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NFL adding 17th regular-season game reportedly would lead to Packers-Chiefs showdown next season, push back Super Bowl 56 to February 13, 2022

The NFL is expected to announce soon the addition of a 17th regular-season game starting in 2021, and that will have a few domino effects.
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It has been known for months that per the new collective bargaining agreement that NFL owners had the power to add a 17th regular-season game for each team starting in the 2021 season, and that should be officially announced over the next handful of weeks. On Monday, NBC Sports' Peter King revealed some very interesting nuggets about that added matchup, including that it would lead to a marquee Packers vs. Chiefs meeting and also likely necessitate pushing back Super Bowl 56 from Feb. 6, 2022, to Feb. 13 in Los Angeles.

Let's start with Packers vs. Chiefs first – Aaron Rodgers vs. Patrick Mahomes was the favored Super Bowl 55 matchup at William Hill Sportsbook entering conference championship Sunday last month because both Green Bay and Kansas City were home favorites in the NFC and AFC title games, respectively. Or course, the Chiefs did their part by beating Buffalo, but the Packers were upset by Tom Brady and the Bucs, who would go on to upset Mahomes and K.C. in Super Bowl 55 in Tampa.

Kansas City is currently the +550 favorite at William Hill to win Super Bowl 56, while Green Bay and Tampa Bay are both +900 second favorites.

The Packers and Chiefs aren't currently scheduled to play, but King is reporting that the format the league will use in adding a 17th game is a cross-conference division matchup from the 2019 season but using the finishing spots in the division from 2020. In 2019, the four AFC West teams (Chiefs) played the four NFC North teams (Packers).

Since Green Bay and Kansas City both finished first in their respective divisions last season, they would thus meet. Rodgers and Mahomes have never faced off as when Green Bay won in Kansas City in 2019, Mahomes was out injured.

King also speculates that all AFC teams will host the 17th game this season and it will switch on a rotating yearly basis by conference just like the Super Bowl home team does. Other potential marquee matchups with that setup: Steelers-Seahawks, Ravens-Rams, Bucs-Colts and Patriots-Cowboys.

That setup is not what had been rumored previously as it was thought the AFC North first-place finisher would face the NFC North champion, East vs. East, etc.

The reason Super Bowl 56 would be pushed back is that the NFL will not add an extra bye during the regular season and the league doesn't want to kick off on Labor Day Weekend because that's such a TV ratings wasteland with people on vacation (at least not during a pandemic). Feb. 13 would mark the latest Super Bowl date ever.

King also reports that there's a good chance of a Monday night wild-card game and that the NFL is considering having two games on Christmas Saturday. The full schedule should be out in mid-April. SportsLine oddsmakers favor the Bucs hosting the Cowboys in the annual Kickoff Game. 

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is also up almost $8,500 on top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. Dating back to last season, it enters Week 11 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 85-52 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen HUGE returns.

Matt Severance
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