Thursdays during the NFL season are great for several reasons, but one of them is that there is a ton of money to be made if you know where to look for it. Here are some betting tips for TNF!
Disregard the opening night game
The opening night game is always a wildcard, which makes it very hard to make long-term winning wagers on that game based on trends from the past. This can be for several reasons, but the first game of the season is not included in our Thursday Night Football research.
Thursday nights are always prefaced with teams being tired, but it takes a deeper look to know which teams will be tired and which ones will just have their defense tired. For instance, this information does not account for Thursdays where a team may have played on Thursday night the week before, therefore is not coming off no rest.
As you can imagine, the spreads for Thursday night don't have a whole lot of long-term trends. In fact, the spread is 33-33-1 over the last four years of Thursday Night Football. However, favorites have been trending in the right direction early in the season. For instance, in Weeks 2-8 over the last three seasons since 2013, favorites are 13-9 ATS on Thursday night.
Favorites have been pretty good in the last half of the season too and if it weren't for underdogs crushing favorites in the latter half of 2013 on Thursdays, favorites would actually be a winner over the last five years on Thursday night. In 2015, 2014 and 2012, favorites have gone 18-11 ATS. So if you take away the first half of 2012 and the last half of 2013, favorites are a combined 31-20 ATS over the last four years.
Over the last two years have also been kind to favorites on Thursdays. They are 20-15 ATS overall over the last two seasons of Thursday Night Football. This has to be looked at further in 2016.
While favorites do have some intriguing signs along with them, the totals have been a lot better betting on Thursdays if you know when to wager them. Over the last four years of Thursday Night Football, the over is 36-31-1, which is a blind cash rate of 53.68 percent.
The early part of the year is a lot better to the over and their bettors. In Weeks 2-8 over the last four years, the over is 15-12-1 on Thursdays overall. However, over the last two years, the under has started to look like a better play on Thursdays. In 2014 and 2015 combined, the under was 18-16-1 on TNF, while the latter half of the season really saw the under cash for bettors at 13-7. This confirms the theory that defenses start to get the better of offenses later in the season, so on Thursday nights late in the year, opposing defense have enough tape to predict offensive sets.
However, earlier in the year, it seems as if the over might be trending to the better play on TNF. Over the last three seasons in Weeks 2-8, the over is 14-7-1 on Thursdays. Use these to better your Thursday night!