NFL Betting Tip: The Smart Way to Play Teams Coming off Byes

NFL Betting Tip: The Smart Way to Play Teams Coming off Byes article feature image

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott

  • A popular betting strategy in the NFL is to target teams coming off of bye weeks.
  • Using Bet Labs, we share the optimal approach to betting teams after a bye.

A popular betting strategy in the NFL is targeting teams coming off a bye week. In theory, the extra rest should give teams time to get healthy, practice and prepare for future opponents.

Historically, it has been profitable to wager on teams coming off a bye. Since 2003, teams playing on 13 or more days rest have gone 265-232-15 (53.3%) against the spread (ATS) per Bet Labs.

Odds as of Monday at 9:30 a.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

However, blindly betting teams off a bye has not been profitable since 2010:

  • 2003-2009: 122-97-5 (55.7%) ATS
  • 2010-2018: 143-1135-10 (51.4%) ATS

Recreational gamblers caught onto the idea of betting teams off a bye, forcing bookmakers to adjust. While a team coming off a bye is no longer an automatic play, there are still situations where it is lucrative.


Which teams are most likely to take advantage of a bye week? Those with superior talent and coaching, as they are most capable of putting the extra time to recover and gameplan to good use.

Such teams are likely to be favored after a bye week and favorites have performed better than underdogs in this scenario.

Dogs off a bye have gone 110-120-6 (47.8%) ATS, while favorites are 154-112-9 (57.9%) ATS according to Bet Labs.

Home-Road Splits

The sweet spot for betting favorites after a bye is on the road. Home teams are usually favored, so if the road team is laying points that is an indication it is a good team.

We are dealing with a small sample of games, so proceed accordingly, but it is not unexpected since we are looking at only teams after a bye week. The promising aspect of following this system is that it has been profitable to wager on road favorites following a bye throughout the years.

  • 2003-2009: 27-10-1 (73.0%) ATS, +15.62 units
  • 2010-2018: 36-23-1 (61.0%) ATS, +11.34 units

The win rate has declined, but the results have been consistent year-to-year, making this a profitable strategy worth following.

On Monday Night Football, the Cowboys and Giants will meet in a NFC East showdown. Dallas opened as a 7-point road favorite after a Week 8 bye.

History is on the Cowboys covering with extra time to rest and prepare for the Giants.

Week 9 Match:

Dallas Cowboys (-6.5) at New York Giants (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN) [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

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