Statistical Keys to Winning Bets in the 2020 NFL Season

2020-21 NFL Computer Predictions and Rankings NFL Office Sports Betting  winning season  This guide should be on every bettor’s bulletin board:

Josh Appelbaum (VSIN.COM) writes:

Week 1 provides several profitable edges that bettors should be aware of. According to Bet Labs Sports, Week 1 divisional underdogs have gone 51-32 ATS (61.4%) since 2003. This is due to the built in familiarity between divisional opponents, which levels the playing field and benefits the team getting points. Big Week 1 dogs getting 6.5 points or more have also been a smart bet, going 38-22 ATS (63.3%).

Another profitable opportunity in Week 1 is backing teams that missed the playoffs the previous year against teams that made the playoffs. They’ve gone 59-46 ATS (56.2%). This is the ultimate buy-low value play because you’re capitalizing on recency bias. The public will be inclined to blindly back teams who made the playoffs because that’s the last thing they remember from the previous year. In turn, they’ll blindly fade non-playoff teams. This creates a contrarian spot where you’re taking advantage of shaded numbers.

Aside from studying the Week 1 lines, another key aspect of the 2020 schedule is focusing on bye weeks and Thursday Night Football matchups. These unique scheduling spots have provided a significant edge to bettors in the past.

NFL teams coming off a bye are 254-228 ATS (52.7%) since 2003. However, we see a massive difference between underdogs and favorites. Dogs are just 105-125 ATS (45.7%). However, favorites are an impressive 148-103 ATS (59%). Road favorites are even better, going 62-28 ATS (68.9%). This is likely due to the fact that the betting public overvalues home field advantage, providing road favorites an increased contrarian edge.

Why are favorites off a bye so profitable? Because the extra week off disproportionally benefits the “better” team. Not only do they have more time to rest and rehab injuries but the coaching staff has two weeks to game-plan for the next opponent.

Bye weeks start in Week 5 and run through Week 13. Here are the bye weeks for all 32 teams.

Week 5: Lions, Packers

Week 6: Raiders, Patriots, Saints, Seahawks

Week 7: Colts, Jaguars, Vikings, Titans

Week 8: Cardinals, Ravens, Broncos, Texans, Steelers, Redskins

Week 9: Bengals, Browns, Rams, Eagles

Week 10: Falcons, Cowboys, Chiefs, Chargers

Week 11: Bills, Bears, Dolphins, Giants, Jets, 49ers

Week 12: No bye teams

Week 13: Panthers, Bucs

After bye weeks, the next scheduling spot to look out for is Thursday Night Football. The short week provides another pronounced edge bettors should be aware of. Since 2003, Thursday Night favorites have gone 113-83 ATS (57.7%). Home favorites are even better (73-50 ATS, 59.3%). Just as the extra time off benefits the “better” team, so does the short week. With both teams on a quick turnaround, the team with better players and a superior coaching staff has the advantage, especially if they’re at home at don’t have to travel.

Here’s the complete list of Thursday Night games this season

Week 2: Bengals at Browns

Week 3: Dolphins at Jaguars

Week 4: Broncos at Jets

Week 5: Bucs at Bears

Week 6: Chiefs at Bills

Week 7: Giants at Eagles

Week 8: Falcons at Panthers

Week 9: Packers at 49ers

Week 10: Colts at Titans

Week 11: Cardinals at Seahawks

Week 13: Cowboys at Ravens

Week 14: Patriots at Rams

Week 15: Chargers at Raiders

Week 12 is Thanksgiving. The three games on Turkey Day include Texans at Lions (12:30 p.m. ET), Redskins at Cowboys (4:30 p.m. ET) and Ravens at Steelers (8:20 p.m. ET).

Historically, favorites have crushed it on Thanksgiving. Since 2003, they’ve gone 31-13 ATS (70.5%).