NFL Betting Tips - Focus On The Ground Game

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TwinSpires Staff

September 27th, 2018

Passing Records are overshadowing the importance of a strong rushing attack. Fairway Jay breaks down how you can expose a market flaw by keying on teams that can pound the rock in his NFL betting tips for Week 5.

- by Fairway Jay

The most important part of pro football is controlling the line of scrimmage, which requires being able to run the ball and stop the run. Once a team can establish that, it can have its way in the passing game, retain possession, chew up the clock clock and move those chains. This also allows the defense to get significant rest. When a defense is on the field too long, it wears down, and it’s more susceptible to both bigger running plays and explosive passing plays.

Some of this year’s quarterbacks are passing at a record pace through 3 weeks. Media and ‘experts’ are again telling us how the game has changed so much and passing is the most important part of pro football. The roughing the passer penalties have impacted the game, as the 15-yard penalties are shortening the field for the offense, and scoring is up to more than 46 points per game.

Quarterbacks that would not have been in anyone’s top 12 or 15 quarterback picks in a fantasy draft are leading the league in passing as Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (1,230 yards) has set an NFL record with at least 400 passing yards in 3 straight games and Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has tossed a record 13 TD passes in 3 games. Seven quarterbacks have thrown for at least 900 yards in 3 games and three others are just a few yards behind.

Yet I’m here to point out the proven formulas for winning in the NFL, and the secret to winning more bets. Identify which teams will have more success running the football and/or stopping the run in an NFL contest and match-up, and you’ll increase your winning wagers substantially.

Even though I'm focusing inherently on rushing in NFL betting tips for Week 5, I don't want you to think that strong quarterback play isn't as important. However, I’ll point out that many 300, 350 and 400 yard passers come up short on the scoreboard and in the betting market every week.

But how ‘bout these rushing stats, which  have provided point spread success of nearly 75% ATS with no season below 70% over the last twenty years?
  • Teams that out-rush their opponent by at least 30 yards in a NFL game cover the point spread approx. 75% of the time.
  • This season, those teams are 28-8 ATS (77%) with its worst result in Week 3 (9-4 ATS).
  • Of equal or greater significance is teams that run the ball at least 30 times in a game when their opponent does not are 20-1-1 SU and 17-4-1 ATS (Week 1 Steelers tied, & lost ATS).
  • For the season, teams that are running the football at least 30 times per game are: Washington, Tennessee, Cleveland, LA Rams and Carolina. Combined records 10-4-1 SU and 12-3 ATS.
  • Teams that run the ball 22 times or less are Arizona, Minnesota, Green Bay, Cincinnati and New Orleans, Indianapolis, Detroit and Dallas. Combined records 9-13-2 SU and 11-13 ATS (Week 2 Vikings and Packers tied).
Passing the ball effectively and in key 3rd down situations to move the chains is important, but running the football efficiently will always be of utmost importance when it comes to controlling the game. That means you're improving your chance of picking winners and cashing more tickets. It's an old school approach, but that's why this the focus of this week's NFL betting tips. Lock in on those teams that have strong rushing attacks and let that help frame your decisions in Week 5.

The Minnesota Vikings try to overcome the Los Angeles Rams tonight on Thursday Night Football!