The 2020 NFL season figures to be like no other in league history. COVID-19 is going to play some factor this season, but no one can truly predict just how big of an impact it will make. With that in mind, it is a smart idea for people to consider different factors when betting on the NFL.
Although the tips below are all generic, they are useful for many different scenarios. Whether it is fantasy football, daily fantasy, single-game betting, or futures, make sure to view the upcoming season from all angles before making decisions.
Team familiarity matters more than ever
Veteran teams are likely going to have an advantage in the 2020 NFL season. Team familiarity is going to play a major role, as there was a limit on team practices over the summer. Those who are learning a new system and brought in a lot of different players are trying to squeeze everything in a short window before the season begins.
Pay close attention to teams with new coaches and schemes, and those teams that changed a lot of key personnel. Those are likely to struggle the most, as they will be going into the season with virtually no real prep work.
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There is a reason why a lot of experts are predicting teams that were very good last year, or those with a lot of veteran players, are Super Bowl contenders. This is not the year for a young team to catch everyone off guard.
Tanking could be out-of-control
Whether people want to admit it or not, tanking is part of football. Teams not in contention are more focused on the next season with a few games left. Not only is the 2021 draft class expected to be impressive, but there is also the factor of players merely shutting things down if their team is not competing.
Players are already skeptical about playing football this season with all the protocols, and that is with the optimism of all 32 teams competing for a title. If a team has nothing to play for, players are much more likely to pack it in for the season and not play. There is an excellent chance that the last few weeks of the NFL season could be filled with teams playing with a lot of second and third-team guys.
This makes those late-season matchups even more unpredictable. There are usually some pretty crazy results in the last few weeks of the NFL regular season, as teams are either tanking or resting up for the playoffs. There is an excellent chance that there could be a few teams that end up winning four games or fewer this regular season. Once teams realize they are bad, it could get really ugly to close out the year.
Young quarterbacks face an impossible task
All the intricacies of the quarterback position make it very tough for young quarterbacks in a regular season. For 2020, it becomes even more complicated, as quarterbacks will have limited time with their team before starting an actual play.
Even if people feel strongly that Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, or other rookie quarterbacks will have a great career, do not expect them to be killing it from the very beginning. It is a huge change from college to the pros, and they are already dealing with teams that were not good last year.
Short term betting opportunities are the best bet
If ever there was a year to stay away from long-term bedding, this is the year to do precisely that. There are just too many unknown variables that could significantly change how teams play during the year, as well as how the NFL handles any potential setbacks.
The way things stand right now, it seems mathematically impossible that at least one team is not going to be severely impacted by a COVID-19 outbreak. This could end up putting the entire league on some pause and ultimately cut down on the number of games played during the regular season.
A lot of sportsbooks will indeed give money back and cancel the bed altogether if the season length changes. However, there are chances of key players missing time, but still getting in 16 games in the regular season. If the show goes on, a random team will play with second and third-string guys.
Look for opportunities the day of a game to make the best decisions. They are going to be there all season long, and this allows people to make smart decisions based on up-to-date information. Putting a bet in even a day before is running the risk of disaster, as players will be tested for COVID-19 shortly before games begin.
Just say no
If a game starts to feel way too unpredictable because of so many players being out, it is fine to just say no to putting any money down whatsoever. The NFL is going to try to keep the schedule going, so games are likely to go on, but there is just too much to try to figure out in a short amount of time to make any rational decision.
Most people get into sports betting because they believe that they have the knowledge to compete at a high-level. When all the knowledge suddenly fades away because of some COVID-19 concerns, it becomes a straight-up gamble. It is no different than putting money down for a slot machine when it turns into that. Sometimes the best decision is to walk away.
Will the NFL season go on as scheduled?
The plan right now is to have a full NFL schedule, and they are going to do everything possible to make that happen. It is not going to be the same by any means, but the NFL has more money than any other professional sports league in North America. They are going to stay on top of testing, going above and beyond making the 2020 season happen.
With that said, it is still completely unpredictable what might ultimately happen. A disaster scenario would be for an entire team to have a severe outbreak, as that would mess up the entire schedule of the league. There is also a chance of things getting worse in certain parts of the country, making teams trying to figure out where to play a game.