NFL pre-bye week systems and team trends

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NFL pre-bye week systems and team trends

We are almost a month into the NFL season with Week 4 games coming up this weekend. What’s special about this set of games? Well, for one, it’s the first time that teams will be playing their pre-bye week games, as NFL byes officially start next week, with the Browns, Chargers, Seahawks and Buccaneers being the first group to get the week off. Three of those teams will be playing their pre-bye week games on the road, including the Seahawks, who have a Monday night game. As such, you’ll want to pay special attention to the systems (#5 and #6) below regarding MNF pre-bye games.

 

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In the years I’ve spent studying NFL data, I’ve found that one of the most important scheduling situations involves the weeks before and after teams’ bye weeks. They are important because they affect routines, momentum and player injury availability as well. Historically, some franchises and coaches have been very good in dealing with bye weeks, others not. Furthermore, some teams’ performance levels have varied greatly when going into the bye week as opposed to coming out. As such, the bye-week scenarios can make for great wagering opportunities.

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Since the league went to a 17-game schedule, the byes have been spread out over more weeks. In 2023, pre-bye games begin the first weekend in October and run through the first week of December. I’m sure we could argue all day about the merits of the point in time of the season in which each team gets its bye week. Theoretically, the further into a season, the more the bye would be appreciated by coaches and players. Keep all of this in mind as you analyze each team’s situation.

In this week’s piece, I will be addressing the PRE-BYE WEEK TRENDS and SYSTEMS. There will be a follow-up piece in two weeks unveiling the POST-BYE-WEEK TRENDS and SYSTEMS. Because these bye weeks span the next two months and the trends will apply at various times, I would recommend saving this piece for your NFL handicapping library, as well as the one in two weeks. HOWEVER, NEW FOR 2023, we will be repeating this information weekly, specifically the qualifying trends and systems for that week, in our NFL ANALYTICS REPORTS.

I have done this bye-week series for the last seven years. Here’s a reminder of why the bye week has such an impact in the NFL. Every April brings excitement when the NFL schedule gets announced. Analysts break down all the big matchups, the quirks for each team and seemingly every intricacy of the 18-week slate. There are always various situations that can wreak havoc. The NFL is all about routine, and anything that can break that for a team can offer bettors opportunities. Whether it’s long stretches of road or home games, games scheduled on days other than Sundays, night games versus Sunday afternoons, etc., these scheduling “landmines” can be used to find betting value if you understand the consequences. However, if there is one scheduling situation that is most influential, it is the bye week. Each team gets one during the  18-week season, and where it is placed and how the teams react in and out of that bye week can often make a difference of one or two wins. That, of course, can affect whether or not a team makes the playoffs. Clearly, the three-week period involving a team’s bye week (in, off, out) is highly impactful.

This article will cover pre-bye week trends for all 32 teams. Again, note that those involving the Browns, Chargers, Seahawks and Buccaneers will be in play for this week’s games.

Before we go team by team, here are five league-wide pre-bye week systems that you’ll want to take advantage of over the next couple of months:

Pre-bye week system #1:

Play on any team heading into their bye week when facing a divisional opponent. (Record: 49-19 ATS since ’13, 72.1%, +28.1 Units, 41.3% R.O.I., Grade 73)

2023 plays: 10/1 Cleveland, 10/1 L.A. Chargers, 10/1 Tampa Bay, 10/8 Pittsburgh, 10/29 Denver, 11/5 Philadelphia, 11/26 Las Vegas, 11/27 Chicago and Minnesota cancel each other out

Pre-bye week system #2

Play on FAVORITES of 7 points or more heading into their BYE week. (Record: 79-9 SU and 58-29-1 ATS since ’01, 66.7%, +26.1 Units, 29.7% R.O.I., Grade 72)

Potential 2023 plays: 10/1 L.A. Chargers?, 10/15 Cincinnati?, 10/30 Detroit?, 11/5 Kansas City?, 11/12 Atlanta?, 11/12 New England?, 11/27 Minnesota?

Pre-bye week system #3

Play on HOME UNDERDOGS heading into their BYE week. (Record: 31-17-2 ATS since ’15, 64.5%, +12.3 Units, 24.6% R.O.I., Grade 68)

Potential 2023 plays: 10/1 Cleveland?, 10/8 Pittsburgh?, 10/15 Houston?, 10/15 N.Y. Jets?, 10/29 Denver?, 11/26 Las Vegas?, 11/26 N.Y. Giants?, 12/3 Washington?

Pre-bye week system #4

Play on any NFL team heading into its BYE week and facing DENVER. (Record: 19-8 SU and 21-6 ATS since ’01, 77.8%, +14.4 Units, 53.3% R.O.I., Grade 67)

2023 plays: NONE

Pre-bye week system #5

Play OVER the total in Monday night games featuring a team heading into its bye week. (Record: 30-13-1 since ‘09, 69.8%, +15.7 Units, 35.7% R.O.I., Grade 65)

2023 plays: 10/2 Seattle, 10/9 Green Bay, 10/16 Dallas, 10/30 Detroit, 11/27 Chicago and Minnesota

Pre-bye week system #6

Play on any ROAD team heading into its BYE week on Monday night. (Record: 22-17 SU and 25-12 ATS since ’96, 67.6%, +12.7 Units, 34.3% R.O.I., Grade 65)

2023 plays: 10/2 Seattle, 10/9 Green Bay, 10/16 Dallas, 11/27 Chicago

* Please note that the systems above and all of the following trends only include bye week games from the regular-season schedule, not playoffs.

ARIZONA Pre-Bye Week Game: 12/3 at Pittsburgh

·        Arizona is on a 7-3 ATS surge in pre-bye week games

·        The Cardinals are on a 1-8 SU and 2-7 ATS skid in pre-bye week games as road/neutral underdogs

ATLANTA Pre-Bye Week Game: 11/12 at Arizona

·        Atlanta has gone 3-7-1 in its last 11 pre-bye week games overall

·        The Falcons are on an 11-5 UNDER run in pre-bye week games

BALTIMORE Pre-Bye Week Game: 11/26 at L.A. Chargers

·        Baltimore is just 5-6 SU and 3-7-1 ATS in its last 11 pre-bye week games overall

·        The Ravens are 4-6 SU and 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 pre-bye week games vs. non-divisional AFC foes

BUFFALO Pre-Bye Week Game: 11/26 at Philadelphia

·        Buffalo is on a run of 12-4 OVER the total in pre-bye week games

·        The Bills have gone OVER the total in their last five non-conference pre-bye week games, allowing 31.2 PPG

CAROLINA Pre-Bye Week Game: 10/15 at Miami

·        The Panthers are on a stretch of 8-2 ATS in pre-bye week games

·        Carolina has gone OVER the total in seven of its last eight pre-bye week games, scoring 31 PPG and allowing 25.4 PPG

·        Carolina is on a 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS surge in pre-bye week games versus AFC foes

CHICAGO Pre-Bye Week Game: MON 11/27 at Minnesota

·        Chicago has been one of the league’s worst long-running teams in terms of pre-bye week performance, 7-17 SU and 9-15 ATS since ’99

·        Versus Minnesota in pre-bye week games, the Bears are on a 5-1 UNDER the total surge

CINCINNATI Pre-Bye Week Game: 10/15 SEATTLE

·        Cincinnati has gone 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS in its last five pre-bye week games vs. NFC foes

·        The Bengals are on a 9-3 SU and 8-4 ATS surge in pre-bye week home games

CLEVELAND Pre-Bye Week Game: 10/1 BALTIMORE

·        Cleveland is on a 3-9 SU and ATS slide in pre-bye week games, including 3-6 SU and ATS at home

·        The Browns are 6-1-1 UNDER the total in their last eight pre-bye week games vs. divisional rivals

DALLAS Pre-Bye Week Game: MON 10/16 at L.A. Chargers

·        Dallas has won its last four pre-bye week games ATS after a 3-8 ATS skid prior

·        The Cowboys are just 11-5 ATS in pre-bye week road/neutral games since ’93

DENVER Pre-Bye Week Game: 10/29 KANSAS CITY

·        Denver is 8-3 SU and 7-3-1 ATS in its last 11 pre-bye week games overall

·        The Broncos are on a 6-1 OVER the total run in pre-bye week games vs. divisional rivals

DETROIT Pre-Bye Week Game: MON 10/30 LAS VEGAS

·        Detroit is on a 10-2 OVER the total surge in pre-bye week home games

·        The Lions are on a 6-1 OVER the total surge in pre-bye week games vs. AFC foes, allowing 31 PPG

GREEN BAY Pre-Bye Week Game: MON 10/9 at Las Vegas

·        The Packers are 4-0 SU and ATS in pre-bye week games under coach Matt LaFleur

·        Green Bay is on a 5-6 SU and 2-9 ATS slide in pre-bye week road games dating back to ’92 but did win at Chicago last year

HOUSTON Pre-Bye Week Game: 10/15 NEW ORLEANS

·        Houston boasts a 13-8 SU and 15-6 ATS record in pre-bye week games since its inception in ’02

·        Houston has gone 6-1-1 UNDER the total in its last eight pre-bye week games, averaging 34.3 PPG

INDIANAPOLIS Pre-Bye Week Game: 11/12 vs. New England

·        Indianapolis is on an 8-2 SU and ATS run in pre-bye week games but did lose 54-19 to Dallas last year

·        The Colts have gone 6-9 ATS in their last 15 pre-bye week home games but 15-2-1 ATS in its last 18 away from home

JACKSONVILLE Pre-Bye Week Game: 10/29 at Pittsburgh

·        The Jaguars are 8-5 SU and 8-4-1 ATS in their last 13 pre-bye week true road games

·        Jacksonville is on a 5-1 UNDER the total surge in pre-week games

KANSAS CITY Pre-Bye Week Game: 11/5 vs. Miami

·        Kansas City is 4-1 SU and ATS in its last five pre-bye week non-divisional conference games

·        The Chiefs have won three straight pre-bye week games away from home ATS, scoring 39.7 PPG

L.A. CHARGERS Pre-Bye Week Game: 10/1 LAS VEGAS

·        The Chargers are just 1-8 SU and ATS in their last nine pre-bye week games

·        While bad overall in pre-bye week games lately, the Chargers are 9-3 ATS in that situation in their last 12 versus divisional foes

L.A. RAMS Pre-Bye Week Game: 11/5 at Green Bay

·        The Rams have gone UNDER the total in seven of their last eight pre-bye week games

·        The Rams are just 3-10 SU and 3-8-2 ATS in their last 13 pre-bye week true road games

LAS VEGAS Pre-Bye Week Game: 11/26 KANSAS CITY

·        The Raiders are on a 5-2 SU and 5-1-1 ATS run in pre-bye week games

·        The Raiders are on a 6-1 OVER the total run in pre-bye week games

MIAMI Pre-Bye Week Game: 11/5 vs. Kansas City

·        Miami has won three straight pre-bye week games SU and ATS after a 2-7 ATS skid

MINNESOTA Pre-Bye Week Game: MON 11/27 CHICAGO

·        Minnesota is on a 16-6 OVER the total run in pre-bye week games since ’01, games producing 52.4 PPG

·        The Vikings are on a 12-2 SU and ATS run in pre-bye week games, scoring at least 20 while averaging 28.5 PPG

NEW ENGLAND Pre-Bye Week Game: 11/12 vs. Indianapolis

·        New England has won back-to-back pre-bye week games and is 11-3 SU and 10-4 ATS in that situation since ’09

NEW ORLEANS Pre-Bye Week Game: 11/12 at Minnesota

·        The Saints have gone 15-5 SU and 14-5-1 ATS in pre-bye week games since 2003

·        New Orleans has gone 9-2 ATS since ’99 in pre-bye week road games

·        The Saints are 9-3 OVER the total in their last 12 pre-bye week games overall

N.Y. GIANTS Pre-Bye Week Game: 11/26 NEW ENGLAND

·        The Giants are just 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 pre-bye week games vs. AFC opponents

·        The Giants are 6-1 UNDER the total in their last seven pre-bye week games

N.Y. JETS Pre-Bye Week Game: 10/15 PHILADELPHIA

·        The Jets are just 2-7 SU and 3-6 ATS in their last nine pre-bye week games versus NFC teams

·        The Jets are 10-5 OVER the total in their last 15 pre-bye week home games

PHILADELPHIA Pre-Bye Week Game: 11/5 DALLAS

·        The Eagles own a seven-game pre-bye week winning streak, both SU and ATS since ’16

·        Philadelphia is on an 11-1 SU and ATS surge in pre-bye week games as a favorite, allowing 16.2 PPG

PITTSBURGH Pre-Bye Week Game: 10/8 BALTIMORE

·        Pittsburgh is just 4-9-1 ATS in its last 14 pre-bye week home games

·        The Steelers have lost their last three pre-bye week games versus the Ravens franchise SU and ATS, the last two at home where they scored 14 total points

SAN FRANCISCO Pre-Bye Week Game: 10/29 CINCINNATI

·        San Francisco has gone just 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS in its last five pre-bye week games

SEATTLE Pre-Bye Week Game: MON 10/2 at N.Y. Giants

·        Seattle lost the league’s longest pre-bye week winning streak a year ago, snapped at 11 games in a loss to Tampa Bay. The Seahawks are 11-1 SU and 9-3 ATS in pre-bye week games since 2011

·        The Seahawks have won their last five pre-bye week true road games while going 4-1 ATS

TAMPA BAY Pre-Bye Week Game: 10/1 at New Orleans

·        Tampa Bay is just 4-10 SU and 3-10-1 ATS in its last 14 pre-bye week games overall but did beat Seattle a year ago overseas

·        The Buccaneers are on a 6-1 OVER the total surge in pre-bye week divisional contests

TENNESSEE Pre-Bye Week Game: 10/15 vs. Baltimore

·        The Titans have been a big OVER team in pre-bye week games, 10-4 on totals in their last 14, allowing 28.1 PPG

·        Tennessee has gone 3-7 ATS in its last 10 pre-bye week games away from home

WASHINGTON Pre-Bye Week Game: 12/3 MIAMI

·        Dating back to ’93, Washington is just 10-22-1 ATS in pre-bye week games overall

·        Washington has gone just 1-6-1 SU and 2-6 ATS in its last eight pre-bye week games vs. AFC opponents

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As one of the original founders of StatFox, Steve Makinen has been in the business of sports betting and data analysis for almost 25 years now. In his time in the industry, Steve has worked in a variety of capacities on both sides of the betting counter, from his early days of developing the StatFox business, to almost a decade of oddsmaking consulting for one of the world's leading sportsbooks, to his last seven years as Point Spread Weekly and Analytics Director with VSiN. Steve has always believed that number crunching and handicapping through foundational trends and systems is the secret to success and he shares this data with VSiN readers on a daily basis for all of the major sports.