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.)
- O (WIN at ANA)
- Larry Ness
- April 18, 2015 - 10:30 PM
- Offered at:
- allyoubet @ Over 5 -140
These two teams have now played FIVE of their last six games over the total when playing in Anaheim...
My free play is on Anaheim/Tampa Bay Over at 10:35 ET.
Anaheim rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the third period to defeat Winnipeg 4-2 in the opening game of this series. The Ducks' top-line of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf got rolling in that final period, as Perry scored twice while assisting on Getzlaf's goal that ended the game. It is hard not to conclude from that onslaught that Anaheim's superstars are a level above and beyond the capable but unspectacular set of defensemen that the Jets have to offer. The dilemma for the Jets’ head coach Paul Maurice is that if he focuses too much of his players and energies on that dynamic duo of Perry and Getzlaf, that will open up opportunities for Ryan Kesler who anchors a very powerful second line for the Ducks. The over is now 12-4-6 in Anaheim's last 22 games in the Western Conference quarterfinals after Game 1 of this series finished over the toatl of five. The over is also 5-1-1 in the Ducks' last seven home games against teams with a losing record on the road. Goalie Frederik Andersen was up to the task in the opening game by stopping 25 of the 27 shots Winnipeg peppered him. However, Andersen remains a question mark between the pipes given that he had a mediocre 2.56 goals against average and .906 save percentage after the All-Star break prior to Thursday's game. If it were not for John Gibson's upper body injury, Andersen may not have been head coach Bruce Boudreau's choice to be in net to begin this series. Gibson will be ready to go sometime during this series which means Andersen will be looking over his shoulder. He can blow up at any time in this series.
Winnipeg will likely play this game fast-and-loose after blowing that 2-1 lead on Thursday. Stealing Game 2 of this series remains a luxury rather than a necessity for this team, which should remain confident that it can win this series despite being an 8-seed. The Jets have now played NINE of their last 13 road games over the number against teams with a winning percentage over .600 on their home ice. However, the concern this team has but will not dare mention out loud is that goalie Ondrej Pavelec has lost his magic after an incredible second half of the season, where he culminated his 1.98 goals against average and .932 save percentage with three straight shutouts on the road. While Pavelec's play definitely put his team in a position to win the opening game of this series, the fact remains he gave up four goals on just 33 shots. His Game 1 numbers are reminiscent of his unspectacular 2.86 goals against average and .908 save percentage career numbers that he began this series with rather than the lightning in the bottle numbers he put up in the second half of the season after winning his job back from backup Michael Hutchinson. These two teams have now played FIVE of their last six games over the total when playing in Anaheim. Expect another game to finish over the number in Game 2 of this series. Take the over.
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