Avoid the Vig
Turnover Differential - NFL Week 10
Teams that do not turn the ball over are far more likely to win straight up. In fact, the team that wins the turnover battle wins the game 78.7% of the time. In comparison, teams that are winning at halftime only win 77.2% of the time. Identifying teams that are susceptible to turning the ball over can go a long way to picking winners. When handicapping teams, it is also prudent to determine how much turnover differential factors into their success or failures on the field.
When analyzing turnover differential, it is extremely important to note how impactful it is to the outcome of the games. For instance, when a team has 3 turnovers in a single game, their chance of winning straight up is 10%. That number climbs to 11% when factoring against the spread win percentage. Teams with a negative 3 turnover margin lose by an average of 13 points straight up. The more turnovers, the less likely you win straight up and against the spread.
Through 9 weeks of the NFL season, the Cardinals, Bears, and Lions are the only teams that have a positive turnover differential and a negative point differential. Conversely, The Bills, Colts, Eagles, and Chargers all have negative turnover differentials, but positive point differentials. There are also certain teams that are much better than their record indicates due to their negative turnover margin. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been playing extremely well, but because Jameis Winston is a turnover machine, the team has been performed well below average. If Winston can limit his mistakes, the Bucs could turn their season around. Then again, this may be the NFL equivalent of asking a tiger to change his stripes.