NFL teams that possess a fine turnover ratio usually have a quality spread record as well. Though that trend has held true during the current pro football season, some of the teams involved might be surprising.
Leading the way with a plus-13 turnover ratio are the 6-2 Detroit Lions. Jim Schwartz’ crew has intercepted 11 enemy passes while quarterback Matt Stafford has been picked off just four times. The Lions have also recovered nine fumbles, while the opposition has pounced on six Detroit miscues.
The San Francisco 49ers are 6-1 SU and 6-0-1 ATS thanks to a plus 10 turnover ratio, which ranks second in the league. Coach Jim Harbaugh may not be adroit at post-game handshakes, but he sure has his club taking care of the ball. The Niners are also scoring a surprising 26.7 points per game, which ranks sixth.
Another unexpected club among the turnover leaders is the Buffalo Bills, with a plus nine ledger. The Bills have fumbled just three times and lost just one of those bobbles. The Bills are averaging a bloated 30.1 PPG, which goes a long way in explaining why the ‘over’ is a league-leading 6-1 in their first seven games.
The defending champion Green Bay Packers round out the top-four teams with a plus-eight turnover ratio. The Packers are the league’s lone undefeated team at 7-0, and are also a nifty 5-2 ATS. Green Bay is leading the NFL offensively by averaging 32.9 PPG. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the main reason for the offensive onslaught and the low turnovers. He has tossed 20 touchdowns and has been intercepted just three times.
The opposite end of the turnover spectrum finds another surprising squad. The Pittsburgh Steelers own a league-high minus-10 turnover ratio. Much of those miscues are directed at signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger, who has been picked off seven times. Rashard Mendenhall has also had a rough time hanging on to ball. The running back has fumbled twice, with the opposition recovering on both occasions.
The Denver Broncos are right behind the Steelers with a minus-eight turnover ratio. Denver has fumbled the ball 14 times, with the opposition coming up with the pigskin on eight instances. Kyle Orton, who is no longer calling the signals for the Broncos, was picked off seven times in his five starts.
The Jacksonville Jaguars lead the league in ‘under’ games, with seven of their first eight outings dipping below the closing total. The Miami Dolphins are next, with the ‘under’ going 6-1.
The Buffalo Bills lead the ‘over’ attack at 6-1, with the Indianapolis Colts close behind at 6-2.
SPREAD leaders and losers
San Francisco leads the way with a 6-0-1 spread record, followed by the Bengals (6-1), Raiders (5-2), Packers (5-2) and Lions (5-2-1). The Rams lead the losers with a 1-6 spread mark, followed by the Dolphins (1-5-1), Browns (1-4-2) and Colts (2-6).