College Football Bye-Week Betting Notes for 2019
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Gary Patterson
- Bye weeks play a huge role in college football, and because of the lengthy schedule, most teams have two.
- Below you'll find a few bye-week trends you can apply to your bets in 2019.
The 2019 college football season will be lengthy. Play begins on August 24th with Week Zero, while conference championships aren’t until Week 15 on December 7th. Thanks to the number of Saturdays between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, almost every FBS team has two bye weeks on its calendar.
Extra rest means everything to a college football team. Players have a chance to rejuvenate off injury, while coaching schemes have extra time for renovation. Bye weeks can also have a negative affect for offenses that depend on rhythm. With so many bye weeks scheduled in 2019, here is a brief look at scenarios that can line a gambler’s wallet with cash.
November Bye Weeks
By the time the calendar passes October, many players are impacted by injuries or recovering from midterm exams. Per Bet Labs, home teams with at least 13 days rest playing a conference game past November 1st are 38-21-2 since 2015. A trend that hits 64.4% certainly deserves a bit of attention when betting your dollar.
Returning to the initial trend, home teams on extra rest in November are profitable. Whether its travel time or elevation, no two conferences fit this description more than the Mountain West and Pac-12.
Per Bet Labs, backing a home team on extra rest in the Mountain West or Pac-12 against a team with a losing record is 25-5 against the spread since 2008. In 2019 plenty of games may fit that scenario including Nevada at San Diego State, UCLA at Utah and Arizona at Oregon.
Coaches to Target off Bye Weeks
Head coaches are the single most important aspect when it comes to bye weeks. Gary Patterson consistently has TCU prepared, with a 10-3 against-the-spread record when given 13 days rest. Conversely, Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo is 8-16-1 against the number in the same timeframe.
We notice Mike Norvell as one of the best coaches to back off of a bye week, while fading Dana Holgerson on extra rest is also a positive investment. These two head coaches meet each other off a bye week on November 16th. The same can be said about backing North Carolina State over Wake Forest on November 2nd, as each team comes off a bye week.
Recency Bias and the Group of Five
Oftentimes the public bets on what they last viewed on the field. Plenty of teams come out of a bye week as an underdog and are undervalued in the market. This is especially true with the Group of Five teams. Teams off a bye week that are more than a touchdown underdog in the Group of Five are 110-75-2 against the spread since 2005.
We also frequently mention teams off a bye week facing teams on back-to-back travel, as this is generally another profitable scenario (for most teams). Here is a list of teams on back-to-back travel against a team fresh off a bye week.
- 9/14: Southern Miss at Troy
- 9/28: Louisiana at Georgia Southern, UCLA at Arizona, SMU at South Florida
- 10/5: Arkansas State at Georgia State
- 10/12: UMass at Louisiana Tech
- 11/2: Texas State at Louisiana, Troy at Coastal Carolina
- 11/9: UAB at Southern Miss, Kansas State at Texas
- 11/16: Air Force at Colorado State
Within the MAC and Sun Belt schedules, teams can often have can often get two or three consecutive road games or 10 days of rest with midweek games, so the “home team off a bye against back to back travel” scenario does not encompass MACtion or the Funbelt.
In fact, MAC or Sun Belt teams with 10 days of rest against teams on back-to-back travel are cashing just 29% of the time against the spread.
So whether it’s betting Gary Patterson off a bye or backing a Group of Five underdog off extra rest, it is important to know the historical trends of each bye-week scenario with a large sample set.