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NFL International Expansion Odds: Will There Be A Team In Europe?

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 4 mins

NFL International Expansion Odds: Will There Be A Team In Europe?

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The popularity of the NFL in the U.S. is unrivaled to the point where it’s getting harder to make more money in such a saturated market. And let’s not be naïve – the NFL and its owners are about making money. 

There isn’t much room to grow the sport in this country, so it’s time to conquer other lands. The league is making a concerted effort to push the product in Europe, Mexico and South America.

The NFL began playing international regular-season games in 2007. This season, five such games are on the schedule, with three in London and two more in Germany. 

Playing random games in random countries is one thing. Having a team based in Europe or south of the border would be a generations-building move. 

Bookies.com veteran oddsmaker Adam Thompson has revealed his NFL odds as to which international destination could host an NFL franchise full-time. 

NFL International Expansion Odds 

CityOddsImplied Probability
Mexico City+45018.2%
The Field+11508.0%

Odds are projected and do not reflect any odds that may be available at legal betting sites or betting apps.

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London is the clear NFL betting favorite. London has become the go-to destination for NFL games, and is the clear choice for expansion, should the NFL go that route. The Jacksonville Jaguars travel to London regularly for games, and its owner, Shahid Khan, is based in London. If expansion is a distant goal, relocation for the Jaguars to the U.K. could come far sooner. 

London has a metro area of 14.4 million – that’s 3 million more than Paris, the next-biggest population in western Europe. 

That is small in comparison to Mexico City and its 21.8 million metro area. It’s also hours closer and in the Central time zone. The capital of Mexico has hosted games to success. While its per capita income isn’t that of London, if London is deemed too far away, Mexico City might be the litmus test to see how international expansion could work.

The same could be said, even more so, for Toronto. The NFL has publicly stated – for a long time now – that it would love to have a team in Toronto. Its proximity would be an easy commute for most NFL teams. The team would need a stadium that doesn’t exist, and its two-hour proximity to Buffalo could be a deterrent. 

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If one expansion team gets awarded to a European city, there is a belief that a second team would be added at the same time. Of course, having an entire division in Europe – something that also has been discussed – could make even more money. 

In either scenario, Berlin and Paris seem like no-brainer spots. Berlin and Germany in general have embraced the NFL game. Paris and France aren’t there yet, but its size, population wealth, and huge stadiums for soccer could make it work. Madrid, the capital of Spain, has been working on getting an NFL regular season game for 2024. A taste of the real thing could propel a wave. 

Cities that have been targeted as possible sites for future games could be in the running for expansion sites, especially if the NFL adds an entire division outside of Europe. That includes Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil, and Monterrey, Mexico, cities that highlight The Field. Vancouver and Munich are possibilities but have hurdles to jump to get into the mix. 

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.