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  • Writer's pictureAvoid the Vig

Turnover Differential - NFL Week 5

There are millions of people that bet on sports, but only a few are truly successful at betting the NFL. One of the wiseguy secrets is using turnover differential to help shape their handicap. There is direct correlation between winning teams and a positive turnover differential. Below is a list of the NFL teams, their turnover differential, and point differential.

The chart below is an analysis of the team turnover differential and point differential. In order to analyze the data with more efficiency and effectiveness, we scaled the point differential score down to 10% of the point differential. The blue bar identifies the turnover differential, while the red bars identify the point differential.

You will notice that the Cowboys and the 49ers have significant positive point differential, but negative turnover differential. These two teams are performing well despite losing the turnover battle. The Jets and Steelers, on the other hand, have a significant edge in turnover differential, yet are coming up very short on the scoreboard. When taking this all into consideration, we can assume that the Jets and the Steelers are actually worse than the numbers suggest.

It is important to note that turnovers are genuinely considered non-repeatable. The expectation is that the turnover differential will regress to the mean of zero as the year progresses. Teams that are able to buck this trend, for example, the 2018 Chicago Bears, are considered overachievers and more of an aberration than the norm.


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