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Week 15: Betting Primer

There’s nothing more frustrating than having a bet blown up by turnovers and defensive/special teams touchdowns. Well, I’d imagine committing your entire life and finances to someone through marriage only to see it end in divorce is more frustrating, but from a betting perspective, the turnovers and D/ST TDs thing is just godawful.

The reason it stinks is because, for the most part, it’s hard to handicap. Yes, we know Jameis Winston is good for a few interceptions each game, but it’s impossible to predict or plan for the third-string running back fumbling in the other team’s red zone at a pivotal moment, or the guy you’ve never heard of returning a kick for a touchdown.

Those back-breaking individual moments are difficult to account for when analyzing a game, but unsurprisingly there’s a direct correlation between a team’s turnover differential and its record against the spread, and it’s pretty overwhelming.

The teams with the 11 best turnover differentials ALL have a winning ATS mark. In order, they are the Patriots, Steelers, Packers, Saints, Seahawks, Ravens, Chiefs, 49ers, Titans, Vikings, Bills and Cardinals.

Conversely, when we look at the 11 teams with the worst turnover differentials, only two – the Dolphins and Rams – have a winning ATS record.

The teams with the 11 best turnover differentials ALL have a winning ATS mark!

So, what, if anything, can we do with this info? I’d suggest incorporating turnover differentials into your handicapping and trying to match up the disciplined teams with strong turnover margins vs the sloppy teams at the bottom. Week 15 features several of these pairings with the Patriots vs Bengals, Seahawks vs Panthers, 49ers vs Falcons and Vikings vs Chargers.

Like any other stat, it’s not the end-all and be-all, but be sure to keep turnover margins in your handicapping tool belt, as it clearly makes a big difference.  

As for kick-return and defensive touchdowns, you’re basically screwed, or quite lucky if they go in the favor of your bet. I’d argue that those are more random than anything unless a Devin Hester type in his prime is running back kicks, so hopefully you can get a few in your favor this weekend.

Good luck in Week 15, and as always, KEEP CHASING THAT PAPER! 

NFL Stats and Trends for Week 15

Jets-Ravens
  • On the road, the Jets rank 31st in third-down conversion percentage. Baltimore ranks second in third-down defense over its last three games.
  • The Ravens lead the NFL in time of possession. The Jets are 25th.
  • The Ravens are 9-0 SU in their last nine games. (Avg winning margin: 17.67)
  • The Jets are 1-6 SU in their last seven games on the road.
  • The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Jets' last 11 games on the road in December.
  • The Jets are 0-10 SU in their last 10 games on the road vs teams with winning records.
  • The Ravens are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the Ravens' last four games at home. (Avg combined score: 45.5)
  • The Ravens are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games as a double-digit favorite.
  • The Jets are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games vs the Ravens.
  • The Jets are 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS in their last six games on the road vs the Ravens.
Bears-Packers
  • The Packers beat the Bears 10-3 in Week 1. What an awful game.
  • The Bears are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Packers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games vs divisional opponents.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 13 of the Bears' last 18 games. (Avg combined score: 34.72)
  • The total has gone UNDER in six of the Bears' last seven games vs divisional opponents.
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Packers' last six games vs divisional opponents.
  • The total has gone UNDER in four of the Packers' last five games. (Avg combined score: 40.2)
  • The Bears are 4-13 SU in their last 17 games vs their division on the road.
  • The Bears are 11-4 SU in their last 15 games after a win.
  • The Packers are 18-3 SU in their last 21 games as home favorites.
  • The Packers are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games after an ATS loss.
  • The Bears are 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games vs the Packers.
  • The Bears are 2-9 SU in their last 11 games on the road vs the Packers.
Broncos-Chiefs
  • The Chiefs are 27-3 SU in their last 30 games vs divisional opponents and 16-4 ATS in their last 20 games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Broncos are 0-8 SU and 1-7 ATS in their last eight games vs the Chiefs.
  • The Broncos are 5-1 ATS in their last six games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 16 of the Broncos' last 22 games. (Avg combined score: 38.45)
  • The total has gone UNDER in nine of the Broncos' last 10 games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Broncos are 3-12 SU in their last 15 games as road underdogs.
  • The Broncos are 4-10 SU and ATS in their last 14 games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Broncos are 2-12 SU in their last 14 games in the early afternoon.
  • The Chiefs are 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games at home in December.
  • The Chiefs are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games at home vs teams with losing records.
  • The Broncos are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games on the road vs the Chiefs.
Texans-Titans
  • Over their last three games, the Titans rank first in third-down conversion percentage. Over this same span, the Texans are 31st in third-down defense.
  • The Texans rank last in yards per play allowed on the road. The Titans rank seventh in yards per play at home.
  • The Titans lead the league in red-zone TD conversion percentage, both overall and at home. The Texans rank 31st in opponent red-zone TD conversion percentage and 28th over their last three games.
  • The Titans are 8-2 SU and ATS in their last 10 games vs their division at home.
  • The Texans are 2-11 SU in their last 13 games on the road vs teams with winning records.
  • The Titans are 12-2 SU in their last 14 games as home favorites.
  • The total has gone OVER in the Titans' last seven games. (Avg combined score: 54.71)
  • The Texans are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games as an underdog.
  • The Texans are 1-4 ATS in their last five games vs divisional opponents.
  • The total has gone UNDER in six of the Texans' last seven games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Titans are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games in December.
  • The total has gone OVER in five of the Titans' last seven games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Texans are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games vs the Titans.
Seahawks-Panthers
  • These teams rank third and fourth for highest average combined scores in the NFL – Seahawks at 50.92, Panthers at 50.77
  • The Panthers have allowed an average of 34.44 points over their last three games.
  • Seattle ranks 25th in yards per play allowed.
  • The total has gone OVER in seven of the Panthers' last nine games. (Avg combined score: 53.89)
  • The Seahawks are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games on the road.
  • The Seahawks are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games after an ATS loss.
  • The Seahawks are 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS in their last six games on the East Coast.
  • The Panthers are 0-5 SU in their last five games. (Avg losing margin: 13.0)
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the Seahawks' last four games on the road. (Avg combined score: 41.0)
  • The Panthers are 18-5 ATS in their last 23 games after consecutive ATS losses.
  • The Seahawks are 7-2 SU in their last nine games vs the Panthers.
  • The total has gone OVER in the Seahawks' last five games vs the Panthers. (Avg combined score: 51.4)
Patriots-Bengals
  • The Bengals are 31st in third-down conversion percentage over their last three games. The Patriots rank sixth in third-down defense in this span.
  • The Patriots rank first in turnover differential. The Bengals are 30th.  
  • The Patriots are 9-0 SU in their last nine games after consecutive losses.
  • The Patriots are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games after consecutive ATS losses.
  • The Bengals are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 games at home.
  • The total has gone UNDER in five of the Patriots' last seven games on the road. (Avg combined score: 39.43)
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the Bengals' last four games. (Avg combined score: 31.75)
  • The Patriots are 1-5 ATS in their last six games in December.
  • The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Patriots' last 11 games on the road in December.
  • The Bengals are 1-14 SU in their last 15 games.
  • The Bengals are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games as a double-digit underdog.
  • The Patriots are 5-1 ATS in their last six games vs the Bengals.
Buccaneers-Lions
  • Detroit ranks 27th in yards per play over their last three games. The Bucs are tied for first in yards per play allowed over this span.
  • Over their last three games, the Lions rank 30th in red-zone TD conversion percentage. The Bucs are sixth in opponent red-zone TD conversion percentage in this span.
  • Over their last three games, the Lions are allowing the fourth-most sacks per game. The Bucs are averaging the fifth-most sacks in this span.
  • The total has gone OVER in 10 of the Buccaneers' last 11 games. (Avg combined score: 61.55)
  • The total has gone OVER in the Lions' last five games at home. (Avg combined score: 59.8)
  • The Buccaneers are 5-14 ATS in their last 19 games as road favorites.
  • The Lions are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games.
  • The Lions are 0-8 SU in their last eight games as an underdog.
  • The Buccaneers are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games vs the Lions.
Dolphins-Giants
  • The Dolphins are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games.
  • The Giants are 3-14-1 ATS in their last 18 games after an ATS win.
  • The Dolphins are 1-12 SU in their last 13 games on the road.
  • The Dolphins are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as road underdogs.
  • The Giants are 0-9 SU in their last nine games. (Avg losing margin: 11.67)
  • The Giants are 15-6 SU in their last 21 games at home vs teams with losing records.
Eagles-Redskins
  • The Eagles rank sixth in third-down conversion percentage. The Redskins are 29th in third-down defense.
  • The Eagles are second in time of possession. The Redskins are 31st.
  • The Redskins are averaging a league-best 5.7 sacks per game over their last three games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Redskins' last 10 games. (Avg combined score: 34.1)
  • The total has gone OVER in four of the Eagles' last five games on the road. (Avg combined score: 55.6)
  • The Eagles are 13-4 SU in their last 17 games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Eagles are 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 games in the early afternoon.
  • The Redskins are 1-9 SU in their last 10 games at home.
  • The Redskins are 0-7 SU and 1-6 ATS in their last seven games vs divisional opponents.
  • The Eagles are 5-0 SU in their last five games vs the Redskins. (Avg winning margin: 13.4)
Jaguars-Raiders
  • The Jaguars are last in net yards per play over their last three games.
  • The Jaguars are 0-11 SU in their last 11 games on the West Coast.
  • The Jaguars are 0-6 ATS in their last six games on the West Coast.
  • The Raiders are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games at home.
  • The total has gone OVER in four of the Jaguars' last five games on the road. (Avg combined score: 52.6)
  • The Jaguars are 0-5 SU and ATS in their last five games as an underdog.
  • The Jaguars are 2-7 SU and ATS in their last nine games in December.
  • The total has gone UNDER in nine of the Raiders' last 12 games in December.
  • The Raiders are 10-2 SU in their last 12 games at home vs teams with losing records.
  • The Raiders are 9-2 SU in their last 11 games when hosting an East Coast team.
Browns-Cardinals
  • The Browns are third in third-down conversion percentage over their last three games. The Cardinals are 28th in third-down defense during this span.
  • The Browns are 4-31 SU in their last 35 games on the road.
  • The Browns are 0-4 ATS in their last four games on the road.
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the Browns' last four games on the road. (Avg combined score: 37.5)
  • The Browns are 1-5 ATS in their last six games after an ATS win.
  • The Cardinals are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games at home.
  • The Cardinals are 5-1 ATS in their last six games after consecutive ATS losses.
Vikings-Chargers
  • The Vikings are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games as favorite.
  • The Chargers are 2-8 SU and ATS in their last 10 games as home underdogs.
  • The total has gone OVER in four of the Vikings' last five games. (Avg combined score: 49.0)
  • The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Vikings' last 10 games in December.
  • The Vikings are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games after an ATS win.
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Chargers' last five games at home. (Avg combined score: 39.8)
  • The Chargers are 7-3 SU and ATS in their last 10 games as an underdog.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 16 of the Chargers' last 21 games in December.
  • The Chargers are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games at home in December.
  • The Chargers are 12-1 SU in their last 13 games at home after consecutive road games.
Falcons-49ers
  • The 49ers are 4-17-1 ATS in their last 22 games as favorite.
  • The 49ers are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five games as a double-digit favorite.
  • The 49ers are 2-14 ATS in their last 16 games after consecutive ATS wins.
  • The Falcons are 5-0 ATS in their last five games on the West Coast.
  • The total has gone UNDER in five of the Falcons' last seven games. (Avg combined score: 46.0)
  • The Falcons are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games on the road.
  • The Falcons are 11-3 SU in their last 14 games on the West Coast.
  • The total has gone OVER in three of the Falcons' last four games vs the 49ers. (Avg combined score: 49.25)
  • The Falcons are 2-12 SU in their last 14 games on the road vs the 49ers.
Rams-Cowboys
  • The Rams are 9-0 SU in their last nine games on the road vs teams with losing records.
  • The Cowboys are 0-4 ATS in their last four games at home vs teams with winning records.
  • The Rams are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games on the road.
  • The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Rams' last eight games. (Avg combined score: 36.63)
  • The total has gone UNDER in 16 of the Rams' last 19 games on the road in December.
  • The Cowboys are 11-4 SU in their last 15 games at home.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 13 of the Cowboys' last 17 games in December.
  • The Cowboys are 5-1 ATS in their last six games after consecutive ATS losses.
Bills-Steelers
  • Over the last three games, the Steelers rank last in red-zone TD conversion percentage and the Bills rank 29th.
  • The Steelers are 17-4 SU in their last 21 games at night.
  • The Bills are 0-5 SU in their last five games at night.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 10 of the Bills' last 13 games. (Avg combined score: 37.38)
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Steelers' last five games. (Avg combined score: 31.2)
  • The Bills are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games on the road.
  • The Bills are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games as an underdog.
  • The Bills are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games vs the Steelers.
  • The Bills are 0-6 SU in their last six games vs the Steelers. (Avg losing margin: 11.33) 
Colts-Saints
  • The Saints rank fourth in yards per play over their last three games. The Colts are 29th in yards per play allowed over this span.
  • The Colts are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games on the road vs teams with winning records.
  • The Saints are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games as home favorites.
  • The Colts are 3-10 SU in their last 13 games at night.
  • The total has gone OVER in 19 of the Colts' last 24 games at night.
  • The Saints are 9-2 SU and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games.
  • The Saints are 20-5 SU in their last 25 games at home.
  • The total has gone UNDER in six of the Saints' last seven games at night.
  • The Colts are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games vs the Saints.