- There is some worry about whether or not the Super Bowl could be postponed.
- Browns coach Kevin Stefanski was diagnosed with COVID and unable to coach in the Wild Card.
- The oddsmakers give the Super Bowl -650 odds to continue as scheduled.
LAS VEGAS - It may be 2021, but COVID-19 is as important to take into account as ever, maybe more so. The pandemic has ravaged America and has put a serious damper on many major sports.
The sports leagues have found ways around work stoppages, but there’s no effective way (outside of the NBA and NHL bubbles) to have professional sports without risking COVID-19.
The NBA is currently going through a crisis, with multiple games being postponed due to teams literally not having enough players to play in the game. The NFL has not fully avoided this fate, although it is mitigated due to the number of players on an NFL team.
Nevertheless, one must not forget that the Denver Broncos played a football game with an undrafted WR Kendall Hinton at the QB spot.
One must also remember the saga of the Steelers/Ravens game that constantly got postponed earlier in the season. Given that, it seems fairly unlikely that the Super Bowl actually gets cancelled - there’s too much money in it.
The NFL has made it clear that they care far more about making sure the games happen than they do about anything else.
In that context, the fact that there are odds on the Super Bowl being canceled or postponed is genuinely surprising.
Will The Super Bowl Be Played On February 7, 2021?
- Yes -650
- No +375
The game is currently scheduled for February 7th, 2021, and there have been no announcements regarding any potential changes to the time frame.
Let’s take a look at some of the things the NFL has made teams play through this season, with no delays:
- Coach Kevin Stefanski was diagnosed with COVID-19, and was not allowed to coach the team in their first playoff appearance in 17 years. The game went on as scheduled.
- The Denver Broncos had their entire QB room under COVID protocol, and still had to play, forcing them to start an undrafted WR at QB. The game went on as scheduled.
- The San Francisco 49ers moved their entire team to Arizona to avoid stricter COVID protocols in California. Their season went on as scheduled.
- The entire RB room for the New Orleans Saints either had COVID or had close contact with someone who had COVID in Week 17. The Saints game went on as scheduled.
It seems clear at this point that the NFL has prioritized making sure the games happen over more or less anything else in this season.
One struggles to imagine the level of disaster that would have to occur to cause a delay or cancellation of the Super Bowl. It would probably take something like Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers coming down with COVID-19 in order to cause a move - the kind of thing that calls into question the legitimacy of the championship.
However, the precedent set with Stefanski and the Broncos suggests that even that might not be enough to move the game.
Right now, Yes is favored at -650 odds, and it doesn’t seem like a bad wager, given how the league has approached the pandemic.
The NFL wants its money. They’ll opt for whatever they think they can get away with. Right now, that’s nearly everything. We’ll see what the landscape looks like moving forward, and hope for the safety of the NFL’s players, coaches and staff