It is no surprise that the NFL is the most-watched and bet-on sport in the United States. The NFL is King. Whether you’re watching your hometown team, tracking all the players on your fantasy rosters, or having a friendly wager on the MNF game, the NFL has total control over you and the sports world.
Here are some examples of just how popular the NFL is. In 2021, of the top 100 most-watched US TV broadcasts, 75 of them were NFL games. Let us narrow it down even further, of the top 25 most-watched US TV broadcasts, 20 were NFL games.
When it comes to the game of football, there are a lot of well-known stats. For example, the traditional stats are Touchdowns, passing/rushing/receiving yards, Interceptions, and Sacks. Below we will walk you through more advanced stats that will help you understand the game of football a little better.
1. Turnover Margin
Turnover margin is a football statistic used to determine whether a team is turning the ball over more than receiving turnovers from the opposing team. Turnovers play such a massive role in deciding games in the NFL that extreme margins, one way or another, could significantly impact a team’s season. Teams that win the turnover margin win the game almost 70% of the time.
2. Adjusted Completion Percentage
Adjust Completion Percentage is primarily used by Pro Football Focus when grading a Quarterback. Per PFF, “ Adjusted completion percentage takes into account factors outside of the quarterback’s control in terms of completing passes. It accounts for dropped passes, passes thrown away, spiked balls, passes batted at the line of scrimmage, and those passes in which a quarterback was hit as he threw. Ultimately, this gives a real indication of completion percentage on passes that can be caught.”
3. Point Differential
A team’s Point Differential is the numerical gap between points scored and allowed.
Here’s an example.
The Buffalo Bills scored a total of 483 points but also gave up a total of 289 points, meaning their point differential would be +194. The higher the number, the better.
Teams with the best Point Differential in 2021
- Buffalo Bills +194
- Dallas Cowboys +172
- New England Patriots +159
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers +158
- Kansas City Chiefs +116
Teams with the worst Point Differential in 2021
- Jacksonville Jaguars -204
- New York Jets -194
- Houston Texans -172
- New York Giants -158
- Atlanta Falcons -146
Some of the best offshore betting sites use stats like Point Differential, Explosive Play Rate, and DVOA for more accurate odds.
4. Explosive Play Rate
Explosive plays can be defined as any pass that gains 20+ years or any rush that gains 10+ yards. Research from The 33rd Team shows that since 2010, only roughly 1 of every ten drives with no explosives has ended in a score, while that rate nearly triples when an offense makes one single explosive play. Once an offense has two explosives, they have a better than 50% chance to score, which only increases from there. Point being explosive plays or play rate is incredibly valuable for an individual drive.
DVOA stands for Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. It is the primary statistic used on Football Outsiders; DVOA breaks down the entire season play-by-play, comparing success on each play to the league average based on several variables, including down, distance, location on the field, and the current score gap, quarter, and opponent quality.
Next time you sit around the bar watching Monday Night Football and want to impress your friends, relay some of the knowledge you just read. You may leave them mind-blown.
This information is also beneficial when dissecting which NFL games to bet on. Use these NFL stats to help make smarter football bets in 2022.