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 today we learned that the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers will have no “fans in attendance until further notice.”
The Rams and Chargers are sharing SoFi Stadium, with the Rams opening at home in Week 1 and the Chargers having their home opener in Week 2. The Rams announcement mentions no fans for Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys, while the Chargers announcement does not say anything specifically about the team’s Week 2 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The parties likely want to take this one week at a time in hopes of a quick change in policy.
This will result in an adjustment for point spreads at each game in which there are no home fans. DraftKings Sportsbook has provided a few lines for each time, including their home openers. The Rams are a 2.5-point underdog against the Cowboys, while the Chargers are a 6.5-point underdog against the Chiefs.
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 Chargers have always been on the low end of home field advantage, while the Rams have not been much higher in recent years. They would likely both be closer to the 2.5 point mark, although maybe the Rams get up to a field goal.
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.
This means Rams-Cowboys is closer to four points, while Chargers-Chiefs is closer to eight points. With two weeks until Week 1, these lines are subject to change. Sportsbooks have yet to make a move with the potential for no fans in the stand. If you like the favored Cowboys or Chiefs, now might be the time to get on the line. If you like the underdog Rams or Chargers, maybe wait a little bit for some movement.
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