Friday, August 7, 2009

NFL Betting - Hall of Fame Game: Bills vs. Titans

Time to raise the curtain on the 2009 NFL betting season, as it all gets going this weekend in Canton, Ohio with the Hall-of-Fame game.

The Hall-of-Fame game NFL Football betting odds have been listed for a while now. The Tennessee Titans are 3-point favorites over the Buffalo Bills, with a Total set at 31. The number has actually moved a little at a number of online sportsbook, with some of them now showing -2.5.

SPORTSBETTING.com reported fairly balanced action over the first few days the line was posted, but Bills money has been showing up lately. Buffalo has 68% of all the action wagered on this one as we head into the weekend.

I think the sports betting public has this one right with the Bills action. I haven’t made a play on the side yet, and actually I rarely have in the Hall-of-Fame game, but I’m definitely leaning to the underdog. I think the Bills will be motivated to pick up a win, and when handicapping preseason Football betting games, motivation is a huge factor.

Coach Dick Jauron is on the hot seat and while yes, this is just an exhibition game, believe me, Jauron and the team do not want to look bad. It will start the sports talk show phone lines buzzing early and have the print reporters already taking shots.

The same can’t be said for Jeff Fisher in Tennessee. He’s one of the most secure coaches in the game, coming off a very successful season. Add in the fact Fisher has never been much concerned with preseason wins (he has a sub-.500 career ATS mark in the preseason). There is absolutely no pressure on him, his staff or players if they drop their preseason games.
I’m looking at a Buffalo team that tries to win this game and again, in preseason, if a team tries to win a game they usually do.

Preseason Pick

Let’s look at that Total. On only four other occasions has there been a Total set lower than 31. Take note that in each of those four games they all went “Over” the posted number. I like this one to go “Over” as well. Looking at each teams past preseason scoring averages over the years (both what they score and what they give up), the basic numbers come in around the 37 point-mark. But I also think we’ll see these offenses, most notably the second and third string offenses, be able to put up a few points, enough for us to cash on this “Over” play.

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