- Sportsbooks have moved the odds of the expected September 13th kickoff of the NFL season being delayed to -105
- That same betting line was at +325 just 11 days ago. Is there reason to believe the coronavirus will put the start of the 2020 NFL season on hold?
- Anaylsis of the odds and picks and predictions on the outcome follow in the story below
Will the start of the 2020 NFL season be delayed? Sportsbooks are suddenly laying odds that it will.
Oddsmakers are starting to lean towards the season being delayed in an update on the subject that was released on Tuesday. Books are now pegging the chances of a hold being put on the NFL’s opening kickoff at odds of -105. Bettors will get a betting line of -135 on a wager that the season will get underway as scheduled.
Just 11 days ago, odds on the same prop that were dramatically different. On March 20th, chances that the season would begin on time were listed at odds of -550. Betting on a delay to the season would’ve garnered a line of +325.
Odds on When 2020 NFL Season Will Start
|On or Before Sept. 13th||-135|
|After Sept. 13th||-105|
Odds taken Mar. 31.
The NFL hasn’t released its official 2020 schedule yet. The expected start date to the season is September 13th.
NFL Business As Unusual
On the one hand, the NFL is operating in public as if it were business as usual. Scheduling for the draft is going ahead for April 23-25, albeit a toned-down event absent of spectators and the customary hoopla. Tuesday, the league officially unveiled plans for expansion of its playoff format.
Wild Card Weekend for the 2020 NFL season now will consist of three games on Saturday, January 9, and three games on Sunday, January 10, 2021. pic.twitter.com/UsZrrbDj1j
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 31, 2020
Normally, the month of April is when the hype for the NFL is ramping up. Free agency is in full bloom. Following the draft would come organized team activities and mini camps.
Those latter two events have already been delayed. There is speculation that the league is looking at shifting everything back at least a month. It’s also anticipating that the NFL will stay with a 16-game regular-season in 2020. There were plans to add another regular-season game to the schedule as part of the new CBA.
NFL Planning Quietly for Delay
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank told NBC Sports that while he imagines that there will be a delay to the start of training camp, he remains optimistic that the NFL season will kick off as scheduled.
At the same time, the league is reportedly in discussions regarding contingency plans. That includes the potential of a delay to the start of the season.
Arthur Blank believes a 16-game season could happen, but he thinks it will have to be without fans. Could we have an @NFL season where we wouldn’t be able to attend our favorite team's stadiums?#ArthurBlank | #NFL | #Football | #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/e35na0zrzD
— A2D Radio (@a2dradio_com) March 30, 2020
There is daily communication between NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills and NFL Players Association medical director Dr. Thom Mayer about ongoing developments regarding the spread of the coronavirus.
The owners won’t determine whether the NFL season starts on time. Nor will the players make the call whether the season kicks off as expected.
The coronavirus is calling the shots right now.
Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews admitted this week during a conference call interview that players have no idea at this juncture whether there will even be an NFL season in 2020-21.
#Ravens tight end Mark Andrews says "I didn't think anybody knows" whether there will be an NFL season this year. Safety Chuck Clark expressed a similar sentiment on this video call.
— Aaron Kasinitz (@AaronKazreports) March 31, 2020
Considering the rapid path that the spread of the coronavirus is taking across the USA, the best bet looks to be making a play on a delay to the NFL’s opening kickoff.
Perhaps, though, this probability could provide the necessary threat level to finally get naysayers to obey social distancing and shelter in place orders.
Stay home dude, or there won’t be any NFL this season.
Pick: NFL season delayed until After Sept. 13th (-105).
Let's have fun and keep it civil.