The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

5 Factors that Affect an NFL Game


As predictable as football can sometimes be, there are times when some other factors will affect the outcomes of a game. One moment, you’re very confident about a team’s ability to cover their spread, but when the game ends, they miss out on covering a single point, losing your bet.

That said, things don’t go as expected most of the time. Sometimes, the most unexpected thing will happen, like an underdog will win the game or the wind suddenly going in the wrong direction and affecting the ball’s trajectory. With that in mind, what factors affect the outcome of a game? Here are some of them.

Coaching Staff

Most people focus on the players of the team. However, they can only do so much without the help of the coaching staff. In all honesty, there should also be a draft pick for coaches, as they affect the game significantly. For example, a head coach alone has many roles to fulfill in a game.

He’s not just there on the sidelines yelling at the players. He has to carry out the postgame analysis and pre-game planning. Heck, even when there’s no game, he still has a lot of things to do, like making sure that the players are well-trained or keeping the players hyped up for the game. Above all else, he’s there to lead the team on and off the field. They even affect the NFL odds.

Playing Style

A game of football is like a game of chess. You assess the opposing team’s playstyle and determine their strengths and weaknesses. The respective styles of both teams greatly impact the outcome of the game. Yes, the individual or the team’s skill plays a huge role in the outcome of the game but with their playstyle being directly countered, they are most likely to lose.

Usually, this can be determined by how the coach leads his team. Does the coach have an aggressive playstyle? How is he with defense? The answer to this is not immediately obvious, but when you know the playstyle of a coach, you’ll have a good insight into how the game will be played and even the outcome.


If you look at the NFL information, you can usually see where the game will take place. That said, the venue also plays a huge factor in the outcome of the games. Many people dismiss its importance, and that’s where they’re wrong. When discussing the game’s venue, the one thing that comes to people’s minds is the home-field advantage.

Usually, a team with a home-field advantage has a higher chance of winning. But of course, there are a lot of variables in that statement. For example, some teams play better on their home field, while others are better on the road. Not only that, but it also comes down to preferences. There are places that teams hate to visit, and there are also venues that they like to play in.


For bettors, looking at the schedule of a team is very important. Why? This is because by looking at the schedule, you can gauge how tired the team is. In a regular season, it’s not uncommon for a team to play several games in a single week. This is even worse when they’re on the road constantly. If a team is too tired to play, they will do badly in their next game. The distance is also included in this equation.

For example, a West Coast team must fly to the East for several games throughout the season. While this isn’t too bad, if two games are closed together, that can affect them significantly, especially when the games are in the afternoons. This is because the body, during that time, will tell their minds that it’s still morning due to the difference in the time zones. Try playing with that on a high level.


The weather is probably the largest of all the factors discussed in this article. While you may argue that both teams will be playing in the same weather, it all comes down to how they will manage to play. Some teams are very adaptable and can adjust to the weather quickly. Some teams are slow to adapt and will have a hard time playing in the same condition. This is especially true if the condition is extreme, like snow or a storm.

Final Words

Many factors affect NFL games, but the ones discussed above are some of the most common. That said, you can also use these factors for betting since they can give you insight into how the game will end. However, remember that sometimes, the unexpected will happen in the games, especially in an unpredictable sport like football and that there are a lot of factors that could affect the game in just a matter of seconds.

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