The NFL season is underway and while it may be a little bit different in 2020 as compared to the year’s past, it’s still football. It’s time to look at 2020 NFL season betting.
NFL bettors know that laying down wagers in a “normal” season is difficult enough. Now, dealing with a coronavirus-influenced season only makes it that much harder.
Not to worry though. Like the NFL players themselves, the fundamentals don’t change. Team A plays Team B and bettors will still analyze the individual matchup like they always have.
There are some things that bettors can look for though.
HOME FIELD DISADVANTAGE
Most sportsbooks will work three points into the point spread for the home team in NFL games. Part of that three points is based on crowd noise and atmosphere. Think about CenturyLink Stadium in Seattle. The crowd makes it tough to play there.
This season will be different though as several stadiums will not allow any fans, at least for the first part of the season. Others, like AT&T Stadium, will allow only a certain number of fans per game.
Not having fans will have some sort of effect on that advantage. Maybe instead of three points, it’s more like a point or a point-and-a-half. Keep that in mind when placing NFL bets.
There is something to be said for continuity. Teams that retain the same players and coaches tend to have more success. Think about New England and all those years with Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
In 2020, you should consider – at least early in the season – teams that have the same head coach, both coordinators, special teams coach, and quarterback from last year. There are 11 of them: Arizona, Baltimore, Buffalo, Green Bay, Kansas City, Las Vegas, New Orleans, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Seven of those 11 were playoff teams a year ago.
2020 NFL – OVER/UNDER
When betting totals, sports handicappers need to keep a few things in mind. One, seven of the 12 highest scoring seasons in NFL history have come since 2012. Last season was down a full point – 45.6 from 46.6 – from 2018, but NFL offenses are scoring more points in general.
The other thing to consider in relation to offensive production is the lack of fans when looking at 2020 NFL season betting. Offensive communication will be easier for visiting teams. It will be easier to hear, easier for quarterbacks to check out of bad plays and into good ones.
There may also be an effect on kickers. Without 60,000 to 100,000 screaming fans, kickers long field goals could be more like practice kicks. The smarter bettor will pay attention early in the season to see if kickers are able to hit longer field goals which ultimately will affect totals betting.
Division games are always key especially later in the season with playoff spots on the line. One very interesting statistic begs some thought when betting on NFL games.
Since 2002, teams that didn’t make the playoffs in the previous season are 36-12 ATS against divisional opponents that did make the playoffs in the previous year.
There are six such games in Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season, including Tom Brady’s first game as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. The Saints are 3.5-point favorites at home.