Following Kansas City’s 26-10 victory over Oakland in Week 6, Chiefs’ coach Andy Reid saw his record improve to an impressive 16-2 mark coming off a bye in his career. This prompted the common debate about NFL bye weeks and how it can affect NFL betting, or better yet how to inculcate bye weeks into our handicapping strategies. Here a few things to help guide you when considering NFL bye weeks as a betting strategy.
In Depth Analysis On The NFL Bye Week Expert Betting Strategy
What you Need to Know about Betting Before or After NFL Bye Week
For starters, NFL bye weeks are usually scheduled between Week 4 and Week 10, so if you are looking to capitalize on the NFL bye week betting strategy, this is the time you should pay keen attention to the NFL lines.
Different teams and coaches approach bye weeks differently. But as a general rule, the better a team is (or the better a coach is), the more likely it is for that team or coach to take advantage of the extra week off to prepare well for the game coming off a bye, which often translates to good results.
The nature of an opponent faced after a bye week plays an important role as to whether a team will perform well or badly following the extra rest.
Bye weeks are most welcome, and generally considered more effective when handicapping NFL odds, when they come during the second half of the season.
There are researches from several quarters that allude to certain teams playing better or worse before a bye week, depending on whether one is an underdog or favorite, or one is playing at home vs. the road. But upon comprehensive review, we found that the results are inconclusive, voiding the betting value that is purportedly found by betting on or against teams before their bye weeks.
Using the Bye Week as a Betting Strategy
As we’ve glimpsed above, teams that are more talented tend to benefit the most from the bye, given that the players and coaches will most likely work better on patching up their weaknesses and preparing better for their upcoming opponents. Road favorites coming off a bye are particularly a good bet-on option, as the traveling is unlikely to affect them because they are well-rested. If the bye week comes in the second half of the season, it is generally considered more beneficial, as the players are usually more banged up, as opposed to byes that come early between Week 4 and 6. Since 1990, the road favorite in the second half of the season is 41-17-1 ATS, so you may want to consider 2016 road favorites like Pittsburgh at Baltimore in Week 9, Cincinnati at the New York Giants also in Week 10 and Houston at Jacksonville in Week 10.
Home favorites coming off a bye also tend to win and cover the spread at a healthy clip, but sometimes a bit of some complacency creeps into some of them, leading to mixed results. So while a great deal of value can be found by betting on home favorites coming off a bye, it is important to do so with a bit of some caution.
Rejoinder on NFL Bye Week Betting Strategy
As has been explained above, bye weeks can offer some sweet value options for bettors. But as a cardinal rule, always ensure that you also consider the opponent that one is matched up against after the bye. Some good teams—most of whom are placed as slight underdogs or slight favorites against teams coming off byes—will end up beating the extra-rested teams. Revenge and rivalry games, especially within the same division, can also lead to upsets over the teams coming off byes. So while the NFL bye week betting strategy is a proven handicapping tool, all these surrounding factors–not forgetting injuries and suspensions–must be duly considered by bettors looking to make the most out of this strategy.