Thursday home teams outperforming other home teams since ’06

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When the Packers rolled to a 42-10 victory vs. the Vikings to begin Week Five, it marked the fifth time in as many Thursday games in which the winner prevailed by at least 20 points. It also marked the fourth time the home team prevailed in a Thursday-night blowout to begin 2014.

After the Packers’ romp, the questioning of the quality of Thursday-night play has grown louder. The NFL has suggested the games traditionally aren’t so uncompetitive. And some closer games, to be fair, are likely at some point.

But let’s circle back to the matter of how home teams fare in Thursday games. How successful are home teams on Thursdays relative to the rest of the week?

Well, it depends.

As the league pointed out Friday, home teams playing on all other days than Thursdays have won at a higher clip than Thursday home teams since 2012. Indeed, this is true.

But what happens when we expand the search back to 2006, when the NFL added a Thursday-night package of games?

At that point, the pendulum swings a little more toward the home sides.

According to the Spreadapedia database, home teams have won at 62.4 percent clip on Thursdays since 2006. This 58-35 mark includes NFL Kickoff and Thanksgiving games.

By contrast, on all other days in this same span, home sides have won at a 56.6 percent rate (1,140-873-3).

Home teams have also outperformed the betting market’s overall expectations on Thursdays in this span. Per Spreadapedia, home sides have covered the point spread at a 55.6 percent rate on Thursdays since 2006 (50-40-3). However, this includes a money-losing 18-19-1 spread mark since 2012 (48.6 percent). And that mark is in line with how other home teams have done in non-Thursday games in the last eight years. On all other days since ’06, home teams have beaten the point spread at just a 48.6 percent rate (953-1,006-46).

Finally, let’s finish with a look at Over-Unders, or the total number of combined points set for each game by oddsmakers.

Since 2006, 51.2 percent of all non-Thursday games have gone OVER the total (1,012-964-39).

So what about Thursdays? After all, there have been some high-scoring Thursday games to kick off the season, and the OVER has cashed 4-of-5 times.

Overall, though, the OVER has hardly been a slam dunk on Thursday nights in the last eight years.In fact, after the Week Five Vikings-Packers game, the ledger stood at 45 Overs, 45 Unders and three pushes on Thursdays since 2006 — a coin flip.

However, if we just focus on all Thursday games since 2012, we find the OVER has hit in 23-of-38 Thursday games — a 60.5 percent clip.

So that’s why the fantasy football players are so happy on Friday mornings.

Well, at least someone is.

32 responses to “Thursday home teams outperforming other home teams since ’06

  1. You would think by now that everyone is going to check the facts of what they say from now on because no one trusts them.

    And 100 percent of the time recently they have been wrong and only telling half truths

    Goodell is 100 percent lieing thats for sure

  2. Thursday games should be match-ups of teams that are coming off bye weeks. Also add doubleheaders. It reduces the number of weeks for Thursday games but should restore the quality and watchability of the games.

  3. I would hope that the home team on Thursday is coming off an away game.and the visiting coming off a home game. This would help to even things.n

  4. No…..its because the Packers are….blah, blah, blah….and the Vikings are….blah, blah, blah…..13 Championships…..blah, blah, blah…..Viking fans are….blah, blah, blah and the Pack and its fans are the greatest!

  5. Point spreads…overs and unders…Spreadapedia… who covered the spread and who didn’t…

    Honestly, I just think that sounds like gambling addicts who desperately need therapy and don’t even know it. I am sure you would say I am naive and I just don’t get how the real world works–just like any alcoholic would when they are trying to convince people that drinking is what real men do.

    Here is a naive thought. How about if you just enjoyed the football game? (And get some help. You really do need it. )

  6. So that means home teams on Thursday have as much home field advantage as the Seahawks do in every home game.

  7. Time to move to a 16 games over 18 week schedule and use the second bye for teams that will be playing in the Thursday night game i.e. if you are playing on the Thursday night game in Week 6 you have a bye in Week 5.

  8. I’ve never been a big fan of Thursday night football. Although I must admit, I enjoyed watching the GMEN against the Redskins!

  9. Thursday night games are only about money for the league. Just like the idiotic idea to expand to 17 or 18 games. It’s just greed. Maybe Mark Cuban was right when he said pigs get slaughtered. The NFL under Goodell has become a fat pig.

  10. I mean, whats the big deal. The NFL has been playing Thanksgiving games forever, and I don’t hear the outrage about that. The Lions and the Cowboys always know that they’re going to be at home that week. As far as this years games, you can’t blame it on “home or away” after what the Giants did to the Skins a few weeks ago. Bottom line is that the Pack pounded an ill-prepared Minnesota team . Period. Does anyone honestly think that 3 more days prep time and Bridgewater maybe playing would have ended with the Vikes winning?

    And your probably right, it is about the money. A percentage of which goes in the Players pockets of whom I don’t hear much complaining about that.

  11. Maybe the best teams are winning big. Maybe the inferior teams are looking for reasons.

  12. I think it may have more to do with ‘veteran’ teams vs younger, more inexperienced teams than ‘home team’.

  13. The irony here is that the NFL purposefully scheduled divisional rivals because they tend to be hard fought, closedly contested games since the two teams face each other twice a year, every year.

    What they didn’t expect is that one of the teams would simple roll over like a submissive dog. With the exception of the Vikings who have been rolling over on a pretty consistent basis for the last 4 years.

  14. All these people trying to find a solution to a bad idea. Thursday night football is just a bad idea. One guy even suggests that the statistics are from a gambling addict but he can’t let go of thursday night football. Let it go. There’s more to life than thursday night football.

  15. wolfmanpatriot
    The Packers were coming off an away game and the vikings a home game.

    The real problem is having bad teams on Thursdays. The Buccaneers, The Washington D.C. franchise, and the vikings should not be on prime time this season. Those 3 teams lost combined by over 100 points.

    Prime time is for the upper half of the league.

  16. Man the analysis by these writers is down right god awful. Do some actual work, ask some experts some questions. Have some real numbers run. The difference in home team wins from Thursday games to games on other days is statistically insignificant. I looked at this myself a while back because I thought the home team had a distinct advantage but it doesn’t prove out relative to other days. That said the games are dogs for the most part and I’m at the point I don’t have any expectations for these Thursday games. I’m glad I didn’t even flip the games on the last couple weeks.

  17. Interesting analysis, but you really should not include the first Thursday night game of the year, for two reasons. First, it normally includes the most recent SB winner, playing at home, which is pretty biased. Second, neither team is coming off of a short week; they are fresh and have been able to game plan for months.

  18. As a Vikings fan, it was ultra frustrating having to go into that game 3 days after Bridgewater was injured. Had it been on Sunday, he would have played, had it been Sunday, the Vikings could have won. But no, all the NFL wants is boring games, a copious number of penalties, and money, money, money.

  19. I think the GB/Vikes game “COULD” have been better had Bridgewater been playing.


    GB would not have been rushing/blitzing on a constant basis. It is well known that Ponder is only barely decent when he does have time to throw. Put pressure on him and he looks at one receiver only and 90% of the time he over/under throws. Also with that kind of rush, it virtually eliminates the run game.

    Teddy proved against the Falcons he is GREAT under pressure, he looks at throwing to the 2nd or even third option on a pass play. He also proved he can run if needed.

    The sprained ankle was just one of those things that can’t be controlled. Yes, that means it could happen to ANY QB, RB, WR or whoever runs the ball.

    I won’t say the Vikes would have won with Teddy playing, but I believe it would not have been the blowout it became either

  20. sonofad says: Oct 4, 2014 8:10 PM

    That coward Bridgewater would have definitely kept the hapless and
    tasteless Vikings within 30.


    By calling Teddy a coward, it must mean you also think Rodgers and Matthews are cowards when they miss games due to injury…….

  21. You can’t compare a sample size of 93 games to a sample size of 2,016 games and tell us a 6% difference is significant. At least learn some basic statistics, man.

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