14th May 2018 – The day that the landscape of the NFL changed forever. The Supreme court had just given the green light for the United States to allow gambling on sports. Gone will be the Federal law that had previously limited gambling activities on professional sports to just a few states.
Changes will be coming in every aspect of the sport. But before they do, the NFL will need to adapt to ensure that this doesn’t turn into a PR disaster. The NFL will have to carry out the most intense due diligence before they can concentrate on the huge economic boost legal gambling will provide.
Although we expect a lot of dotting i’s and crossing t’s in the coming years, it will not be too long before we see a completely different type of NFL broadcast. As it stands gambling is not something the NFL actively encourages in the States, unlike UK sports where gambling has become a mainstay in most sports, especially football (sorry I just can’t do the whole soccer thing).
Live odds will become an integral part of the broadcast. Instead of an advert for 60 minutes or the big bang theory, we will receive betting line updates from the likes of Joe Buck and Jim Nantz. Soon the inevitable Viagra adverts will be replaced with gambling adverts. I for one can’t wait to see who will play the role of Ray Winstone in the US version of a bet 365 commercial.
The ‘gamble responsible’ message will be potent so Roger Goodell can keep his image of a man that cares about his players and fans. This is another obstacle he will now need to overcome to ensure the longevity of a sport that could be threatened by a number of factors. Education of the effects of gambling will need to addressed by the professional and collegiate systems.
Strong punishments will need to be introduced for any players that are found betting on a result they can help determine. In the UK football players cannot be found to be betting on any football at all. Breaking this rule leads to bans and fines. The NFL would be wise to enforce a similar approach.
At the end of the day, there is just too much money to be made from legal betting. You just know that the NFL and the broadcast companies are going to want a piece of that pie.
Sports betting is something we are used to over here in the UK, when done responsibly it can be a bit of harmless fun, that can pay out every now and then. As the ‘gamble responsibility’ advert says “when the fun stops, stop!”
And just in case you are wondering here is a few of the latest odds you can get on the Chiefs.
Super Bowl winner – 33/1
AFC conference winner – 16/1
AFC West winner – 7/2
MVP – Pat Mahomes – 40/1
Most passing yards – Pat Mahomes – 40/1
Most rushing yards – Kareem Hunt – 12/1
Most receiving yards – Tyreek Hill – 80/1
Coach of the year – Andy Reid – 16/1