The NFL should be able to open its 2020 season on time, but some or all of their teams can expect to be playing home games with a small percentage of fans or without fans in the stadium. Each locale is implementing different rules, and on Monday we learned that the Carolina Panthers will play with no fans at Bank of America Stadium in their season-opener against the Las Vegas Raiders.
The team is going to continually assess the situation and has put forward proposals for partial attendance. The team’s second home game is October 4th, giving them a month to try and find a solution with local and state health officials.
No home fans for the opener will result in an adjustment for their Week 1 line, and more lines will change if the team continues with no fans. DraftKings Sportsbook has provided the point spread for three Panthers games, including their home opener. The Panthers are listed as 1.5-point underdogs in Teddy Bridgewater’s debut with the team. The line opened with the Panthers as one-point underdogs.
In sports betting, home field advantage is viewed as being worth roughly 2.5 to 3 points. Some teams like the Broncos, Seahawks, Saints, and Chiefs have a more significant advantage than other teams. The Panthers have a decent but not great home field advantage, and would likely be closer to 2.5
DK Sportsbook oddsmaker Johnny Avello said he would cut a 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.
If the Panthers lose 1 or 1.5 points in home field advantage, it moves them potentially as high as a field goal underdog against Las Vegas. Plenty could change, but for now that’s where things stand. 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. If you like the favored Raiders, you might want to jump on the line soon. If you like the underdog Panthers, maybe wait for some line movement.
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