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Football turnover margin stats and their use in College and NFL Football Handicapping

Turnovers are a very important part of the football handicapping process. No bettor should ever make a bet on a football game without incorporating this stat into their decision making. Take a look at turnover margins as the football season progresses and then take a look at the win/loss records as well as the against the spread records in both college football and the NFL, and you'll find a direct correlation.

Turnovers tell you so much about a team and it's coaching staff. Teams with average talent often over achieve due to playing sound fundamental football, which includes not turning the ball over and not beating yourselves. You often hear people say, "well, such and such team won, but they were lucky, the ball bounced their way, they got all the breaks". But that statement couldn't be further from the truth in most cases.

Interceptions are often thrown because the pass rush is so good and the receivers are covered. Fumbles happen as a result of the way a team gets after the ball, the way they hit. Fumbles are recovered as a result of being in position to make a play. Do teams sometimes simply drop a ball or make a bonehead mistake? Yes. But the majority of the time, turnovers are caused by the other team.

Every year, teams emerge in the turnover category. Surprise teams. In years past Wake Forest and UCONN come to mind. Find these teams and look for them every week. Recognize these teams before the rest of the betting world catches on and then ride them to pointspread success.

We're only two weeks in to the 2011 season, but let's take a quick look at some games this week with turnover margin differentials worth noting.

Pitt -2
Iowa +3

Akron -1
Cinci +7

Mich State +1
Notre Dame -7

Virginia +1
North Carolina -6

Washington +5
Nebraska -2

Northwestern +2
Army -4

Marshall +4
Ohio -2

Arizona State -2
Illinois +4

Kent St +3
Kansas State -3

If you make a list like this each and every week, it will pay off in the long run. While turnover margin alone may not be enough to bet ON a team, it is absolutely reason enough to stay OFF a team. All things being equal, in a close game, who do you think the odds would favor to come up with a big play, a pick or a fumble recovery, the team that is -7 or the team that is +8?

Turnover margins tell a story. Use it to your advantage and cash in!

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