- The NFL is listed at -155 odds to not shorten the 2020 regular season because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The New England Patriots have already had six players opt out of playing in the 2020 regular season.
- The deadline for players to opt out of playing in the 2020 regular season is August 4.
NEW YORK — The start of the 2020 NFL regular season is a little over a month away and once the August 4 deadline for players to opt out of participating in this season passes, the return of football is pretty much in its home stretch.
The deadline gives teams enough time to assess any quick roster moves that need to be made before the NFL’s first game kicks-off on September 10.
A team that has already felt the impact of the player opt outs is the New England Patriots who have seen six players pass on playing this season due to safety concerns.
Patriots safety Patrick Chung tells me that he plans to opt out of the 2020 season. He is the sixth Patriots player to do so.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) July 28, 2020
The NFL is still optimistic that teams will be able to play a full season despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, unlike the NBA or MLS, the NFL has not set up a bubble city to host games in and that could be the biggest threat to completing a 16-game regular season.
With football being a contact sport it raises questions on how the NFL would keep players safe while trying to get a quick handle on a potential COVID-19 outbreak.
By setting up proper protocols the NFL could limit the potential spread of the coronavirus but playing an entire regular season without any postponements seems out of the picture for football.
Will The NFL Shorten Their Season in 2020?
- No -155
- Yes +115
Pick: Yes (+115). Bettors should take the odds that the NFL will shorten their season simply because of player safety reasons.
The NFL not having a bubble system set up to keep players safe is one of the main reasons behind taking the +115 odds on the league opting to shorten the regular season. There is too much potential revenue at stake for the NFL to cancel this season altogether.
Despite a growing number of players opting out, making the season shorter might be the only viable option to keep the NFL in business during the pandemic. Fade the -155 odds on “No” option for this prop because that’s not where the best return lies.
Training camp for some NFL teams has already started and this will be the first small test to see if the league's protocols in combating the coronavirus will work. If the NFL and teams can survive training camp without a drastic spike in cases then that will change the outlook on the season.
The NFL regular season for the next month and a half must walk a fine line to keep their hopes of having a full season alive. If not, expect the NFL to reduce the season to 10-12 games at most before the Houston Texans take on the Super Bowl defending Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1.