NFL Betting Strategy - Bye Week Scenarios Offering Value To Cash Winning Picks

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 5:05 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2016 5:05 PM UTC

Bye week can offer valuable betting opportunities in the right situations, often throwing betting market predictions for a loop due to the added rest, recovery, and planning period afforded by individual teams. Here are two angles worth considering when making your NFL picks.

The 2016-17 NFL regular season sees its first round of byes in Week 4 with the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles enjoying an early respite. Players and bettors alike circle the calendar for these dates when the annual schedule is released: the former for rest and relaxation planning, while the latter zero in on handicapping edges it can provide. Here are two angles worth considering for your NFL betting picks this season, including one in the Jaguars-Colts matchup on Sunday.


Angle #1: Play against a home underdog looking ahead to a bye week in the first half of the season
The typical NFL fan thinks of bye weeks as rest and recovery periods for players. Not only to recharge their bodies after the physical abuse taken on a weekly basis, but also to rest their minds from the highly tedious and scripted minute-to-minute scheduling they live their lives by during the season. But are players really in need of a break in the first half of the season? Some, but not all. The bye is much more welcome in the second half of the year fro most.

For coaches, however, it’s a time to reflect, revise, and catch-up on preparation. NFL leadership works tirelessly, and the break early in the year often allows much-needed improvement for teams off to a slow start. This year’s Jaguars fit the bill and trigger the look-ahead angle this weekend. Jacksonville was one of the biggest risers in the win-total futures NFL board this season (7.5), and a popular bet to win the AFC South. But at 0-3, something is amiss to begin the year, and they’ll likely need the break in Week 5 to figure it out.

Playing against a home underdog looking ahead to a bye week in the first half of the year is 64-42-1 ATS (60.4 percent) since 1990.


Angle #2: Play a road favorite off a bye week in the second half of the season
This one doesn’t require too much explaining. The better team was given time off with a little extra planning typically exceeds expectations as road chalk after Week 8. By this time of the year, the numbers are there to show any team still an underdog after getting an implied 3-to-3.5 points for home-field advantage is far inferior in this spot. Since 1990, the favorite is 41-17-1 ATS.

Advanced lines show three games likely to trigger this trend: Pittsburgh (-2.5) at Baltimore in Week 9, Houston (-1) at Jacksonville in Week 10 and Cincinnati (-2) at the New York Giants also in Week 10. 


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