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Football Betting With Yards Per Point


Updated September 01, 2011

Football Betting With Yards Per Point

In many ways, sports gamblers are a step ahead of the general public when it comes to statistics. Football bettors have used Yards Per Pass Attempt as a measure of rating team's passing game for years, long before it became a generally used statistic by everyone.

Sports bettors who wager on college football or basketball have used Average Opponent's Power Rating for decades, and the stat is now commonly used by the public under the guise of Strength of Schedule.

But there's another statistic that football bettors have used for years that hasn't caught on with the public yet and that is Yards Per Point. Yards Per Point is a quick and easy method that lets football bettors access the offensive and defensive strength of a particular team.

It's important to note that while Yards Per Point can be used for college football, its primary use is for the NFL, as there is less of a difference in the relative strength of schedule in the professional game than there is in the college game.

How Yards Per Point Works

To calculate the Yards Per Point of any team you will need several statistics that are readily available; the points the team has scored and allowed, as well as the offensive yards gained and the defensive yards allowed by the team.

To get the team's offensive Yards Per Point simply divide the offensive yards gained by the number of points scored. (If the statistics available to you are per game, you can simply use those, as it will yield the same result as using season statistics.

In 2007, the New England Patriots averaged 411.2 offensive yards per game and scored 36.8 points per game. To get New England's offensive Yards Per Point (YPP) take 411.2 and divide by 36.8 to get a total of 11.17. What this means is that the Patriots averaged one point for every 11.17 yards they gained.

One the other hand, a team like the 4-12 Kansas City Chiefs averaged 276.8 yards of offense per game and scored an average of 14.1 points per game. Kansas City's offensive YPP is then 19.63 (276.8/14.1 = 19.63). Therefore, Kansas City scored an average of one point for every 19.63 yards gained.

Naturally, a low number is best for offense, as the fewer yards the team needs to travel before scoring, the better.

Defensive YPP figures are calculated in the same manner, except that yards allowed and points allowed are used. New England allowed 288.3 yards and 17.1 points per game, so their defensive YPP would be 16.86. Kansas City allowed 319.4 yards per game and surrendered 20.9 points per game and would have a defensive YPP rating of 15.28.

Uses of Yards Per Point

There is really no limit to the uses of YPP calculations. Some bettors will use season statistics, while others will use just statistics from the past four to six weeks. Others, still, will use both.

One of the most popular methods for using YPP is simply taking the yards allowed by each team and dividing by the opposition's offensive YPP to come up with a quick predicted score.

For example, using our Kansas City and New England statistics from above, we see that the Chiefs allow and average of 319.4 defensive yards per game. Divide that figure by New England's offensive YPP rating of 11.17 and we get a quick figure of 28.6, which is New England's predicted score.

New England allowed 288.3 yards per game, which divided by Kansas City's offensive YPP number of 19.63 would yield a predicted score of 14.7. Therefore, our quick YPP figures make New England 13.9 points better than Kansas City with a predicted total of 43.3 points.

In future articles we'll look at more uses of Yards Per Point in action, but now you should have a decent understanding of the concept and may want to do some experimenting on your own.

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