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Among National Football League (NFL) fans, coaches, and analysts, there are many different views on how time-off effects team performance. Differences in how time-off is allocated to teams has also become a source of controversy as debates continue regarding which teams received the least favorable schedules. This investigation was concerned with identifying how time-off prior to a game affects the final score, when is the best time to have a bye week, and why some teams may benefit more from time-off than other teams. Twenty-one seasons were examined using ordinary least squares regressions to determine that there is at least about a .21 point advantage for each extra day of preparation time that a team receives prior to a game, relative to the time received by an opponent. This advantage is increased for older teams, less talented teams, and teams that are less familiar with their opponents. Unfamiliar opponents benefit from an additional day to prepare by about .38 points which accounts for approximately 2.6 points for a standard seven day bye week. Additionally, about 54.9 percent of teams defeat their opponents when coming off of a bye week by an average margin of victory of about 12.3 points compared to the approximately 8.7 points that non-bye week teams defeated bye week teams by on average.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Sport Management in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Ryan Rodenberg, Professor Directing Thesis; Joshua Newman, Committee Member; Yu Kyoum Kim, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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