Best Hall Of Fame Game August 4th Raiders vs. Jaguars Betting Picks

Best Hall Of Fame Game August 4th Raiders vs. Jaguars Betting Picks

Ayden Fahlstrom
1 year ago
3 min read

The NFL preseason kicks off on Thursday night when the Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars meet for the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton. While the contest at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium is ultimately an exhibition, it represents the start of Hall of Fame Weekend and, more importantly, the opening of the 2022 NFL season.

While preseason games are a tough nut to crack on the betting side, there are still a few betting picks to consider before kickoff.

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Under 30.5 Points (-120)

One of the biggest storylines for this game is the debut of two new head coaches. Jacksonville’s Doug Pederson and Las Vegas’ Josh McDaniels will make take the sidelines for the first time since being hired by their respective clubs in the offseason.

Understandably, fans will want to see a taste of what each offensive-minded coach will bring to their new club. However, any high expectations should be tempered immediately.

NFL head coaches are, if nothing else, overwhelmingly suspicious. The last thing they want to do is unveil some of their more intricate play calls in a preseason game. That’s especially true for Pederson and McDaniels, two coaches with currently-unknown gameplans.

The Hall of Fame Game is also a contest that has been offensively challenged in recent seasons. Of the last eight HoF Games in Canton, six of them went under by an average of just below nine points. In other words, going over 20.5 points could be a stretch.

A pair of paranoid coaches mixed with second- and third-string offenses should make for a night where points are few and far between.

Raiders Total 1Q Touchdowns Over 0.5 (+170)

Despite this game being set up as a lower-scoring affair, there have to be some points at the end of the day. And in the event someone finds the end zone in the first half, the smart money is on the Raiders.

Experience is a big reason why the Raiders could get off to a hot start. Las Vegas returns much of the same roster it made the playoffs with in 2021. On the other hand, Jacksonville is comprised of many new pieces on both sides of the football, in addition to having a new coach trying to navigate it all.

Of course, one factor worth considering is who starts and who sits. McDaniels could very well decide to sit most if not all of his best players, headlined by quarterback Derek Carr and pass-catchers Darren Waller and Davante Adams. But even if Jarrett Stidham or Nick Mullens is under center, Vegas boasts enough to score early on.

McDaniels went to McKinley Senior High School, just down the road from Tom Benson Stadium. Look for him to be aggressive early as part of his highly-anticipated homecoming.

Jaguars Moneyline (+115)

Once the final whistle blows, who’s going to earn the first victory of the NFL preseason? Based on the odds alone, Jacksonville is the best bet.

Preseason games chalked full of backups are essentially a coin flip. There is always going to be an assortment of players who break out and several who fall below expectations. Therefore, it makes sense to look toward the team with plus odds on the moneyline, especially since the point spread was as low as +1 a couple of days ago.

However, there are a couple of reasons to like the Jags. First, Jacksonville has more roster spots up for grabs. Whether it’s players fighting for a starting job or simply trying to crack the 53-man roster, many of the Jags will have more to lose.

Second, Pederson boasts more head coach experience than McDaniels. While the new Raiders boss had many successful seasons running the New England Patriots offense, he hasn’t led a whole team since his controversial two-year run with the Denver Broncos from 2009-10. Meanwhile, Pederson coached the Philadelphia Eagles to three playoff appearances and a Super Bowl title between 2016-20.

The edge in managing the game goes to Pederson, while the Jags players are more likely to fight for the game down the stretch. All signs point to a Jaguar upset in Canton.

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