The 2019 season of the NFL, which began Thursday night with the New England Patriots defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 36-23, is now in the books. As NFL Week 4 came to a close, it was a matter of time before the post-season began.
The postseason starts now, and if you’re looking to take a chance on some profitable football betting, you might want to research which teams are most likely to make it to the Super Bowl.
But before we get to that, let’s examine the meaning of paid in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series.
How Did Paid Work Its Way To The Top?
It’s only fair to assume that the NFL’s official ruling on paying for players is what the Cup Series has adopted as well. It’s been a long time coming; back in 2012, Richard Childress, the founder of RCR, said that paying players was inevitable. But it wasn’t until 2018 that NASCAR made the practice official.
“We’ve always done it, and I think it’s about time that our fans know that we’re committed to putting on a good show for them, no matter what it costs us financially,” Childress said at the time.
The move was met with a ton of backlash, but that also makes it easier for sportsbooks to have a field day with the pay-for-play metric. Simply put, if you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with how much money the NFL and other major U.S. sports leagues make. It’s a lot. And just like Major League Baseball and the NBA, the NFL is a global brand. So even though the majority of its games are held in America, it makes a ton of money abroad.
The backlash didn’t last long, and today, paid players is as integral a part of the NASCAR Cup Series as ever.
What Does It Mean For A Sportsbook To Accept And Take Money On These Games?
The fact that you have to ask that question speaks volumes. In an age when most of the major sports leagues have publicly denounced the practice of paying players, how is it still legal for sportsbooks to take bets on them?
The short answer is that it isn’t. But it’s also a bit more complicated. In the grand scheme of things, sportsbooks are still operating in an age when the world isn’t exactly as they knew it. And while most books have stopped taking bets on NFL games due to the league’s stance on paid players, a select few still offer that option.
Those places that do take bets on NFL matchups remain heavily scrutinized. For instance, the Nevada Gaming Control, which enforces gaming laws in that state, has issued cease and desist orders to several sportsbooks regarding their handling of sports betting. Last year, the NGC issued a cease and desist order to DFS, which was then followed by an order to Shut It Down. According to Section 11.362 of the Nevada Gaming Code, “it is unlawful for any person to offer, carry on, sponsor, or promote gambling, wagering, or sporting events in Nevada without first obtaining a Nevada Gaming License from the [Nevada Gaming Commission].”
The commission can take action against any business that breaks these laws, and given the sports books’ long history of violating gaming laws, it’s not hard to imagine that the commission is not going to be too kind. In fact, one of the commissioners, William Romine, has said that he believes the current generation of sportsbooks is “worse” than the previous one and that they need to be shut down.
Given that the NBA, MLB, and the NHL have all prohibited or strongly discouraged paying players, it seems safe to assume that the practice would also be considered taboo in other major sports. But for some reason, the NFL has decided to skirt around the issue. For now, at least.
Which Teams Are Most Likely To Make It To The Super Bowl?
Before we get to the Super Bowl, let’s examine the chances of some of the early-season participants making it to the promised land. Below, we identify the five teams that are most likely to make it to Super Bowl LIV, assuming that the season continues apace and the playoffs end as scheduled.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
The defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, are off to a perfect start and have already locked up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The team is coming off back-to-back losing seasons, but a change of pace—in the form of Alex Smith—has brought new life to the offense.
After throwing five interceptions in his first two games, Smith has settled down since. He has completed 67% of his passes while throwing for 1,077 yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions in the past two weeks. The Chiefs are scoring 33.3 points per game since he took over as the starter, compared to their pre-season average of 14.3 points per game. Last year, Kansas City went 13-3 and made it to the Super Bowl. Now, the team is looking to make it back-to-back wins and take a step forward.