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NFL Team Stats that Are Too Good to Be True

NFL Team Stats that Are Too Good to Be True

Most people would think that win-loss records are the best indicators of team performance.

In all fairness to these ‘experts,’ basing your betting on win-loss is going to get you into plenty of trouble and empty your account pretty fast.

What serious bettors dig into are statistics, betting trends, and against-the-spread performance. If you start basing your betting analysis on these stats you’ll quickly start seeing how many teams with great win-loss records have a set of very poor stats which prove this team may in fact be weaker than expect and that the team should be expected to lose very soon. These stats also will help you spot when some teams have spreads that can be taken advantage of because the bookmakers are basing them on public hype rather than performances facts.

NFL Team Stats that are Too Good to be True

Indianapolis Colts

11-5 SU | 11-5 ATS

Too Good to be True Stat: 9-1 SU record in games decided by 7 points or less

After suffering through the league’s worst record in 2011, the Indianapolis Colts responded with a dramatic turnaround in 2012. By acquiring QB Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in the 2012 draft, the Colts went from 2-14 SU to 11-5 SU and made the playoffs. One of the biggest reasons of their turnaround is how well they performed in close games, with a 9-1 SU record in games decided by a touchdown or less.

In spite of that, they produced a minus -30 point differential last season.  In their five losses, three of those were by more than 20 points. Also, they are 26th in allowing the most yards per game with 374.3 yards. They were very fortunate that they won 11 games, despite what their scoring performance showed that they should have won only 7 games.

Arizona Cardinals

5-11 SU | 7-8-1 ATS

Too Good to be True Stat: Started 4-0 SU; 25 TDs (31st in league)

If stocks can plummet so fast, so does an NFL team. The Arizona Cardinals were on their way to a great season as they started hot with a four-game winning streak, but after Week 5, they lost 11 of their last 12 games.

The reason: having a minus-107 point differential, including a minus-58 against the Seahawks. Their offense was mired with inconsistency, as four QBs started in 2012 while producing only the second-fewest points per game (15.6) and scoring the second-fewest touchdowns (25).

On the team’s performance against the spread, after starting 3-0, they failed to cover the spread in their next six games. But after their Week 10 bye, the Cardinals became very competitive by covering the spread in four n of their next seven games. So they build around a winning momentum by the end.

St. Louis Rams

7-8-1 SU | 11-5 ATS

Too Good to be True Stat: 4-1-1 SU vs. NFC West (best in division)

Also a team posting the league’s worst record in 2011, the St. Louis Rams were able to turn their season around thanks to their new coach and their much-improved defense. In 2011, when they went 2-14, they allowed their opponents to rush for 152.1 yards per game, which ranked 31st in the league. In 2012, they tweaked their run defense, and it resulted in allowing 117.5 rushing yards per game, which landed them in the top half rankings (15th).

Another big reason for their turnaround was that they were competitive in the NFC West, which included the Seahawks and Super Bowl runner-ups 49ers, posting the best division record with 4-1-1 SU record. For the bettors, the Rams racked up an even better ATS record, as they went 6-0 in division play. They also posted the best ATS record among teams with losing records. With how they performed last season, certainly there’s hope for the Rams in 2013.


Next time you bet on the NFL or any sport for that matter, make sure to dig deeper into head-to-head performance, offensive efficiency, point differential, strength of schedule, and performance given specific defensive formations/weather/types of players.

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