Tue, Mar 30, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The NFL announced today that the owners have approved a 17th game during the regular season. In order to add the additional game, the league shortened the preseason to three games.
The change will occur with the upcoming 2021 season. The addition of the 17th game was agreed upon by the players when the Collective Bargaining Agreement was reached in 2020. However, the pre-season had to be reduced to just three games because the CBA states that only 20 games can be played between the preseason and regular season.
There will still be a bye week for every team. Important dates on the 2021 schedule are as follows:
Season opener: Sept. 9
Regular-season finale: Jan. 9, 2022
Pro Bowl: Feb. 6, 2022, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas
Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles has been pushed back one week, from Feb. 6 to Feb. 13, 2022
Not long after the announcement was made NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement. He noted that this was a monument decision for the league and that data was followed regarding player injuries. That data shows the highest risk of injury to players is during preseason games.
"What we are actually doing is following the data and following the science to make sure that we are doing things [well] both from a health and safety standpoint as well as seeking to get better in every way," Goodell said.
NFL players receive a share of the league revenue, which will increase to 48.5 percent with a 17th game in the regular season.
"Since players share the revenue that is brought into the NFL, more money for the NFL means more money for the players as well. The new CBA also increases the players' revenue share as part of the negotiated media kicker, which comes into effect when we play 17 regular-season games. As a result, players will see even larger revenue increases in future years, when the new media revenues really begin," the NFL Players Association said in a statement.
In order to build a schedule with an odd number of games, two things will need to be factored into the scheduling system. The first of those is that the AFC and NFC will alternate hosting the ninth game every year. The AFC will host the ninth game during the 2021 season.
The second is that the 17th game will be decided on the prior season's divisional standings and the rotation for the division schedule from the prior two seasons. The 17th game will be a cross-conference game.
The 17th games for the 2021 season are as follows:
This is excellent news for bettors, as the addition of a 17th game during the regular-season gives them more chances at winning large payouts on any of these games.