For some reason, a lot of recreational sportsbetting fans don’t pay attention to the NFL bye week. That is in some way surprising since most teams use the extra time off to rest and prepare for their opponents.
Prior to 1990, all NFL teams played 16 consecutive games, in an attempt to reduce injuries, the league decided that all teams will have a bye week during the season, and in an effort to make it fair, it would be randomly assigned. At first, the bye week complicated things for sports bettors, but in 2004, the league made changes so that it would fall between weeks 4 and 10, which has provided professional sports bettors with a little loophole to take advantage of.
When it comes to betting, most people would think that a team coming off their bye week and playing at home will have the advantage over their opponents, but they barely do, because since 2000, home teams coming off a bye week are 152-149-4 against the spread, which is basically an even break. The total points scored favors those that picked the under, with a 159-142-4 record.
On the other hand, the road teams have done very nicely during the span, because road teams coming off a bye week have a 127-103-5 record. The total points scored this time around is about dead even, with 118 games going under, 115 going over, and 2 ending in a push.
Another statistic to consider is if the team coming off a bye week won or lost their prior game. Teams that suffered a loss in their last game before the bye week have gone 127-114-4 against the spread, while teams that won their previous game have gone 152-138-5 against the spread.
The one thing that has remained constant over the years is the fact that the favorites coming off a bye week have been very successful. Since 2000, they have gone 171-135-4 against the spread, giving them a 56% winning percentage. The underdogs coming off a bye week haven’t fared as well, and they have a record of 104-113-5, which is a 48% winning percentage, so you should always bet on the favorites coming off a bye, because they have a better chance of winning.
In recent years, the winning percentage of teams coming off their bye week, against teams that played the previous week, from 2007 to 2010, the rested teams went 61-44-5 against the spread, and they were 65-54-1 straight up.
During that span, teams that were coming off a bye week, and were favorites to win, had a 48-12 record straight up, and went 36-20-4 against the spread. On the other hand, underdogs went 17-32-1 straight up, and 25-24-1 against the spread.
We broke these statistics down more, and got some interesting results. Home favorites during the stretch were 31-11 straight up, and 21-19-2 against the spread. Road favorites were 17-1 straight up, and 15-1-2 against the spread. The home underdogs were 9-8-1 straight up, and 11-6-1 against the spread. The road underdogs fared even worse, with an 8-24 record straight up, and a 14-18 record against the spread.
Looking at these numbers, it is apparent that the road favorites are the best bet when you are betting on teams after their bye week, because they cover the spread almost 70 percent of the time.
There is a saying that the better a team is, the more they benefit from a bye week, and we can see just how accurate it is, by looking at how well the favorites have played against their opponents, after both teams had a resting week. Using the stats from 2007-2010, the favorites coming off their bye week have a 56-13 straight up, and 43-22-4 against the spread. The home favorites have a 37-11 record straight up, and a 26-20-2 record against the spread. The road favorites have been even more impressive, with a 19-2 record straight up, and a 17-2-2 record against the spread.
The one thing you should always remember about betting trends, is the fact that they always change, which means that this betting trend will eventually end, so you should be ready to adapt when it does. Until then, have fun making some money using the bye week betting strategy.