Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Turnover Index - Week 9

Here are the Turnover Index numbers for Week 9 of the NFL season.  The purpose of these weekly posts is to find betting opportunities by exploiting the market's tendency to overvalue a team's season to date defensive turnovers when evaluating future performance.  See here and here for more background.

Last week's picks went 1-1 against the spread.  Carolina covered the 7.5 point spread in their game against the Bears.  The Cowboys, as a 2.5 point underdog, were unable to cover the spread, done in by Dez Bryant's pinky (and instinct for self preservation).

Turnover Index Through Week 8 (ATS): 4-2-0

There are two betting opportunities this week, according to the criterion of a minimum ten defensive turnover differential between the teams:

  • Chicago at Tennessee - Chicago, although failing to cover against Carolina, continues to defy expectations by winning with turnovers.  This past week, it was Tim Jennings' pick-six that proved to be the crucial play (a 35% win probability swing).  The Bears have 15 more defensive turnovers than the Titans, therefore we would predict the Titans to cover the 3.5 spread as an underdog.
  • Pittsburgh at New York (Giants) - The Giants have been the beneficiaries of a league-leading 24 defensive turnovers this season, 6 of them coming against the Cowboys last week (although Stevie Brown's second pick of Romo actually hurt the Giants more than the Cowboys, costing them a few yards of field position - on fourth down, the smart play would have been to swat the ball down).  We would expect Pittsburgh to cover the spread as a 3.5 point underdog.

Here is the complete table:

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