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NFL betting trends for Thursday Night Football

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Tennessee Titans v Washington Commanders Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The NFL offers at least three primetime games a week, single-game windows on national TV that are, naturally, highly wagered games. Most bettors, sharp or otherwise, choose to partake in these games, if for no other reason that they are going to watch them.

I have always stood by the belief that if you are going to wager on a game, it should be an educated wager, and understanding the tendencies in these high-profile games is a big part of that. I dug into my database to study some of the recent trends that have formed in the Thursday, Sunday, and Monday night games. I looked at all TNF, SNF, and MNF games since the start of the 2019 season. The data sample contains 48 TNF games, 57 SNF games and 61 MNF games. Those sample sizes are enough to draw some conclusions to take advantage of for the rest of this season.

A few key notes:

— The TNF study only includes night games, not the day games played on Thanksgiving.

— The SNF study only includes Sunday night games, not other games covered by the NBC crew.

— The study only includes regular-season games.

Before digging into the details for each set of games (TNF, SNF and MNF), here are some of the basic trends you’ll want to understand off the bat:

— Since 2019, TNF home teams own a record of 26-22 SU and 18-29-1 ATS (38.3%). Fittingly, totals have gone 19 to the Over, 29 to the Under (60.4%).

— In that same span, SNF home teams own a record of 33-24 SU and 30-26-1 ATS (53.6%). Unders have the edge on totals at 33-23-1 (58.9%).

— MNF home teams own a record of 32-27 SU and 29-30 ATS (49.2%). On totals, Unders again hold the edge at 36-23 (61%).

If you consider the general TNF, SNF and MNF data above, it makes some foundational sense that the biggest home-field advantage would come on Sunday night. The teams playing on SNF are typically the league’s best, while the TNF and MNF games are designed to ensure all 32 teams get the chance to play in primetime. Also, the trend of Unders on all three nights is eye-opening. Overall, Unders hold an edge of 98-65, good for 60.1%, which is a boon for the sportsbooks as most public bettors prefer Overs.

Consider these concepts as you analyze the merits of these trends and systems. Use these for your handicapping benefit or to just show how well-informed you are with your sports-betting friends.

Thursday Night Football

Here are some Thursday night angles you might want to consider:

— Since home teams last won three straight ATS on TNF in September 2020, road teams have been on a roll, going 16-16 SU and 21-11-1 ATS (65.6%), including Indianapolis’ win and cover last week.

— There’s some interesting data regarding the first and second halves of the season in terms of Thursday night games. In Weeks 1-8, home teams have gone 15-13 SU but 7-20-1 ATS (25.9%) since 2019. However, in Weeks 9-16, home teams have gone 11-9 SU and 11-9 ATS (75%). Going back even further, since 2016, TNF home teams in Weeks 9 and later are 27-15 SU and 27-13-2 ATS (67.5%). There seems to be a fundamental edge to playing at home with less rest late in the season.

— Home underdogs on TNF have really struggled of late, going 2-10 SU and 3-9 ATS (25%) in their last 12, scoring just 15.4 PPG. In terms of totals, nine of the last 10 games featuring a home dog went Under.

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