- The NFL is adding a 17th game to the season.
- This game represents a 6.25% increase in the NFL season, and likely a similar increase in betting handle.
- That could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in additional wagers, just from one extra week in the season.
LAS VEGAS – The NFL has resolved to add a 17th game to the schedule, and betting handle is expected to go up due to that addition.
The reason for this is simple – an additional game is an additional game to wager on, and since the NFL season is so short, each additional game can matter a lot to online sportsbooks in terms of revenue.
The change is occurring immediately – the 2021 NFL season will have 17 games in it.
Beginning in 2021, the NFL is expanding to a 17-game regular season. pic.twitter.com/skNisJwPS2
— NFL (@NFL) March 30, 2021
The 17th game will be effectively tacked on to the schedule, and opponents will be cross-conference, seeded by performance.
In other words, these won’t just be random games, they will feature top-level teams going at it.
The NFL season is perhaps the most profitable time for online sportsbooks, with millions of people across America wagering on their favorite teams.
For sports bettors, this is an additional shot at premier matchups, as the teams being seeded by the previous season’s performance should generate some elite face-offs, featuring teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
For the sportsbooks, they’d take any extra week of NFL action.
The NFL’s season being only 16 games, the addition of a 17th game is a 6.25% increase in overall games.
This should generate a similarly sized increase in sportsbook handle, which may sound small, but it’s very large in terms of real money.
Because so many bettors use offshore sportsbooks in order to bet on the NFL, it’s hard to get a solid estimate of how much extra money will be handled by the books, but it’s well into the hundreds of millions, at the very least.
The 17th game is sure to throw a wrench into the season for some players and teams, but for NFL sportsbooks and bettors, it’s a welcome addition.