Free Sports Picks: Home CFB NBA CBB MLB MMA Boxing Super Bowl
LootMeister NFL Picks
Online SportsbooksBest Sportsbook Bonuses

What the Stats Don't Tell You

NFL Betting: What the Stats Don't Tell You

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

It is important to rely on your own observations when assessing a team. Stats are useful. There is no doubt about that. But when dealing with the prospect of needing to beat the spread, there are items of high concern that are not captured by statistical analysis. Stats tell us "how much" when sometimes we need to know "how." Not how much yards a guy has, but how a team plays in certain situations. Not how many touchdowns a quarterback throws for, but how an offense plays with the lead.

A lot of coaches adopt different philosophies for various game situations. You have some squads that will just beat on teams incessantly--all game long. Now if one of those teams is at -9, you would be more inclined to take them, as opposed to a team that tries not to lose once they get a lead.

Say you have the Falcons at home giving up 8.5 points. In the 4th quarter, the score is 21-17. Atlanta has the ball with 9 minutes left. Now you're in a bit of a spot. Atlanta will now be trying to eat up clock. Whatever urgency you might have for them to score will not be reflected by the team. And a field goal doesn't help you. For them to be gunning for a touchdown would be contrary to the tactics of their coach.

Look for a more offensive team when laying big points--teams that are always trying to score. You want a team like the Patriots. Or the Packers. If the game is close, they won't go into a shell. On the other hand, you have guys like Norv Turner--head coach of the Chargers. If you have San Diego at home laying 9 points--you're already in trouble. With 1:45 left in the first half and the Chargers almost at mid-field, you'd like to see a push for a field goal at least. Well, if they have a lead, forget about it. Turner will try to run the clock out. So it's important to know how coaches act when betting on the NFL.

It goes both ways. You don't want to lay big points on a team that waits for the ceiling to collapse when playing with a lead. But a resourceful team like that might be a good team to take points with. Understanding the different nuances within each coaching style can save you a lot of grief.

With players, you get a stat line and you know that doesn't tell the whole story. There are things you would like to know that simply are not captured with stats. Does a running back come through in the short yardage situation when everything is on the line? Can a QB find a way to convert on third down? Does a receiver get slippery hands at the most inopportune times?


To a large extent, the element of "clutch" can't be shown in statistics. But as you bet on NFL games, you will see that it is a critical element that can determine whether or not spreads get covered. Often times, a game will be a stand-off for three quarters and change, leaving the result still up in he air late in the game. It can come down to just a play or two late. And in those scenarios, you want a team that has players with clutch. You want players who have an advanced vision of the game.

If those elements are not in place, you will get snake-bitten. Say a team is almost in field goal position, which would enable you to cover the spread. Then an offensive lineman gets a false start penalty, which ends up killing the drive. Or the team you bet on just stopped the opponent in a key 3rd down stop. The game is locked up, but wait! Some boneheaded linebacker takes a swipe at someone resulting in a personal foul and a fresh set of downs. Some of these things are unforeseeable, but there are things like poise and clutch, which could wind up being what decides how a team performs against the spread.

Share this article with friends:

Leave a comment:

Quit wasting your hard earned money! Make the switch from -110 to -105 odds today
You'll be so glad that you did! Click Here!
Doc's Sports NFL Picks

NFL Betting

  • Reduced Juice - Loot explains how reduced odds football betting works and where you can find this valuable asset.
  • What is a Point Spread? - Many new to the game struggle to understand why one side has a (+) while the other has a (-) in front of a team. We explain what the spread is and how it works.
  • Football Bets - All the different types of wagers that you can make when betting on football games.
  • What Professional Handicappers Do - Learn the tricks of the trade and increase your odds of beating the books!
  • Key Numbers - The article that bookies don't want you to read!
  • NFL Betting Quiz - Test your football wagering prowess with Loot's 10 question quiz!
  • Super Bowl 52 Predictions - Loot gives his preseason picks for which teams are most likely to win "the big game" along with middle of the road and a longshot that is sure to surprise you!
  • 2017 NFL Season Wins Predictions - Loot breaks down every team and gives his opinion on how they'll do vs. the number!
  • 2017 NFL Bye Weeks - The first set start in Week 5 and the final byes take place in Week 11. Loot also gives tips on betting on teams coming off byes.
  • 2017 NFL Coaching Changes - We seem to be in an era where football coaches become disposable in an instant if they don't win. 2016 was no different as a handful of teams made the switch. Check out who went where right here!


  • Famous Football Players - Biographies of the best and greatest NFL football players of all-time.
  • Greatest NFL Players of All Time - A list of all time greats at each position. Each position has it's own dedicated article!
  • Best Quarterbacks of All Time - Joe Montana heads our list of top 10 QB's, however, Tom Brady is a sure bet to give him a run for his money by the time his career is said and done.
  • Best Running Backs of All Time - We list the top 10 greatest ball carriers of all-time. The order may be debatable, as Jim Brown, Barry Sanders and Walter Payton all brought something special to the gridiron.
  • Football Lingo - One must be very familiar with all of the terms, slang and jargon associated with this game to win at football betting. Find a slew of pigskin terminology right here!
  • Football Quotes - Funny and memorable sayings from around the National Football League including comments made by Vince Lombardi and John Madden.
Reduced Juice Sports Betting 100% Sportsbook Bonus Best Parlay Odds Online