Sports Betting Strategy

How To Apply Yards Per Play Concepts To Successful Sports Betting

The professional handicappers have learned to evolve their football betting strategies to remain ahead of the sportsbooks when it comes to betting on the NFL. One aspect of their strategy is to pay close attention to schedule changes and to use yards per play rankings to exploit discrepancies in handicap markets. Here is a look at how to apply yards per play concepts to successful sports betting.

Using Yards Per Play To Your Advantage

The emergence of big mismatches has led to more profitable opportunities to change your football betting strategy and do what is often unthinkable in backing a quality team as large favorites. One way to evaluate a team is to look at their offensive yards gained per play and the defensive yards they allow per play in a statistical comparison. The teams that gain more yards than they allow tend to win more than they lose unless they have terrible turnover numbers. The yards per play comparison is a good tool to use when it comes to evaluating future performance as teams that tend to gain more yards and give up less yards than their opponents will usually win. Of course, it’s important to consider all elements of a given matchup but yards per play has proven to be an effective starting point over the years.

Breaking Down The Numbers

The Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers all ranked in the top-10 in the NFL in net yards per play in 2016, which is the combination of their offensive yards per play and defensive yards per play. Atlanta owned the best mark in the NFL with a +1.1 differential while New England was a distant second at +0.7. Of course, this strategy alone isn’t perfect so the fact that the Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears both ranked in the top-10 in net yards per play makes them both anomalies. Arizona and Chicago were plagued by awful turnover numbers and an inability to finish, which really hurt their overall records when it came to NFL results. On the other side of the spectrum, the Los Angeles Rams, Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers ranked as the bottom three teams in the NFL according to net yards per play and it’s no surprise that they finished with the league’s worst records.


While the net yards per play numbers alone can’t dictate the outcome of games they could provide some valuable insight as a starting point with which to assess what the outcome of a matchup will be. Handicappers can factor in other important data like turnover numbers and home field advantage in order to build off the yards per play trends and come up with a more accurate expectation for each contest. These betting variables coupled with yards per play calculations should give you a pretty good chance to work out any NFL handicapping discrepancies and help pinpoint where the best value lies in terms of the betting lines for each week’s games.

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