With the draft two weeks away and the kickoff to the regular season less than five months away, the NFL released its schedule for 2014 on Wednesday night.
Taking a quick look at the schedule shows that both the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons are beneficiaries of home games for primetime scheduling.
Atlanta hosts a game on Thursday night for the fifth consecutive season, while Baltimore is hosting one for their fourth straight year.
In both games, Atlanta and Baltimore are hosting rivals from their division, as Pittsburgh visits Baltimore in Week 2 and Tampa Bay visits Atlanta during Week 3.
Thursday games are tough for the visiting team. Since 1990, data from Bovada and sportsbook.com shows that, the host team won 61 % of games played on Thursday.
Furthermore, the home favorites in Thursday games have won 79% of those games. That amounts to 11% higher than the fate for favorites in games played on either Sunday or Monday.
Favorites on Thursday night also cover the point spread 60% of the time compared to just 49% in games not played on Thursday, according to data taken from betonline and topbet, two online sportsbooks.
Atlanta in Thursday night games at home is 3-1 SU as well as 4-0 ATS, while Baltimore is 3-0 SU but just 1-2 ATS in their last three home games on Thursday.
New Orleans has hosted seven primetime games that were not on Thursday while playing on the road in only two of the same type games over the past three seasons. In those nine games, the Saints were 7-0 straight up and against the spread in their home games, while going 0-2 both SU and ATS while playing on the road.
This season, New Orleans has four primetime games that are not scheduled for Thursday with two at home and two as visitors. The Saints must also travel to play the Carolina Panthers on a Thursday.
Seattle, the defending champions of the Super Bowl received a bit of just treatment in the schedule this season. The Seahawks have played four primetime games (non-Thursday) at home and traveled only once to play the same type games during the last three seasons.
This season however Seattle must travel to Washington and Arizona and are hosting only one primetime game, which is the opening game of the 2014 NFL season against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night.
Of late, Houston has not been at or even near the top of the list of those who make the schedules. The Texans have hosted only two games in primetime over the past three seasons, while playing on the road in eight.
This season the Texans will host Indianapolis in Week 6 on Thursday and visits Pittsburgh the next week on a Monday night.
Statistically the hardest schedule has been dealt to the Oakland Raiders, while the loser of Super Bowl 48, the Denver Broncos, also have a tough 16-game schedule this season.