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NFL 2013: Winners W-I-N; Losers L-O-S-E!
by Larry Ness - 10/03/2013
The current NFL season is four weeks old as the month of October opens with the Bills and Browns playing Thursday night in Week 5’s opener. Thirty of the league’s 32 teams (Carolina and Green Bay with Week 4 byes are the exceptions) have played four games, representing 25 percent of their schedules. Here’s some random thoughts on how things currently stand.
The pointspread has always been considered the great equalizer but so far in NFL 2013, not so much. The first two weeks saw 10 of the 32 games influenced by the pointspread, meaning a favorite won but did not cover (the Cin/Chi game in Week 1 was a push). However, while there were two pushes in Week 3 (Tennessee minus-3 beat the Jets 20-17 and Denver minus-16 beat the Raiders 37-21), the other 14 games ended with either the favorite winning and covering or the underdog winning outright. That brought us to Week 4, when NONE of the 15 games were affected by the pointspread, as once again either the favorite won and covered or the underdog won outright.
Here’s something else regarding the pointspread that’s not historically typical of the NFL. The best teams are not just winning but they are also covering at quite a remarkable rate. Plus the same holds true for the NFL’s worst teams, as well. They are not just losing, they are getting ‘killed!’ There remain five unbeaten NFL teams entering Week 5 (Broncos, Chiefs, Pats, Saints and Seahawks). Those teams are not just a combined 20-0 SU but they are 16-3-1 ATS or 84.2 percent (and that includes the Pats, who are just 2-2 ATS). As for the four winless teams (Bucs, Giants, Jags and Steelers), that group is a ‘money burning’ 1-15 ATS or 6.3 percent!
Home teams are 40-22 SU (.645) and 34-25-3 ATS (57.6%). Home dogs are 11-9 ATS (55.0%). As for over/under bettors, it’s 31 overs and 32 unders after 63 games (remember, the London game had no home team).
My closing thought is something I’ll follow all season long and since the NFL is widely considered as “passing league” circa 2013, these numbers may surprise you. The team with the most rushing yards has gone 44-19 SU and 41-20-2 ATS (67.2%) in the NFL’s 63 games of 2013. The team with the most rushing attempts has gone 50-12 SU (the Cin/Chi Week 1 game saw both team run the ball the same amount of times) and an even better 49-11-2 ATS (81.7%). I’m not making this up.