Inside the stats: Where the boxscores lied
There is feast for the taking this Thanksgiving week on both the dinner table and the football playing field. Paying no attention to the calories, let’s instead weigh-in on the season-to-date stats as we look for extra edges on this week’s gridiron action.
Learning on the job
Keeping up with the five first-year starting quarterbacks in the NFL the scorecard finds favorites 5-9 ATS and underdogs 22-12-2 ATS, heading into Thursday.
FYI: These rookies have waltzed more than they’ve hip-hopped, going 18-31-1 to the under in their starts.
When a team wins a game but loses the total yardage on the stat sheet, these contests are referred to as ‘inside-out’ wins.
Eleven such occurrences took place on the college gridiron last week. The phony winners included: Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, San Jose State, South Carolina, Texas San Antonio, UCLA and UTEP.
On the NFL front last week’s phony winners were: Baltimore, Green Bay, New England and New Orleans.
The Bruins, Buckeyes, Miners, Sooners and Wildcats, were each out-yarded 100 or more yards on the college card.
In the NFL, the Ravens took a triple-digit stat loss in their victory.
A lot in common
These are the largest variance of combined net total yardage in common opponent games in college football this week: BYU (+314), Utah State (+309), Alabama (+284), Nebraska (+279), Tulsa (+251), Syracuse (+204) and Notre Dame (+199).
On the NFL slate Pittsburgh (+237) is the sole common opponent dominator.
This week’s group of college football favorites that find themselves “leaking oil” (teams who have been outgained in each of their last three games) include: Central Michigan, Houston and Texas State.
Seeping favorites in the NFL favorites consist of Arizona and Baltimore.
Better pay attention
Teams with better offenses and better defenses figure to out-gain their opponent. And when teams do that, they win the game on the scoreboard over 70 percent of the time.
When they are underdogs we pay close attention. Particular notice on the college gridiron this week is on: Ohio University, Texas San Antonio and Virginia.
The NFL finds Philadelphia owning the better numbers in a receiving role.
Stat Of The Week
NFL home underdogs of eight or more points are 22-2 ATS the last three years.