How to Read Football Team Stats

Football Statistics

I am pretty sure that most football fans, and people wanting to bet on the NFL have one thing in common, they enjoy reading and analyzing this great game. What most do not realize is that in order to properly place football bets they need to learn how to read, analyze, and understand football statistics. There are two different types of statistics when it comes to the NFL, team and individual player stats. Learning how each work and combining them will allow the bettor to make better picks when it comes to betting on the NFL matchups. For this section, we will discuss the importance of team stats, and some examples and explanations of each. There is a lot to be said about a person that does their own research and makes their own decision based on that, instead of simply going with the popular opinion.


Team Statistics

This is the best choice to start researching about any kind of NFL stats, as they are broader and can paint the bigger picture for the bettor. There is a long list of factors that need to be taken into account when talking about team stats, and there are four main factors that are used to determine rankings in the team’s respective league. These four are Points, Total Yards, Passing Yards, and Rushing Yards. There are other more specific stats as well, but that list is much longer.


This represents the total amount of points they have accumulated throughout the preseason, regular season, and the playoffs. This helps determine how they are ranked versus the other teams in their league, as well as giving a little insight into how well they play overall.

Total Yards

Total yard’s is the combination of passing and rushing yards, and is also a good tool to determine ranking. The team that has more total yards is usually the team that has maintained more possession of the ball, and is more likely to have scored more; at least it would seem to stop the opposing team from scoring.

Passing Yards

Passing yards determines how well the offense has done defending the pass plays, as well as insight into how well the QB and the receivers are working together. It will also let the bettor know what kind of team they are, a passing or rushing team.

Rushing Yards

Rushing yards is the amount of yards gained after completing running plays. This tells the bettor how strong the team is at covering and blocking for the runner in comparison with the other teams in the NFL.


Other Team Stats

There are other team stats; in fact there is a huge selection. We will focus on the main stats that will help a bettor decide how well the team is doing in comparison with their opponents. Some of these other stats are First Downs, Third-Down Conversions, Sacks, Field Goals, Time of Possession, Touchdowns, and Turnover Ratio.

Total First Downs

This stat may not seem very important but it is. It tells the bettor how good the team is at moving the ball up the field. Unless the team does very well and does not need as many first downs to score, then the fact of the matter is that teams that can get first downs are the dominating team.

Third-down Conversions

The ratio of completed versus failed efforts at  attempting third-down conversions is important since it shows how well the team acts under pressure and if they are able to play in sync well enough to get a first down. Most defensive lines like to rush the QB during the third downs, which is why this ratio important on how the QB performs, as well as the team’s offensive line.


This is a very important defensive line stat, as it tells the bettor how good the team is at rushing the QB and actually taking him down before he can throw a pass. This stat can be added in with the interception ratio, as it speaks volumes of the QB, and the opposing team’s defense.

Field Goals

Kickers are under a lot of pressure during a match, as they hardly get any playing time and are more often than not, used to tie or win a close game. Having a good field goal ratio would tell a bettor that the team does well when a field goal can mean the difference between a win and a loss.

Time of Possession

The regular match time is of four 15-minute quarters, and whichever team holds the ball for the most time, is said to have an advantage, as they set the pace for the game. It is believed that the team that has the ball longest has more possibilities of scoring and winning. This may be true in some cases, but the bettor needs to determine if the teams that have low possession are good at scoring fast and stopping the other team during long periods of time. This is why is it crucial that the bettor take into account all the stats and not just cherry-pick the ones that are favorable.


Teams with higher amounts of touchdowns, when compared to their opponents, usually means that they have greater odds of winning future matches. This should be taken with a grain of salt as good team play can be ruined in an instant due to injury.

Turnover Ratio

This is also a very important stat that every bettor should know and understand. This ratio will help the bettor realize if the team has higher chances of interceptions, fumbles, or simply bad gameplay involving fourth-down turnovers.



This is the broadest selection of stats there are, as they relate to the entire team performance. By learning and understanding team stats in football, the bettor is well-prepared to make a smart choice when putting down a bet in an NFL matchup. This will get the bettor prepared for learning more specific stats that can affect the outcome of match, which are the individual player stats.