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.)
- Chi. White Sox
- April 17, 2014 - 8:10 PM
- Art Aronson
- Offered at:
- 5dimes @ -114 Chi. White Sox
1* Free Play Chicago White Sox.
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Despite winning yesterday, the Red Sox are reeling a little bit to start the season with injuries to key players and I think their free fall resumes on Thursday. Boston will send lefty John Lester (1-2, 2.57 ERA) to the hill for the second game of this three game set with Chicago. Lester has struggled versus the White Sox over his career with a rather pedestrian 4-5 record and 5.43 ERA. Chicago sends its ace Chris Sale (3-0, 2.66 ERA) to oppose the Red Sox; the lefty is coming off his worst start of the season to date as he gave up three earned runs in just five innings of work but still managed to get the win. Sale has never started a game against Boston in his career but has given up zero runs in 5 2/3 relief innings vs. it. He didn’t get the run support he deserved last season but this White Sox team has a few more potent bats in 2014 and they’ve come up big for him so far. The White Sox are still a strong 6-3 in home games and have won four of their last six overall. Boston meanwhile has lost four of six coming into this contest and is just 4-6 on the road. I think Sale is worth the price of admission in this one.