Betting trends for HOF game

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(To view the chart accompanying this report, subscribe to Point Spread Weekly)

It’s not the Super Bowl or the regular-season kickoff, but the NFL Hall of Fame Game always holds a special place in the hearts of fans, especially bettors. It represents the return of football, regardless of how meaningless the results are or how unprofessional the effort may seem at times. Though we might not admit it, most of us are anxiously anticipating Thursday night’s game between Dallas and Pittsburgh, which kicks off the NFL preseason. We’re especially eager because the entire 2020 exhibition slate was wiped out, and most of us are actually going to place a fun wager on the game. Why not make your best effort to win that wager, aided by some historical game information that might tip the scales as to who wins and covers or which way the total winds up?

The accompanying chart details the results of the Hall of Fame games since 2000, complete with betting lines and totals. The 2020 game was canceled due to COVID-19, the 2016 game was spiked due to poor field conditions and the 2011 matchup was missed because of a lockout. Keep in mind that these games are played on a neutral field in Canton, Ohio, explaining why most of the favorite lines have been small. Also, starters typically play no more than one series, resulting in lower totals. If you’re new to betting this game, keep those thoughts at the forefront.

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