2021 NFL Bye Weeks

There’s a time between week 4 and week 12 that NFL bye weeks occur. With the new 17-game season, this changed from week 6 to week 14. 

Needless to say, the bye weeks are not only to rest but are crucial to consider when planning your bets on the teams returning after the break.

The NFL is the most physical league in sports, plain and simple. So, when it comes to having a bye week, the teams try to exploit it to its fullest.

Plenty of sports offer their athletes a much-deserved break. The MLB, NBA, and NHL all have their respective “All-Star Breaks.” This window allows players and franchises to have a rest from the hustle of the regular season.

The NFL doesn’t have an All-Star break, hence the bye weeks. They have the Pro Bowl, which equals the All-Star game of other sports. 

But the game is played after the NFL Playoffs and before the Super Bowl.

2021 NFL Bye Weeks Schedule

As this is a prolonged 17-game season, the bye week period begins in week 6, and it spans until week 14.

These are the bye weeks for the 2021 NFL season:

WeekTeams On Bye
6Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers
7Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, LA Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers
8Baltimore Ravens, Las Vegas Raiders
9Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Football Team
10Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, New York Giants
11Denver Broncos, LA Rams
12Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs
13Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans
14Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles

Less Downtime Because Of Thursday Night Football

For a while now, the NFL has played a primetime game on Thursdays. These Thursday Night Football games were originally from week 10 and after. After a few years, it became a weekly fixture.

The recovery span from an NFL game can take several days, and many players have documented their disdain for TNF. The reason is a shortened week doesn’t allow them to recover fully after a Sunday game. The toll is too heavy.

Handicapping won’t alter much for the Thursday games because both teams come off short rest. The silver lining for teams playing on Thursday is they get extra rest for the following week.

Is It An Extra Advantage?

Instead of 6 days off prior to the next game, which is a usual NFL week, they can rest for nine days (or 10 if their next game is on Monday Night Football).

Thus, both bye weeks and teams coming off a TNF appearance is something the bettors have to consider.

Various scenarios exist where bettors need to evaluate a team after a bye week or extended rest.

Above Average NFL Teams

Some think the bye weeks in the NFL are not a good thing for teams who have momentum on their side. If a team is beating their opponents with ease and are at the peak of their powers, a bye week can derail that.

This train of thought is not particularly accurate. For above-average and top teams, bye week benefits them a lot. It allows them to recover, rest, and plan the games ahead.

Preparing their winning formula through an extended period of practice time is something a great coaching staff desires. All in all, bye weeks are a much-wished time of the year for elite teams.

Underdogs Or Favorites?

We suggest bettors bet more underdogs than favorites. Especially in recreational betting sites where the moneylines are usually shaded. The game post bye week is the one spot we recommend bettors to go for the favorites.

The NFL bye week betting strategy is worth considering for bettors. Good teams do really well after a bye week, particularly in road games.

Road favorites are an established public wager, but coming off a bye week becomes more of a sharper bet. Road favorites coming off a bye win the bet 74.5% of the time, according to TheGreek.com.

If you are looking to bet on these, betting on them when the line opens is the best strategy. This way, you grab an excellent price before the market starts to move.

Winless NFL Teams Coming Off A Bye Week

Bye weeks begin in week 4, which means bad teams can get to their rest period winless. It’s not great, but it happens.

The bye week, however, gives these cursed teams more time to prepare for their rivals. Of course, the teams look for these extra days to right their wrongs and make adjustments to get that first win.

The danger of betting for these teams is obvious. They may not adjust enough, they may be a really bad team who is out talent. Betting for them is Russian roulette. Strike it rich or draw dead.

Other Factors To Consider

As said before, adjustments won’t make the difference if they’re the wrong ones, or if the team doesn’t have enough talent. Sometimes, the coaching staff will be the downfall of it all.

If the winless team plays at home, the edge is better, even so, it may not be enough.

Bettors should handicap winless teams coming off a bye not on a regular, but on a case-by-case basis. This means the matchup is important. If a winless team is facing an unbeaten force, coming off a bye will not make the winless team better. 

However, if it faces another team with a losing record, then the chances of winning the bet are better.

Another tip is to always handicap winless teams. This way, you don’t depend on the winless team actually winning. 

They just need to cover the point spread to win you the wager. You buy yourself an important window of betting victory here.

NFL Injury Issues & Fatigue

From a mere physical perspective, the NFL is one of if not the toughest sport in the world. It’s demanding and reckless.

Even if you manage to stay away from injuries, the fatigue of the season takes its share on the players. The bye week serves as an excellent time for players to have a breath, recover, and nurse nagging injuries.

Any team will benefit from having a bye week. But the franchises who are dealing with injury issues are the ones thanking it all. They can heal and refresh to resume football action a week after. 

One week can do wonders for the players. This becomes even more true when it comes to the second half of the season.

The Week Before The Bye

Bettors shouldn’t focus specifically on the bye week and the week after. They also need to put an eye on the week before.

It’s unusual that we would want to target the underdog teams in a game before their bye week. At the end of the day, they are likely to go play on pure inertia as they look ahead to take their rest.

As for the favorites, the story is not like that. Actually, it’s the whole opposite.

Motivated Teams

Highly regarded teams usually want to go to their bye weeks on a high note. Get the rest and come back with big momentum.

Well-coached teams take the games before a bye seriously, as opposed to the low-tier teams.

Final Thoughts On NFL Bye Weeks

Considering the bye weeks is something all bettors should do. Many don’t factor them accurately or ignore them when handicapping. This is a big mistake.

It is not a shocking thing, though. You understand why most of the football bettors are losing sports gamblers after all. Their bets are Hail Mary after Hail Mary.

The trends explained above are fantastic when looking for which type of teams you should target after long layoff periods. 

This includes both the bye weeks and the weeks after Thursday Night Football. But once again, remember to make these bets, not as a trend, but study them on a game-to-game basis.

The talent of the squads, the locker room environment, the coaching staff, and the momentum should all be factors to consider. Also, the point in the season, the health, and the motivations going into the bye week.

If you manage to get a good grasp on opening spreads as soon as the line opens, and know who to pick the teams, the profits you can make are big.