Much like the ‘revenge theory’ in football betting, handicapping based on bye weeks has lots of value according to some bettors and very little according to others.
The naysayers point to the fact its random luck whether a team faces a good team or a poor one before or after its bye. The believers point to the fact some teams have incentive to hit the bye week on a roll and the fact some coaches do a better job of preparation with an extra week of rest. [ More Week 6 NFL betting trends ]
Whichever side of the philosophical betting fence you are sitting on, the fact is that four teams are coming off byes in Week 6. Six more are playing before hitting their bye in Week 7.
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“We bet on New Orleans Sunday night because, at 0-4, there was no way they wanted to hit the break at 0-5,” said Jack Randall. “We’ll bet against Oakland this week for many reasons, but one is the fact they never seem ready coming off a bye week.”
Indeed the Raiders are 0-9 ATS the past nine seasons in this position. They visit Atlanta as 9.5-point underdogs, a role where they have excelled lately, going 10-4 ATS in 14 games as a dog.
But they face a Falcons team that has been dominant heading into a bye week, as their 7-1 ATS in eight seasons proves.
Detroit, Tampa Bay and Dallas are the other four teams coming off bye weeks. Two of them enjoy positive results against the spread.
Dallas is a profitable 11-3 ATS in its past 14 games after a bye. They are in tough on the road as 3.5-point dogs at Baltimore.
The Bucs are 5-1 ATS in their past 6 games after a bye week and they are small 3-point home chalk against Kansas City.
The five other teams hitting a bye week next weekend are Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego. None sees any obvious historical trends except for San Diego.
The Chargers have hit the bye week firing on all cylinders offensively (or misfiring on all cylinders defensively). Whatever the case, the OVER is 12-1 the past 13 Charger games before a bye week.