A popular betting strategy in the NFL is targeting teams coming off a bye week. In theory, the extra rest should give teams time to get healthy, practice and prepare for future opponents. The Falcons, Broncos, Saints and Redskins are the first teams coming off a bye in 2017. Is it still profitable to bet NFL teams off a bye?
In our database, which goes back to 2003, games that feature a team coming off a bye, the teams with the extra rest have gone 224-187 (54.5%) straight-up and 219-184 (54.3%) ATS.
Betting teams off a bye has been a profitable strategy but the winnings have been flat in recent years.
- 2003 to 2009: 113-85 (57.1%) ATS, +21.81 units
- 2010 to 2016: 106-99 (51.7%) ATS, +2.41 units
Casual bettors have caught on to the idea of betting teams off a bye and oddsmakers have adjusted. While we can’t blindly target these teams anymore there are still situations where it is lucrative.
Favorites and Underdogs
Favorites have performed better than underdogs. Teams getting points after a bye are just 47.6% ATS while favorites have covered the spread 60.0% of the time.
Each team off a bye in Week 6 is favored.
The sweet spot for betting favorites after a bye is on the road. Home teams are usually favored, if the road team is laying points that is an indication they are a good team. Teams favored on the road typically have better talent and coaching, a combination that can further exploit the advantages of a bye week.
Unfortunately, the Falcons, Broncos, Saints and Redskins are favored at home. Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas and Seattle are off this week. The Cowboys and Seahawks return to action with road games and should be favored over the 49ers and Giants respectively. Keep this under your hat until Week 7.
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