Turnover Index Week 10

Here are the Turnover Index picks and results for week 10. The Turnover Index is a simple betting strategy based on the theory that the market overvalues defensive turnovers when judging team strength. See here and here for more background.

Despite the week nine picks going 1-1 against the spread. we lost about 5% of our bankroll, due to the majority of funds being placed on the losing bet. The model had the underdog Cowboys to cover the three point spread at home against the Eagles. Dallas couldn't leave a perfectly good push alone, and kicked a field goal at the end of regulation to force overtime. The Eagles won the coin toss (or did they?) and scored a touchdown on their opening possession to win the game and, alas, cover the spread.

With the NFL's new overtime rules that prevent a team from winning with a field goal on their opening possession, one would think that the frequency of overtime games finishing with a six point margin (as opposed to 3 points) would increase. However, based on the 65 games that have gone to overtime since 2012 (when the rule change went into effect), the percentage of games ending with a six point margin is largely unchanged relative to pre-2012:

Distribution of Final Scoring Margin of Overtime Games
Margin1989-2011 (n=339)2012-2015 (n=65)

What has increased is the frequency of ties - perhaps an unintended, if not unforeseeable, consequence of the new, more convoluted system.

Here are the season to date results:

amount betprofitsending
6 1 1 $1,000 $40 (4.1%) $37 $1,037
7 3 1 $1,037 $79 (7.7%) ($29) $1,008
9 2 1 $1,008 $66 (6.6%) ($51) $956

We are 3-3 against the spread, but our bankroll is now underwater, with a negative ROI of -4.4%.

And here are the week 10 bets:

gameawayhomediffper gamepickprobbet
Cowboys @ Buccaneers 4 15 11 1.4 Cowboys 53.3% 1.9%
Cardinals @ Seahawks 17 9 -8 -1.0 Seahawks 52.4% 0.1%
Dolphins @ Eagles 8 20 12 1.5 Dolphins 53.6% 2.6%

The Cowboys continue to have no luck generating turnovers on defense - just four over eight games. So, they continue to be a good bet according to our betting strategy. We're betting the tiniest fraction of our bankroll on the Seahawks to cover against Arizona, and our largest bet is on the Dolphins.
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