Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Turnover Index - Week 12

Here are the Turnover Index numbers for Week 12 of the NFL season.  The purpose of these weekly posts is to find betting opportunities that exploit the market's tendency to overvalue a team's season to date defensive turnovers.  See here and here for more background.

Last week's picks went 1-1 against the spread.  The Bears-49ers game was a perfect example of what these posts intend to illustrate: The Bears, despite having averaged 3.3 defensive turnovers per game and facing a QB making his first NFL start, could not generate a single turnover.  Regression to the mean in action.


The Colts-Patriots game, on the other hand, was a perfect counter-example.  These teams didn't regress to the mean, they ran headlong from it.  Going into the game, the Colts had only averaged 0.7 turnovers per game.  The Patriots, on the other hand, had an above average defensive turnover rate of 2.5 per game.  The end result: the Colts generated 0 turnovers and the Pats managed to force 4, including 2 interceptions returned for touchdowns.

Turnover Index Through Week 11 (Against the Spread): 8-4-0

In my original analysis, I found that these betting opportunities went ~59% against the spread over the past 14 seasons.  We're a bit ahead of the curve right now at 8-4, but betting the spread in the NFL can be a bumpy ride.

Week 12 Picks

We have three betting opportunities this week.  As a reminder, the criterion we use is any game in which there is at least a 10 defensive turnover differential between the two teams.  We bet on the team with the lower amount of turnovers.  See the table at the bottom of the post for the details.

  • Green Bay @ New York (Giants) - Pick: Green Bay
  • St. Louis @ Arizona - Pick: St. Louis
  • Minnesota @ Chicago - Pick: Minnesota

Here is the complete matchup table:

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