UPDATE: The state of Florida has rescinded business regulations around Covid-19 and so the Bucs will have a Week 4 soft opening with no more than 10,000 fans. The goal is to increase to 25% of capacity from there.
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 Wednesday we learned that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play with no fans at Raymond James Stadium in their home-opener against the Carolina Panthers in Week 2 and their next home game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 4.
The team is going to continually assess the situation, with their third home game coming against the Green Bay Packers in Week 6. Like many of the NFL franchises, the Bucs will consult with local officials on if they should allow fans at some point.
No home fans will result in an adjustment for their Week 2 and 4 lines, and more lines will change if the team continues with no fans. DraftKings Sportsbook has provided the point spread for seven Buccaneers games, including their first four home games.
Here is where they currently stand for their eight home games:
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 Bucs lose 1 or 1.5 points in home field advantage, it moves them potentially close to even odds against the Saints and under a touchdown against the Panthers to start. 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 Buccaneers, you might want to wait to see if the line moves, but if you like the Panthers or Chargers, you should think about putting a bet down soon.
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