As we prepare for 2017’s online NFL betting season, we can look back at last year’s season and what made it so memorable. In particular, ESPN has some qualms about the contests the NFL threw their way. Monday Night Football is a beloved occasion for NFL fans across the nation that gives those who bet on NFL games a valid excuse to hit up a bar on the first day of the work week. However, there’s no denying that fans would be much more eager to witness a contest between two potential playoff contenders, rather than let’s say the Browns and some other team with a pitiful record. But in 2016, ESPN ended up getting the short end of the stick since only 2 out of 17 MNF matchups featured two teams that would go on to make the playoffs. Not the type of figures that the world’s leading sports network is looking for.
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On the other hand, NBC, the other network to broadcast late night contests albeit on Sunday, received a total of 5 contests that featured future playoff contenders. This is all due to the flexibility the league has awarded the network in order to weed out less intriguing matchups. In order to help combat this ‘snubbing’ ESPN has been hard at work to ensure that the network receives some of this season’s most competitive matchups.
ESPN Looking for Some ESP
“We have high expectations because we’ve been as engaged with the league as we ever have been in terms of what the results are going to be,” Burke Magnus, ESPN’s executive vice president of programming and scheduling, told reporters at the 2017 CAA World Congress of Sports, Sports Business Daily reports. “We’ve done everything we can possibly do to communicate with the league and guide them in terms of our preferences, and now we’ll see.”
In an age where consumers left and right are leaving their subscribers and cutting cords, it’s easy to understand ESPN’s plight to secure more intriguing online NFL betting matchups. And even though ESPN doesn’t have any extra-sensory perception, football betting sites can still look over the newly released NFL schedule to see if the NFL took favor upon the sports network.
ESPN’s 2017 Monday Night Football Schedule
Players who want to look over the schedule can do so here. A quick glance will reveal that ESPN wasn’t as successful as they would’ve hoped. Of course, it’s impossible to judge how a team will perform in 2017 based on last year’s results, but nevertheless we still will.
ESPN will open up the season by broadcasting a contest between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars. Neither of these teams made the playoffs last year, although the Bucs were close. The Jaguars however, were nowhere near making the postseason.
If that pairing wasn’t enough, ESPN will have to follow that matchup with a MNF contest between the Giants and Browns (oh boy). The week after that, ESPN will broadcast contests featuring the Saints and Chargers, two teams not many players are expecting to be competitive. From there on out, the contests tend to be more competitive, but still not what ESPN was hoping for.