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Five things to consider when betting on the 2020 NFL season

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The NFL is back and having seen the preseason fixtures cancelled, it has been 31 weeks since we last witnessed any of the 32 teams in action.

This means that there is an even bigger air of uncertainty than there usually is around the start of a new campaign, and this should certainly be a factor when you start to weigh up your football wagers for the 2020 season.

While many things will be different over the next five months, some things, according to online betting sites, may well stay the same. The Kansas City Chiefs lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy on February 2nd, and they are the favourites to do so again, priced at +600 with many of the best betting sites in Canada to retain the championship.

But there is far more to NFL betting than the outright futures markets, and below are five key factors from a wagering point of view this year.

1) What is the home-field advantage?

For safety reasons in the current climate, this season, stadiums won’t be packed out as they usually are. Instead, the league will provide a recording of the crowd noise which must be played at 70dB.

A limited number of supporters will be allowed into some stadiums, but it still won’t be the same as tens of thousands of screaming fans cranking up the pressure on visiting teams as they attempt to march down the field.

While the crowd element is taken away to some extent, that is not to say that there aren’t other advantages for home teams this year. Trips from the east to the west coast will still be taxing, and the likes of the Denver Broncos still have the altitude in their favour.

2) Which rosters are depleted?

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At least 66 NFL players have opted out of the season due to concerns over the coronavirus, and while high profile absentees will have been taken into consideration when the sportsbooks set their lines, it still might represent an opportunity to find value.

In a campaign in which the usual preseason itinerary has not been followed, continuity and familiarity within the teams is going to be hugely important. 

Don’t underestimate franchises that have a settled core and are not having to make do without several important pieces.

3) Where can you find the best betting odds?

Regardless of whether or not your bet turns out to be a good or a bad one, you want to make sure you are getting the very best price possible.

That means shopping around for your odds and ideally being registered with multiple betting sites so that you are not restricting yourself and your winnings.

Futures odds tend to vary greatly both before and during the campaign. For example, in the week leading up to week 1, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are priced at +1000 for the Super Bowl on Bet365, but a much better +1400 on 888sport.

However, in the total points market for the Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs game, the line is set at 53 on 888sport and 54 on Bet365, with both having odds of -110 for each side. So, if you wanted to bet the under, you get better value on Bet365 in this instance.

There is no single betting site with the best NFL betting odds for every market.

4) Are there betting offers to take advantage of?

The start of the NFL season is a key period for betting sites to acquire new users, and many of them have lucrative welcome offers in order to attract players.

A sign up bonus might come in the form of a matched first deposit, or as a series of free bets. Either way, it is a great way to load up your account with funds and play with some house money.

Some of the best offers are actually for existing customers, though. You can get enhanced odds and free bets on a number of online sportsbooks, as well as parlay bonuses and more.

5) Don’t bet on every game

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Unless you are a professional bettor or have developed a highly-sophisticated system, it is almost impossible to have a strong opinion on every matchup.

The temptation, especially at the start of a new season, can be to throw some dollars on every game, but a more profitable approach, in the long run, is to go for quality over quantity.

It is particularly important early in the season to be a bit more tentative with your bets, especially in such unusual circumstances as the teams will be faced with this year.

Verdict

Betting on football is a hugely popular pastime in North America and thanks to online sportsbooks, the options are now better than ever.

While sports betting should be considered by most as a bit of fun, it is always more enjoyable when you are being smart with your wagers and at least giving yourself the best opportunities to be successful with it.

Always be on the lookout for value, and make sure you are knowledgeable about the teams or markets you are betting on and have absorbed as much information as possible.