Three of the most exciting words in the English language are Thursday Night Football. Just before the start of the weekend, a football game on Thursday night provides the excitement needed to get fans to the end of the workweek. In this guide to Thursday Night Football, find out all about the weekly NFL staple and why it is so beloved.
What is Thursday Night Football?
Thursday Night Football is the first game of each week during the NFL season, as two teams play on Thursday night instead of the traditional Sunday. Every team is slated to play on Thursday night once each season. This allows the league to keep things equal among all teams every year.
The Thursday Night Football game each week allows the winner to set the tone for the rest of the week. The division rivals of the winning team will know that they have to win to keep pace with Thursday’s winner. And the division opponents of the losing team will know that they have an opportunity to gain ground on a team that has already lost.
Why is Thursday Night Football so popular?
The biggest reason that Thursday Night Football is so popular is the fact that it is a football game. The NFL is the most popular sports league in America, and fans have proven that they will consume the product any day of the week, no matter who is playing. Sports betting and fantasy football have a lot to do with that fan loyalty toward the NFL on Thursdays and beyond.
Another reason that Thursday Night Football is so popular is the fact that it showcases different teams regularly. Casual NFL fans might not see a reason to watch the Cincinnati Bengals during a loaded Sunday slate of games. But when there are no other NFL teams playing on Thursdays, fans have the chance to get to know teams they might not otherwise pay attention to.
Pros and Cons of Thursday Night Football
The biggest positive stemming from Thursday Night Football is the fact that it rewards discerning NFL bettors. There are some clear trends that have emerged around Thursday Night Football, as home teams have had a significant advantage over teams traveling long distances. Bettors who can identify those trends and exploit them stand to make a significant profit on Thursdays.
Another positive from the Thursday NFL games is the fact that it provides sports viewing during a night that is often bereft of sports programming. While some sports fans may enjoy whichever college football matchup takes place on Thursday nights, the NFL is almost always a better watch.
In terms of negatives, the biggest one for Thursday Night Football is the fact that player fatigue is a huge factor. Some teams participating in Thursday Night Football do so after only three days of rest. That lack of recovery time between games can impact the quality of play, especially from teams who are struggling to perform on a full week of rest.