Does The NFL Schedule Release Shift Super Bowl Odds?

Written By Russ Mitchell on May 12, 2021
nfl schedule release

Tonight’s NFL schedule release may impact your fantasy football strategies, but it won’t shake up NFL futures at Iowa sportsbooks much.

That’s according to BetMGM sports trader Darren Darby, who said the NFL schedule release has “little to no impact” on the Super Bowl odds.

Jay Croucher, the USA head of trading at PointsBet, agrees:

“The schedule is not going to have an impact on Super Bowl odds. It will more be on things like season win totals. There are going to be so many other more important factors than where your bye week is and who you play at the end of the season.

“At the end of the day, the Super Bowl odds for Kansas City are not going to change, really, based on their schedule. What we’re looking at for the Super Bowl is: That team’s got Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Nothing really changes that.”

Continue reading for live odds from sportsbooks in Iowa.

NFL schedule features extra game to bet on

Both ESPN2 and NFL Network will have two-hour schedule release specials at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Casual fans and NFL bettors will look for prime-time games and Thanksgiving Day matchups. Analysts at the networks will fill the two-hour specials with tricky time zone logistics and bye week impacts.

As Darby notes, NFL teams already know their home and away opponents. “The order of the games will impact the spread of the game slightly” on a week-to-week-to-week basis, he said.

The NFL sets opponents at the end of the previous year’s regular season:

  • Division rivals play each other twice – home and away (six games).
  • The league pairs divisions together on a rotating basis. For example, the NFC North faces the NFC West (four games) and the AFC North (four games) in 2021.
  • First-place teams play the remaining first-place teams in their conference. Likewise, second-place teams play the remaining second-place conference teams and so on (two games).
  • This year, the NFL eliminated a preseason week and added a regular-season game to the NFL schedules. The 17th game will “be an inter-conference matchup based on divisional standings,” according to the league.

Since opponents are set by the formula above, sportsbooks don’t shake up team outlooks much. A road game to Green Bay in September is different than in mid-December trip to Lambeau Field, but Darby said, “it’s a small variable for the whole season.”

He added:

“If we see that a team might have all of their winnable games up front, or backloaded we may make a trading decision to skew prices slightly on division winners. But, these are extreme examples, and not really likely to happen.”

Live Super Bowl futures at Iowa sports betting apps

Photo by Charles Rex Arbogast / AP
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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