Yesterday, I focused on some comments from Kirk Herbstreit regarding the possibility that there will be no football season – or perhaps a truncated football season – in the Fall of 2020. As someone who depends on happenings in college and professional football for material to write about, you may be certain that I hope Herbstreit is wrong and it would seem that I am joined in that hope he is wrong by the folks at William Hill – a sports wagering entity. The folks there have published their win-total proposition bets for the NFL 2020 regular season, and it has an interesting feature.
- If you add up the win-total lines for all 32 teams, it comes to 255 games.
The NFL regular season has 256 games AND the propensity of the betting public is to bet “Overs” and not “Unders” in these sorts of prop bets. Often, if you add up the win-totals this far in advance of the season, the sum will be a few games higher than 256 meaning that the average bet spread out over the entire league will fall under the total line. This year, it is much closer to 256 games than usual and it is Under the actual number of games. [Aside: Since the wagers pay out on the total number of wins, if there is one tie game in the regular season, it is possible for the win-total lines to equal the number of games won during the season.]
- The Ravens and Chiefs have the highest win-totals on the board at 11.5.
- 19 of the 32 teams have win-totals of 8 games or more.
- The Jags have the lowest win-total on the board at 4.5 games.
There is a report this morning that the NBA is considering a variety of playoff options as a way to determine a champion for its truncated season. Given current circumstances, it is doubtful that the league could – or would – begin such an endeavor before late June or even mid-July. But reports say that the thinking involves the following factors:
- Prior to the playoffs, some “postponed regular season games” may be necessary simply to get players back and game-ready. Those games would clarify playoff seedings.
- The early rounds of the playoffs will be 3-game series and not 7-game series.
- The length of the final round of the playoffs is still TBD.
- If restricted travel is still in place in the US, the playoffs could be held in one city – presumably a neutral site.
- Reports say “neutral site cities” under consideration include Atlantic City, Las Vegas and Louisville.
In the world of tennis, reports say that the good folks who run Wimbledon have chosen the non-equivocation route there. According to those reports, Wimbledon will be cancelled for 2020 and not merely postponed while people scramble to see what logistical arrangements can be made to cobble together some sort of delayed competition. I don’t know if that is the best decision they could have made, but it is definitive as was the NCAA’s decision to cancel March Madness. In these days where folks need to adapt their behaviors and their life rhythms, there is a lot to be said for certainty in decision making.
Staying with the idea of making decisions with certainty, the IOC announced today that the Olympic Summer games will begin in Tokyo on July 23, 2021. If you had hotel reservations in Tokyo for this summer, maybe you can roll them over to next year?
There is an interesting irony regarding the now-postponed 2020 Summer Games and a Japanese government decision announced today. The government raised the level of a travel advisory for people in Japan urging them to cancel plans to travel to more than 40 countries as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. That makes a lot of sense – – just as it made a lot of sense for the government of Japan to have told the IOC to postpone those Summer Games wherein athletes and fans from many of those 40 or so countries would be coming to Tokyo and spreading the virus all over that densely populated city.
The English Premier League is on hiatus for now; Euro 2020 has been wiped out. Reports say that the EPL hopes to complete its season by playing later into the summer than usual; the cancellation of Euro 2020 should help with that endeavor – – assuming of course that the league can see a way forward to starting the games once again and playing them in empty venues. Teams have played 28 or 29 of their 38 scheduled games for this season. If the season ended now, Liverpool would be runaway champion with a record of 27-1-1 in its 29 games. The three teams that would be relegated if these are the final standings would be:
- Norwich City 5-18-6 21 points
- Aston Villa 7-17-4 25 points
- Bournemouth 7-16-6 27 points
[Bournemouth, Watford and West Ham all have 27 points, but Bournemouth would be the team relegated based on total goal differential.]
Finally, here is a comment from Bob Molinaro in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot with which I totally agree:
“In passing: What I wouldn’t mind missing this month are media and others telling me what they miss about the NCAA tournament.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…….