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NFL Rule Changes: Will They Affect Sports Betting?

As we gear up for the start of the NFL season next week, we have a few loose ends to tie up. The first is a few new rules that could impact the NFL odds for the upcoming season.

As the MLB proved, seemingly minor changes to the game can significantly affect almost everything.


By far, the most significant rule change for 2023 is the long-awaited return of the number “0” jersey. In other fashion-related NFL news, kickers and punters can use any jersey number between 0-49 and 90-99. The ramifications of this move are too much to cram into this already busy article, so keep an eye on my follow-up feature on how this affects LeBron’s legacy.

But seriously, there are a few rules we need to update, so let’s dig into the latest NFL news regarding the changes and how they may affect betting markets.

Instant Replay Reversal and the Play Clock

The 2023 season brings an official rule change regarding resetting the play clock after a successful challenge to reverse the official’s initial call. Starting this year, when a replay review is reversed inside of the two-minute warning, the play clock will reset to 40 seconds as opposed to the mere 25 seconds offenses had prior.

There is an exception to this rule, and it is not enforced when the penalty or infraction triggers the 10-second runoff. In this case, the clock is reset to 30 seconds to comply with the required “punishment” for said infraction.

While the impact of this change will likely be minimal, it is something to keep in mind when making live NFL bets in 2023. The extra 10 or 20 seconds will help offenses formulate better strategies during their two-minute drills and should result in more points scored, even if it’s a minor uptick.

First Down Conversions are Turnovers (Kind of)

This rule change is weird, but it is another small step toward helping offenses score more points and, ultimately, make the game a little more exciting. At least that’s what I think because I can see no other reason for this change.

Starting this season, the officiating booth will automatically review all failed fourth-down plays. This is the same thing when a fumble is lost or an interception is allowed.

Note that all successful fourth-down conversions still need a coach to intervene and challenge except for those within the two-minute warning or overtime.

I guess this result will be a fresh set of downs for offenses here and there, but they will be rare and won’t impact NFL betting at all. At most, we may see an uptick in scoring with this and the

Points of Clarifications

Use of Helmet

The NFL and Officiating Department remain committed to player safety and will have updated and upgraded the definition of the “use of helmet” rule first seen in 2018. The new standards for the use of helmets are:

  • Lowering the head when not bracing for impact.
  • Initiating contact with the helmet on any part of the opponent’s body. No longer does the contact have to be to the neck or head. If you put your head down and initiate contact with your opponent’s little finger, expect a flag.

Tripping


For the first time, tripping is now a personal foul with a 15-yard penalty plus the possibility of additional discipline whether the call is made on the field. We’re not talking about Aaron Rodgers tripping in some Costa Rican cave, but instead using a foot to obscure any opponent.

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