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 NFL betting lines for Week 14. Here are the most important numbers that you need to remember for the week!
0 – The number of teams which had ever started 9-0 and then dropped to 9-3 before this season. The Kansas City Chiefs can now say they are the only ones to do so. Never before has a team started at 9-0 and then even remotely threatened to not make the playoffs either, and the hope is there in KC that that isn’t the case this year. There’s still a long way to fall to drop back to the rest of the pack, but going 9-7 isn’t a sure thing for the second season, though it would look quite good in the paltry AFC. The Chiefs still need to take care of business and ensure that they are going to be the top Wild Card instead of the second Wild Card as well, as there is a big difference between what will likely be a road trip against the Indianapolis Colts and one against the Cincinnati Bengals.
0 – The number of teams which have mathematically been eliminated from the playoffs in the AFC. That’s right. The 2-10 Houston Texans still have a mathematical way of getting into the playoffs, and these 3-9 teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars still have very reasonable roads to sow to get into the second season. Just the fact that a 6-10 Houston outfit could get into the playoffs is absurd as it is, and it is proof of just how wide open the entire conference is in terms of getting into that last playoff spot. Not that most of this is going to matter in all likelihood though, as the Cincinnati Bengals or the Indianapolis Colts will likely dispose of whichever team sneaks into the back end of the playoffs in the first round very quickly, and the rest will just be a footnote in history, but it’s still fun to look at the possibilities of a team going 10-10 for the whole season and winning the Super Bowl.
0 – The number of games that opponents have covered this season against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. It’s easy to suggest that the Indianapolis Colts could be different this week, knowing that this is the same team which went on the road and beat the San Francisco 49ers earlier this year, and it’s the same team that beat the Denver Broncos at home and all of that. However, this is also a team which has played horrid football since WR Reggie Wayne got hurt, and it’s not like Cincy isn’t used to playing against big time competition. The list of teams which have come to the Queen City this year? The Pittsburgh Steelers (before we knew they were going to stink), the Green Bay Packers (with a healthy QB Aaron Rodgers), the New England Patriots, the New York Jets (when they had a winning record) and the Cleveland Browns. It doesn’t get much more impressive than that, though adding the Colts in that mix would surely help. The winner of this one has the inside track to being the #3 seed in the AFC playoffs.
1 – The number of sacks that the Kansas City Chiefs have logged over the course of the last three games. All three have been losses, and this pass rush might be the only reason for it all. The Chiefs just aren’t all that special when they aren’t getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They give up too many points, which takes RB Jamaal Charles out of the game, and when that happens, all hell breaks loose and the team gets beaten. It’s a formula that very well could sink this team, if not here in the regular season, certainly in the playoffs when the best teams in the AFC start to pop up on the schedule in what will surely be road games at this point.
2 – The number of wins the Seattle Seahawks need in their last four games to ensure they will be the top seed in the NFC in the playoffs this year. For a team which is 11-1, granted a relatively fortunate 11-1 with a few of the wins that it has gotten, that means that Seattle is on its way to the Super Bowl in all likelihood. QB Russell Wilson still hasn’t lost a home game in his career, and he has beaten teams like the San Francisco 49ers in their prime last year and the New Orleans Saints this year, and most of these games haven’t even been all that close. The Seahawks can’t clinch this week because the Saints and the Carolina Panthers are playing against each other, but if Seattle takes care of business these next two weeks, Week 16 and Week 17 will be completely moot.
12 – The number of points that the Denver Broncos are favored by over the Tennessee Titans. That makes Denver the biggest favorites on the Week 14 odds. The Titans have been bad this year for the most part, but they have some surprising results that might shock you. Going on the road and beating Denver would be the shock of all shocks, especially after the Broncos literally shredded the Kansas City Chiefs last week. Tennessee has to have this one if it wants to keep any reasonable playoff hopes alive at this point. Denver meanwhile, just wants to keep its foot on the gas pedal and move a game closer to locking down the #1 seed in the AFC and home field advantage through the playoffs for the second straight season.
13.9 – The number of points that QB Aaron Rodgers has been worth this year to the Green Bay Packers if you strictly go on number of points per game that the team has scored when he has been and hasn’t been in the lineup. The Packers were in a lot of trouble from the get go once Rodgers got hurt, and three quarters have only combined to score just over 16.4 points per game. Green Bay averaged 30.3 points per game when Rodgers was out there. And you want to know why this week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons is off the board still? The oddsmakers are afraid to put up a line on Green Bay thinking that Rodgers isn’t playing, only to find out that he is going to end up out there when push comes to shove.
40.5 – The number representing the lowest ‘total’ of the week. The game pits the New York Jets against the Oakland Raiders, and we have no idea where QB Matt McGloin and QB Geno Smith are getting these points from. Smith hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in a month and a half, and it has been two and a half games since the Jets have scored an offensive touchdown. The Raiders are doing some scoring, but it’s not like McGloin has this juggernaut offense surrounding him. New York will have to put at least 20 on the board to get this game to this number we’d like to think, and just the idea of the Jets scoring not just one, but two touchdowns in the same game seems to be farfetched at this point.
51 – The number of points that the New England Patriots have been outscored by in the first half of their last three games combined. Of course, the Pats did come back to win the two most recent of those games against the Houston Texans and the Denver Broncos, so perhaps it isn’t all that relevant of a stat. Still, at least from a first half perspective, it might be worth thinking about playing on the Cleveland Browns this week. We watched this stat in relation to the Indianapolis Colts, and sure enough, last week, the Tennessee Titans covered the first half spread in spite of the fact that they failed to cover for the game.
54 – The number representing the highest ‘total’ of the week. It has been a while since we have seen a number this high come up, but the Philadelphia Eagles and the Detroit Lions deserve it. The man that very well could be the MVP of the league this year, QB Nick Foles is on one side of this battle, while QB Matthew Stafford and the best wide receiver in the league, WR Calvin Johnson are on the other side. These two can really light it up, but they have been playing a lot better defense than you might be thinking to get to the top of their respective divisions. Don’t just go under the assumption that this is going to be a high scoring game, though it very well could be a game that gets into the 80s.
54 – The number of points that the Houston Texans have scored all season long in the fourth quarter of games. Twenty-seven of those came in the first two games of the season. If you want to know why this team has lost a franchise-worst 10 games in a row, that’s why. The team just isn’t finishing games. Scoring 27 points in the fourth quarters of games, seven of which were completely meaningless in a blowout loss to the St. Louis Rams in the final stanzas of the last 10 games combined just isn’t going to cut, and it’s why Houston has the inside track to the #1 pick in the NFL Draft this coming year.
75 – The percentage of teams that were road favorites last week that covered the spread. Those clubs went 3-1 in those games, and that’s not just an anomaly of a stat. In the last month, road favorites, who are normally some of the squarest plays on the board to make with regularity, are hitting at a 58.3 percent rate (14-10). If that keeps up over the course of the rest of the season, square bettors are going to have a field day, while sharps might find the sledding relatively tough. The best example of this in Week 14 is just below…
81 – The percentage of bets that are coming in on the Kansas City Chiefs this week against the Washington Redskins. That’s an insanely high number, and it is an indication of just how sharp the Skins really are. All of those bets are coming in on KC, yet this spread isn’t moving a lick. Any time you see a team with a great record like KC going up against a team with a poor record like Washington, especially when the game is being played on the road for the good team and the spread is only a field goal or so, that’s a sign of sure trouble for the visitors. That could very well turn out to be the case on Sunday after at FedEx Field.
207 – The number of yards that the San Francisco managed to muster against the Seattle Seahawks when these two teams met earlier in the season in Seattle. Of course, there’s a big difference between playing at CenturyLink Field and playing at Candlestick Park, but are the 49ers really 28.5 points better now than they were in that game in September? The truth of the matter is that it almost feels like the 49ers are in worse shape now than they were at that point, and the Seahawks might be in even better shape now than they were then. Yet the oddsmakers still installed Seattle as the 2.5-point underdogs in this one instead of the favorites? It’s a tough task for the Niners for sure, and we definitely don’t envy them laying points against the best team in the league.
993 – The number of yards that the Carolina Panthers put up on the New Orleans Saints in two games last season. You probably don’t recall because both teams went 7-9, but Carolina actually swept the season series from New Orleans, and it has a legitimate chance to do so this year as well. If there is a team which wins both of the games these two will play in Weeks 14 and 16, that team will win the NFC South and the #2 seed in all likelihood in the NFC playoffs, while the loser, at best, will have to go on the road as a Wild Card. This is a big one in the Bayou, and there’s a reason it was flexed into Sunday Night Football.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.