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.)
- Notre Dame
- Power Sports
- November 28, 2015 - 7:30 PM
- Offered at:
- carbonsports @ 4 -110 Notre Dame
1* Notre Dame (7:30 ET): I realize that this is a revenge game for the favored Cardinal, at home, but the underdog Fighting Irish are likely to be the more motivated side as they were just dropped in the most recent CFP rankings. A win here could very well get them back in the coveted top four, so the points look like a premium in an even matchup.
Yes, I went against Notre Dame last week in what appeared to be a "lethargic" effort, a 16-13 win over Boston College. But delving further inside the box score reveals that the game was a little more one-sided than the final score shows. The Irish actually owned a 447-302 edge in total yards, but were hampered by five turnovers. Four of those turnovers occurred when ND was inside the BC 35-yd line, three inside the 10! So it was a bit of a "lucky" cover for my backers and I. Meanwhile, Stanford was actually severely outgained in its win over rival Cal last week, 495-356.
The Cardinal have a game scheduled for next week, that being the Pac 12 Championship Game, so their collective focus may not entirely be on the Irish. It would take nothing short of a miracle for Stanford to somehow find itself in a position where they can make the top four in the CFP rankings. For Notre Dame, this is the regular season finale and they should leave it all on the field. Remember that their ONLY loss this year came at unbeaten Clemson, by just two points, and they had a chance to tie the game w/ a 2-pt conversion that ultimately failed. 1* Notre Dame
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