With the news released overnight (25th July) that the NFL and the NFLPA have reached an agreement with the issues which were present it looks like we should have football this year!
This post is mainly to give a little update on what I’ll be doing over the next month and some things to look out for, and to get down a few thoughts on what the pandemic means going into the season.
I’ll admit I’ve been fairly lax over the off-season as although I thought the league would go ahead as scheduled there was always a little niggle at the back of my mind given the state of the covid pandemic in large swathes of America at the moment. I felt there was always too much money in it for it to be cancelled and that with regular testing of employees in facilities it should be manageable.
Look for example at the Premier league over here in the UK, they’ve been back playing for a month or so, managed to finish out the season and have had (as far as I’m aware) ZERO positive tests. There will be positive tests along the way (NFLPA overnight have said that TWELVE rookies returned positive tests from 9 teams who have had results so far) and apparently people commenting every time they are reported that the league should be cancelled, but the people testing positive will be isolated and the spread should, hopefully, be contained.
So subscribe to my TELEGRAM channel for notifications when I post stuff as over the next month I’ll be getting my shit together and putting out divisional previews, what I think of teams coming into the season, some “best bets” for each division. I’ll have a look at the season long markets (we had a 25/1 winner on Jameis most passing yards last season) a quick look at the Superbowl odds, win totals, request-a-bets, basically a little bit of everything. In the mean time if you want to see what odds are available for a whole variety of markets, then check out my Odds spreadsheet it’s considerably more in-depth than you’ll find on oddschecker and personally I think better laid out. It’s updated manually, which takes a while, but I’ll try and sort it once a week at least.
I’ll be setting up a web form for people to register interest in Fantasy football leagues again, I know a lot are keen for those and they went down well last year, so I’m keen to get them off the ground again. I’ll be running some Bestball drafts as well (You draft a squad and the best scores to fill a roster are automatically chosen each week) – Probably my favourite style at the moment as it’s draft and forget, no weekly checking of rosters.
If you like DFS (Draftkings) then I’ll be running weekly contests again this year, but if you want more of a challenge and a chance to win a decent prize come the end of the season then have a look at @Jamie_ByromKM Season-long DFS contest – http://www.seasonlongdfs.com/ – Obviously if you’ve not got an account already and are interested I’d prefer you created one using my Draftkings link – It gets me a bit of commission and helps me keep this site completely free (I recently paid a few quid to remove ads for you all) I would suggest waiting until closer to the season to open a Draftkings account though as I’d imagine the offers will be considerably better a week or two before the season starts.
I’ve personally joined a Prediction league run by @fantasy_nfluk on twitter – the Pick 6 prediction league which should be quite fun for the season and a nice little test of what we all really think we know!
A few betting thoughts going into the season with regards to the pandemic and how I think it might affect things.
It’s been agreed that there will be NO pre-season games this year, and a MAXIMUM of 14 padded practises for teams this year. Every year we see defenses generally on top in the opening weeks, I think that will probably be accentuated this year and that it probably wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to blanket bet the unders for the opening week of the season.
It looks likely that quite a few teams won’t have home fans in their stadiums (New York off the top of my head have announced that will be the case so far) – At the moment the NFL is allowing teams/states to set whether fans will be allowed, I’d imagine that will continue, but I think there’s still a chance there might be a league-wide stipulation given their general desire for equality between teams.
If so there will be obviously be a change in the way we judge home-field advantage. Consensus from things I’ve read and listened to over the summer seems to be that the standard will be down from a 3 point gain to around 1.5-2 points gain per team (the noise won’t be as relevant but the travel/comfort/stadium sight-lines will still have implications on road teams) – Now some teams might actually GAIN due to there being no fans allowed in stadium, the likes of the Chargers, the
Redski… Washington football team tend to have more away fans than home, so it could help them.
Teams worst hit by this? The louder home stadiums, Seahawks, Chiefs, Saints, possibly the Patriots, teams who typically have an over 3 point advantage will be adversely hit by the lack of fans. HOWEVER. They are generally the better run teams as well, so I think the impact will be mitigated somewhat by the experienced coaching teams there.
Teams who have had a lot of turnover, or a lot of rookies being brought in will likely suffer more than others as well. The Vikings had a record number of draft picks and traded away a lot of their secondary, The Bengals took most of that secondary, have a new QB and a pretty much entirely new secondary themselves, The Panthers drafted entirely on defense. – Teams with young/new coaching staff you would think are likely to be down on where they would have been with a normal off-season.
The Chiefs return pretty much ALL OF THEIR ROSTER from last season. Already the best team in the league this off-season will probably benefit them more than any other team in the league. The Ravens and Titans run-heavy approach will likely put them in good stead coming into the year as well. The 49ers probably gain a bump in preparedness.
None of the above is ground-breaking, but it can’t hurt just having a few thoughts out there.
So that’s about it, just a little update on content I’ll be putting out over the summer.
Stay safe, be sensible, wear a mask in shops.