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NFL Bye Week Betting Strategy: How Do Teams Fare After Byes?

The San Francisco 49ers are coming off a Week 6 bye heading into Week 7 of the NFL season.

You hear it a lot on NFL betting shows and you read about it in NFL betting articles. It has also become a general talking point thrown around in pretty much any NFL-related discourse: The vaunted “team coming off a bye” advantage.

Teams coming off a bye week are often thought to have an advantage in the game immediately following their break, as logic dictates that getting a reprieve from such a physically demanding sport should help keep players fresh and give them a chance to heal up nagging injuries. 

But do the numbers back up that logical assumption? 

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Longtime NFLer-turned-broadcaster Ross Tucker has stated in the past that bye weeks can be equally helpful or harmful to teams depending on the situation. Teams that need a week to heal or reset can use the time off, but teams that have a streak of good play interrupted by a bye week can come out the other side cold, their momentum stopped dead.

We decided to take a deeper look at the trends to see how teams tend to do after bye weeks – read on to see what we found, courtesy of Odds Shark’s data research team.

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NFL Bye Week Betting Strategy

It seems that Tucker’s thoughts on how teams are affected by the bye week are borne out in the numbers.

Last season, teams went 17-15 straight up and 14-18 against the spread in their first game after the bye.

In the last three seasons, teams are 44-52 SU and 41-53-2 ATS.

In the last 10 seasons, teams are 160-158-2 SU and 155-155-10 ATS.

The records are incredibly even across the board and definitely dispel the assumption that a long week is a big advantage leading into a game.

But those numbers reflect the league as a whole. Certainly there are some teams that have performed better or worse than others post-bye? 

In the last five seasons, the Tennessee Titans are a perfect 5-0 SU coming off their bye week and are the only team with that record in the last five years. It seems giving Derrick Henry some time to recharge the batteries helps out quite a bit. 

Meanwhile, the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals and Chicago Bears are all 0-5 SU in their last five games following a bye.

Heading into Week 7 of the NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets and New Orleans Saints are all coming off a bye.

Here’s a look at some of the best and worst teams SU and ATS coming off a bye in the last five and 10 years. 

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Last 5 years Best SU:

Tennessee (5-0 SU)
Pittsburgh (4-1 SU)
Buffalo (4-1 SU)
Seattle (4-1 SU)
Kansas City (4-1 SU)
Indianapolis (4-1 SU)
New Orleans (4-1 SU)
Baltimore (4-1 SU)
Dallas (4-1 SU)

Last 5 years Worst SU:

Cincinnati (0-5 SU)
Chicago (0-5 SU)
NY Jets (0-5 SU)
Green Bay (1-4 SU)
Philadelphia (1-4 SU)
Las Vegas (1-4 SU)

Last 10 years Best SU:

Houston (7-3 SU)
Pittsburgh (7-3 SU)
Baltimore (7-3 SU)
Atlanta (7-3 SU)
Detroit (7-3 SU)
Tennessee (7-3 SU)
Kansas City (7-3 SU)
Indianapolis (7-3 SU)
New Orleans (7-3 SU)

Last 10 years Worst SU

NY Jets (1-9 SU)
Cincinnati (3-7 SU)
Chicago (3-7 SU)
Washington (3-7 SU)
Minnesota (3-7 SU)
Cleveland (3-7 SU)
Las Vegas (3-7 SU)

Last 5 years Best ATS:

Miami (5-0 ATS)
Tennessee (4-0-1 ATS)
LA Chargers (4-1 ATS)
Detroit (4-1 ATS)
Dallas (4-1 ATS)

Last 5 years Worst ATS:

Cincinnati (0-5 ATS)
Chicago (0-5 ATS)
Philadelphia (1-4 ATS)
Washington (1-4 ATS)
Cleveland (1-4 ATS)
Las Vegas (1-4 ATS)

Last 10 years Best ATS:

Detroit (8-2 ATS)
Jacksonville (7-2-1 ATS)
Atlanta (7-3 ATS)
Dallas (7-3 ATS)
Denver (7-3 ATS)
Miami (7-3 ATS)
New Orleans (7-3 ATS)

Last 10 years Worst ATS:

Washington (2-8 ATS)
Chicago (2-7-1 ATS)
Cleveland (2-6-2 ATS)
Cincinnati (3-7 ATS)
Minnesota (3-7 ATS)
San Francisco (3-7 ATS)
Carolina (3-7 ATS)