoffs and is in the No. 5 seed.
208: The number of rushing yards that RB Adrian Peterson needs to catch RB Eric Dickerson for the most all-time in a single season in NFL history. Peterson will almost certainly win the MVP Award if he can get to Dickerson’s mark, though it isn’t a guarantee otherwise. Remember that the Minnesota Vikings still have a game to win to get into the playoffs, as they are likely finished if they don’t find a way to beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. That’s clearly the most important goal, but this isn’t a bad thing to try to chase.
Aaron 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.