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Extra Time Between Kickoffs Is the NFL’s Gift to Bettors, by Jimmy Vaccaro
Tuesday, January 6 2009

When we look back at how the impact of pro football has grown, a lot of factors must be acknowledged.

Start with the speed of the game and the excitement it generates, then throw in the awesome spectacle of young studs putting on incredible displays of athletic ability that we mortals marvel at.

Remember when NFL games on Sunday started just three hours apart in the days when it was a simpler world? Now there are different approaches on attracting new revenues. Although the league studiously avoids any mention of the gambling aspect, like it or not this element did have a major role a few years ago in changing the starting time of the late games. I refer to the late game starting at 1:15 pm Eastern Time, instead of its customary 1 pm kickoff.

The extra 15 minutes is a marvelous gift for bettors trying to catch up on a loser or invest winnings on their next two-teamer. Now with the wait between playoff games up to 30 minutes, players actually have a lot of time to ponder their next moves.

Sitting in the Plaza sports book on Sunday, I watched to see how the extra time translated into bigger handle and more transactions during that short window.

For events that have been posted for seven days, we squeezed in about 15 percent of total action during the added time. And, yes, size does matter when it comes to matchups.

Although in our fraternity, a bet is a bet no matter who is playing, there should be some compromise on flex schedules during the playoffs. I realize that is easier said than done, but it is doable.

Here is my take on next week's schedule. The Ravens-Titans game should be the second game on Saturday. And despite the attractiveness of Sunday’s rematch between the Chargers-Steelers, the other rematch that pits the Eagles vs. Giants should be the late game.

The level of wagering activity increases according to certain situations which involve certain higher profile teams. A best of three between Carolina-Arizona would not draw as many viewers as a single Ravens-Titans game.

Coming out of the gate in 2009, handle has been very good, but juggling the matchups to take advantage of different levels of interest could make it even better.

Take care,
Jimmy Vaccaro

The Finish Line for Football Approaches, by Jimmy Vaccaro
Extra Time Between Kickoffs Is the NFL’s Gift to Bettors, by Jimmy Vaccaro
Wild Card Weekend, 4 Road Favorites?, by Jimmy Vaccaro
Are You Ready for Some Innovation? , by Jimmy Vaccaro
“Must Win” Games Are a Trap for Bettors, by Jimmy Vaccaro
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