Odds to Be ESPN’s New Announcers for Monday Night Football in 2020


ESPN's previous Monday Night Football crew.

ESPN is debating who to use in the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. Louis Riddick is among the favorites. Photo by Thomson200 (Wikimedia).

  • ESPN has removed Booger McFarland and Joe Tessitore from the Monday Night Football broadcast
  • Peyton Manning and Tony Romo were originally favored but neither appears to be in the running anymore
  • Pat McAfee, Louis Riddick are among the popular choices on the internet but one of these makes more sense

ESPN has announced that the Monday Night Football play-by-play team of Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland will not be returning to the broadcast in 2020. That’s opened the door to some speculation as to who will be next to take over. With betting odds up on the board, let’s taker a closer look at the possibilities.

Odds on Monday Night Football Announcer for Game 1, 2020

Louis Riddick+225
Dan Orlovsky+225
Pat McAfee+300
Steve Levy+300
Kurt Warner+550
Peyton Manning+650
Matt Hasselbeck+950
Adam Amin+1200
Dave Pasch+1200
Jason Benetti+1200
Bob Wischusen+1200
Dan Shulman+1200
Mike Breen+1200
Ian Eagle+1600
Kevin Burkhardt+1600
Philip Rivers+2000
Chris Fowler or Kirk Herbstreit+2000
John Madden+2000

Odds taken May 12

ESPN Moves McFarland, Tessitore Off Monday Night Football

To many who watched Monday Night Football over the last two seasons, it’s no surprise that the team of McFarland and Tessitore have been moved off of the broadcast. They were under heavy fire in their first season together when Jason Witten was part of the squad and then they were subject to many memes last season when it was just the two of them.

At the end of the day, Tessitore’s play-by-play was passable but McFarland’s commentary was the subject of endless mockery. He seemed to mention too many obvious things without offering quality insight. Tessitore was also just an OK asset to the team, so it made sense for ESPN to start fresh.

Peyton Manning Not in the Mix

Last year, we had the impression that ESPN would replace Witten with Peyton Manning to give the broadcast some credibility but that never came to fruition. Manning was again among the favorites – along with CBS’ Tony Romo – but both are no longer in the running. Romo stayed with CBS while Manning didn’t want the travel schedule.

The challenge is those two were viewed as the cream of the crop. With them off the board now, it begs the question as to who is next in line? ESPN has some options but nothing that is overly clear-cut at this point.

McAfee Next In Line?

One of ESPN’s rising stars is former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee. Even when Romo and Manning were in the running, McAfee was third in terms of the odds, right behind the top two. On Monday, McAfee shared his personal stance and said he doesn’t believe he’s in the running. He’s campaigned for it and is interested, though.

The general feeling would be that McAfee brings more of a comedy/entertainment flavor to the show whereas ESPN may want to avoid that. McAfee does have decent analysis but he’s more entertaining than informative. ESPN might be worried that he’d be a bit of a Dennis Miller-type, so they might avoid him.

What’s the Best Bet for Color Commentary?

At this point, it simply has to be Louis Riddick. He’s poised, he’s smooth and he’s arguably the best NFL analyst ESPN has on the network. He’s the guy that makes the most sense. We’ve heard him do color on Monday Night Football before as he joined Steve Levy and Brian Griese for the second game of the MNF double-header last year.

At this point, given the candidates like McAfee, Dan Orlovsky, Kurt Warner and Matt Hasselbeck, I’d bet that Riddick is the guy. He’s the best fit here and he’s who the fans want to see.

2020 Bundesliga Trophy Odds Tracker

What’s the Best Bet for Play-By-Play?

What’s interesting with this prop is it covers both: if the person you bet on is either selected for play-by-play or color, you can win the prop. Taking a look at play-by-play, it really has to be Steve Levy, doesn’t it? Guys like Dave Pasch are surely further down the pecking order than Levy, who has already done MNF before.

Levy is also generally liked. He’s not the best in the booth but he’s pretty good and few have thrown criticism his way. The Levy-Riddick team makes plenty of sense because they’ve worked together.

At this point, with Peyton Manning out of the running, I would really expect the Levy-Riddick tandem to be who ESPN goes with. It’s not only safe, but it’s also been tested before and the results were generally positive.

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David Golokhov

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