Each week we take a look inside the numbers, from both a statistical and a pointspread aspect, at the college football and NFL schedule.
Here are this week’s findings…
A good measure of a team’s defensive prowess is the ability to hold an opponent below their average in offensive yardage.
The best barometer is finding teams that hold every opponent to a season-low yardage mark.
Here is a list of each team that has managed to hold every single opponent to a season-low yardage mark this campaign: Arizona, Arizona State, Florida, Florida State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Rice, South Carolina, Stanford, USC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington and Washington State.
On the other side of the coin, only one team has allowed season-high yards in every game: New Mexico State.
According to our powerful database, it seems Game 4 of the college football season is often times a critical stepping-stone for teams who play with a week of rest.
This is especially true for teams that are either playing at home off a win or on the road off their first defeat of the season. Check out these refreshing numbers:
• When these reinvigorated home teams take the field off a win with a week of rest in Game 4 of the season, they are a super-strong 70-33-1 ATS overall since 1980.
This week finds Buffalo, Oregon and UCF with smiles on their faces.
Dress these rested Game 4 hosts with a measure of revenge and they rocket to 26-9 ATS. And if they dress up as a favorite or dog of 10 points or less, they zoom to 20-4 ATS. With that, Buffalo will be looking to rise to new heights this Saturday.
• Meanwhile, Game 4 rested road teams who find themselves off their first loss of the season show their muscle, having gone 20-10 ATS over the same span in this role. East Carolina fits the bill this week.
And finally, if these rested Game 4 road teams are off an initial defeat of seven points or less, their record climbs to 11-2 ATS. East Carolina will seek the bounty this week.
One of our favorite statistical approaches to the football card each week is examining teams who won their last game on the scoreboard but lost the yards on the stat sheet.
We call it winning “inside-out”.
College football teams playing this week which won the game but lost the stats in their previous contest include: Buffalo, Fresno State, Houston, Middle Tennessee State, Minnesota, Nevada, South Alabama, Stanford and USC.
In the NFL, the smoke and mirrors winners included: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City and Miami.
Note: Fresno State and the Dolphins have won all three games this season despite being out-gained in every contest.
On the NFL totals front, there were no games in Week 3 in which any team ran 80 or more plays on offense.
The teams who ran the quickest offenses last week were: Vikings (79), Chiefs (77), Packers (77), Bills and Browns (75), Panthers, Saints, Redskins (74), and the Broncos (73).
They combined to go 4-5 UNDER, a reversal of fortune for Over players using this formula during the first two weeks of the season.
Stat of the Week
LSU head coach Les Miles is 22-1 straight up in his last 23 games in which his team is undefeated and the opponent is not.