Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Night Football Betting: NFL Bye Weeks Begin

Right from the first Thursday night game of the NFL season the weekly football betting routine can fly by at a furious pace. NFL lines for the following week’s games are often posted by online sportsbook before we have even heard the final whistle on Sunday Night Football but as fans and bettors, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s hard to believe three weeks have already passed and as we work through the Week 4 card, it’s time to start focusing a little closer on matchups and situational football handicapping.

The bye weeks are here, starting with the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It means a little less action from a viewing standpoint but the smaller card also frees up more time to handicap the other 14 games on the card.

LONG DIVISION

In Week 4, even with the bye weeks coming into effect, there are more divisional games scheduled than in any other week through the first month. Week 1 had seven, Week 2 there was only three and in Week 3 we saw six divisional matchups.

The road team will be favored in at least four of the nine divisional contests, possibly five, depending which way the line moves in New England at Miami.

There is a trend developing this season that involves divisional road favorites and it’s certainly worth noting for Over/Under bettors.

- When favored by -3 points or more, divisional road favs this year have played 0 overs, 4 unders and 1 push.

Cincinnati (-3) at Cleveland (Total of 37), NY Jets (-5) at Buffalo (Total of 37) and Indianapolis (-7.5) at Jacksonville (Total of 46) all fit the criteria and the "Under" in these three matchups is a play for you to consider.

PICK A SPOT

When looking at these divisional rivalries it is impossible to ignore certain trends that have developed between some of the teams. Two guaranteed meetings per season boosts the credibility of a betting trend because it involves more of the same players and coaches.

Just from the above matchups we can see that the underdog in the Bengals-Browns series is 6-0 ATS since 2007.

We also noticed that the road team in the Colts-Jaguars series is 6-0 ATS the past three seasons.

The road teams is 5-0 ATS in the past five tilts between the Jets and Bills but one of the more glaring trends shows that Buffalo has been a terrible play as a home underdog, going 1-8 ATS the past nine times.

Road favorites were 4-4 ATS in Week 3 but it doesn’t completely make up for their 0-4-1 ATS mark in Week 2. In these three divisional matchups we’ve listed, the road team and the "Under" look like the solid picks but before you circle any of them as a best bet, make sure to do thorough research into the local papers and team websites for injury information.

Think of it this way – with only 14 games on the card you should have some extra time!

Free Ryder Cup Contest

Aside from football, there is also a great golf event this weekend.

The best American golfers go head-to-head against the best Europe has to offer in the 2010 Ryder Cup. It only happens once every four years and for my money, is one of the top sports events of the fall when it tees off.

This year’s starts on Friday and runs through Sunday.

Check out this fun contest to make the event even more interesting.

Play the $100 Ryder Cup Contest…get your picks in today!