There are just eight NFL teams remaining in the race for the Vince Lombardi Trophy and as the number of teams gets smaller and smaller, I feel more and more justified by talking about how important my favorite stat, Net Yards per Play, truly is.
Seven of the eight remaining teams in the playoffs rank inside the top nine in Net Yards per Play this season. The Buccaneers, who won the lowly NFC South and beat the imploding Philadelphia Eagles in the first round, are the only outlier.
But, before I dive into it any further, let me explain what Net Yards per Play is to anyone who isn't aware.
What is Net Yards per Play?
Net Yards per Play is the figure you're left with when you take the average yards gained per play on offense and then subtract the average yards given up per play on defense.
Remember, Net Yards per Play doesn't take into account things like penalties, turnovers, and red zone efficiency. With that being said, it's a good starting point to see how well a team moves the ball down the field while preventing their opponents from doing so.
If you want my best bet for every game on the Divisional Round slate, you can find them in the latest edition of the Road to 272 Bets here.
Net Yards per Play Standings for Divisional Round
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Packers are hottest team in the NFL
If you take a look at the spread sheet above, there's one key area I want you to look at and that's where each team ranks over their last three games.
It's the Green Bay Packers who are a step above the rest, sporting a Net Yards per Play of +2.1 over their last three games. That could be huge heading into this weekend as often times the winner of the playoffs isn't always the best team, but the hottest team that's playing their best football of the season.
The next closest team is the Chiefs, who come in at +1.4, followed by the Texans at +1.3.
Unfortunately, for Lions fans, they're last amongst all playoff teams over their last three games, with a Net Yards per Play mark of -0.3.
If you think the Packers can stay hot this weekend, you may want to bet on them as 9.5-point underdogs to the 49ers.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.