Saturday, 21 January 2023

NFL Playoffs; Rest and Grass

Some of you may recall the post from last October which looked at whether receiving a bye was a gift or a curse, but as a reminder it's that weekend of the year in the NFL where the number one seeds from the regular season resume after a couple of weeks off. The sample size of games where one team has 7 or more days of rest than their opponent is not large of course, just 45 games, but I noted then that:

Another major sport that rewards its top regular season performers with a bye week is the NFL, and here the data since 2002 shows that the rested team underperforms with just a 36.4% record ATS.

The two rested teams this weekend are the Philadelphia Eagles (v New York Giants) and Kansas City Chiefs (v Jacksonville Jaguars) who are giving about 7.5 points and 9 points respectively. 

Both games are being played on grass, and while Unders is historically the bet on this surface in playoff games, in games where the home team has an extra week of rest, this has been the outcome in 64.3% of 28 such previous games. 

The Eagles v Giants game is also a divisional game and by now, we should all know about opposing the favourite in such games. 

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