The First Round Bye In The NFL Playoffs
Question: It's just common sense to believe that a first round bye in the NFL playoffs is a good thing, right? The extra week off to prepare, coupled with friendly confines has to be an advantage both for the team AND for bettors.
Or is this "tried and true" handicapping angle just "smoke and mirrors"?
Let's take a look over the last five years to find out:
2008 Opponent/Result Divisional Round SU ATS
Tennessee Titans L 10-13 vs Baltimore 3 pt fav L L
Pittsburgh Steelers W 35-24 vs San Diego 6.5 pt fav W W
New York Giants L 11-23 vs Philadelphia 4 pt fav L L
Carolina Panthers L 13-33 vs Arizona 10 pt fav L L
Indianapolis Colts W 20-3 vs Baltimore 6.5 pt fav W W
San Diego Chargers L 14-17 vs NY Jets 7.5 pt fav L L
New Orleans Saints W 45-14 vs Arizona 7 pt fav W W
Minnesota Vikings W 34-3 vs Dallas 2.5 pt fav W W
New England Patriots L 21-28 vs NY Jets 9.5 pt fav L L
Pittsburgh Steelers W 31-24 vs Baltimore 3.5 pt fav W W
Atlanta Falcons L 21-48 vs Green Bay 1 pt fav L L
Chicago Bears W 35-24 vs Seattle 10 pt fav W W
New England Patriots W 45-10 vs Denver 14 pt fav W W
Baltimore Ravens W 20-13 vs Houston 7.5 pt fav W L
Green Bay Packers L 20-37 vs NY Giants 8 pt fav L L
San Francisco 49ers W 36-32 vs New Orleans 3.5 pt dog W W
Denver Broncos L 38-35 vs Baltimore 9 pt fav L L
New England Patriots W 41-28 vs Houston 9.5 pt fav W W
Atlanta Falcons W 30-28 vs Seattle 1 pt fav W W
San Francisco 49ers W 45-31 vs Green Bay 3 pt fav W W
Totals: 12 SU W's/8 SU L's 11 ATS W's/9 ATS L's
Conclusion: Don't believe the hype!
Over the last five years, attaining a first round bye is not as advantageous as we've collectively been led to believe, especially for the bettor.
(It's interesting to note: if a team that's earned a first-round bye loses SU, it also loses ATS. And if it wins SU, it also wins ATS. The only time in the last five years that this trend was broken was in 2011 when the Baltimore Ravens beat the Houston Texans 20-13 SU, but failed to cover the 7.5 point spread.)
- Ben Burns
- February 10, 2016 - 7:00 PM
- Offered at:
- pinnacle @ -8.5 -101 Wisconsin
**UNBELIEVEABLE BUT TRUE!** Ben Burns was a PERFECT 7-0 on Tuesday and is now an ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS 20-2 over the past four days. Here, Ben takes a look at this evening's Nebraska/Wisconsin contest.
The coaching change a distant memory, Wisconsin is playing its best basketball these days. The Badgers check in off a double-digit win over Ohio State and with a 5-0 SU/ATS record over their past five games.
The Huskers are also off a big win. However, it was a costly one. Senior forward Shavon Shields suffered a concussion and won't be at tonight's game. He hasn't even been able to attend classes this week and its been emotional for the entire team. Shields is both a skilled scorer and an inspirational leader. He's started more than 100 consecutive games for this team; only five other players in school history can say that. I believe he's going to be missed.
With an O/U line in the mid-high 130s, the pace figures to favor the Badgers. Nebraska is 8-18-1 ATS (5-22 SU) the last 27 times it played a road game with an O/U line in the 135 to 139.5 range. Wisconsin, on the other hand, is 18-8-1 ATS (25-2 SU) the last 27 times it played a home game with a total in the 135 to 139.5 range.
The Huskers won last season's meeting here by 15 points. Given the way they're playing right now and with Nebraska playing sans Shields, another double-digit win won't surprise. Consider laying the points.