Five stats to lean on for NFL wagering

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Dan Halverson

July 10th, 2019

While some NFL stats show up like a big red flag before you decide to place a wager, others appear as a green light prompting you to fire away. Let's take a look at five key stats that indicate one team is in a better position than its opponent.

Interception rate

A low interception rate can directly translate to covering the spread. In the last 10 years, the two teams with the best record against the spread are the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. In the last 10 years, Aaron Rodgers leads the league in interception rate, with Tom Brady close on his heels. If your quarterback doesn't throw interceptions, your team has a better chance.

Pass yards per attempt

This is no secret to a lot of NFL bettors, so maybe it is losing its value as a "play-on" statistic, but it is still important to gauging potential offensive success. If there is a large discrepancy between two teams on this statistic, expect to be laying points on the team with the better number. And if you're not, it might be time to step on the gas.

Field position

The "hidden yardage" of the game, a team that consistently wins the starting field position battle wins and covers in the NFL at a well-above 50% rate.

Coaching aggressiveness

This one isn't a normal statistic, but it's easy enough to keep track of on your own. "Punting is bunting" is a great phrase that college football analyst Bud Elliot of SB Nation has popularized, and it references the Moneyball theory that bunting effectively hurts long-term scoring output. If a team consistently punts on fourth and short, it is destined to fall behind the more statistically savvy coaches in the league.

Point differential

With roster limits, professional paychecks and eyeballs on every play, teams usually play until the effective end. A high point differential is a telling indicator of just how good a team really is (or can be).

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