Calculated Relative Spread (NFL) Formula Explained

This is a detailed explanation of the exclusive Calculated Relative Spread (CRS) formula as it pertains to NFL match ups.  Quite simply it's the use of several key statistics which, when given a value and added up, result in a numeric value for a teams relative strength, or value, entering the contest.  The differential of the teams'  values is the CRS.  We'll then use the CRS in relation to the actual spread to determine our recommended bet, as well as the number of units to bet.

For example:  If the Steelers are a 7 point favorite over the Browns according to the Vegas line, but the CRS has them as a 10 point favorite, we'll recommend Pittsburgh based on the favorable rating, for 2 units.  Conversely, if the CRS calculates the Steelers as just a 5 point favorite, we'll recommend Cleveland for 1 unit.

The following is an explanation of each of the categories in the CSR.   How value is determined, and how we finally arrive at the recommended bet.

Simple Rating System (SRS):

Team quality relative to average (0.0) as measured by SRS (Simple Rating System)

SRS = Margin of victory + Strength of schedule = Offensive SRS + Defensive SRS

The difference in SRS can be considered a point spread by itself (add about 2 points for home field advantage)

The value for the SRS is simply the rating itself.  The SRS can be found at

Drive Scoring Average (Sc%):

Percentage of drives ending in an offensive score.  Value given based on the schedule below:

Rank          Value                    Rank          Value                    Rank          Value

1-4                +1.5                      13-20           0                          25-28           -1

5-8               +1                          21-24          -0.5                      29-32           -1.5

9-12             +0.5

Defense (ppg):

Points per game given up.  Value given based on the schedule below:

Rank          Value                    Rank          Value                    Rank          Value

1-4                +1.5                      13-20           0                          25-28           -1

5-8               +1                          21-24          -0.5                      29-32           -1.5

9-12             +0.5

QB Rating:

The NFL passer rating formula includes four variables: completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns per attempt, and interceptions per attempt. Each of those variables is scaled to a value between 0 and 2.375, with 1.0 being statistically average (based on league data between 1960-1970). When the formula was first created, a 66.7 rating indicated an average performance, and a 100+ rating indicated an excellent performance.[3] However, passing performance has improved steadily since then and in 2008 the league average rating was 83.2.[4] A perfect passer rating (158.3) requires at least a 77.5% completion rate, 12.5+ yards per attempt, a touchdown on at least 11.875% of attempts, and no interceptions.[1]

The value given based on the schedule below:

Rating               Value                         Rating               Value                      Rating               Value

102.0 and up     +1.5                         93.0 - 95.9              0                          87.0 - 89.9         -1

99.0 - 101.9        +1                            90.0 - 92.9            -0.5                       86.9 and less     -1.5

96.0 - 98.9         +0.5                        87.0 - 89.9             -1

Home Field:

The general rule of thumb is that the home field advantage is worth 3 points, so that is the value we place on this category.


Just like it says, the sum total of all the above values given in each category.

Calculated Relative Spread:

The differential between the teams totals.  The team with the highest total will be deemed the CRS favorite by the amount of the differential.

Number of Units to Bet:

I use a scale of 1 to 5 units.  Based on the differential between the Vegas spread and the CRS.  The recommended bet, of course, goes to the team with the favorable CRS relative to the Vegas spread using the following differential (unit) schedule:

0  (1 unit on the underdog)                               4.1 - 6.0        (3 units)

0.01 - 2.0     (1 unit)                                            6.1 - 8.0        (4 units)

2.1 - 4.0        (2 units)                                         8.1 and up     (5 units)

I hope you find this handicapping tool useful this NFL season and as always, I welcome any questions or comments.