As bettors prepare for the 2020 NFL season, one thing keeps looming in the back of their collective minds. Global pandemic. However, we’re past that and ready for betting the 2020 NFL season.
That pesky coronavirus eliminated annual OTAs, minicamps, and took its toll on preseason training camp as well. The preseason schedule was eliminated and bettors will go into Week 1 without the benefit of having seen teams on the field at all.
Is it that big of a deal? We’ll answer that and we’ll also offer a few more tips for betting the 2020 NFL season.
Players will be tested three times each week. There may be players that are ruled out by a positive test, but this is really no different than a player suffering an injury. Remember a few years back, Houston QB Deshaun Watson tore an ACL during a practice.
The one thing that could affect how you bet each week is a mass outbreak of positive tests. That potential exists, but for the last available testing period only one NFL player was reported to have tested positive.
It used to be that defense won championships. That has shifted as the last eight teams to have played in the Super Bowl were all ranked in the top five in scoring. Defense is an added bonus, but a powerful offense can carry you to a championship.
Buffalo had the NFL’s second-ranked defense in 2019. Unfortunately, the Bills ranked 23rd in offense and were eliminated from the postseason in the Wild Card round. Chicago (4th) and Pittsburgh (tied for 5th) had outstanding defenses, but both teams finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs last year.
When betting futures such as Super Bowl champion or conference champion, consider the teams with the better offenses. The same for moneyline bets during the season. Do your research and pay close attention to which team has the better offense.
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NO HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
Home field advantage matters in the NFL. Weather, different playing surfaces, and crowd noise account for a field goal point spread advantage at the best sportsbooks. This season, that home field advantage will not matter as much.
Some teams will not even allow fans at home games, at least initially anyway. Other stadiums, like the home of the Dallas Cowboys, will allow limited capacity. The end result is that home field advantage in 2020 will likely be worth less than a 3.0-point advantage.
Consider this as well. In 2019, home teams won straight up just 52 percent of the time. Home teams only covered the spread 42 percent of the time. Bettors might want to look more into road underdogs as they covered nearly 60 percent (91-61-5) of the time last season.
SCORING & TOTALS
Scoring has been up in the NFL for the past several years though 2019 dipped to 45.6 points per game from 2018’s 46.6. Seven of the highest scoring NFL seasons have come since 2012. The trend may continue.
We all know that handicapping NFL Week 1 will not be easy, but Smarter Bettor has your back.
Without the benefit of preseason, defenses might not have the usual advantage over offenses early in the season. Think about the NBA season resuming in Orlando. Scoring was up despite being off for four months.
The absence of fans might give opposing teams an advantage in communication. That advantage could lead to more points. The same holds for kickers. Kicking in an away stadium will not have the same pressures as it does with a full capacity crowd.
When betting the NFL this season, keep one thing in mind. This season, like life for the past seven months, has been crazy. Do your homework. Watch injury reports. Remember that teams with better offenses usually win more games and that scoring totals may be up. Armed with this knowledge, you can surely have success betting the 2020 NFL season.