Hall of Fame Game – Dallas at Arizona
It doesn’t count for anything in the standings, and it’s certainly not important, even for preseason standards, but it is the first taste of professional football since the Super Bowl ended back in February. Eager to get a bet down on a meaningless NFL game? So are we! If you’re planning on betting the preseason, check out our NFL preseason betting strategy.
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals -1 – Total: 35
After last year’s disaster which ended with the league canceling a preseason game, the NFL has opted to hold the induction ceremony for the Hall of Fame on Saturday while moving the Hall of Fame game to Thursday evening.
Cardinals Head Coach, Bruce Arians, stated on Tuesday that his starters would not take the field in Thursday’s contest. We will likely see something similar from the Dallas side. Head Coach, Jason Garrett, hasn’t declared that he’s sitting his starters, but doesn’t make much sense for the Cowboys’ starters to play a single series and then depart.
The odds opened with Arizona as a -1 favorite. Bets have gone in favor of Arizona, but action is closer to 50/50. The line has moved to -1 at most sportsbooks in favor of Dallas. Bettors are favoring the over slightly, which opened at 37 points and has dropped to 35.5 or 35.
For the most part, these preseason games are a crapshoot, especially the early ones, that will be decided by third and fourth string players that won’t make the final roster. It’s tough to know the skill level of these players. The odds shift to Dallas becoming a -1 favorite was after Arians announced he wouldn’t play any starters.
As discussed above, it’s likely that Dallas doesn’t play their starters at all, either.
Since we’re not sure on the skill level of backups on either of these teams, it comes down to coaching for me. Under Arians, the Cardinals have a 7-9 preseason record over his four seasons. The Cowboys under Garrett have gone 9-16 in the preseason.
Arians may be more eager to grab a win tonight and keep his second stringers in a bit longer. Arizona were tabbed on Super Bowl contenders before the season started last year, but ended up finishing the season 7-8-1 and missing out the playoffs.
He’s likely eager to start the season off right and may put a bit more effort Thursday’s game both from a personnel and coaching standpoint.