Gambling on NFL Games Down, Yet Another Sign the Football Product Has Gone Downhill

By Jason McIntyre
Nov 1, 2016, 10:39 PM EDT

We’ve been talking for a solid month now about how poor the NFL product has gotten this season, and blame falls everywhere throughout the league – poor QB play, flag-happy officials, and so on. But here’s an angle that may given pause to those who don’t think anything is wrong: Gambling on football is down in Las Vegas. From ESPN Chalk:

"According to Nevada Gaming Control numbers released last week, $308.5 million was wagered on football, both pro and college, in September at the state’s regulated sportsbooks. That’s a year-over-year decrease of nearly $6 million, despite a similar number of games. In 2015, $4.2 billion was bet on sports in the state’s 190 regulated sportsbooks, which are consolidated among roughly a dozen companies. That’s nearly double the amount bet in 2005. Last year, record amounts were bet on both basketball ($1.2 billion) and baseball ($897.3 million). Football, however, saw a small decrease. In 2015, $1.6 billion was bet on NFL and college football, down from $1.7 billion in 2014."

So a slight football decrease in 2015; more than a slight decrease (so far) in 2016. Does it feel like a bubble bursting? It’s too early to tell, but it’s certainly not an encouraging sign.

Las Vegas doesn’t differentiate between college and the NFL, but according to the story, gambling on the NFL is down more than college football.

Major League Baseball is “BACK” thanks to boffo World Series numbers … driven by the Chicago Cubs, who haven’t been here in decades. The NBA Finals had record-setting TV ratings between the Warriors and the Cavs, numbers that haven’t been seen since Michael Jordan left the Bulls in 1998.

The NFL? Nothing compelling is happening. Where are the villains? Where are the dramatic storylines?