American football is one of the sports that never really had a break through in Europe, but is huge in America. The interest in following American Football and NFL is however quite big even in Europe, and here at OddsExpert we do of course cover all matches in the National Football League.
The NFL season always ends with the two top team playing each other in the final, Super Bowl. It’s one of the biggest events in sports, and is followed by millions of people from around the world each year.
The 2020/21 season of NFL
The upcoming season of NFL starts on september 10th, and will be the 101st edition of the league. This is the first season with a 14-team playoff format, adding a third wild card team for each conference. The season will end with Super Bowl LV, on February 7 2021. The match is set to take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Winner odds for the 2020/21 season of NFL
|Kansas City Chiefs||4/1|
|Green Bay Packers||10/1|
|New Orleans Saints||12/1|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16/1|
|Los Angeles Rams||18/1|
|New England Patriots||25/1|
|Las Vegas Raiders||40/1|
|San Fransisco 49ers||40/1|
|Los Angeles Chargers||125/1|
|Washington Football Team||250/1|
|New York Giants||500/1|
|New York Jets||750/1|
Odds from Unibet 13/8 2019
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NFL, a league with much history
The American Professional Association was founded as early as in 1920, but later changed name to National Football League – the NFL. The number of participating teams has changed a lot over the years, especially in the 60s when competition in the form of American Football League showed up.
NFL and AHL becomes one – the birth of Super Bowl
The two leagues competed side by side for a few years, and which league was the better one changed back and forth. Eventually the two leagues were merged together, into the current format with two conferences. The league is divided into the National Conference and the American Conference – with Super Bowl being the final between the two conference winners.
At the moment there are 32 competing teams in the NFL, and most big cities in the USA has a team. There are however exceptions, such as San Antonio who doesn’t have NFL teams. The teams in the NFL are rarely changed, and Green Bay Packers from Wisconsin has been a part of the league since the start.
How the NFL is played
The NFL season starts in September, and always with a home match for the previous year’s Super Bowl winner. All teams in the two separate Conferences plays 16 matches in 17 weeks during the regular season. The match schedule for each team in the regular season is decided according to this formula:
- You play the other 3 teams in your division twice, once at home and once away
- You play one match against each team in one of the other divisions in your conference, two home matches and two away. This means that you will play every team in your conference at least once every 3 years during regular season.
- You play 4 matches against each team in one of the 4 divisions in the opposing conference. Those divisions are rotated each year, so that every team will play against all teams in the other conference once every 4 years during the regular season.
- You play 2 games against the teams that finished in the same place in their respective division as you did in yours. These teams come from the two divisions from your Conference not included in the second bullet above.
This might seem to be an unnecessarily complicated system, but it makes sure that all teams will play at each others home arenas at least once every 8th season.
Play-offs and the Super Bowl
After the regular season, the NFL continues into a 12 team play-off. The two best teams there will later play against each other for the title in the Super Bowl. The 12 teams consists of 6 teams from the National Conference and 6 teams from the American Conference.
It’s the top 4 teams from each Conference that moves on to the play-offs, along with two Wild Cards from each Conference. These are the two teams from each Conference that has the highest winning percentage, apart from the already qualified teams.
The teams ranked as number 3 and 6 into the play-offs from each Conference will face each other in the so called Wild Card Playoffs. At the same time, the teams ranked as 4 and 5 will play against each others. The two teams ranked as 1 and 2 after the regular season will not play in this round, they are automatically qualified to the next step. That is called the Divisional play-off. There, the winners from the Wild Card Playoffs will face the two teams that qualified directly.
The two winners from the Divisional play-offs will then face each other in a Conference Final. The team who win will get to play against the other Conference winner in the Super Bowl.
The NFL draft
Each year, the NFL teams will draft players from different american collages. The draft order is decided by the team results from the previous season. The team that came in last gets to pick first in the draft, and the Super Bowl winners are the last to pick. This is to keep the teams in the NFL as even as possible.
It’s entirely up to the clubs to decide where a player ends up. They don’t have a say in the draft, they simply go tho the team that pick them in the draft. The clubs can however affect the order in the draft by negotiating with teams higher up in the draft order.
Memorable players and NFL MVPs
A lot of players have come and gone in the NFL over the years. A lot of them remain quite anonymous, but a handful of them manages to make a mark that will last over the years. At the end of each season, the NFL awards one player the MVP, most valuable player, award. Peyton Manning was named AP NFL MVP five times, which is more than any other player in history. Tom Brady, the big star of New England Patriots, has recieved the award three times.
The AP NFL MVP award of the 2018/19 season was given to Patrick Mahomes II.