October 20 PM update: Santa Clara County, home of the 49ers stadium says “NOT SO FAST.” The county health department has final say over the state on this.
Statement from Santa Clara County Public Health Department to The Chronicle’s @Rusty_SFChron: “Audiences at professional sporting events will not be allowed anytime soon in Santa Clara County, and theme parks will not resume operation." (1/1) #49ers— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) October 20, 2020
October 20 update: The state of California has issued new guidelines that could allow the 49ers to have 20 percent capacity as soon as their next home game in Week 9.
NEW: California is allowing fans at pro sports outdoor stadiums for the first time. County has to be orange tier or better. At first glance, means Niners can welcome back fans at 20% capacity — at least those who live within 120 miles.— Kevin Yamamura (@kyamamura) October 20, 2020
The NFL hopes 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 San Francisco 49ers announced their plans to start this year without fans in the stands.
There won’t be fans at Levi’s stadium for San Francisco’s home opener against the Arizona Cardinals on September 13 and the team hopes to see them return at some point in October. The 49ers won’t play their next home game until their Week 4 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 4. They will work toward finding a way to get fans back at games at some point in the season, but the absence of spectators could affect results early.
DraftKings Sportsbook has the 49ers listed as seven-point favorites against the Cardinals. Home field advantage is typically deemed to be worth 2.5 to 3 points. The 49ers draw well, and would be closer to the field goal advantage.
However, DK Sportsbook oddsmaker Johnny Avello said he would cut home field advantage 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 boost playing at home. But, it will not be nearly what it would be if there were fans in the stands.
This could drop the line to 5.5 points, and while that is still a decent-sized number, it moves into a murkier area for handicappers. The odds for the 49ers-Eagles matchup aren’t posted, but Vegas expects Philadelphia to be significantly better than Arizona in 2020. San Francisco focuses on the run and could be at a disadvantage against one of the best defensive lines in football.
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