The 2021 NFL regular season is now just two months away.
Here's the full schedule.
Note that for the first time, there will be 17 regular season games. This changes many of the dynamics of not only watching games, but betting on them, as well.
One significant change we'll see even before the Week 1 kickoff is an adjustment in the season win totals of each team. For decades, we've been used to making assessments based in 16-game schedules – with 8-8 as the baseline. Now, there will be an extra week of play, plus a bye week.
So, let's examine what this extra game means.
The 17th game will feature teams from opposing conferences that finished in the same place within their respective divisions at the end of the previous season (2020). For instance, the Washington Football Team finished first in the NFC East. They will play the Buffalo Bills, who finished first in the AFC East. The same goes for second place, and so on.
Under the new scheduling formula, every team plays 17 games total (with one bye week), hosting 10 games – either nine regular-season games and one preseason game or eight regular-season games and two preseason games. The NFL will alternate the conference that will play the additional regular-season home game each season from now on. The AFC was determined to be the home conference for the 17th game in 2021.
If this sounds complex, it isn't. All that matters now is how this might impact the number of wins projected for each team.
Let's examine the regular season win total for all the teams according to SPREADS.CA: