Turnover Worthy Plays
November 12, 2022

Predicting turnovers in a given game can greatly assist bettors, both because they have a large effect on the overall outcome of the game, and can be profitable through player props. However, how can one predict turnovers? According to the data, there is a significant amount of luck in forcing and recovering fumbles. Yes, some players are more prone to fumble the ball while others may be more reliable to hold onto the ball, however, the vast majority of players don’t fall into either of these groups. Interceptions on the other hand, can be more predictable.

When looking at potential interceptions in an upcoming game, you can use a quarterback’s history of interceptions, but that may not tell the whole story. Recently, analysts have started using the turnover worthy play statistic, which are plays that should have resulted in a turnover, regardless of whether they did or not. These plays include fumbles in the pocket, throws that are interceptable, and actual interceptions. Turnover-worthy plays correlates slightly better with interceptions than just looking at past interceptions.

In order to predict player props involving totals, like interceptions, you have to try to predict the rate at which something will happen. Once a prediction for interception rate is produced, you have to estimate the expected or average number of interceptions a quarterback will throw in a given game, by multiplying the interception rate and the expected number of pass attempts by the quarterback. Because most interception props will be listed at 0.5 with different pricing available (-110 vs -140), you need to include the predicted probability as well. You will also need to consider the outside factors like weather, injuries, and the quality of the opponents pass rush and secondary. Using all of this information, you can usually get a reliable number and probability for the likelihood of interceptions occurring in a specific game.

Turnover worthy play rate is provided by several websites, such as Pro Football Focus, which will eliminate any time and effort to calculate the statistic.