Odds Heavily Against an NFL Game Being Postponed Due to COVID in 2020
- Week 1 of the NFL season was not impacted by COVID-19
- The league administered 44,510 tests between August 30th and September 5th and only eight came back positive
- Could a second wave of coronavirus impact the 2020 season?
While the start of the 2020 MLB regular season was hampered by COVID-19, the start of the 2020 NFL season has (so far) gone off without a hitch. The hope is that this lasts but oddsmakers aren’t as certain.
They’ve posted odds on whether an NFL game will be postponed by COVID-19 in 2020. While ‘No’ is heavily favored at -600, the +350 comeback on ‘Yes’ has an implied probability of 22.2%, higher than most football fans would like.
Odds a 2020 NFL Game Is Postponed Due to COVID-19
|No (zero postponed games)||-600|
|Yes (at least one postponed game)||+350|
Odds as of September 16th.
All Coaches, Players Pass COVID-19 Tests Prior to Week 1
There has been a lot of debate as to whether leagues like the NFL or MLB should follow the NBA’s lead and play in a quarantined “bubble:, which ensures minimal contact. However, the NFL appears to be doing just fine with its current plan.
Just over 48 hours away from regular-season kickoff. NFL and NFLPA have worked hard on COVID protocols. Today the NFL debuted a new video, narrated by Dr. Sills, on what it takes to play football in 2020. A sneak peek here: pic.twitter.com/MtzrptZOLs
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 8, 2020
Prior to Week 1, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that all players and coaches passed their COVID-19 tests and were good to go. That’s incredible given how many players and coaches are on the rosters. The main question here is will all of the personnel remain as disciplined throughout the season as they were leading up to it?
Will There Be a Second Wave?
At this point, the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be receding but nobody is quite certain if it will go way or if we’re about to get a second wave. We’ve seen some mixed signals from around the world as China appears to be fine while places like South Korea and Israel are reimplementing lockdowns.
— Jimmy Liao (@JimmyLiaoMD) September 12, 2020
College football is coming back in full force (Big Ten announced its return in October) but is there science behind the decision or is it just wishful thinking that the virus won’t be a problem?
What is helping the NFL here is that testing is now readily available and results can be delivered faster than ever. On top of that, we have a better understanding of symptoms and who is vulnerable. Beyond that, we’ve flattened the curve, so overwhelming hospitals is less of a concern.
What’s the Best Bet?
The odds here are surprisingly high on the ‘No’ as a COVID-19 postponement still seems like a very real possibility. We could have a second wave where the entire league is impacted or maybe a player or two catch it and spread it around a locker room to push back on contest.
Words can’t explain how happy I am that the NFL is finally back!!! Here’s to a successful covid free season. LFG!!!! pic.twitter.com/FW3hC5jrFD
— EDP445 Burner (@EDPBurnerClips) September 13, 2020
Remember, the NFL players are not in a bubble and they’re still traveling around. While there are all sorts of restrictions in place, it’s completely possible someone catches the virus and passes it on.
Right now, everything appears to be going swimmingly. As per the August 30th to September 5th test results, only eight tests came back positive out of 44,510 that were administered. At the same time, we know just how quickly and easily the virus spreads. Don’t be surprised if there’s a second wave or some flair ups, and the league is forced to alter the scheduled date of a game or two.
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