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 15. Here are the most important numbers that you need to remember for the week!
0 – The number of games which the Houston Texans have ever won in Indianapolis against the Indianapolis Colts. It would seem really fitting for them to end their longest losing streak in franchise history by slaying the monster which they have never been able to conquer, and there’s actually some history on their side to support the possibility. If Houston was ever getting Indy, this would be the year. The Texans are only playing for pride, while the Colts are playing to not wreck themselves physically before the playoffs. This could be Houston’s lucky day.
0 – The number of snaps which QB Robert Griffin III will play for the rest of the season. This news comes with the Washington Redskins mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Head Coach Mike Shanahan, whom is accomplishing very little by doing this, merely wants to make sure that RG3 can’t possibly hurt himself once again at the end of this season as he did at the end of last year when he tore his ACL. Of course, this number “0” is likely to also be the number of games which Shanahan wins again in his time in Washington. We can’t believe that the Skins haven’t dismissed Shanny yet, and it is only a matter of time until he and Owner Daniel Snyder go through a bloody divorce.
1 – The number of games this year which the Carolina Panthers have lost from an SU or an ATS standpoint on natural grass. That’s bad news this week for the New York Jets, especially knowing that the only team to cover Carolina on grass this year was when the Seattle Seahawks, the best team in the league, came to Charlotte and won an ugly 12-7 game that could have easily be lost. It’s also proof that the bad loss last week to the New Orleans Saints might not be damning, and it’s a warning shot to what might come in Week 16 when these two clubs meet for the second time in three weeks.
6 – The number of different head coaching jobs that Wade Phillips has now had. Though Phillips was the interim coach for Head Coach Gary Kubiak for two weeks while Kubiak recovered from his mini-stroke, these games will now count on his record as opposed to Kubiak’s. What makes these six jobs notable is the fact that it is an NFL record. The son of Bum is now the first man to guide six different teams, and this is the third different team which Phillips has been the interim coach for, also an NFL record.
6 – The number of consecutive ‘under’ games in the series between the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs. These two teams tend to really struggle offensively, and this year is really no exception to that rule. They both also play some pretty respectable defense, though last week when the Raiders gave up 37 points to the New York Jets, eyebrows had to raise for sure. Nine of the last 10 in this series have also failed to reach the ‘total’, and this too, could be a lower scoring game this weekend at the O.co Coliseum in just the second game played at the Black Hole in the six weeks.
7 – The number that essentially seems to be the magic number for the Houston Texans right now. They have lost seven straight games by seven points or fewer, and they are the first team in NFL history to lose that many games in a row by that small of a number of points. Houston has really been a snake bitten team this year, and we refuse to believe that this is the worst team in the NFL in spite of that record. That’s why Head Coach Gary Kubiak was dismissed last Friday after losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars, though we have plenty of other stats to support that firing as well. Perhaps Wade Phillips can strike it lucky for Houston this week against the Indianapolis Colts and get one of these close games to go his team’s way.
7 – The number of starters on the defensive side of the ball which are going to be free agents at the end of the year for the Washington Redskins. Much is being made about Head Coach Mike Shanahan and this whole benching of QB Robert Griffin III thing, but in the end, we think it’s the defense which is really letting this team down. Over half of the players on that side of the ball are scheduled to leave Washington at the end of the year, and that has to have these guys mentally checked out and moved onto the golf course already. The end result? 372.0 yards and 31.3 points per game allowed this year. The scoring average is the worst mark in the league, and everything went awry in last week’s 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the worst loss in a pathetic season for the Redskins.
9.5 – The number representing the percentage of the time that QB Kellen Clemens has been sacked this year on his drop backs for the St. Louis Rams. This is an alarmingly high number, and it is significantly higher than the right around six percent of the time that QB Sam Bradford was sacked while he was healthy. St. Louis has some offensive line problems, but we have to think that the bigger issue here is actually on Clemens, which is probably part of the reason why the Rams are losing games. They are clearly running the ball better now with RB Zac Stacy instead of RB Darryl Richardson or any of the other backs in the fold from this season, so it isn’t totally line play. Clemens has to shoulder a big brunt of this load.
10 – The number of road favorites there could be this week. There will be nine for sure, and there will be 10 if QB Jay Cutler plays for the Chicago Bears against the Cleveland Browns. Unbelievably, eight of these nine favorites currently on the board as of Wednesday night are favored by five points or fewer. Only the Seattle Seahawks are favored by more than that. Translation: This is going to be a huge week of sharp plays in Las Vegas, and if more of these road teams cover than do the home sides, it could be a brutal week to be a sportsbook.
11 – The number of points that the Carolina Panthers are favored by over the New York Jets this week. That makes Carolina the biggest favorite on the board in Week 15. It’s strange to think that the Panthers, who are only one of the two Wild Cards in the NFC, would be favored by double digits against a New York side which is just a game out of the last playoff spot in the AFC, especially in a sandwich game, and a dangerous one at that. Your bonus number stat here? 0. The number of games which teams have won this year when playing in the sandwich game between two games against the same foe. The Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos were both beaten when they played their game in between their two clashes with one another.
40.5 – The number of points in the lowest ‘total’ of the weekend. The New York Jets and the Carolina Panthers are taking that title this week, though there are five other games which have ‘totals’ to beat of either 41 or 41.5. In a week where the weather was so bad, it was amazing how many touchdowns were scored last week, and that’s what is keeping all of these ‘totals’ in the 40s. Normally speaking, you would see all sorts of numbers in the mid-30s, and that very well could be what we come down to. However, the worse the weather gets, seemingly the better the play gets offensively and the more points that are put on the board.
56 – The number of points in the highest ‘total’ of the weekend. There is only one game with a ‘total’ beyond 51 this week, and that’s the duel to start off the week between the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos. QB Peyton Manning told reporters they could “shove it” last week about the fact that he can’t play in the cold. He might be just 4-7 in cold weather games in his career, but he surely didn’t look affected by it all last week against the Tennessee Titans, especially in the second half. San Diego is coming to town with an offense which just scored 37 points against the New York Giants, and this unit needs to play well if the team is going to have any chance to get into the playoffs. That’s why this number is so darn high this week.
177 – The number of penalty yards that the Houston Texans picked up last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. If you want to know the main reason why Houston is losing all of these close games this year, that’s why. S DJ Swearinger picked up three penalties on the same drive at one point, including a dumb personal foul which came after the defense was walking off the field after a third down stop prior to the other two penalties being called. It all fell apart like a house of cards in a wind storm for the Texans, and Head Coach Gary Kubiak paid the price with his job. That’s what happens when you set franchise records for the most penalties in a game (14) and the most penalty yards in a game in team history.
203.3 – The number of yards per game on the ground which the Chicago Bears are allowing with LB Lance Briggs out of the lineup. Stopping the run has been a humongous problem thus far this year for the Bears, but Briggs being out of the lineup has really seemed to exacerbate the issue. Of course, LB Brian Urlacher is retired, and the loss of DT Henry Melton at the start of the year really killed whatever hope the Bears had of being stout in the front seven. It’s possible that Briggs could be back from his shoulder injury this week in time to face the Cleveland Browns, who have one of the most inept rushing games in all of football. Chicago could really use him, knowing that it is level with the Detroit Lions for the best record in the NFC North coming into this week.
50,026 – The number of passing yards in the illustrious career of QB Drew Brees. Brees became the fifth quarterback to throw for 50,000 yards in a career last week when he beat up the Carolina Panthers, but he knows that his New Orleans Saints have a lot of work to do just to get into the playoffs. Wins against the St. Louis Rams this week and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17 or a win in Week 16 against the Carolina Panthers would get the job done, but anything less than that, and the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals will be right on their backside with a shot to move up in the NFC playoff chase. The Saints badly need Brees to keep going strong if they want to have a shot at getting to the Super Bowl this year.
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.