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NFL Playoff Betting Strategy: The Spread Value of Byes & Home-Field Advantage in the Divisional Round

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Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes

  • The Ravens, Chiefs, 49ers and Packers will all play at home following an extra week of rest in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.
  • Using Bet Labs, we analyze against-the-spread records for teams with home-field advantage and first-round byes.

The Ravens, Chiefs, 49ers and Packers will begin their marches to the Super Bowl in the Divisional Round. All of these top seeds have a decided advantage over their opponents.

These higher seeds have the benefit of playing at home and an extra week of rest to prepare for their opponents. These advantages have proven significant in the postseason.

Since 2003, home teams in the NFL have gone 2,454-1,837-8 (57.2%) straight up (SU) in the regular season per Bet Labs. In the playoffs, teams with home-field advantage have won 61.9% of their games (99-61 SU).


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In the Divisional Round, home teams are even better at 43-21 (67.2%) SU during this time.

Extra rest helps, too. In the regular season, teams with eight or more days between games have gone 749-738-3 (50.4%) SU, but in the playoffs these teams are 83-58 (58.9%) SU including 45-28 (61.6%) SU in the second round.

Of course, winning is not the same as covering. Teams with home field and a first-round bye in the Divisional Round might be more likely to advance to the conference championships, but has that translated to success for NFL bettors?

NFL Playoff Betting Tip: Divisional Round Byes & Home-Field Advantage

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