While many factors must be taken into account when handicapping NCAA football games, one of the factors that is often overlooked relates to bye weeks. In football, a bye week refers to any week during the regular season in which a team does not play a game, essentially providing the team with a week of added rest, which can be crucial over the course of a long regular season. While teams in the NFL are only afforded one bye week over the course of the regular season, a number of college football teams may receive more than one bye week. In this article, we’ll examine how the extra time off impacts a team’s performance against the spread thereafter to determine if there was any benefit to playing with an extra week of rest and preparation while the opponent was on regular rest.
Analysis Of NCAAF Teams’ Performance After Bye Week Since 2007
In the NFL, there’s a distinct advantage for teams playing after a bye week against a team playing on regular rest. However, when it comes to NCAA football, the advantage is noticeably smaller, if any. When looking at NCAA football teams’ performance against the spread after their bye week, we split this into seven different categories. Here are the findings:
1. At home – .510 winning percentage
2. On the road – .515 winning percentage
3. As a home favorite – .544 winning percentage
4. As a home underdog – .451 winning percentage
5. As an away favorite – .497 winning percentage
6. As an away underdog – .521 winning percentage
7. Overall results – .514 winning percentage
From the winning percentages listed above, only college football teams coming off their bye week as a home favorite posted a winning percentage that would be profitable over the long-run. For all of the other categories, you’d be losing money over the long-term due to the juice on the spread. Additionally, college football teams coming off their bye week as a home underdog posted an abysmal .451 winning percentage – you’d be better off fading teams in this position.
Taking A Closer Look At Home Favorites
When we dive deeper into the data on home favorites coming off a bye week, the sweet spots tend to encompass home teams favored by 7.5 to 14.0 points and 21.0 points or more, with these teams posting .583 and .667 winning percentages respectively – very good to say the least. However, when home teams coming off a bye week were favored by 7.0 points or less and 14.5 to 21 points, their winning percentages dropped considerably to .444 and .527 respectively.
Sweet Spot For Home Favorites
Based on historical data, the sweet spot for home favorites coming off a bye week occurred when these teams were favored by 8.0 points or more. In this situation, these teams won, on average, at a winning percentage of .686! Make sure you’re on the lookout for teams in these scenarios moving forward, as you’d be profiting over the long-term with this type of winning percentage.
Taking A Closer Look At Road Underdogs
In the section above, we derived that small home favorites were a terrible option to bet on. However, for teams coming off a bye week and playing on the road as small underdogs, categorized as underdogs by 4.5 points or less, the average winning percentages of these teams have been spectacular – .608 winning percentage. Be on the lookout for teams in these scenarios as well.