Last year at about this point in the NFL season, I unveiled a bunch of trends, systems and other performance data for the high-profile Thursday night, Sunday night and Monday night games. Every week the NFL offers at least three prime-time national television contests, meaning singular contests that are naturally highly wagered games. Most bettors, sharp or otherwise, choose to partake in these games, if for no other reason than they are going to watch them. I have always stood by the belief that if you are going to wager a game, it should be an educated wager, so knowing as much as you can about each team and understanding tendencies in these high-profile games is important.
To conduct this study, I put together a log of all the Thursday, Sunday and Monday night games since the start of the 2012 season.
I chose 2012 because that was the first season in which “Thursday Night Football” became a season-long schedule filler. The data sample I have thus contains 116 “TNF” games, 126 “SNF” games and 128 “MNF” games. All of those sample sizes are enough to draw conclusions to take advantage of the rest of the season.
A couple of key notes:
The data studied covered games from the start of the 2012 season through Week 8 of the 2019 campaign.
Only Thursday night games were included in the “TNF” study, not the day games played on Thanksgiving.
The Sunday night games included only those played at night, not all of the games covered by the NBC “SNF” crew, which also included some Wednesday and Saturday contests.
Before looking into each of the various nights’ details, here are some basic trends you’ll want to understand:
Since 2012, “TNF” home teams own a record of 69-47 SU and 58-52-6 ATS (52.7%). Amazingly, totals are split 57-57-2.
In that same span, “SNF” home teams own records of 78-47-1 SU and 66-53-7 ATS
(55.5%). Overs have held the edge on totals in those games 67-58-1. However, the first seven games of 2019 had gone under the total before the Green Bay-Kansas City game went over.
On “MNF,” home teams have enjoyed the least advantage, going 71-57 SU and 58-66-4 ATS (47.5%). Two Monday night games have been played on neutral fields in that span. On totals, under holds a 69-56-3 edge.
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (TNF)
Here are some more specific Thursday night NFL angles you might want to consider in future wagering:
Road teams are on a roll of late, 5-4 SU and 7-2 ATS (77.8%) in the L9, including
Washington’s cover last week.
Home-field advantage has really picked up in the second half of the season in recent years, with Weeks 8-16 home teams going 20-6 SU and 18-6-2 ATS (75%) since midway through the 2016 season.
There is a sharp break in the performance of home underdogs at the 3-point line mark. Home dogs of 3 or fewer points are on a nice 10-4-1 ATS (71.4%) run, while those of 3.5 points or more are on a 3-13 SU and 4-11-1 ATS slide.
Home favorites of 7 points or more are on a
21-2 SU and 16-5-2 ATS (76.2%) run since the start of the 2014 season.
A long-running trend of Thursday night home-field advantage being crucial in divisional games has turned lately, with these hosts going just 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS (16.7%) in the last six games. Before that, divisional hosts were on an amazing 17-2-1 ATS run.
Intraconference (non-divisional) games have gone the way of hosts recently, 10-2 SU and 7-3-2 ATS (70%) in the L12.
Strangely, Thursday home teams coming off a loss in their most recent games are on a 16-8 SU and 16-7-1 ATS (69.6%) surge, as the change in routine seems to change the teams’ fortunes as well. The same can be said for road “TNF” teams coming off a win, as those teams are on a brutal 3-14 SU and 3-13-1 ATS (18.8%) slide.
Home teams coming off games in which they scored fewer than 17 points bounce back well, going 14-8 SU and 16-5-1 ATS (76.2%) in their L22. They’ve also gone under the total in 14 of their L20 games.
Road teams coming off poor offensive performances in which they scored 16 points or fewer are on a 2-12 SU and 2-10-2 ATS (16.7%) slide.
Regarding totals, games with totals of 41.5 or less, such as last week’s game, are on a 14-7-1 under (66.7%) run.
All but four of the L18 “TNF” games with a total of 50 or greater went under at 14-4 (77.8%).
Reaching the 26-point mark is a key benchmark for road teams, as teams that do are 31-5 SU and 30-4-2 ATS (88.2%) in such contests since 2012. For home teams, the benchmark for that level of success is a bit higher, 30 points. Hosts that score that much are on a 30-2 SU and 29-2-1 ATS (93.5%) run in that span.
Good “TNF” Team Trends
Dallas 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS L4
Denver 7-3 SU and ATS in L10
Green Bay 4-0 SU and ATS surge in divisional games
Jacksonville 4-0 SU and ATS surge at home, all vs. division
LA Chargers 5-1 ATS in L6
New England 9-1 SU and 6-3-1 ATS in L10
Philadelphia five straight wins, outright and ATS, four by 7 points or fewer
Pittsburgh three straight outright and ATS wins, average MOV 25.0 PPG
Seattle eight straight wins, 6-2-1 ATS in L9
Bad “TNF” Team Trends
Buffalo 1-4 SU and ATS slide
Carolina 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS slide
Chicago 0-3 SU and ATS streak, all losses to Green Bay, scoring 9.0 PPG
Indianapolis 0-3 SU and ATS slide, average loss 15.7 PPG
Miami four straight SU and ATS losses, outscored 140-37
NY Giants 0-4 SU and ATS slide
Under-The-Total “TNF”Team Trends
Atlanta 6-2 under the total
Cleveland four straight unders
New Orleans eight straight unders, seven vs. division
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (SNF)
Here are some more specific Sunday night NFL angles to put to use:
Unlike Thursday night games, late-season “SNF” home-field advantage has meant little, as hosts in Weeks 10-17 are just 18-20 SU and 15-22-1 ATS (40.5%) since 2014.
Home favorites of 7 points or more are just 8-7 SU and 4-10-1 ATS (28.6%) over the last 15 matchups. Over the total is also 11-4 (73.3%) in these games.
Also performing very poorly are home underdogs of 3 or more, with a record of 5-16 SU and 6-13-2 ATS (31.5%) since December 2014.
The best line range to back home teams is the 0 to -6.5 group, as those teams are 51-14-1 SU and 42-21-3 ATS (66.7%) since 2012.
The benchmark for home team scoring and success on “Sunday Night Football” is 25 points. Teams that reach that mark are 62-10 SU and 53-18-1 ATS (74.6%) since 2012. Those that don’t reach 26 are 15-37-1 SU and 12-35-6 ATS (25.5%).
The benchmark for points allowed for home teams is 20 points. Those allowing fewer than that are 48-3-1 SU and 45-3-4 ATS (93.8%). Those allowing 20 or more are just 29-44 SU and 20-50-3 ATS (28.6%).
In “SNF” games pitting non-conference opponents (AFC vs. NFC), home teams are just 12-13 SU and 9-14-2 ATS (39.1%) in the L25. Under the total is also 12-6 (66.7%) in the L18.
Better teams have enjoyed the advantage in divisional games of late, with favorites owning a 12-4 SU and 10-6 ATS (62.5%) record since 2016.
It is in intraconference matchups (non-divisional) where home teams perform best, especially in the -6.5 to 3.5 line range, having gone 28-6 SU and 25-8-1 ATS (75.7%) since 2012. In other words, home-field advantage is big when these teams aren’t priced too highly either way.
Home teams coming off losses are able to turn things around on “SNF,” going 8-4 SU and ATS (66.7%) in their L12. Ironically, those coming off wins have nearly the opposite ATS record, 3-8 ATS (27.3%).
Momentum is big for the visitors, as road teams coming off losses in their last games are just 7-13-2 ATS (35%) in their L22, but those coming off wins are on an 12-5-2 ATS (70.6%) surge.
The first seven “SNF” games of 2019 had gone under the total, with games producing just 36.4 PPG of totals averaging 49.2. However, the Green Bay-Kansas City over ended the streak.
Good “SNF” Team Trends
Dallas 9-4 ATS run L13 at home
New England 11-5 ATS L16
New Orleans 6-1 SU and ATS run
Pittsburgh 4-1 SU and ATS L5 on road
Seattle 5-0-1 SU and 6-0 ATS run
Bad “SNF” Team Trends
Cincinnati 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS L6
Dallas 2-7-2 ATS L11 on road
Denver 0-5 SU and ATS skid
Detroit 1-5 SU and ATS L6
Green Bay 3-8-1 ATS L12
Houston 0-4-2 ATS L6
Indianapolis 0-6 SU and 2-3-1 ATS since ’14
NY Giants 2-8 SU and 3-5-2 ATS L10 on road
Philadelphia 3-8 SU and ATS L11
San Francisco 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS L6
Over-The-Total “SNF” Team Trends
Chicago 7-1 over the total L8
Indianapolis 9-1 over L10
Pittsburgh 8-3 over L11
Under-The-Total “SNF” Team Trends
Dallas 9-1 under L10
Detroit 4-1-1 under L6
NY Giants five straight unders
Washington 4-1 under
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (MNF)
Here are some more specific Monday Night Football angles for you to add to your handicapping library:
Home teams are on a run of 11-4 SU and 8-7 ATS (53.3%) dating to last November.
Since the start of the 2015 season, unders have been the total of choice, 45-31-2 (59.2%).
Home favorites of 9 points or more are 9-4 SU but 0-12-1 ATS (0%) over the last 13 matchups. All favorites of 9 points or more are 13-5 SU but 2-15-1 ATS (13.3%) in that span.
Also performing very poorly are home favorites of 4.5 or fewer points, as they are on a brutal slide of 18-21 SU and 12-26-1 ATS (31.6%) since ’12.
Games with home underdogs (or pick-’em) have trended decidedly under on totals at 28-12-1 (70%) since 2012.
The best line range to back home teams is the -5 to -8.5 group, as those teams are 28-5 SU and 22-9-2 ATS (71%) since 2012.
The benchmark for home team scoring and success is 28 points. Teams that reach that mark are 35-4 SU and 28-9-2 ATS (75.7%) since 2012. Those that don’t reach 28 are 35-53 SU and 30-56-2 ATS (34.9%).
The benchmark for points allowed for home teams is 24 points. Those allowing fewer than that are 58-15 SU and 50-20-3 ATS (71.4%).
Those allowing 24 or more are just 12-42 SU and 8-45-1 ATS (15.1%).
In “MNF” games pitting non-conference opponents (AFC vs. NFC), home teams are 13-12 SU but 6-18-1 ATS (25%) in the L25.
In non-divisional conference matchups, hosts are just 8-21 ATS (27.5%) in the L29.
Home teams have enjoyed a strong advantage in divisional games of late, going 12-8 SU and 14-5-1 ATS (73.6%) in their L20. Under the total is also 11-1-1 (91.7%) in the L13.
Hosting a “MNF” game has not cured offensive ills, so be wary of home teams coming off games in which they scored 17 or fewer points. Those teams are on a 5-16 SU and ATS (23.8%) skid.
Similarly, “MNF” home teams that allowed 27 points or more in their previous games have also struggled, going 8-19 SU and 5-22 ATS (18.5%) in their L27.
The higher the total, the more the reason to play the road team, as they are on an incredible 11-6 SU and 15-2 ATS (88.2%) run in games with totals over 50.
Good “MNF” Team Trends
Atlanta five straight outright wins, 5-2 ATS L7
Baltimore 4-1 ATS L5 road games
Chicago 7-3 SU and 8-2 ATS L10
Detroit 6-1 ATS L7 on the road
Kansas City 6-1 ATS L7
New England 4-1 SU and 3-1-1 ATS L5
Oakland 4-1 ATS L5
Philadelphia 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS L10
Pittsburgh 18 straight wins (6-2-1 ATS)
San Francisco 8-2 SU and ATS since 2012
Bad “MNF” Team Trends
Cincinnati five straight losses (2-3 ATS)
Denver four consecutive losses, both SU and ATS
Green Bay 1-5 ATS L6 at home
Chargers 1-6 SU and 3-3-1 ATS L7
Minnesota 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS L4 on road, 10 PPG
New Orleans 2-7 ATS L9
NY Jets six straight home losses (2-4 ATS)
Washington 1-11 SU and ATS skid
Over-The-Total “MNF” Team Trends
Indianapolis 5-1 over L6
Kansas City 5-1 over L6
New Orleans 5-1 over run
Under-The-Total “MNF” Team Trends
Arizona 5-0 under L5
Chicago 5-1-1 under L7
Minnesota five straight unders on road
Oakland four straight unders
Philadelphia 5-1-1 under L7
Seattle 7-2 under since ’12