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4 Cool Stats About the NFL International Game

Matt Cullen

By Matt Cullen

August 14, 2013

NFL International Series Game London Game Field resized 600I think I speak for all of us by saying, “I miss NFL Football.”

Well have no fear, because the 2013-14 NFL Season is less than a month away!

The start of the NFL season has a different meaning for everyone. It could mean the start of your favorite team’s quest for the Super Bowl. Or it could mean your quest for Fantasy Football supremacy.

Whatever the meaning, this season marks a historic one for the National Football League. It’s the first season that will feature two International Games in London!

The NFL International Game is an amazing experience for fans that get to travel to the games as well as citizens of England who rarely get a taste of American Football.

The experience, however, is even more important for the teams/ players who play in these games. Yes, it’s a chance to travel abroad and experience a different culture, but it’s also a game that has a vital impact on their season.

Performance in the NFL International Game can make or break a team’s season and we have the stats to prove it!

Here are four cool stats you probably didn’t know about the NFL International Game:

Favored Teams Almost Always Win

nfl international series game tickets quintevents resized 600Looking to watch an upset? You’ll probably not get one from the NFL International Game.

Favored teams have dominated the International Game since its inception in 2005. Favored teams are 6-1 in International Games with the lone loss in 2008 (New Orleans 37, San Diego (-3) 32).

Favored teams are expected to win, but with the increase of parody amongst NFL teams, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for favored teams to win week-after-week. However, with the distance that needs to be traveled to attend the International Game, the time change, and added interest, it’s not surprising that the favored teams are doing so well when it comes to these games.

Pick to Cover

Not sure if you’re the gambling type, but there are some pretty good odds with the NFL International Game.

Since its inception, the favored team has a 5-2 record against the spread. For those who aren’t gamblers, here's an explanation. Covering the spread means a team who is favored by a certain number of points wins the game by that number of points, or more. Favored teams have done this five out of the seven International Games.

Those are some pretty good odds considering Las Vegas like to see a 50/50 split with favorites/underdogs. So, if you are thinking of putting some money down on the next NFL International Game (legally of course!), the best bet is on the favored team to cover the spread.

Winners Will Win. Losers Will Lose

Performance in the NFL International Game can dictate the rest of a team’s season. Historically, teams who’ve won the International Game have a combined 32-30 record for rest of the season. Not a great mark by any means, but significantly better than the losing side.

Defeated teams have a combined 18-43-1 record for the rest of the season after the International Game. Performance in London may or may not be an indicator for the rest of the year, but it’s hard to ignore these compelling stats.

Win and You’re Probably In

nfl international series tickets quintevents resized 600Playoff appearances could be on the line at the NFL International Game. Looking at historical performance, the winning team has a much better chance of making the playoffs than the losing team.

Winning teams have made the playoffs 43% of the time for that particular year and 14% have won the Super Bowl (New York Giants, 2008). Losing teams have made the playoffs 14% for the given year and no losing team has won the Super Bowl.

With a short, 16-game season, every game could make or break a team’s season. That is particularly true with the NFL International Game. Win and increase you’re team’s chance of winning the Super Bowl!


See the International Game in London