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49ers Host Falcons
Two of the NFL's Worst Teams Square Off Redskins at Panthers
We like to make reference to the fact that if you can pick the straight up winners of NFL games you'll have a great shot at also covering the number. The straight up winners was something like 15-1 a couple of weeks ago, and once again last week most of the straight up winners also covered. But that approach is certainly going to be tested this week as we have quite a few hefty favorites.
If it was as easy as picking straight up winners, we could just play the following.
Few would argue that the above teams are superior to their opponents. If the straight up winner covers most of the time holds true to form, You should get 4-2 or so out of the above plays. Of course what most people fail to consider is, if any of the underdogs in the above games win outright, they also cover the number. The point being, it's not always as easy as it seems to simply pick the straight up winners in these games. As a matter of fact, don't be surprised if one of the teams listed above, loses outright.
No official plays this week once again, but don't worry, they'll come. When they come, you can be sure they'll be solid, high percentage plays. In the meantime, let's take a look at a couple of games that almost made the cut.
Redskins +4.5 over Panthers - The Panthers really don't deserve to be favored over anyone. Their offense can't put points on the board and their defense has played terribly. The Skins aren't much better thus far offensively, but they have been playing some defense. The Panthers are -8 in turnover margin and have an offensive yards per point number of 23.8 which makes them the worst offense in the entire NFL. Who is the 2nd worst offense according to yards per point numbers? You guessed it, the Redskins.
But again, the Skins defense has been better than average. Worst offense against a decent defense, we'll take the Skins. Oh, the Panthers defensive yards per point number of 12.5 would qualify them as the 2nd worst defense. Yikes. Under 37.5 might be worth a look as well.
49ers -2.5 over Falcons - While the Redskins and Panthers have been among the biggest disappointments, the 49ers and Falcons have been pleasant surprises. If you want to find good football teams in a short amount of time, look at turnover margin. We told you about the Panthers and their -8. Where might you find the 3-1 49ers? How about +6. The Falcons? +3. Yards per point numbers for both teams here are very good. Both teams are among the best in the NFL defensively using these numbers. The Falcons with a 21.6 and the 49ers with a 21.4 The Falcons offensive number is average at 15.9 while the 49ers number offensively is among the best in the NFL at 10.4.
What does this tell us? Simply that both teams are doing a good job of keeping opponents out of the end zone and making them work for their points as far as the defenses go. Offensively, it tells us the 49ers are making good use of the yards they gain. Both teams have had the benefit of facing bad teams with the Falcons knocking off the Panthers and the 49ers knocking off the Rams. But it's the 49ers that appear to have the better quality wins and the 49ers who are doing all the little things right. We'll lay the small spot with the 49ers at home here. 49ers -2.5
Simple stats can tell us plenty about teams. We mentioned two of the most important in this article. Yards per point and turnover margin. Give me those numbers each week and nothing more and I can likely make a run for better than 53%.
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