NFL predictions - Using a teams record in one-score games to predict regular-season win totals

Joe Mixon
Photo of Jake Apperley

Jake Apperley


Show Bio

Co-founder of Pickswise. A fan of all sports with a passion for the NFL and Premier League soccer. An avid sports bettor who loves fading the public, taking ugly dogs, and the under. Go Pack Go! For Jake Apperley media enquiries, please email

Now that the NFL Draft is in the books, we can focus our attention on analyzing the 2020 NFL season win totals ahead of the schedule release, rumored to be between May 7-9.

Due to the NFL season being so short, there’s a considerable amount of variance in the 16 game regular season. One play here or there, a turnover, or a blown call by a ref can often decide games. Luckily, for us as sports bettors, several underlying metrics have historically been useful in projecting whether teams are likely to improve or decline in their previous season wins. This three-part series will look at the metrics which are, one-score games, turnover margin and fumble recovery rate, and the Pythagorean Theorem.

The first part of the series is going to be looking at teams record in one-score games.

Record In One-Score Games

Teams should win around 50% of games that are decided by seven points or fewer. If a team posts a record which is severely above or below the average in those games in one season, they’ll regress to near 50 percent the following season.

Below are the teams who had extreme results in one-score games, what their 2019 record was, and what it would have been if the scores were flipped in one-score games.

2019 Underachievers

These teams should see some positive movement on their 2020 season win totals:

  • LA Chargers 5-11, one-score games flipped (12-4)
  • Cincinnati Bengals 2-14 (9-7)
  • Dallas Cowboys 8-8 (13-3)
  • Detroit Lions 3-12-1 (7-8-1)
  • Carolina Panthers 5-11 (8-8)
  • New York Giants 4-12 (7-9)
  • Cleveland Browns 6-10 (9-7)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-9 (10-6)

2019 Overachievers

These teams should see some negative movement on their 2020 season win totals:

  • Baltimore Ravens 14-2, one-score games flipped (10-6)
  • New Orleans Saints 13-3 (8-8)
  • Green Bay Packers 13-3 (8-8)
  • Seattle Seahawks 11-5  (4-12)
  • Houston Texans 10-6 (5-11)
  • New York Jets 7-9 (3-13)
  • Oakland Raiders 7-9 (4-12)

2019 One-Score Games Flipped Standings

Here’s how the full NFL standings and every teams’ record would have looked if every one-score game was flipped in 2019 (teams actual record is in parenthesis).

AFC West

Chargers 12-4 (5-11)
Chiefs 11-5 (12-4)
Broncos 7-9 (7-9)
Raiders 4-12 (7-9)

AFC East

Patriots 11-5 (12-4)
Bills 10-6 (10-6)
Jets 3-13 (7-9)
Dolphins 3-13 (5-11)

AFC North

Ravens 10-6 (14-2)
Browns 9-7 (6-10)
Bengals 9-7 (2-14)
Steelers 7-9 (8-8)

AFC South

Titans 9-7 (9-7)
Colts 8-8 (7-9)
Jaguars 7-9 (6-10)
Texans 5-11 (10-6)

49ers Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo getting the crowd pumped up.

© Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

NFC West

49ers 11-5 (13-3)
Rams 9-7 (9-7)
Cardinals 7-8-1 (5-10-1)
Seahawks 4-12 (11-5)

NFC East

Cowboys 13-3 (8-8)
Eagles 10-6 (9-7)
Giants 7-9 (4-12)
Redskins 4-12 (3-13)

NFC North

Vikings 12-4 (10-6)
Packers 8-8 (13-3)
Lions 7-8-1 (3-12-1)
Bears 5-11 (8-8)

NFC South

Buccaneers 10-6 (7-9)
Saints 8-8 (13-3)
Panthers 8-8 (5-11)
Falcons 7-9 (7-9)

2020 Season Win Totals

Patrick Mahomes holding Lamar Hunt Trophy

© Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

AFC West

Chargers 7.5
Chiefs 11.5
Broncos 7.5
Raiders 7

AFC East

Patriots 9
Bills 9
Jets 6.5
Dolphins 6

AFC North

Ravens 11
Browns 8
Bengals 5.5
Steelers 9.5

AFC South

Titans 8.5
Colts 8.5
Jaguars 5
Texans 7.5

NFC West

49ers 10.5
Rams 8
Cardinals 7
Seahawks 9

NFC East

Cowboys 9.5
Eagles 9.5
Giants 6.5
Redskins 5.5

NFC North

Vikings 9
Packers 9
Lions 7
Bears 7.5

NFC South

Buccaneers 10
Saints 10
Panthers 5.5
Falcons 7

A great starting point for us, next we need to take into account other statistical factors such as turnover margin and fumble recovery rate and the Pythagorean Theorem before wagering. We also need to look at qualitative factors such as roster changes during free agency, the NFL Draft, and scheduling spots.

Stay tuned for the next part of the series.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook
Bet $5+ and Receive $200 in Bonus Bets!

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account

Bet $5 on any sporting event

Receive $200 in Bonus Bets

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. 21+
Bet $1 and Get $365 in Bonus Bets!

Register for a new bet365 account

Place qualifying bets of $1 or more

Get $365 in bonus bets - no matter if your bet wins or loses

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. 21+. Physically present in OH, CO, NJ, VA, IA. Eligibility restrictions apply. Subject to regulatory licensing requirements. Opt-in req. Valid 1 per customer.
Bet $5, Get $200 in Bonus Bets Instantly + Up to $150 in No Sweat Bets!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on any sports market and get $200 in bonus bets instantly

Plus up to $150 back in bonus bets if your team loses!

Gambling Problem? Call 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (CO/IL/IN/LA/MD/MI/NJ/PA/TN/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS), 888-789-7777/visit (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA). 21+ (18+ WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/KS/LA(select parishes)/MD/MI/NJ/NY/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Void in OH/ONT. Eligibility restrictions apply. Valid 1 per new customer. Min. $5 deposit. Min. $5 bet. $200 issued as bonus bets that expire 7 days (168 hours) after being awarded. See terms at
Caesars Sportsbook
$1,000 First Bet on Caesars!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account and Place your 1st wager of $10 or more

Place your first wager of $50 or more and get $50 bonus bet upon settlement of your first wager

You will receive an additional $50 bonus bet each subsequent Monday

21+. New users and first wager only. Must register with eligible promo code. Bet amount of qualifying wager returned only if wager is settled as a loss. Min. bet $50; must be used within 14 days of receipt. See for full terms. Void where prohibited. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Get $1,500 Paid Back in Bonus Bets if you Don't Win Your First Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,500!

Get refunded up to $1,500 in bonus bets if you don't win

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER CO, IL, IN, LA, MD, MS, NJ, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY, MA 21+ to wager. Please Gamble Responsibly. Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS, NV), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI). Visit for Terms & Conditions. US promotional offers not available in DC, Nevada, New York or Ontario
Bet $50, Get $111 in Fred Bets + Up To $1,000 Back!

Sign up for a new account with Betfred Sports and make your first deposit

Place a $50 wager on any sport

Get $111 in Fred Bets + Up To $1,000 Back in Losses over 5 Week!

Must be 21+. T&Cs apply. Wagers only accepted in CO, AZ, IA, OH, VA, MD. Full terms available from Betfred Sports.
Get Up To $1,000 in Second Chance Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

If any of your first 10 cash bets lose (first bet per day for 10 days)

You will receive Bonus Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $100 each.

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. 21+. Physically present in. Eligibility restrictions apply. Subject to regulatory licensing requirements. Opt-in req. Valid 1 per customer.
Get up to $500 Back in Bonus Bets if your First Bet Doesn't Win

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code SPORTS

Make your first deposit & and bet up to $500

If your first bet loses, get up to $500 back in bonus bets

Must be 21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF
Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus

Create a new DraftKings Sportsbook account and make your first deposit (min $5)

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.
Underdog Fantasy
First deposit is 100% matched up to $500 with Underdog Fantasy!

Sign up for a new account with Underdog Fantasy

Make your first deposit

Every dollar (up to $500) will be matched! Deposit $25, get $50; deposit $100, get $200, etc

Must be 21+ to play. Terms & conditions apply
By signing up you agree to our terms and privacy policy