Betting NFL Bye Weeks
If you’ve followed NFL betting for very long, you’ve probably heard about how betting teams coming off of their bye weeks can be a profitable venture. This isn’t a myth, in fact, going back through every team from 2006 to now, simply betting teams off of their bye week would have resulted in a 55.94 percent win rate, which is solid in its own right. The problem is that not every team in every situation is actually profitable coming off of their bye week. For example, did you know that if you bet every road underdog coming off a bye between 2006 and 2012 you would have lost money? What I’ve done is break down different situations to see how teams have performed so that we can use those numbers to help up handicap games going forward. Below you’ll see a run-down of the situations since 2006 (updated weekly) and then the upcoming games that fall into these situations.
Everything is broken down into categories. We’ll look at the overall performance, then teams at home or away, as favorites or underdogs and finally as home dogs, home favorites, road dogs or road favorites. Remember, these numbers are only since 2006. They hold pretty steady going back further, but I chose 2006 because it is what I would call the “modern NFL”. Here are the results:
|Overall Post Bye Week Performance (Update 11/28)
Looking at this table, we find some solid trends that emerge. Favorites, particularly road favorites, hit at a great rate. When you think about it, this makes sense. The team is already “better” being the favorite, plus they have a week off. Home favorites always have bigger lines, so that’s the reason they don’t hit as well as road favorites, which are by far the best bet for a team coming off of a bye, though it doesn’t happen nearly as often. I think the reason for this is that these are clearly the better team, but I think odds makers over-adjust for the underdog being at home and under-adjust for the road team coming off of their bye week.
I would also note that these trends don’t hold true exactly year to year, meaning if you just blindly bet them, you would lose money some years, but overall you’d come out on top. This means that you should simply use this as a tool to help you handicap games, not just follow it without doing any research on the games. The exception to that rule may be teams that are coming off of their bye as road favorites, which has had just one losing year (2-3 in 2006) and is the only situation that has consistently been profitable.
That’s it for bye weeks in 2012. Check back next year for updated results and plays!