By: Jason Radowitz
Currently, there are concerns on whether or not the college football season in 2020 will actually be played due to the COVID outbreak. Two conferences have already announced that they’re going to be trying to play spring football instead of playing in the fall. If all teams were to postpone or cancel the season, it could be a disaster for the US sports betting industry. Or maybe not.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 have already committed to canceling their fall football seasons with aspirations to play in the spring. It was even noted that no championship game would be played even if conferences end up playing in the fall.
There are plenty of issues that the betting industry will run into but there’s no reason to believe that the entire industry would be in shambles
What Impact a Cancelled Season would have on the Sports Betting Industry
Covers.com interviewed and asked gambling industry strategist, Chris Grove about what could happen if the season was cancelled.
Grove estimated to Covers that without a college football season, the sports betting market would take a hit by about 12 percent. Others didn’t want to comment on exact numbers due to being unsure of the actual impact that could take place.
Jay Kornegay told Covers that it’ll be a punch in the gut if the season is completely cancelled but that as long as NFL is playing, the industry should survive with around 65 percent of total football bets placed beijing in the NFL. That’s still 35 percent that would go missing but you’d also have to imagine that regular college football bettors would look into betting the NFL as a secondary option.
That has to be what the industry is hoping for. Since the pandemic, we’ve seen some outrageous bets for MLB games and UFC matches along with soccer matches. Some bettors had withdrawal with no American sports being able to be bet on. Books will more than likely see a higher amount of action and total wagered once the NFL begins.
The NFL could look into moving games to Saturday’s along with week night games to spread out their season and have games as much as possible without college football being on. The reality is, if there were games on Saturday, there would be a ton more action on NFL games on the weekends which could help the industry make their money throughout the week.
Will Spring Football Be Popular on the Betting Market?
Some believe that the NCAA would benefit from the NFL finishing their season at a normal time, giving bettors more space to make wagers on college football games.
Books believe that many bettors will wait until Sunday and save their money for the NFL instead of trying to make money on Saturday’s and then have more money to bet on Sunday’s. But the other reality is that there will be other professional sports playing like the NBA and NHL with the start of the MLB season approaching in the Spring.
Any football is better than no football. Clearly, without college football, sports books will lose out on more revenue and action. But if the NFL and College Football separate their seasons and play at different times, that could essentially mean more money for sportsbooks. It’s not entirely out of question.
Basically, the sportsbooks are hoping for a college football season. If the season is played, the books will make their money, revenue and profit. If there is no season, again, they’ll need to rely on heavy bets in the NFL and then hope the NFL plays on other days of the week, including a couple or a few games on Saturday to make up for the college football absence.
At this point in time, on August 24, it looks like the SEC, Big 12, and ACC are looking to play college football in the fall. These leagues could shut down quickly but haven’t made a quick decision like the other leagues. Only time will tell if we get a college football season. Remember, for most schools, school is already back in session with kids on campus. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.
The sports betting industry is watching and crossing their fingers for some positive news.