On Thursday night, the NFL kicked off the 2018 preseason with their annual Hall of Fame game. This gridiron battle features the Chicago Bears taking on the Baltimore Ravens. By all accounts, this preseason NFL action was a big hit amongst sports bettors and it’s only just getting started.
NFL Preseason Already a Hit with Bettors
As the numbers continue to trickle in, one thing remains clear – the NFL is a very popular sport with bettors. Even in a meaningless preseason game like the HOF game, sports bettors throughout Vegas were aggressively betting on the NFL’s preseason opener. In a report by ESPN, William Hill’s sportsbook stated that they received more action on the NFL HOF game than any baseball game. In fact, the HOF game took in twice as many wagers as the featured baseball game of the day – the Yankees vs the Red Sox.
Typically, preseason weeks 2 and 3 draw in the most betting action prior to the start of the regular season. However, many bettors were excited to have football back as were the NFL fans. According to ESPN, South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews made the following comments about the HOF game and early NFL betting action in general:
“It wasn’t the biggest, but it was among the biggest. Usually it’s Week 2 or 3 when an announcement comes out about who’s going to get more time. That’s when [sharp bettors] just flood you, and then the price gets out of whack, and then some of the other sharps come in the other way. That’s what we love.”
The Action Network reports that yesterday’s HOF game set a record for betting action. The popular site stated that the 2018 NFL HOF game became the most wagered NFL preseason game since the company started keep track of data in 2004. The game drew 21,631 bets, which was 278 more wagers than the 2015 HOF game between the Steelers and Vikings.
The Action Network used data from two different offshore sportsbooks to compile these numbers.
A Betting Recap of the 2018 NFL HOF Game
Heading into the game, the Baltimore Ravens were favored by -2.5 points over the Chicago Bears. If you read my free NFL HOF betting pick, you would’ve seen that I went with the Ravens money line of -143 due to how close I thought this game could be. The final result of the game saw the Ravens win 17-16, which was 3 points off my predicted score of 17-13 in favor of the Ravens.
I stated that it wasn’t a far jump from the odds on the Ravens spread (-113) to the Ravens money line (-143) and it was a much smarter pick to go with an outright winner for the first preseason game than the spread. I also called the Total going under 34 points as it finished at 33.
Surprisingly, the 2018 HOF game was somewhat entertaining as we got to see the return of RGIII and the debut of Lamar Jackson. We’ll get a full slate of NFL preseason games starting August 9th. Make sure to check our picks section for free NFL preseason betting picks.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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