In this article we rewind Week 3 of the NFL preseason from a statistical and technical perspective based on the final scores!
Last week, I authored an article entitled “Week 3 Preseason NFL Betting Puzzle Solved with Historical Trends.” It was based on the fact that Week 3 in the NFL Preseason is a “dress rehearsal” for many teams. As such, the theory is that, much like in the regular season, winning and losing streaks are hard to come by for most teams. History has shown us that teams who are 0-2 SU tended to bounce back with a victory in Week 3. Conversely, teams who were 3-0 SU tended to rest on their laurels in Week 3. Such was not the case in NFL-Ex Week 3 games from Friday, August 28th to Sunday, August 30th.
4-2 ATS … teams who were 0-2 SU going into Week 3
2-6 ATS … playing AGAINST teams who were 2-0 SU into Week 3
This combined record of 6-8 ATS is further proof that any small sample of previously successful trends can easily be reversed over a short period of time. It is why it is essential that for complete handicapping analysis to be successful in the long term, that it must be a blend of fundamental (statistical), situational, as well as technical handicapping. The other indicators which we have followed in NFL-Ex season were largely successful. To a high degree, they reflect the findings that have worked consistently over the years in the NFL. These statistical indicators are less clear than situational and technical numbers which reflect raw data from a historical sample. In our world of statistical NFL handicapping, we are required to dig deep and do projections about what the results will be. The better we do our job in that regard, the more successful we will be.
In articles I have previously written about the NFL in August I pointed out the success that you can have against the spread by projecting the running numbers for an NFL game. We do this through YTD statistical numbers, which include running attempts and running attempts allowed, as well as rushing yardage and yards per rush for and against. When these matchup positively in a specific game, we anticipate that history will reflect the future. These numbers again showed strong in Week 3. Consider the following results:
8-0 ATS … teams who run the ball for 30+ yards in a game, if their opponent does not (13-0 ATS L2W)
7-1 ATS … play AGAINST any NFL team who runs the ball 22 or less times a game, if their opponent does not (13-1 ATS L2W)
7-3 ATS … play any NFL team who outrushes their opponent by 30 or more yards in a game (15-5 ATS L2W)
Admittedly, this is a very small sample. Yet, even in NFL-Ex play, these numbers are highly representative of the results discussed in previously authored articles.
There are other interesting indicators we follow in Preseason football. Many of which have been successful, both this year and in the past.
13-2 ATS L3W… play any than greater .500 team from last year, who did not make the playoffs (KC, Buffalo, Philadelphia, San Diego, Houston)
16-11 ATS L3W …play any non-playoff team from last year AGAINST a playoff team from last year.
These results reflect preseason thinking that teams who did not make the playoffs last year have more to prove the following August and that there is value in the betting line as a result of their substandard performance the previous year. As you can see, this line of thinking was again solid this 2015 Exhibition season.
Finally, it must be noted that our concept of “pick a winner” in competitively priced games has again held true this 2015 NFL-Ex season. Consider the following results which accurately reflect the 90% pointspread accuracy of this situation over the course of time.
42-5-1 ATS … in games where the opening line is 6 or less, the ATS record of teams who win the game straight up.
There you have it, a Rewind of Week 3 from a statistical and technical perspective based on the final scores! It is a strong endorsement of the fact that we focus our NFL handicapping on the fundamental and statistical analysis we do, allowing situational and technical trends to fill in the gaps. Week 4 is clearly the hardest week of NFL-Ex to handicap, since the focus of virtually all teams is to prevent any more injuries as they prepare for Week 1 of the regular season in 7 to 10 days. Fortunately for us, there are 40 CFB games to offer plenty of point spread winners this week.