Inside the stats: NFL preseason wins matter in Week 1
Week 1 of the NFL kicks off the 2013 season, along with Week 2 on the College Football gridiron. Before we head to the window, let’s roundup a few last-minute edges.
Upside down, inside out
Good football teams win games both on the scoreboard and in the stats. Bad football teams lose games both on the scoreboard and in the stats.
Phony football teams somehow manage to wins games on the scoreboard while losing in the stats.
By our scorecard, here are last week’s FBS-lined “inside-out” stat winners and losers…
Won the game, lost the stats: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Eastern Michigan, Fresno State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Texas State, Utah and Virginia.
Lost the game, won the stats: BYU, California, Georgia, Georgia State, Rice, Rutgers, SMU, Southern Mississippi, UNLV, Utah State, Virginia Tech, Washington Sate and Wyoming.
Note: BYU and Southern Miss were triple-digit yardage winners while Texas State and Virginia were triple-digit yardage losers.
Bowl teams last year who opened the season with a loss this year often come flat in game No. 2, covering the spread less than 50 percent of the time (117-126-2 ATS) since 1990.
Worse, they sing the blues when facing a conference foe in Game 2, posting as dismal 12-24 ATS in these games.
Making conference calls this week are Georgia and Utah State.
Coach me up
Willie Taggart had a horrific debut with South Florida last week, losing 53-21 to McNeese State at home.
He’ll be put to the test this week when his Bulls travel north to meet Michigan State, knowing he is 15-2-1 ATS as a road dog, including 11-0 the last eleven.
No less than seven NFL head coaches make their debut with new teams this week.
From our database, the largest discernable edge is found by fading favorites debuting a new coach in Week, as they are just 12-18 ATS in these games since 2000.
Dress those debuts up in competitive games, as a favorite of less than four points, and they fold like a cheap lawn chair going 5-10 SU and 3-12 ATS.
Chicago’s Marc Trestman, Cleveland’s Rob Chudzinski and Kansas City’s Andy Reid find themselves in wobbly seats Sunday.
Sweeping the board, or getting swept, during the preseason is not a good omen for NFL teams playing their first game of the campaign.
That’s concerned by the fact 0-4 preseason teams are 22-32-2 ATS, including 11-20-1 ATS as favorites since 1983.
Atlanta and Pittsburgh are on opening week alert.
On the other side, teams who went 4-0 in the preseason are just 23-28-1 ATS in regular season openers, including 10-19-1 ATS for those residing in the NFC conference.
Seattle and Washington will try their best to avoid an opening wipeout this weekend.
Stat of the Week
The underdog in the Notre Dame-Michigan series is 21-4 ATS the last 25 meetings.