October 25, 2013

NFL Betting By the Numbers: Week 8

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 8. Here are the most important numbers that you need to remember for the week!

0 – The number of games in the first seven weeks of the year in which the Arizona Cardinals were favored. It’s amazing to think that this team has found a way to win three games and has also played against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, yet it still doesn’t know what it’s like to be favored in a game. The oddsmakers know that they have been making a mistake with the Cards now, and they actually have them installed as two-point favorites against the banged up Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Of all of the teams in the world for Arizona to finally be favored again, it’s the one who hosted the NFC Championship Game last year.

0 – The number of games that all of the teams in Florida combined have won in the last four weeks. Yuck. We all know just how bad the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Jacksonville Jaguars are, and quite frankly, neither of those two teams have even come close to a win in the last month. The Miami Dolphins though, spent a heck of a lot of money in the offseason and ultimately won their first three games of the season. However, two losses, a bye, and a third loss in a row for the Fins has them reeling, and the last of those losses at the hands of the Buffalo Bills was one of the more devastating that the team will suffer at any point this season.

1 – The number of ATS victories that the Oakland Raiders have in their last 10 tries when coming off of their bye week. Typically, bye weeks make teams a lot better, and the week after the bye, they come out with guns blazing. But since when do the Raiders and the word normal have anything to do with each other. That 1-9 ATS record in this spot will be tested on Sunday, as the Pittsburgh Steelers, riding a two-game winning streak come to the Black Hole to take on Oakland.

2 – The number of teams that have scored 20 or more points in every game which they have played this year. We know that you all know that one of these two clubs is the Denver Broncos. But you’d probably guess that the other team is the Philadelphia Eagles. You’d be wrong. And we could probably give you 10 more guesses to get there, and you wouldn’t. The Buffalo Bills, who have gone through QB Kevin Kolb in the preseason, QB EJ Manuel for most of the regular season, QB Jeff Tuel in relief of him, and now QB Thad Lewis fresh off of the practice squad haven’t missed a beat. At least 20 points in every single game will keep you in a lot of efforts, especially when you have a defense that is at least respectable. The Bills are 3-4 now, and believe it or not, they are only a game out of the playoffs with Manuel coming back into the fold in probably about two weeks.

5 – The number of games in a row that the New Orleans Saints have covered when coming off of their bye see. This is how you do it, Oakland Raiders! The boys from the Bayou have a lot of reason to be steaming coming off of this particular bye week, as they were beaten two weeks ago by the New England Patriots to spoil their perfect season in a heartbreaking loss that won’t be forgotten easily. The best part about coming off of this bye week? Those pesky Buffalo Bills are coming to town, and though we do think that Buffalo has a good chance of keeping that record of 20+ point games intact, it might not matter. New Orleans might cover at -12 anyway.

6 – The number representing the exact margin of victory for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Carolina Panthers over the course of the last two games that these two played. Interestingly enough, that’s also the exact point spread for this week’s game between these two, just in the other direction. Just what a team needs which is winless and looks to be relatively heartless at this point as well! A Thursday Night Football game against one of the hottest teams in the league! This probably isn’t ending well for the Bucs.

6 – The number of ATS victories that the Dallas Cowboys have in their last seven games when they are playing their second straight road game. That 6-1 ATS record in the second half of a back to back situation on the road is tremendously remarkable, and it’s bad news this week for the Detroit Lions. Dallas has surprisingly been very good with its back against the wall against some of the middling teams in the league. It’s the great ones that it can’t figure out how to beat. Of course, the last time that the Cowboys played against the Lions, QB Tony Romo went all pick happy in the second half and managed to blow a 27-3 third quarter lead against one of the most explosive offenses in the league.

17 – The number representing the biggest favorite of the week on the Week 8 NFL betting lines. The San Francisco 49ers aren’t exactly playing a road game, but they definitely have a long trip to the other side of the pond to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jolly Old England. This is the second time this year in which the Jags are going to be dogs by at least 17 points, and the first effort was their first (and only) cover of the season against the Denver Broncos. The Niners are trying to become the eighth straight team to beat Jacksonville by double digits to start off this season, and if that was to be the case, the Jags would be just two double digit losses away from tying the record for the most of those dastardly defeats in a row to start off a season.

19 – The number of kick and punt returns for touchdowns that KR Devin Hester has in his career. He got the 19th last week against the Washington Redskins in what turned out to be a real game-altering play. The Chicago Bears didn’t end up winning the game, but Hester officially has his name in the record books, as he has tied the great DB Deion Sanders for the most return touchdowns in a career.

33.7 – The number representing the percentage of plays that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have run this year that have gone through the hands of RB Doug Martin. Unfortunately for them, Martin is now out for presumably the rest of the season with a torn labrum after a nasty shot that he took last week right on the arm against the Atlanta Falcons. The good news for the Bucs is that they are probably losing more games now, meaning they are going to end up with a good shot at having the #1 pick in the NFL Draft. The bad news for the Bucs is that this is going to be a really long remainder of the regular season.

38.5 – The number representing the lowest ‘total’ of the weekend. That distinction goes to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cleveland Browns. These two teams don’t have all that much in the way of offense, and their defenses are both amongst the best 10 or so in football. This ‘total’ dropped a bit on Wednesday with the news that it would be third-string QB Jason Campbell that is used under center this week instead of incumbent starting QB Brandon Weeden. It really seems like Weeden’s career is over at this point, as the team has already tried to replace him with both QB Brian Hoyer and now with Campbell. If you take the number of quarterback changes this year for the Browns and the Minnesota Vikings, this week will make seven changes in eight weeks between these two.

39 – The percentage of the time that double digit road favorites have covered the spread in games since 1998. That means that the Green Bay Packers really need to watch out this weekend. They’ve got the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football at the Metrodome, and they are laying 10. Technically, the San Francisco 49ers are also road favorites, as they are the road team against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but they are playing this game at Wembley Stadium, not in Jacksonville. Also, the St. Louis Rams are getting a dozen at home against the Seattle Seahawks. It might seem easy to just blindly back these teams and lay these big numbers, but be forewarned that the oddsmakers have your number in this if this is the tactic that you are going to apply.

58 – The number representing the highest ‘total’ of the weekend. This week, we’re not surprisingly talking about the Denver Broncos, who continue to put points up in bunches in their conquest to beat the Washington Redskins. Here are your spooky stats about Denver on this eve of Halloween: RB Knowshon Moreno, TE Julius Wilson, WR Eric Decker, WR Demaryius Thomas, and WR Wes Welker could all have at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage by the time this season is said and done with, while Moreno, Welker, and Thomas are all on pace for right around 20 TDs. If that’s not a “Yo!” stat, we don’t know what is.

148.6 – The number representing the combined quarterback rating for the last two weeks for QB Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. You might not realize it, but Newton has been flat out awesome these last two weeks, going 35-of-43 for 446 yards and four TDs without tossing a pick. Those are just tremendous numbers that aren’t going to be topped by many in the league over the course of two games. Some will throw it more often and have more yards and more touchdowns, and some might even do it without tossing any picks, but Newton has been in a league of his own in these last two games. The next best two-game stretch for any quarterback thus far this season is, as you would probably have guessed, QB Peyton Manning, who against the Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles posted a 143.7 quarterback rating.

401 – The minimum number of yards that the Pittsburgh Steelers have put up in their last three games against the Oakland Raiders. You’d figure that’s going to translate into wins, especially against an historically awful team like Oakland, right? Not so fast. The Steelers have really struggled against Oakland, going 1-3 SU and ATS over the course of the last four games in this series. QB Ben Roethlisberger has done his job, but the defense has been pathetic in some of these games against the Raiders. That had better not be the case again this week if Pittsburgh has an intent of staying in the playoff race.

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Andrew Ryan

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.

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