Seven games into the season, the Rams look nothing like the team that has had a losing record in ten straight years. Los Angeles is 5-2, has the second-best point differential in the NFL and is challenging the Seahawks for the NFC West division crown.
Sean McVay’s team won two straight heading into its Week 8 bye. The coach told media members, “we want to try to keep the momentum going.” Gamblers don’t walk away from the craps table when they are on a heater but NFL teams are forced to take time off, even if they don’t want to. Does a bye week kill momentum?
We can answer that question using the Bet Labs database. In theory, bye weeks should give teams extra time to rest, get healthy and prepare for their next opponent. All teams coming off a bye are 246-209-3 (54.1%) straight-up in their next game. Teams on a winning streak (2 or more games) have performed even better going 73-42-1 (63.5%) straight-up. Of the 116 teams that had won two or more games heading into their bye week, 108 were .500 or better. Good teams have better talent and coaching, which helps further exploit the benefits of a bye week.
A bye week doesn’t appear to kill a team’s momentum. This applies to squads on losing streaks as well. A common theory among casual fans is that a bye week should allow teams to hit the reset button if their season is spiraling out of control. That’s not the case. Teams that have lost two or more games entering their bye week went 52-70-1 (42.6%) straight-up in their next game.
The takeaway, good teams keep winning and bad teams keep losing. Can we profit from this knowledge? Yes. It has been profitable to bet all teams coming off a bye. It is best to target teams favored after the extra week to game plan.
Favorites, on a winning streak (2 or more games), after a bye week have gone 51-28-1 (64.6%) ATS.
Los Angeles returns to action in Week 9 with a road trip to New York. The Rams are 3.5-point favorites against the Giants. Another team to watch this week is the Titans. Tennessee won two straight before its bye and 3.5-point favorites at home against Baltimore.
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