Avoid the Vig
Turnover Differential - NFL Week 14
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.
The New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, and the San Francisco 49ers have truly separated themselves amongst their NFL counterparts. However, even within this elite threshold there is a division. The Patriots are putting up an impressive point differential, but are doing so with a league-leading 18 turnover differential. Baltimore and San Francisco are posting these numbers with less than half the Patriots turnover margin. Assuming that the Patriots turnovers will regress to the mean, it can only be assumed that there are two powerhouses in the NFL: the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens.