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Changes To NFL Rules And Their Impact On Bettors For 2012

Posted by Tony Bryant on 8/27/2012 6:46:53 PM

The NFL continues to tweak its rulebook in ways that will force savvy betting analysts to take notice. Be on guard for a highly intriguing season laden with plot twists and new storylines.

Major Rule Changes And Their Effects: 2012 NFL Football Season

When people in the online sports betting legal realm sit down to ponder the effects of the NFL's approved on-field rule changes for 2012, they're going to arrive at the conclusion that the teams with superior offenses are going to be given even more weight.

The jousting match that takes place in an overtime NFL game is akin to the high-stakes poker games that are increasingly shown on basic cable television. Last year, the NFL developed a rule in which a team could not win a playoff game by kicking a field goal on its first possession of overtime. It had to score a touchdown in order to win the game in sudden death. This is what happened in the 2012 AFC Wild Card Game between Denver and Pittsburgh, as the Broncos scored a touchdown out of the box to defeat the Steelers in overtime. Had Denver scored a field goal on its first overtime possession, Pittsburgh would have gotten a possession with a chance to tie (on a field goal) or win (with a touchdown).

Now, the NFL has gone one step further. The league has approved the use of the overtime possession and scoring format for all regular-season games. That's right – in the regular season, teams cannot win by scoring a field goal on the first possession of overtime. This means that the best offenses, those most capable of scoring touchdowns (presumably on big plays and even more specifically on lengthy passing plays), will gain more consideration in the setting of various betting odds, futures, evolving in-game propositions, and so on.

The football betting gurus who focus on the pro game and not college football will also note that the NFL has passed a rule in which all turnovers are reviewed by instant replay. Last year, all scoring plays were automatically reviewed, but now, turnovers fall under that same umbrella. This rule change was and is the result of the turnovers that were examined in the 2012 NFC Divisional Playoff Game between the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers.

The coaches for the two teams had to use their challenges well before the end of the game, thereby leaving them in hamstrung positions (or at least forcing them to think about the wisdom of challenging a call). The fact that a review of a play outside the final two minutes of each half isn't subject to automatic review – and thereby requires a challenge unless it is a scoring play – surely forced the NFL to realize that its "automatic review" policy needed to be expanded from scoring plays to turnovers. This means that teams with bad turnover ratios are going to be given lower odds in the coming season.


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