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Bad calls and terrible games won’t stop you from betting on the NFL
By Marc Meltzer
Last year the NFL started to lose its luster for me. The refs, announcers, players, gamblers and people who are just fans started to have no idea what the rules were. It started to become difficult to find the fun watching the games, let alone wager on the games. That trend continues this year as there seems to be more confusion on the rules.
I started wagering on 5-inning baseball games, in part, because it’s easier and quicker to handicap a game without spending time researching relief bullpens. The volatility in relief pitching is annoying but it’s just bad players that have data to quantify their actual skills. I’d rather not spend my time handicapping bullpens but it’s possible.
Back to football. It’s not quite as easy to handicap football officials and officiating teams but that might be something to keep in mind for next year. Not allowing obvious catches and touchdowns effects just about every type of wager that’s legal in Las Vegas.
Following NFL action on Twitter makes more of an impact than ever because everyone is noticing this deficiency. This can be a bit repetitive on a Sunday morning (10 a.m. PT) when there are multiple games on at once. It’s only worse on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights as there’s only one game on at a time. The bad calls are amplified with no other football on to distract social media.
The NFL is still growing in popularity despite the poor officiating. More people are watching the games than ever. There’s more money being wagered on the games as well. Daily fantasy sports may be having legal issues but there are more people playing than ever before thanks to football. We’re all sort of addicted to football in some form or another.
I’m focusing on pro football instead of college football because the situation in pro football will get worse before it gets better and it will be amplified even more in the future. The NFL is trying to add as many standalone games as they can. It wouldn’t be surprising to see four time slots (instead of three) dedicated to NFL games each Sunday in the near future. There will be more 6 a.m. games from Europe in addition to the traditional 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. games (Pacific time again since I live in Las Vegas).
The NFL makes good money from TV companies by spreading their games out. Thursday night football is a steaming pile of crap and the league has multiple companies bidding for the right to show these games next year.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the NFL add another day or two of games in the next 20-30 years. Why not have Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and/or Saturday Night football if TV and internet companies are willing to pay to show them. Sports betting should be legalized nationwide in 20-30 years and we’re willing to watch and wager on NFL games no matter how bad they are.
The league builds a nice buzz by keeping a handful of games for that early Sunday slot so that may not change. It’s not inconceivable that the league will continue to expand so that they have enough teams to fill more TV time slots while keeping that early Sunday slot buzzing. Maybe the NFL will have better officiating in 20-30 years but do we really care?