What Are Odds Of The NFL Season Being Canceled?

Will The NFL Season Be Canceled? Here’s What The Odds Say

In this crazy year of 2020, where COVID-19 has taken over our lives, it comes as no surprise that Sportsbook has created NFL season cancellation odds for bettors with an inside edge on whether the NFL season will be canceled.


Over the first three weeks of the season, just one player in the entire league – Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell – tested positive for the coronavirus. Since then, several players have been diagnosed with the virus, forcing one game to be postponed and another to be rescheduled.

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Now let’s take a look at the odds of the NFL season being canceled and how we expect the next few months to play out across the football universe.

Will All NFL Teams Play 16 Games During The Regular Season?

Odds that all NFL Teams play 16 games This season
Option Odds
Yes -270
No +650

Odds as of October 7 at Sportsbook

Our Prediction: Not All Teams In The NFL Will Play A Full 16 Games

This is an extremely tough question to figure out because there are so many unknowns surrounding the virus and many factors that need to be taken into account. As of October 7, 2020, three teams have had players test positive for COVID-19. The New England Patriots have two players (Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore), the Atlanta Falcons had one, and the Tennessee Titans have had several players and personnel test positive.

The Titans dealt with a rash of positive COVID-19 tests before their Week 4 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This forced the Titans and Steelers to take an unscheduled bye week, instead of their scheduled one later in the season. Today it was reported that two more Titans players have tested positive, and their Week 5 matchup with the Buffalo Bills is in serious jeopardy.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo on Monday to all 32 teams regarding COVID-19 protocol compliance and introduced new measures for increased safety, as well as repercussions if they are not followed.

Unlike the NHL and NBA, which successfully implemented the bubble approach to finish their seasons, the NFL is trying to go the way MLB did. Teams are traveling week to week and playing at their respective stadiums.

Baseball was touch-and-go for a while with teams forced to quarantine or miss games that were able to be played at another date. However, unlike baseball, there is no option for a doubleheader. For a league that has already scheduled its playoffs and Super Bowl, the NFL will try to do everything it can to ensure this season stays on track.

If I’m being realistic, I don’t think all 32 teams will complete a 16-game season. Right now, things could be worse, but the outlook is not great. I really want to believe the NFL will figure it out, whether it’s to bring teams into a bubble or have them play games from Thursday to Sunday. The important thing is player safety, and that the strict rules that the NFL sent out this week will be implemented much more harshly.

Will The 2020 NFL Regular Season Be Completed?

Odds of the 2020 NFL Regular season being completed
Option Odds
Yes -1500
No +650

Odds as of October 7 at Sportsbook

Our Prediction: The NFL Season Will Be Completed

As I mentioned above, the NFL will do its best to figure out how to finish this season, even if some teams don’t complete all 16 games. I’m trying to look at the situation from every angle, and even if some teams don’t play a full 16-game NFL schedule, I still think the league goes on to complete the season.

One problem is that most of the NFL owners have now permitted a small group of fans into the stadium, while a handful of teams have allowed higher capacity, which now includes all three Florida-based teams.

For the most part, the NFL – like the rest of the world – is trying to deal with this pandemic on a day-to-day basis. You simply cannot control what a player does outside of the team facilities, but you hope they are smart enough to not put themselves, their teammates and coaches in danger.

There is still no indication why or how Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore tested positive for COVID-19. None of their teammates did, and what is even scarier is that Newton tested positive a day before the team’s game while Gilmore tested positive a day after.

There are still many things to figure out between now and February 7, 2021, when Super Bowl 55 is supposed to take place. In a year when we got a shortened MLB season and a bubble format for the NHL and NBA, the NFL is in a tough situation trying to navigate how it can conclude a season when teams play just once a week. 

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