What Is The NFL Betting Impact Of The 17th Game?

  • The NFL is adding a 17th game to their season.
  • The game will be added to the 2021 season and beyond.
  • This extra game could have legitimate NFL betting ramifications.

LAS VEGAS - The NFL has announced that the owners have voted to extend the season from 16 games to 17 games.

This change could impact not only NFL bettors, but fantasy football players and DFS gamers, as well as the on-field product of the NFL.

Let’s break down a few key ways in which the NFL season will look different when this change takes effect in 2021.

Injury Problems

The players in the NFL have long resisted an increased season, as their contracts are yearly, and adding an extra game puts more wear and tear on their bodies.

Some have been pretty blunt about their feelings regarding an extra game, including star New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara.

This is not an uncommon sentiment amongst players, who already suffer injuries as a matter of course in the NFL season.

The League did not add an extra bye week in either, meaning that players will simply be playing an extra game with the same amount of rest as they had in 16 game seasons.

This could lead to intriguing betting occurrences in late-season games, like a team that’s locked for the playoffs sitting for two games instead of just in Week 16.

The desire to protect star players from injury before the playoffs won’t go away, and one wonders what impact that could have on the 17th game.

Team O/U’s

NFL O/U’s for how many games a team will win in a season have been the same for a long time now.

Many NFL fans and NFL betting enthusiasts have benchmarks in their head for what a 7-9 team looks like, what a 10-6 team looks like, etc.

Those benchmarks are out the window now, as it’s no longer possible for a team to go 7-9 (shoutout to Jeff Fisher).

It could be weird to project that extra game in terms of O/U lines, given the extra injury concerns and the possibility of teams being locked for the playoffs for a longer period of time.

Cross Conference Play

The 17th game, being tacked on to the current iteration of the NFL season, will be between cross-conference opponents.

The games will be seeded based on where teams finished in their division, so the best teams will play against other elite competition.

This could also impact O/U betting, as this is effectively adding a tough game to every good team’s schedule.

Similarly, it is adding a relatively easy game to every bad team’s schedule, and this could be key in determining the betting impact of this change.

Overall, the NFL’s 17th game is clearly good for the league, arguably bad for the players, and could generate some interesting situations for NFL bettors in the future.

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