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Revisiting how PFF turnover-worthy plays can help you bet NFL interception props

Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) attempts a pass against the New York Jets during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

After what is seemingly a shorter and shorter offseason each year, the NFL regular season is fast approaching, with training camps having started last week. As such, it’s time to start thinking about how to best use your PFF Elite subscription (which is available via a discount right now).

While PFF offers a variety of tools — including best-in-market fantasy football projections, player prop suggestions and mismatch identifiers — some people like to do the modeling themselves, and so we are here to provide data for those people.

Last year, I wrote an article about how the PFF signature stat turnover-worthy plays correlates better with interceptions than interceptions do, and I proceeded to give a process for betting quarterback interception props. In this article, we update the main truths by adding in the 2021 data.

The Interception Player Prop

The interception player prop is about as easy a proposition wager as there is, with most players each week lined at 0.5 interceptions. As such, the price on over and under indicates the implied probability that the quarterback in question will throw zero interceptions or one or more interceptions. There are rare cases in which the line is one interception or 1.5 interceptions, but determining these probabilities is trivial once a process is in place for the canonical problem.

There is a natural way to try to solve this season-long, or week-to-week, prop problem, which is to use prior interception history to try to predict future interception rates. This isn’t completely misguided, as the year-to-year correlation in interception rates is not zero, but rather r = 0.231 — implying that about 5% of the variance in interception rate one season can be explained by interception rate the previous year (min. 100 attempts each year).

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