The 1-4 Houston Texans are playing the 1-4 Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday. Do you really care about this matchup?
Let’s be honest. If your favorite NFL team isn’t playing what compels you to watch another NFL game? Two things: Either you have a bet on the game, or some kind of fantasy football involvement.
The NFL embraces one of these two things – and it’s not sports betting.
NFL Embraces Daily Fantasy Sports
The league is fervently anti-gambling. Yet the NFL embraces daily fantasy with in-stadium advertising and major partnerships with the two biggest daily fantasy sites, DraftKings and FanDuel.
The NFL has a great product. Unfortunately the league is full of hypocrisy and greed. Fantasy football is legal – at least for now – so it can be a moneymaker for the NFL. Sports betting is illegal in the United States outside of Nevada. Sportsbooks/casinos don’t provide any revenue to the NFL. The NFL doesn’t like that.
The league tries to justify their support of fantasy football by claiming it is a game of skill not chance. Yes, clearly skill is involved in fantasy football. But you also have to know what you’re doing to make money wagering football, too.
Skill Involved in Fantasy & Betting
There is skill involved in fantasy football. There is skill involved in betting football. The two are connected. Knowing players is a major factor in betting football.
If Philip Rivers is your fantasy football quarterback for the week, you’re projecting him to put up big numbers. If you’re betting the Chargers you’re also projecting Rivers to play well. If you’re wagering on the over/under you’re factoring if Rivers will play well or not.
So, what’s the difference? There is none.
It’s an absolute charade for the NFL to act like daily fantasy sports isn’t gambling. There are many free fantasy leagues on the Internet. But there are far more leagues across North America in which money is involved.
The Pilgrims came to America 395 years ago. Yet the NFL still acts like sports wagering isn’t a reality. NBA commissioner Adam Silver gets it. It’s time Roger Goodell and the NFL come to realize this is 2015 not 1620.