NFL Week 5 By the Numbers
Week 5 in the National Football League was another interesting one, with another obvious betting trend for us to chew on. It seems every week there is a betting trend that if we are able to identify during game time, we could turn it into a very profitable weekend. I will look at the week that was number 5 and get you the information surrounding the numbers and throw out some of the best storylines of the week.
With a couple teams on a bye this week, we had 15 games on the schedule with two of them closing at PK. We had six games close at 7 points or more, with 4 of those 6 covering. All toll, the favorite was 7-5-1 in Week 5.
However, of those 5 underdogs that covered, they not only won against the spread, but they also won straight up. Those teams included Cleveland (+3), Buffalo (+7), Arizona (+3) and Minnesota (+3). That makes every week so far this NFL season that at least three underdogs won SU.
The total record was very close this week, and didn’t offer any great trends with the OVER 8-7. Interestingly enough though, as we have seen throughout the season, the lowest total (38) went UNDER (TEN vs. BUF) and the highest total (57) went OVER (ATL vs. PIT). This has been a common theme for both full game and second half totals.
The biggest betting trend for NFL Week 5 was found in second half point spreads, where the underdog was 9-5, with one game closing at PK. Two games closed at 6.5, with the favorite winning both of those, but the dog won a spread of 6 (SEA).
The second half total trends have leveled out after the UNDER went 12-2-2 in Week 3 second half totals, with the OVER going 8-7 this week. The trend of the lowest total going UNDER and the highest total going OVER continued though.
The lowest total was seen in the TEN vs. BUF game at 18.5, and went well UNDER with only 12 second half points scored. The highest second half total closed in the ATL vs. PIT game at 28 with 35 points scored in the second half.
This is one trend that has been consistent through the first 5 weeks, and I have capitalized on it in the past two weeks. It takes some guess work, as you are not sure exactly which game will finish with the high and low totals, but a closer look shows the full game and second half low and high totals in the same game.
I am going to continue to bet this trend until it proves me wrong for a couple weeks. It seems no matter how high oddsmakers put the highest scoring second half totals, the teams are outscoring it, and the opposite is the same for low scoring games. Keep a close eye on this and see how it pans out the next few weeks.
The average second half total for Week 5 was 23.3. The seven second half totals that went UNDER were 21.5, 18.5, 21, 24, 24.5, 23.5 and 26.5.
If you have been following my Week 5 by the numbers column, you know I always throw out some storylines surrounding the numbers. This week is very easy after Drew Brees passed Peyton Manning as the NFL’s all-time passing leader. Coming into the game Brees needed 201 passing yards to eclipse Manning’s record of 71,940, and did so with a 62-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith.
Brees had 250 by halftime, including two touchdown passes. He finished the game with 499 career touchdowns, and could have joined Tom Brady in the 500 TD Club, a club Brady himself joined in Week 5. The fact that there are only currently only three players in NFL history that have 500 or more touchdowns, Manning (539), Favre (508) and Brady (500), and two almost hit that mark in the same week offers odds that only the greatest of mathematicians could comprehend.
I could not let you go without talking about the numbers around kickers in Week 5. Placekicking in general has been terrible this season, I mean the Browns could be 5-0 if it weren’t for a few bad kicks, OK, maybe more than a few.
Week 5 took the cake though with 10 missed field goals and 5 missed extra points. Mason Crosby alone missed 4 field goals and an extra point, while Caleb Sturgis missed his fourth XP and Chris Boswell missed his 3rd extra point. It is unbelievable that professional football placekickers are having such trouble finding the uprights.
I do need to give some props to Graham Gano though. In Week 5, he was a perfect 4 for 4 on field goals (47, 47, 39, 63) and 3 for 3 on extra points. To top it off, he kicked a 63-yarder with 1 second remaining to help his Carolina Panthers beat the New York Giants 33-31.
I hope you had as much fun reading about NFL Week 5 by the numbers as I did writing about them. Stay with me next week and all throughout the season when I will breakdown the betting numbers from every week in the NFL.
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