Trends, systems for NFL post-bye weeks

By Steve Makinen  () 

Two weeks ago in “Point Spread Weekly,” I introduced the first of a two-part series analyzing trends and systems surrounding the bye week in the NFL. That piece dealt with the pre-bye data. Now let’s deal with post-bye analysis. 
 
This week presents the first opportunity to wager on teams coming out of their bye weeks. Four teams were off last week — Denver, New England, Green Bay and Detroit. Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 situation that caused the Week 4 postponement of the Titans-Steelers game, I missed those teams’ pre- and post-bye games. You’ll want to look at the team trends for the other four in time for this weekend’s games and then keep this piece for future reference. However, I did account for all of last weekend’s announced schedule changes in putting together the following list of post-bye games for each team.
 
I have for years reasoned that the bye week is one of the most impactful variables on each team’s schedule. Essentially, the bye week breaks up the routine in the NFL, and professional athletes’ performances can vary greatly in the face of breaks in routine. These variances naturally offer great wagering opportunities. Where the bye is placed and how the teams react in and out of that week can often make the difference of one or two wins. That of course can affect whether a team makes the playoffs. 
 
Clearly, the three-week period involving a team’s bye week — in, off and out — is huge. So let’s get to the data, first a group of leaguewide systems you’ll want to digest, and second, team-by-team post-bye trends along with their scheduled post-bye games for 2020.
 
Post-bye system No. 1:
Play on road favorites coming out of their bye week. (Record: 92-34 SU and 81-43-2 ATS since ’99, 65.3%, + 33.7 units, 26.7% ROI, Grade 80)
2020 plays: Potentially on 10/18 Detroit, 10/18 Green Bay, 10/25 Seattle, 11/1 Indianapolis, 11/8 Houston, 11/15 Philadelphia, 11/22 Kansas City
 
Post-bye road favorite subsystems:
— Vs. non-conference opponents. (Record: 27-10-1 ATS since ’00, 72.9%, + 16 units, 42.1% ROI, Grade 65) — Indianapolis?
— Vs. divisional opponents. (Record: 31-11 ATS since ’02, 73.8%, + 18.9 units, 45% ROI, Grade 75) — Houston?, Kansas City?, Philadelphia?, Seattle?
 
Post-bye system No. 2:
Play against home underdogs coming out of their bye week. (Record: 29-7 SU and 25-10-1 ATS since ’99, 71.4%, + 14 units, 38.9% ROI, Grade 62)
2020 plays: Potentially on 10/13 Tennessee, 10/25 Las Vegas, 11/1 Miami, 11/8 Jacksonville
 
Post-bye system No. 3:
Play Over the total in games involving posted totals of less than 40 with teams coming out of their bye week. (Record: 23-12-1 since ’10, 65.7%, + 9.8 units, 27.2% ROI, Grade 56)
2020 plays: Over in 11/22 N.Y. Jets-L.A. Chargers?, 11/8 Washington-N.Y. Giants?
 
Post-bye system No. 4:
Play against double-digit favorites coming off their bye week. (Record: 12-3 ATS since ’14, 80%, + 8.7 units, 58% ROI, Grade 65)
2020 plays: Potentially on 10/18 New England?, 10/25 L.A. Chargers?, 10/25 New Orleans?, 11/29 Buffalo?
 
Post-bye system No. 5:
Play on teams coming off their bye week and facing the Chargers. (Record: 9-1 SU and 10-0 ATS since ’08, 80%, + 10 units, 100% ROI, Grade 75)
2020 plays: 11/22 N.Y. Jets, 11/29 Buffalo
 
All these systems and trends include only bye-week games from the regular-season schedule, not playoffs. 
 
ARIZONA (post-bye game, 11/8 Miami)
Arizona is 0-3 ATS in its last three post-bye home games
The Cardinals are 1-3 SU and ATS in their last four post-bye games ATS vs. AFC foes, allowing 30.5 PPG
 
ATLANTA (post-bye game, 11/22 at New Orleans)
Atlanta is on a 12-4 SU and 11-5 ATS run in its last 16 post-bye games
The Falcons are on a 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS run in post-bye games vs. divisional rivals
 
BALTIMORE (post-bye game, 11/1 Pittsburgh)
Baltimore is 15-3 SU and 14-4 ATS in post-bye games dating back to ’02
The Ravens are 3-6 ATS in their last nine post-bye games vs. divisional foes
 
BUFFALO (post-bye game, 11/29 L.A. Chargers)
Buffalo is on a 5-0 SU and 3-1-1 ATS run in post-bye games and is 17-9-2 ATS dating back to ’93
The Bills have gone Over the total in three straight post-bye games
 
CAROLINA (post-bye game, 12/13 Denver)
Carolina has gone just 2-5 ATS in its last seven home post-bye games
The Panthers’ last six post-bye games went Over the total
 
CHICAGO (post-bye game, 11/29 at Green Bay)
Chicago has lost its last six post-bye games SU and ATS, losing by 15.2 PPG
The Bears are on a 3-5 SU and 1-7 ATS slide in post-bye games vs. divisional rivals
 
CINCINNATI (post-bye game, 11/15 at Pittsburgh)
The Bengals have lost four straight post-bye games, both SU and ATS
Cincinnati is on a 1-4 SU and ATS skid in post-bye road games vs. AFC North rivals
 
CLEVELAND (post-bye game, 11/15 Houston)
Cleveland is 2-7 SU and 1-7-1 ATS in its last nine post-bye week games
The Browns are just 2-6 SU and 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight post-bye games vs. non-divisional AFC foes
 
DALLAS (post-bye game, 11/22 at Minnesota)
Dallas is on a 10-5 SU and 11-4 ATS run in post-bye games
The Cowboys are 13-2 Over the total in post-bye games since ’05
 
DENVER (post-bye game, 10/18 at New England)
Denver has gone 22-8 SU and 22-7-1 ATS in post-bye games since ’92
The Broncos are on a 7-2 SU and 8-1 ATS surge in post-bye road games
 
DETROIT (post-bye game, 10/18 at Jacksonville)
Detroit is 6-2 SU and 7-1 ATS in post-bye games since 2012 but lost outright last year
The Lions have gone Under the total in 12 of their last 16 post-bye games
 
GREEN BAY (post-bye game, 10/18 at Tampa Bay)
Green Bay is just 1-4 SU and 1-3-1 ATS in its last five post-bye games after going 8-0-1 ATS in the first nine games of the Mike McCarthy era
The Packers are 10-3 Under the total in their last 13 post-bye games
 
HOUSTON (post-bye game, 11/8 at Jacksonville)
Houston was 4-2 SU and ATS in post-bye games under Bill O’Brien
The Texans are 3-0 SU and ATS in post-bye games vs. Jacksonville, 0-5 SU and ATS vs. other divisional foes
 
INDIANAPOLIS (post-bye game, 11/1 at Detroit)
Indianapolis has gone on a 5-1 SU and 4-1-1 ATS post-bye run vs. NFC foes
The Colts are on an extended 15-5-1 Over-the-total run in post-bye games
 
JACKSONVILLE (post-bye game, 11/8 Houston)
Jacksonville is on a 7-3 Over-the-total run as a post-bye underdog
The Jaguars are 3-5-1 ATS in their last nine post-bye games vs. divisional foes
 
KANSAS CITY (post-bye game, 11/22 at Las Vegas)
Andy Reid’s teams are 19-3 SU and 15-7 ATS in post-bye games
The Chiefs are on a 7-2-1 Under-the-total run in post-bye games, allowing just 16.9 PPG
 
L.A. CHARGERS (post-bye game, 10/25 Jacksonville)
The Chargers are 5-1 Under the total in their last six post-bye games vs. non-divisional AFC foes
The Chargers are 10-4 Under the total in their last 14 post-bye games but did go Over last year
 
L.A. RAMS (post-bye game, 11/15 Seattle)
The Rams are on a 9-3-1 ATS run in their last 13 post-bye games
The Rams are on a 6-2 Over-the-total run in post-bye games vs. divisional foes
 
LAS VEGAS (post-bye game, 10/25 Tampa Bay)
Raiders are on a 0-3 SU and ATS skid in post-bye games, average loss 19.0 PPG
Jon Gruden’s teams 6-2 Over the total in last eight post-bye games
 
MIAMI (post-bye game, 11/1 L.A. Rams)
Miami is on a 4-0-1 ATS surge in post-bye games
The Dolphins are on a 3-6-2 ATS slide in post-bye home games
 
MINNESOTA (post-bye game, 11/1 at Green Bay)
For as good as the Vikings were in pre-bye games, they are just as bad out of the bye, 2-8 SU and ATS in last 10
The Vikings are on a 0-4 SU and ATS skid in post-bye divisional games, outscored by 13.8 PPG
 
NEW ENGLAND (post-bye game, 10/18 Denver)
The Patriots are on a 5-1 SU and ATS run in post-bye games
Strangely, New England is just 1-9-1 ATS in its last 11 post-bye home games
 
NEW ORLEANS (post-bye game, 10/25 Carolina)
New Orleans is on an 8-3 SU and 9-2 ATS run in post-bye games
The Saints had won six straight post-bye home games SU and ATS while scoring 43.2 PPG before 26-9 loss last year
 
N.Y. GIANTS (post-bye game, 11/29 at Cincinnati)
Dating back to ’95, the Giants are just 8-16-1 ATS in post-bye games
In post-bye games vs. AFC foes, the Giants have lost four straight games ATS
 
N.Y. JETS (post-bye game, 11/22 at L.A. Chargers)
Like many other situations of late, the Jets have struggled in post-bye games, 2-9 SU and 3-8 ATS in last 11
The Jets are 3-1 ATS in last four AFC non-divisional post-bye games but haven’t played one since ’09
 
PHILADELPHIA (post-bye game, 11/15 at N.Y. Giants)
Philadelphia is 9-3 SU and ATS in its last 12 post-bye road games
The Eagles are on a 5-1 SU and ATS run in post-bye games vs. divisional foes but lost last year
Philadelphia is on an 8-2 Under-the-total run in post-bye divisional games
 
PITTSBURGH (post-bye game, 10/11 Philadelphia)
The Steelers are 6-3 SU but just 2-7 ATS in their last nine post-bye games
Pittsburgh is 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS in its last four post-bye games vs. NFC opponents
 
SAN FRANCISCO (post-bye game, 11/29 at L.A. Rams)
San Francisco is on a brutal 3-12-1 SU and ATS skid in post-bye games but did win last year
The 49ers haven’t won a post-bye divisional game ATS since ’08 (0-5 ATS)
 
SEATTLE (post-bye game, 10/25 at Arizona)
Seattle has been effective both in and out of the bye week, 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in last seven post-bye games
The Seahawks are on a 6-0 Over-the-total run in post-bye games vs. divisional foes, combined score 59.8 PPG
 
TAMPA BAY (post-bye game, 12/13 Minnesota)
Tampa Bay is on a remarkable Under-Over-Over pattern run for the last 18 years of post-bye games, meaning due for Under in 2020
The Buccaneers are 3-0 ATS in their last three post-bye games vs. non-divisional NFC foes
 
TENNESSEE (post-bye game, 10/13 Buffalo)
The Titans have won four straight post-bye games while going 3-0-1 ATS
Tennessee is 8-4 SU and 7-3-2 ATS in its last 12 post-bye home games
 
WASHINGTON (post-bye game, 11/8 N.Y. Giants)
Washington is just 3-9 SU and 2-10 ATS in its last 12 post-bye games
Washington has gone Over the total in four straight post-bye games
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