Everything Bettors Need To Know About A 17-Game NFL Season
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The NFL will play 17 games during the 2021 regular season and the decision has already impacted multiple NFL betting markets.
The plan to add a week to the schedule was part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed by the players, team and league in 2020. That same CBA also outlined how gaming revenues would be used to determine the amount of league revenue to determine the salary cap.
Never one at a loss for hyperbole, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called the expansion a “monumental moment in NFL history.” We’re not quite there yet. But it is noteworthy.
Here are all the key facts, trends and facts bettors need to know about the upcoming expanded NFL season.
What About Bets Already Made?
Several books had offered team win totals prior to the schedule being expanded. All win total bets made at PointsBet prior to this week’s announcement will be void. That book has since updated its win totals after the NFL made its 17-game announcement. The AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs top the over/under list with 12 wins, while the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers stand at 11.5. The beleaguered Houston Texans are at the bottom with 4.5.
Here the current over/under win totals for the NFL at PointsBet.
|Team||Over Total & Odds||Under Total & Odds|
|Houston Texans||O 4.5 (-125)||U 4.5 (+105)|
|Detroit Lions||O 5 (-106)||U 5 (+115)|
|Cincinnati Bengals||O 6.5 (-110)||U 6.5 (-110)|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||O 6.5 (-110)||U 6.5 (-110)|
|Philadelphia Eagles||O 6.5 (-135)||U 6.5 (+110)|
|N.Y. Jets||O 6.5 (+120)||U 6.5 (-143)|
|Chicago Bears||O 7 (-120)||U 7(+100)|
|New York Giants||O 7 (-110)||U 7 (-110)|
|Atlanta Falcons||O 7 (-140)||U 7 (+115)|
|Carolina Panthers||O 7.5 (-106)||U 7.5 (-115)|
|Denver Broncos||O 7.5 (-106)||U 7.5 (-115)|
|Las Vegas Raiders||O 7.5 (-110)||U 7.5 (-100)|
|Arizona Cardinals||O 8 (-110)||U 8 (-110)|
|Washington Football Team||O 8 (-115)||U 8 (-106)|
|Minnesota Vikings||O 8.5 (+120)||U 8.5 (+150)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||O 8.5 (-120)||U 8.5 (+100)|
|L.A. Chargers||O 9 (+110)||U 9 (-135)|
|New England Patriots||O 9 (-140)||U 9 (+115)|
|Miami Dolphins||O 9 (-121)||U 9 (+100)|
|New Orleans Saints||O 9 (-110)||U 9 (-110)|
|Dallas Cowboys||O 9.5 (+105)||U 9.5 (-125)|
|Cleveland Browns||O 9.5 (-140)||U 9.5 (+115)|
|Seattle Seahawks||O 9.5 (-115)||U 9.5 (-106)|
|Tennessee Titans||O 9.5 (+120)||U 9.5 (-143)|
|Indianapolis Colts||O 10 (+110)||U 10 (-135)|
|Buffalo Bills||O 10.5 (-115)||U 10.5 (-106)|
|L.A. Rams||O 10.5 (+125)||U 10.5 (-150)|
|San Francisco 49ers||O 10.5 (+120)||U 10.5 (-143)|
|Baltimore Ravens||O 11 (-120)||U 11 (+100)|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||O 11.5 (-110)||U 11.5 (-143)|
|Kansas City Chiefs||O 12 (-110)||U 12 (-110)|
All odds are current as of publication.
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What Should Bettors Look For In An Expanded Schedule
Not all players were thrilled with the decision to expand the season to 17 games. Saints running back Alvin Kamara blasted the decision on social media.
Shit dumb... as hell.. https://t.co/HnJ0otzzWp— Alvin Kamara (@A_kamara6) March 28, 2021
Running backs like Kamara may well bear the physical brunt of playing an extra game more so than any other skill position. While rosters won’t be expanded, math and common sense tell us that fewer players will be playing a full season. And more key players will be injured.
“The main impact of a 17-game schedule is that it provides a slight advantage to the better teams," PointsBet head of trading Jay Croucher said. "More of a sample, more opportunity for their true talent to kick in — and less opportunities for mediocre teams to ride luck into the playoffs. Each additional game played is a chance for true talent to reveal itself."
The seven-team-per-conference playoff format adopted last season remains in place, with only one team in each conference earning the coveted first-round bye.
In light of today's news 👇 pic.twitter.com/28efm5VrtM— NFLPA (@NFLPA) March 30, 2021
What Is The Impact on Legal Sports Betting
In brief, more is always better when it comes to betting. Another week of regular-season action is a winner all the way around for the league, its TV partners, fans and sportsbooks.
"This is great news for bettors and bookmakers alike," Croucher said. "Preseason activity — while larger for the NFL than any other pro sport — is tiny compared to regular-season betting. The additional week of regular-season games will be a significant driver for overall NFL handle."
When Does The 2021 NFL Season Start
The season will begin as previously scheduled on Sept. 7. The regular season will now end on Jan. 9, 2022. The CBA limits the number of preseason and regular-season games to 20. The preseason will be cut to three games from four. The number of offseason workouts and time required on site for players has also been reduced.
When Is Super Bowl 56?
Super Bowl 56 will be played at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Feb. 13, 2022. Make sure your Valentine’s Day plans are locked in beforehand. The 2022 Pro Bowl will be played on Feb. 6 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
How Does The Extra Game Change The Schedule?
For the first time since 1978, the NFL has expanded the number of regular-season games. At that time, the league expanded from 14 to 16. Given the odd number of games being played moving forward, one conference will have nine home games while the other has eight. This year, the AFC will get the extra home game.
Here is a look at the 17th game for each NFL team this year.
As you can see, there are not many potential Super Bowl matchups being added to the lineup there, but there are some intriguing matchups. How these games fit onto the actual schedule is to be determined. Only five of these matchups feature two teams that reached the playoffs in the 2020 season.
When WIll The 2021 NFL Schedule Be Announced?
The full 2021 NFL schedule will be announced later this spring.