There’s a general consensus in the public that NFL teams play better off a bye. It makes sense — they are healthier and have two weeks to game plan for an opponent.
Well, the guys at Covers have the data: Over the last 10 seasons, NFL teams are 168-141-8 against the spread. That’s good for a 54.4 win rate. Not bad, but not enough to get the money when we take the vig into account.
So we have to pick and choose, knowing there’s a slight edge with teams off a bye:
1. BROWNS +6.5 at Raiders: This is a spot the squares will be on the Raiders. Yes, it’s their first home game since Al Davis’ death, but they’ve had an emotional week off an emotional win in Houston. The Browns, off a bye, have promoted Greg Little and Evan Moore which should spark their offense.
2. REDSKINS +1 vs. Eagles: The public continues to pour money into the Eagles despite on-field results. Now the Redskins are off a bye and pointing to this one as a chance to officially kill the Dream Team’s season.
3. OLE MISS +25.5 vs. Alabama: The Rebels are off a bye and have a night game in their biggest game of the season. Talent disparity is severe, but it’s the right spot.
4. MARYLAND +7.5 vs. Clemson: Enough is enough with Clemson. Are they going to win every game? I think not.