Defensive Real QBR, Intelligence Index Leaders Keep Driving Amazing Returns Against-the-Spread

Cameron Smith

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In case you missed it, one ColdHardFootballFacts Quality Stat is driving better than 61 percent returns against-the-spread among its best and worst teams, making it the easiest betting formula in the NFL. You don't need an advanced degree in mathematics to build out the model to get these returns, either; just subscribe to ColdHardFootballFacts and follow these steps to win big in Week 17 and the playoffs.

For years, we've touted the proprietary ColdHardFootballFacts Intelligence Index to drive winning bets both straight-up and against-the-spread. This season has been no exception, with the Intelligence Index driving winning results to the tune of 58 percent success ATS among the Index's top-five. Still, as we mentioned earlier in December, another Quality Stat has emerged as an even-better driver against-the-spread, and it continues to climb as the season rolls on. Yes, we're referring to Defensive Real Quarterback Rating, because the leaders and losers of the stat are still killing it against-the-spread if you know how to bet them: Defensive Real QBR leads are 61.1 percent winners among the top-five in the stat, and 40.5 percent against-the-spread among the bottom five.

RELATED: CHFF Intelligence Index Leaders Still Near 60 Percent Against-the-Spread in 2020

First, an understanding of what the stat measures. Defensive Real QBR is essentially the reverse of Real QBR; it measures how well a team defends an opposing team's passing game, and particularly the quarterback. Yet it does so in a way that is more representative of modern quarterbacks because of the way it incorporates a quarterback's running threat; essentially, Real QBR values both passing and rushing attempts as attempts, rather than just passing attempts, as in traditional QBR. Thus, Defensive Real QBR is an incredibly accurate measure of how well a defense can limit an opposing quarterback's effectiveness himself, without factoring in that team's running backs and other parts of its ground attack.

In 2020, Defensive Real QBR has been hitting at a rate that is nearly unprecedented among the leaders. Nearly as importantly, the teams at the bottom of those standings are losing games against-the-spread that's almost exactly as predictive. First, here's how the top-five teams in Defensive Real QBR are faring against-the-spread:

TEAM
DEFENSIVE REAL QBR SCORE
RECORD
RECORD ATS
ATS PERCENTAGE
Pittsburgh Steelers
65.16 (1st)
12-3
9-6
60.0 %
Los Angeles Rams
69.82 (2nd)
9-6
8-7
53.3 %
Washington Football Team
73.17 (3rd)
6-9
8-5-2
61.5 %
New Orleans Saints
76.00 (4th)
11-4
8-6-1
57.1 %
Miami Dolphins
76.43 (5th)
10-5
11-4
73.3 %

Run the math, and you come out with a 61 percent winning record against-the-spread among the Defensive Real QBR top-five. In other words, if you bet ATS on each one of these top-five teams every week, you'll win more than six out of every 10 of those bets, a margin greater than the sharps in Las Vegas can brag about.

But what about the other end of the spectrum? Well, believe it or not, that's just as determinate. Here's how that shakes out:

TEAM
DEFENSIVE REAL QBR SCORE
RECORD
RECORD ATS
ATS PERCENTAGE
Tennessee Titans
92.16 (28th)
10-5
7-8
46.6 %
Atlanta Falcons
94.18 (29th)
4-11
7-8
46.6 %
Houston Texans
99.83 (30th)
4-11
5-10
33.3 %
Jacksonville Jaguars
102.08 (31st)
1-14
6-9
40.0 %
Detroit Lions
103.14 (32nd)
5-10
5-9-1
35.7 %

These numbers all pan out to 40.5 percent against-the-spread, 9.5 points below break-even. In other words, betting against these five teams against-the-spread week-in, week-out should yield a win roughly six out of every 10 wagers.

The key here is to play both the top-five and fade the bottom five simultaneously. Across 2020, that would yield you a 12 wins out of every 20 bets against-the-spread, a mark sure to deliver serious bankrolls.

It's incredibly rare to find a return that is better and more consistent over the course of a season than the Intelligence Index, but the Defensive Real QBR index achieved just that. For the record, the Intelligence Index looks set to finish the regular season at or near 59 percent against-the-spread among the top-five, but even those numbers can't compete with Defensive Real QBR's huge edge.