Inside The Stats… Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics


By Marc Lawrence of

It’s 3-for-3 in the NFL this 2014 season with no less than three undefeated teams still standing after the first three weeks of play.  And at least two of the three teams – Arizona, Cincinnati and Philadelphia – will remain unscathed next week as the annual NFL Bye Week is now in effect with the Cardinals and Bengals sidelined this weekend.

As is our custom in this weekly report, let’s go inside the stats and analyze the numbers you won’t find on the scoreboard. Remember, all results are ATS (Against The Spread) in games played this season through Monday, September 22nd unless noted otherwise.

Like for Like

As we head into the final week of September, college football teams, here are the leading offensive and defensive stats complied season to date against FBS teams only with a minimum of three game results.  Stats compiled in FCS games are excluded.

• Best Offenses Yards Per Game

1.Texas A&M 607

2. Western Kentucky 606

3. Nebraska 601

• Worst Offenses Yards Per Game

1. Eastern Michigan 158

2.  SMU 194

3. Wake Forest 221

Best Defenses Yards Per Game

1. Louisville 245

2. Alabama 250

3. Michigan 261

• Worst Defenses Yards Per Game

1. Bowling Green 679

2. UNLV 646

3. Fresno State 600


Inside the Stats

As you know, football games are won on the field and the scoreboard. The gambling public reacts more to the score than the stats inside the game.

Here are the phony teams playing this week who won ‘inside-out’ ITS (In The Stats) in their last game; won the game but were out-gained by 100 or more yards:

• College Football: Arizona State, Iowa, Maryland and Southern Mississippi.

• NFL: Chicago Bears (again), Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.

These are the teams playing this week who lost ‘inside-out’ ITS (In The Stats) in their last game; lost the game but out-yarded their opponent by 100 or more yards:

• College Football: Louisiana Tech, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia and Western Kentucky.

• NFL: New York Jets and Washington Redskins.


FYI: there are no games on this week’s card involving ‘double inside-out’ stat results from last week – or teams off a phony SU win but stat loss playing an opponent off a SU loss but a stat win.

Who’s Hot And Who’s Not

From a weekly NFL column that I author in the USA TODAY SPORTS WEEKLY, here are some of the hottest trends on this week’s card from my all-knowing database:

• Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 9-1 SU and ATS in his NFL career in division games when his team is off a SU and ATS loss in its last game.


• Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is 8-1 SU and 9-0 ATS in his NFL career on Monday nights in games in which his team is off a win of six or more points.

• The New Orleans Saints are 8-1 SU and ATS in their last nine Sunday night appearances.

• New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is 5-0-1 ATS in his NFL career in division games off his first victory of the season.

• Teams who play and allow 35 or more points against Mike Tomlin’s Pittsburgh Steelers – the Carolina Panthers last week – are 0-7 SU and ATS in their next game.

• The San Francisco 49ers are 16-2 ATS in games off a SU favorite loss.

Stat Of The Week

From the Playbook Football Newsletter: The San Diego Chargers are 23-3-1 ATS all-time versus the AFC South, including 10-0-1 the last eleven games.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here