NFL Net Yards Per Play: Are Seahawks Better Than Their Record?
While you’re handicapping NFL Week 7 odds, you may be in search of a new tool to apply to your step-by-step process. If so, NFL yards per play (YPP) is one that should be near the top of your checklist. Net yards per play — the difference between offensive and defensive performance on a per-play basis — gives a solid look at a team’s overall strength.
This report will be updated following each week of action and contains each team’s yards per play results on offense and defense, respectively. The “last three weeks” column captures the teams’ current form. If you see fit, one could be worth investing in for futures. You’ll want to look for undervalued teams, ones whose per-play strength isn’t reflected in their final scores due to luck or other factors.
Ahead of NFL Week 7 action, the Seahawks look like a potentially undervalued team. They’ve put together a solid 3-2 start, yes, but do they actually deserve better following a frustrating road loss in Cincinnati? We’ll take a look at their prospects as well as those of a few other teams.
NFL yards per play Explained
Yards per play — or YPP — is a handy metric for NFL bettors since it eliminates unpredictable variables, including turnovers, botched kicks, and scores via special teams. Ignoring randomness is a critical part of handicapping any sport. Therefore, yards per play on both sides of the ball helps indicate where a team is in the short term. Generally speaking, you will rarely find a below .500 team in the upper echelon of these rankings.
But like EPA, teams may be overvalued in the betting market if their YPP surges positively over a small sample size. You will see that various units — offensively, defensively, or both — benefited from playing weak competition in their first affair of the 2023 campaign. In turn, their output could be mis-contextualized.
Conversely, a team outperforming expectations against a presumably elite opponent is likely a sign of a positive trajectory.
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NFL Yards Per Play: Offense, Defense And Net
Here are the current yards per play numbers before Week 6 action. Conventional wisdom says dividing the net yards per play difference by 0.15 gives an approximate spread between two teams.
Furthermore, keep in mind that the more or fewer plays a team runs/defends, these numbers could wind up skewed in either direction.
|Team||YPP||Opp. YPP||Net YPP||Last 3 Weeks NYPP|
Standout Teams In NFL yards per play
The box score indicates a sound victory for the Seahawks in Week 6. They dominated basically across the board: 24-15 in first downs, 381-214 in total yards, 5.4-4 in NFL yards per play.
Unfortunately for the Seahawks, box score victories don’t count in the standings. And since they went -1 turnovers and more importantly, 1-for-5 in the red zone (Cincinnati was 2-for-2), they took a frustrating L.
It’s the second such Houdini act for the Bengals after they escaped against the Rams as well. Something to keep in mind on their end as well going forward, but they could look different after the bye if Joe Burrow’s injury situation improves.
Focusing on the Seahawks, they now sit 1 1/2 games behind San Francisco but have yet to engage with them on the field. Seattle sports very long divisional odds despite the Niners also enduring a Week 6 loss. Unfortunately for the Hawks, both meetings come in November/December when the 49ers would presumably be healthier. Still, it would be fair for bettors to wonder about the long price on Seattle if the injury-riddled 49ers stumble.
Seattle has a fairly tough stretch coming up. After home against Arizona they have: vs. CLE, @ BAL, vs. WAS, @ LAR. A 3-1 showing would be difficult but possible. That would put Seattle in position to contend with the 49ers, hosting them as likely modest underdogs.
Monitor Seattle’s injury report as this team tries to get healthy, but they deserved a better fate against Cincinnati.
Other Teams Of Note
Arizona started the year off with some pretty strong NFL yards per play numbers as noted here. However, the “last three weeks” column tells a different tale. Since the shocking win over Dallas, Arizona has gotten thumped by a combined 95-45, missing market expectations by an average of about eight points. Adjust your ratings accordingly, as it looks like Arizona has settled in as the bottom-five team that was expected in the preseason.
Jacksonville continues to confound. Yards per play numbers think this team is due for a fall. No matter how you slice up their season, the Jags’ YPP numbers do not look good.
Bettors must decide how much of that is due to game state, though. Keep in mind the Jaguars had double-digit leads early in each of the past two games. Was Doug Pederson taking his foot off the gas and trying to cruise to a mistake-free finish? Or is the other shoe going to drop for this team at some point?
Cleveland also merits a look this week. The market expected devastating consequences for plugging in PJ Walker against San Francisco, steaming the 49ers as high as -10 from look-ahead lines around -4.
All Walker did was lead a 19-17 victory that was anything but fraudulent. The Browns outgained the Niners 4.8 to 3.9 in a tight game all the way. If that performance is any indication, Cleveland should keep its head above water going forward, no matter when Watson returns.
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