Players Torn About 17-Game NFL Season: NFL Betting On The Line

  • NFL owners proposed a 17-game regular season in their first CBA offer to the players union.
  • If a new CBA is not agreed upon owners are willing to extend the 2019 CBA one more season.
  • The NFLPA will meet this week to vote on approving or rejecting the new agreement.

NEW YORK – The ongoing process of the NFL and NFLPA negotiating a new decade long collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is now in the hands of the players union.

The owners passed a new version of the CBA last week with several major changes coming to the NFL before the league year begins March 18. The Players Association and NFL have already agreed to push back and extend the dates that players can be given the franchise or transition tags in hopes that a new CBA can be agreed upon quickly.

Some of the proposed tweaks in the proposed deal will have a direct impact on betting on NFL games and the Super Bowl. The owners proposed a 17-game regular season, changes to the league’s drug-testing policy, and adding one more playoff spot.

Impact of Adding Another Playoff Spot

The biggest change in the owner's proposed CBA is the possibility of adding another playoff spot. The current format only allows twelve teams to qualify for the NFL playoffs and gives two first-round byes.

The proposed format expands the field to fourteen teams, adds a third game to Wildcard Weekend and only the No. 1 seed in each conference earning a first-round bye.

This would likely result in futures betting odds being shorter because there are more teams in the field of possibilities. However, with that change, a longshot seven seed could win the Super Bowl and that should net bettors a nice return at sportsbooks.

Changes to the NFL’s Drug Testing Policy

The NFL’s drug testing policy has kept some of the league's best players from playing in games due to suspension and repeatedly missing drug tests. Players like New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell and Josh Gordon have been suspended multiple times for violating this policy.

In the proposed agreement players will no longer be suspended for testing positive for marijuana and the NFL will reduce the number of players that they’ll test for THC.

With the threat of suspensions for marijuana now a thing of the past even repeat offenders will be able to get back onto the NFL field sooner rather than later.

Adding Another Game To The Regular Season

The owners proposed an expanded 17-game regular season which would not take effect this season but would give the owners a window of the years 2021-2023 to decide whether to expand the regular season or not.

If expanded, a preseason game would be taken away and another bye week would also be added. This is the biggest obstacle in getting a new CBA agreed upon and the NFLPA is divided on expanding the regular season.

This would not only give bettors an opportunity to bet on another regular-season NFL game but could also impact the NFL’s playoff picture which does affect futures odds.

The NFLPA is scheduled to meet with NFL owners on Tuesday and then voting should commence the next day.

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