NFL Monday Night Football Betting
First introduced in the season following the merger of the NFL and American Football League back in 1970, Monday Night Football has been a regular for several generations of football fans. That first game showcased Joe Namath and the defending Super Bowl champion New York Jets against longtime NFL franchise the Cleveland Browns. Viewers were treated to a telecast that not only took advantage of the game’s popularity but also allowed access they’d never had. MNF has come a long way over the years and while viewership has dipped and the games less exciting with the emergence of Sunday Night Football attracting the marquee matchups, it’s still an exciting way to close the NFL betting week.
While the popularity of MNF may have dwindled a bit over the years, that’s a relative term considering the amount of viewers the games were getting in the past. During its initial run on ABC, MNF was one of the highest-rated programs on television, especially among males. In 2021 ESPN extended a deal with the NFL that included the introduction of flex-scheduling and more doubleheaders. In previous years the first weekend of the season had two games on Monday night. In 2023 there were three doubleheaders taking place in Weeks 2, 3 and 14. The Week 14 was a first with both games starting at the same time.
NFL Betting Lines
There was another first on the MNF slate in 2023 with flex-scheduling now an option. Changing days on short notice is a logistical nightmare which is partly why there was resistance. However, the Week 15 game between Philadelphia and Seattle was moved to MNF in place of the Chiefs-Patriots originally scheduled contest. As a result the Eagles made the most MNF appearances in 2023 with their 20-17 loss their only setback in three games. A total of 12 other teams played twice on MNF with the Dallas Cowboys adding to their record number of appearances.
Arguably the best game of the season took place on Monday night in Week 16 when the top teams in the league collided. It was the first time in a decade the clubs with the best record hooked up this late in a season. The Baltimore Ravens upset the San Francisco 49ers on the road 33-19 in one of just five games on the 20-game slate that were decided by more than six points. Monday nights weren’t kind to the NFC’s top-seeded Niners with two of their five regular season losses taking place on that day. They also lost at Minnesota, 22-17, in Week 7.
With a rotating lineup of broadcasters since making the move to ESPN in 2006, the network looked for stability by inking the former No. 1 crew at FOX of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman for the 2022 season. And in 2023 the slate of games was one of the most competitive in the history of the production. A whopping 75 percent of the MNF games ended with a margin of six points or less and of those games 10 were decided by a field goal or less.
Much like the Thursday Night Football slate MNF games feature a variety of teams. This past season 26 of the league’s 32 teams made an appearance with an AFC East tilt between Buffalo and the Jets starting things off. The acquisition of three-time MVP Aaron Rodgers had New York thinking Super Bowl and the networks went along giving the Jets a number of primetime slots, including two MNF dates. If you blinked you missed the entirety of Rodgers’ debut season. He was lost for the season after four snaps. The Jets won the game, however, in dramatic fashion when Xavier Gipson returned a punt for a touchdown in overtime setting the stage for an eventful season.
Monday Night Football Betting Schedule
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