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Which teams outperform their pre-season in the regular season?

Author
by Mark Knight
August 13th 2019, 3:13pm

At OSBNJ we've often wondered how much NFL pre-season actually means to a team's performance in the months-long slog of the regular season.

So, we got to work and did the math. We've been through every team's record in the pre-season and regular season dating back to 2010. Below are our conclusions and what it means for betting on this year's National Football League.

AFC Teams

The Patriots Improve

Ok, so this one might seem obvious, but the Patriots do improve on their pre-season performances almost every single season.

Since 2010, other than last season's 11-5 (.688) record in regular season play, the Pats have either equaled or bettered their performance in the warm-up games - often by a lot.

In 2017 they went 1-3 in preseason (.250) before a .813 winning percentage in regular-season play. An improvement of .563. Taken as an average over the last nine seasons, the Patriots improve by a league-leading .257 from pre to regular season. Their winning percentage before labor day is .528, increasing to .785 after.

Kansas City almost always gets better

The team with the second-best percentage improvement going into the season is the Kansas City Chiefs.

The only season they didn't improve their pre-season record was 2015, where they actually went 4-0 in the meaningless games. That aside, they have improved their record in six of the other eight seasons, which equates to a winning percentage increase of .167.

 

How this might play for this season