Betting Market Reacts To Relocation Of Saints’ Week 1 Game Due to Hurricane Ida

The Week 1 NFL matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers has been moved to Jacksonville due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida earlier this week.

The Saints will be the designated home team at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, home to the Jaguars, who are on the road against the Texans in Week 1. The game between the Saints and Packers kicks off at 4:25 p.m. ET.

Ida’s 150-mile per hour winds damaged the coastline and crippled the power grid in New Orleans, displacing thousands. More than one million people are without power in the city and could be for weeks.

The prospects of the city hosting an NFL game as soon as September 12 was slim following Ida’s landfall, and the league moved quickly to secure a venue for the Saints. Jacksonville has a vacant stadium for opening week, it’s less than 550 miles from New Orleans, and was unaffected by Ida. It also does not require the Packers to make a longer trip.

Packers-Saints Point Spread On The Move

In anticipation of the change of venue, DraftKings moved the line on the game from Green Bay -3 to -4.5. BetMGM is dealing Packers -4.

Some sportsbooks, including FanDuel, PointsBet, and Caesars, had yet to reopen betting on the Saints/Packers game as of this writing.

Sportsbooks treat a change in venue differently: bets made prior to the venue switch are void at most books (BetMGM, PlayUp, and Circa in Las Vegas, for example); with DraftKings, bets remain in place if the home team remains designated as such, according to director of race and sportsbook operations Johnny Avello. Circa indicates a game must be played within 100 miles of the original location in order for bets to remain in place; Jacksonville is more than 500 miles from New Orleans.

The Saints are training in Dallas, practicing at the AT&T Stadium, home of the Cowboys. But a concert scheduled for September 15 made that venue a non-option for a September 12 game. Under NFL rules, all regular-season games must be played at an NFL stadium, which meant that other sites like The Alamodome in San Antonio, or a college stadium, were not options.

The Saints are currently listed at +3000 to win the Super Bowl, according to FanDuel. For the first time since 2005, the Saints begin the season without Drew Brees as their quarterback. After a QB competition with Taysom Hill, Jameis Winston was named starting QB earlier this week.

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes has written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.