The modern world is an age of quantification. Statistics and polls are a part of life – we look at statistics and ratings to make decisions about where to eat, what to buy, who to vote for, and where to invest our money.

NFL football stats, like statistics for other major world sports, are easy to find on the Internet and in print material. So many statistics exist, between numbers for an entire team, team averages, player statistics, and stats for teams against betting spreads and other odds, it is easy or an NFL bettor to get lost in the flood of hard data.

Types of Pro Football Statistics

The use of statistics to help pick winners and losers is not unique to pro football; handicapping is an important task for any sports bettor, casual or professional, and the numbers behind player and team performances are a commonly-used yardstick by which to measure the value of various NFL bets and propositions.

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Player Statistics

Sometimes called individual stats, these numbers represent the past performance (or anticipated future value) of an individual member of a football team’s roster.

These numbers are available at every pro team’s official website, usually going back several seasons or even archived deep into a team’s history, listing numbers and averages for players long out of the game. These same numbers are also available through sports statistics websites and in print material aimed at the sports betting and fantasy market.

In the NFL, the most valuable individual statistics depend on the position a bettor is handicapping. For QBs, look at player passing-to-rushing ratio, total passing yards, completion percentage, and turnover ratio. A RB may be evaluated best by average rushing yards, touchdown-to-turnover ratio, and even total receiving yards to evaluate their overall value to a team’s offense.

An example of a player statistic that can provide more value to bettors than most is Average Yards per Attempt, a strange number that can tell a bettor more than just what the numbers say. For example, a QB may have a high average number of yards per pass but not be an elite player. His high AYA could be an example of how powerful his offensive line is, how well his receivers run routes, or even the low quality of defenses he’s seen so far this season. This single player statistic can actually help bettors read a ton into overall team performance and value.

Team Statistics

Team stats are a combination of numbers that evaluate an entire team’s performance, either over the course of a single season, in season’s past, or even over longer periods of seasons in the search for team trends. Combining an understanding of the value of a team’s individual parts (using player statistics) as well as the team’s stats as a whole gives handicappers a leg up on that portion of the betting world that doesn’t do their homework.

Team stats cover everything from offensive and defensive totals, numbers related to specific aspects of an offense such as passing and rushing totals, fourth down conversion rates, and other numbers that focus on a performance larger than any one player.

An example of a team statistic useful in preparing for NFL wagers is Yards per Point. Some bettors can find YPP data online or in a betting strategy guide or magazine, others will have to calculate it on their own. A pro football team’s YPP is obtained by dividing their total offensive yards gained by the number of points they have scored.

Using YPP for betting strategy is varied; some casual bettors will simply compare the two YPP numbers for teams in a given NFL game and make their pick that way. Others use YPP to come up with a potential score for a team. If Team A averages 11.1 Yards per Point, and Team B’s defense gives up an average of 290 yards per game, Team A should (statistically-speaking) score around 26 points. Evaluating two teams’ likely scores and placing the wager accordingly is a simple and effective way for a novice pro football bettor to handicap a game.

Betting Statistics

Thanks to the Internet, today’s bettors have even easier access to a set of statistical data that handicappers have used in decades’ past to predict winners and losers. Betting statistics indicate how a team has performed in terms of the sports betting world, as opposed to their performance on the field.

A commonly-followed betting statistic is referred to in terms of a team’s winning numbers “against the spread.” This indicates how often a team meets or beat the generic Vegas-generated point spread. Now that bettor’s don’t have to keep track of or calculate these numbers on their own (thanks to easily-accessible online ATS betting data), it’s a bit easier to handicap a close-call game. The team that’s performed better historically against the spread usually offers bettors more value.

Using Stats for Handicapping

A bettor does not have to work full-time to properly handicap the NFL games they want to wager on, thanks to the proliferation of new types of data and new forms of pro football statistics. Researching a team’s performance against the spread, how much and how often a team scores, and even how a team has performed against an opponent in the recent past can give a bettor enough knowledge to make a confident pick.

NFL football stats are the perfect entry point for the novice pro football bettor who wants more insight into how to improve his win-loss ratio. A few hours each week poring over well-organized and easy-to-find statistical details should have a positive impact on any sports betting fan’s success rate.

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