Friday, December 01, 2023

A Pattern Worth Watching

I've been interested by a pattern that has been playing itself out for most of the current NFL season.

As I have been doing since God knows however long, I have been tracking how teams perform a week after they played on Thursday night. My reasoning is because they would have longer time to prepare and rest than their opponents who would have been coming off a Sunday, or - on a rare occasion - Monday games.

Each year, I create a table and then highlight how the teams have fared. Red is for a point-spread loss and green is for a point-spread win.

If you look at the table below, you'll see that - as of the time of writing - thirteen teams have covered the spread and nine haven't a week after they played on Thursday night.

Now, look a little bit closer.

Played Thursday Betting

Do you notice that the majority of the wins come on teams in the right column? 

The table is constructed each April/May once the NFL schedules are announced. To make things easier for me, I simply put the away team from the previous Thursday in the left column and the home team from the Thursday in the next line.

This pattern evidently points to the home team from the previous Thursday performing well against the spread in their subsequent fixture.

They have gone 9-2 so far in 2023. 

The team to watch out for this coming weekend is Detroit. They play in New Orleans on Sunday and are currently four-point favourites.

There were three Thursday games last week. However, the other home teams - apart from Detroit - are set to play each other this week (in an hour or so from when this post goes live, in fact) so they both cancel each other out because they're both 'Played Thursday' teams.

I may have jinxed this pattern now that I've drawn your attention to it, but it's something to watch as the season reaches its conclusion over the coming weeks.

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