Football fans can finally rejoice as the National Football League officially returns tonight after what felt like an endless summer of anticipation. Adding to the excitement is the fact that NFL betting enthusiasts can now lay money down in US states like New Jersey, Mississippi and Delaware.
Tonight in Canton, Ohio, site of the league’s Hall of Fame, the first game of the NFL preseason will pit the Baltimore Ravens against the Chicago Bears and be televised to a national pigskin-starved audience on NBC.
Betting fans hungry for gridiron action need look no further than top sportsbooks for their betting needs and we’re here to provide a look at some of the best value bets available for the 2018 NFL Hall of Fame game..
The first thing to consider about the first game of the NFL season is the fact that it’s the first time teams will see full-contact action against another team since the end of last season. The preseason is a time for tune-ups, learning playbooks and for training camp holdouts to lock down jobs and spots on depth charts.
That being said, the Hall of Fame game is going to likely feature a lot of sloppiness on both sides of the ball as the teams will make their awkward return to full-speed competition. Combine that with the fact that the Bears (30th) and Ravens (27th) were two of the lowest ranked teams in total offense last season and Betway offering an over/under of 33 looks awfully generous.
Bettors should be all over the under for this contest as Betway offers three different bets worth taking. First taking the under at -110 odds is a must, then based on who you expect to win the odds increase with moneyline plus under doubles. Take either the Ravens and under 33.5 points scored at +220 or the Bears and the under at +330.
If those moneylines aren’t exciting enough, consider Betfair and their alternate over/under market for some chances at cashing in on some juicier odds.
The game will be sloppy and low-scoring, that much has been established, and picking even lower unders is well worth the investment.
Betfair offers 17/10 odds should under 28.5 points be scored and the lower you go, predictably, the more you’ll potentially win. That’s a good starting point considering the generous 33 point spread mentioned earlier.
We suggest betting anywhere from there to Under 14.5 depending on your lack of faith in the offenses and the odds are laid out as follows:
Finally, keeping with the theme of our other favorite bets, we’ll take a look at which team is more likely to struggle. While most of the time you’d pick an NFL game based on who’s expected to score more, we’ll view it through the lens of who you can expect to score less.
Ladbrokes offers a Total Points market for each team and at a glance our favourite value pick is the Bears to score less than 10.5 points at 12/5. Is it disrespectful to Chicago? Sure! But with the team’s sputtering offense from last year followed by an with an offseason of transition it’s not as far a stretch as one might think.
Matt Nagy’s playbook is still being implemented and his new team will no doubt benefit from the five total preseason games Chicago’s been granted. They will allow his team to build some familiarity, and he’s admitted he’ll be keeping things simple and easing his players into his schemes .
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