The NFL is on track to open its 2020 season on time, but some or all of their teams can expect to be playing home games without fans in the stadium. Each locale is implementing different rules, and on Tuesday, the New England Patriots announced their plans to start the season.
The Patriots will have no fans in September, which means they will play in an empty stadium for their Week 1 home opener against the Miami Dolphins and their Week 2 matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders.
DraftKings Sportsbook has provided lines for two Patriots games this season, with one of them being their home opener. New England is a 6.5-point favorite against Miami.
In sports betting, home field advantage is viewed as being worth roughly 2.5 to 3 points. Some teams like the Seahawks, Saints, and Chiefs have a more significant advantage than other teams. The Patriots draw well and have a loud crowd so it’ll be around a field goal, maybe more depending on the weather and the oddsmaker.
DK Sportsbook oddsmaker Johnny Avello said he would cut a home field in half with no fans in the stands. There is still benefit of knowing your home stadium and locker room, and not having to travel, so you still get some benefit to playing at home. But, it will not be nearly what it would be if there were fans in the stands.
If the Patriots lose 1.5 points in home field advantage, we could see the Dolphins line drop to five points. That’s still a sizable line, but it drops into a murkier area that can be a little more difficult to sort. Two weeks later, they’ll likely be favorites against the Raiders in Week 3.
Not all lines are created equal and plenty will change between now and each game, so this some basic projection for the time being. However, sportsbooks have yet to make a move with the potential for no fans in the stand, so there could be some value to be found in early lines.
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