NFL Betting Factors – Overrated vs. Underrated

Some NFL betting factors are overrated while others are underrated.

Key Points

– Having an outstanding passer or rusher is often overvalued by public bettors. 

– There are some unique NFL betting factors that bettors should consider before placing bets.

NFL Betting Factors – Overrated vs. Underrated

There are some elements that people typically pay too much attention to when they handicap NFL games. There are also some factors that don’t get enough consideration when betting NFL games. 

As the 2022 NFL season moves to its culminating game – Super Bowl LVII – it’s time for bettors to understand that they aren’t always receiving the information they believe they are. Sometimes, they may be receiving the information but in a way that is less efficient. 

The sports media in no way helps the average bettor in locating solid NFL betting factors. Bettors need to search on their own. Here are four key elements that bettors overestimate and four more that are underrated. Using these, you will know more about how professional bettors attack the NFL playoffs.

Records Are Overrated

A football team’s record is overrated. People become hooked on a team’s wins and losses and instinctively assume that a team with six wins in eight games is significantly superior to one with only three or four wins. If it were only that simple. 

Each year in the NFL, the worst teams get what are supposed to be the easier schedules. Teams that draft near the top of the order will play the majority of their games the following season against teams that did not have winning records in the previous season.


NFL Betting Factors Strength of Schedule

That’s why the strength of a team’s schedule is more important than its overall record. Bettors should focus more on who a team has beaten. An 8-0 team with one win over a team with a winning record can be inferior to a 5-3 team that has played eight games against teams with winning records. 

It pays to look at who a team has beaten during the season. It’s also worth noting any close losses to really good teams. These types of games are an indication as to the real strength of a team.

Passing Yards – Overrated

The NFL is a passing league. There is no question about that, but too many bettors become obsessed with an NFL quarterback who has amassed a lot of yards. The betting public will almost always support the quarterback with more passing yards and a high-octane offense as opposed to the quarterback with modest stats. 

The problem with that is passing yards don’t mean all that much on their own. Teams can have tons of passing yards, but maybe they fail in the red zone. Teams with lots of passing yards may throw more often. A result of that could be more interceptions. 

Simply looking at passing yards tells you nothing other than a team has a lot of passing yards. This is something a losing sports bettor would do. As NFL betting factors go, bettors need to look at passing yards in conjunction with other stats.

Yards Per Attempt

While passing yards alone doesn’t tell bettors much, yards per attempt is underrated among NFL betting factors. In football, YPA is a significantly better metric to assess a quarterback’s throwing performance than passing yards. 

YPA is calculated by dividing the total number of passing attempts by the total passing yards. In the NFL, a strong QB has a YPA over 7. More information is provided by YPA than throwing yards. 

A quarterback needs to be accurate, able to locate open receivers for significant gains, and possess a strong offensive line and running game in order to maintain his composure under pressure. YPA provides a rapid indication of an offense’s efficiency, whereas passing yards does not. 

Rushing Yards vs. Yards Per Carry

Individual rushing yards are overrated. The audience enjoys hearing about impressive rushing efforts in the NFL. A 100-yard game draws headlines, and a player who rushes for double-digit totals throughout the season is revered. 

The issue, though, is that having one powerful runner doesn’t guarantee a team will succeed or even have a strong running game. If a player is a team’s sole viable running option, it may explain why he has high running stats. Or perhaps he is carrying the ball 35 times per game while only averaging 100 yards, which is not a very good average. 

Plus, one really strong performance can distort rushing yards, especially early in the season. Similar to passing yards, rushing yards alone don’t signify much. However, looking at a team’s yards per carry gives bettors more useful information.

Team yards per carry is underrated. This is a far better method of determining how successfully a football team runs the ball. The more successful an offensive line is, and the harder they are to defend against, the better a team’s yards per carry. The higher the average, the more their reliance on the run as a source of attack will likely be, and the more the opposing defense will need to prepare for that. You can get game scenario predictions from YPC. 

NFL Betting Factors – Sacks

A player ends the season with 20 sacks. That’s great but individual sacks are overrated. People love hearing about sacks since they are one of the top metrics. The issue is that players who accumulate sacks aren’t always as valuable as others believe. S

Some sack-producing players are defensive superstars, but other times they are more concerned with sacks. Often, pass rushing specialists aren’t nearly as good when they don’t get to the quarterback. When evaluating NFL defensive stars, you should focus more on their influence when they are unable to get a shot at the quarterback rather than how many sacks they have. 

Negative Passing Plays

If you really want to get a measure of how effective a defensive front is, look at negative pass play percentage (NPP%). This gauges the proportion of defensive plays that result in a sack or an interception. Sacks and interceptions are great for defenses.

The theory is that if the defensive line can consistently apply pressure on the quarterback, either of those scenarios are far more likely to occur frequently. The quarterback is more likely to make errors when under constant pressure, and he will undoubtedly be sacked more frequently. 

Even if a single player increases their team’s sack total, a team with a consistently high NPP% will make their opponent’s QB uncomfortable. Among NFL betting factors, this is a simple tool to utilize before placing bets.