NFL Bye Weeks: What All Bettors Should Know About Byes
17 December 2020
The bye week is one of the most important parts of an NFL team’s schedule. While fans might be upset to not see their favorite team in action in a given week, the bye week serves an important purpose. In this look at NFL bye weeks, find out what you should consider surrounding bye weeks and how the bye weeks NFL teams have can impact bettors.
Fantasy Impact Of Bye Weeks
The first place where NFL bye weeks impact football fans is from a fantasy perspective. With each team getting one bye week each season, every player is going to sit out of one week per season. This applies to even the best players in your fantasy lineup, so it is important to have a backup plan for when those players are set to have their week off.
This can be done in a couple of ways. Fantasy players can choose to keep a backup on their bench for when bye weeks roll around. Or players can simply look at the waiver wire and free agent pool for a bye week replacement. The first option gives players more of a choice as to who they end up with, while waiting for the last minute can limit the available options.
Fortunately for fantasy football players, they do not have to keep track of their players’ bye weeks themselves. All major fantasy football league apps and websites list the week where players are set to have their bye week. This allows virtual general managers to plan ahead or at least keep in mind when bye weeks will impact them.
Impact Of Bye Weeks On NFL Bettors
For those who are betting on NFL games, understanding the effect of bye weeks is incredibly important as well. Some coaches have performed well historically before or after bye weeks, while other coaches have struggled in those situations. Understanding those trends and putting them to good use is a key to successful sports betting around bye weeks in the NFL.
Also important is when a bye week takes place for each team. The earlier in the season a team has their bye week, the less rest they will have later in the season. That could mean that a team with an early bye week is fatigued at the end of the regular season or the playoffs. On the flip side, a team that has a late bye week might be fresher than those that have not near the end of the season.
The most important thing to remember about bye weeks is that they introduce a situational element to betting that would not otherwise be there. Teams having more rest than their opponents, looking forward to a week off, or having an extra week to prepare for their opponents are all crucial details that cannot be overlooked. As long as NFL bettors keep those elements in mind, they will have an advantage over bettors who do not.
Additional Bye Week Considerations
The 2020 NFL season was a unique one, in that it featured the potential for bye weeks to be changed from week to week. As games were postponed or rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, bye weeks were moved to different weeks for some teams as a result. This made handicapping the NFL more difficult, as bettors were never 100% sure that a bye week would take place when it was supposed to.
In normal years, teams’ bye weeks are fixed on one week of the season. That allows bettors to plan for those weeks ahead of time. With bettors knowing when teams will have extra time to get ready for games in more conventional seasons, they can read into the markets accordingly based on each team’s strengths and weaknesses.
NFL Betting FAQ
Teams know when their bye weeks are going to be when the league’s schedule is announced during each offseason. That announcement includes the schedule for each team, including all 16 of their games and their bye weeks. Every team gets just one bye week per season, so it is important to remember when those weeks are ahead of time.
Historically, Andy Reid is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the NFL after a bye week. Also, Bill Belichick coached teams have performed well following their bye. As a whole, coaches who are able to implement creative game plans fare well in these situations, as they have more time to put their visions into place.
Usually, the NFL season sees bye weeks end after Week 13. This means that even teams with the latest bye week have to play four games before the end of the regular season. Top seeds in the playoffs get an additional bye week at the start of the postseason, but regular season teams usually do not see a bye past Week 13.