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NFL Anthem Odds Have Teams Favored to Comply

Odds of 2018 NFL National Anthem Policies - Bet now at Bovada

The debate over player protests during the national anthem prior to the start of NFL games was rekindled last week when the league announced a new policy that will no longer force players to be present during the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner, but gives the league power to fine NFL teams and the players who continue to engage in on-field protests.

The league’s action is the latest in an ongoing saga that began in 2016, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick stirred controversy by taking a knee during the pre-game ritual to protest police brutality and racial inequality across the United States.

The election of US president Donald Trump, and his subsequent criticism of protesting players, directly led to further protests by scores of NFL players in the early weeks of the 2017 NFL season.

However, the protests tapered off by the end of the season, and are expected to remain isolated incidents in the upcoming campaign, with the odds of UNDER 3.5 NFL franchises facing fines next season under the new policy pegged at -180 on the NFL anthem odds.

While Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since opting out of his contract with the 49ers following the 2016 NFL campaign, his symbolic gesture inspired players across the NFL to follow suit, with protests reaching a critical mass in Week 3 of the 2017 NFL season when over 200 players took a knee during the anthem.

Over 30 members of the Denver Broncos knelt during the anthem ahead of their September 24 matchup with the Buffalo Bills, joined by 27 members of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens prior to their game at London’s Wembley Stadium, while all but one member of the Pittsburgh Steelers elected to stay in the club’s locker room, with the lone exception being former US Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva, who received the Bronze Star medal for bravery during a deployment to Afghanistan prior to joining the Steelers.

The new policy has been met with outrage from the NFL Players Association and a number of individual players, who took to Twitter to condemn the actions of the league and commit to continue their fight for social change. That included safety Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles who characterized the policy as an attempt to “thwart the players’ constitutional rights to express themselves, and use our platform to draw attention to social injustices”.

Chris Long, who is expected to play a key role as the Eagles look to successfully defend their Super Bowl title as a strong +850 wager on the NFL futures, suggested the NFL acted out of “fear of a diminished bottom line” and is “committed to affecting change with my platform”.


Odds on NFL Teams Violating New National Anthem Policy

Most players are expected to comply with the league’s policy. However, the likelihood that Trump will continue to be vocal in his opposition to any form of on-field protest raises the possibility that protests could flare up again next season, fueling +140 odds on OVER 3.5 NFL teams getting fines for violating the new national anthem policy in 2018.


*Odds as of June 4, 2018

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