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 last week we learned that the Pittsburgh Steelers will play with no fans at Heinz Field in their first two home games. Their home opener is Week 2 vs. the Denver Broncos, and they follow in Week 3 against the Houston Texans.
The team is going to continue assess the situation and develop plans, with their third home game coming against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5. Like many of the NFL franchises, the Steelers will consult with local officials on if they can allow fans at some point.
No home fans will result in an adjustment for their Week 2 and 3 lines, and more lines will change if the team continues with no fans. DraftKings Sportsbook has provided the point spread for all but one Steelers games, with only Week 11 at the Jaguars not getting a line. including their home opener. Here is where they currently stand:
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 Steelers have a solid home field, so it lands around 3 points.
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 Steelers lose 1 or 1.5 points in home field advantage, it could move them down to -4 in their home opener and a field goal in Week 3. The most significant change would see them drop to pick ‘em against the Eagles.
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 Steelers in games where they’re favored, it’s worth a wait for a more friendly line.
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