Who can resist the lure of the team coming off a bye week? Actually, not all these teams do well against the NFL odds, especially this early in the regular season.
Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 4: 17-8 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 10-13 Total
All right, trendy football bettors, your moment has arrived. Week 4 of the regular season has come and gone, which means it's time to resurrect arguably the most popular NFL picks of them all: teams coming off the bye week. Getting that extra time off does wonders for a football club, and the more violent this sport gets, the more important the bye becomes.
In theory. Trendmeister Walter Cherepinsky looked at the post-bye records for all the current and recent head coaches, added them together, and came up with 167-156 ATS. That works out to... let's see, carry the one... 51.7 percent. Not enough to break even (that would be 52.4 percent), but enough to give us a head start on the NFL odds for Week 5. One caveat: In general, there shouldn't be as much value in taking Week 4 off as, say, Week 11, after all that extra punishment has been absorbed.
Last year at this time, there were six teams coming off the Week 4 bye; they went 3-3 SU and 2-3-1 ATS, with two teams (Arizona and Denver) playing each other. That was on the official closing line, mind you. We thought the St. Louis Rams looked good as 7-point road dogs against the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Eagles ended up winning 34-28, after the spread had moved to Rams +3.5.
This year, we're back to just two teams coming off the bye. Both are playing on Sunday:
Buffalo vs. Tennessee (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
New England vs. Dallas (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)
Rather than bet on the Titans and Patriots blindly, we should take a closer look at the two coaches in question, as one always should when looking at NFL betting trends. Bill Belichick (9-7 ATS) has done well preparing New England for situations like these. Ken Whisenhunt is 2-4 ATS coming off the bye, including 0-1 ATS in his maiden voyage with the Titans.
A quick look at the early consensus reports shows what the sharps think of these two bye-week teams. The action has been hot and heavy on the Patriots as 7.5-point road faves against the Dallas Cowboys; Belichick and the Pats were the unanimous choice at the open before tailing off to 99-percent consensus at press time. Whisenhunt and the Titans are only pulling in 36 percent of bettors as 2.5-point home dogs (+105) versus the Buffalo Bills.
Who are we to argue? Betting trends are just one part of the marvelous recipe that we use to make our football picks. If you find a game where the presumably sharp action aligns with the trend in question, outstanding. Otherwise, dump, don't pump. Your bankroll will thank you for it.