The NFL is back…sort of.
The 2013 NFL Hall-of-Fame game featuring the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Miami Dolphins kicks off the pre-season on the new NFL season.
Ryan Tannenhill and the Dolphins are -2.5 point favorites in Sunday’s NFL Hall-of-Fame Game. We have a pick from the matchup
Does anyone care? Unless you or a family member happen to be an inductee into the Hall of Fame, or you’re currently trying to secure a spot on the Dolphins’ or Cowboys’ roster, indifference is likely how you’re feeling towards this early August matchup.
That is unless you’re a sports bettor. Then it’s entirely possible this game has caught your attention…if not to wager on, but for no other reason than it signals the approaching “real” season. Whether you bet pre-season football or not, this game has always been noteworthy as a milestone on the sports betting calendar, sort of like the early bell for dinner.
This might be a good to place to highlight that I personally like to bet on pre-season NFL. Some dabble, some stay away altogether and some dive in right away. I fall somewhere between “dabble” and “dive right in”.
For me, pre-season matchups have always presented solid wagering opportunities. There are many very valid reasons for this, reasons which I’ll outline in an article later next week as we handicap the Week 1 pre-season lineup. But suffice to say, pre-season ball, when approached with discipline and a plan, can be profitable.
Anyone who was a reader of the old Winner’s Edge/Everyedge weekly magazine might remember how well those pre-season picks did over the years. They had a documented record, in print, of over 63% winners with their August NFL picks. That’s over the course of 10 seasons and 100 selections.
So what to make of this game if one did want to have a little action to make things interesting.
Pinnacle Sports has the line currently sitting at Miami -2.5 with a total of 33. The Dolphins opened as a 1-point favorite, but as news has come out about starters, etc. the line has steadily moved their way.
The starter news has basically been that Dallas isn’t going to play any of their starters. No Romo, no Bryant, no Ware, no Murray, etc. These guys weren’t going to get more than a series or two anyway, but it still is important to keep up on all news coming out of team camps when handicapping a pre-season game.
The Dolphin starters will see the field, but it will be short and sweet.
That said, from what is being said, and going through the depth charts, the Dolphins should have the edge in several key matchups and should have the edge later in the game when things get ugly at the bottom of the depth chart.
Going through likely rotations, Miami’s second unit should have a couple of series vs. Dallas’ third stringers, while the third stringers should be facing the bottom of the depth chart for several series.
With the Cowboys depth chart issues along the O-line, this could be troublesome very early…like from the opening kick-off.
Also, motivation and intent is always important to look at in these games. The fact is, the result in this game has virtually no significance for the Cowboys, while that isn’t entirely the case for the Dolphins. Let’s be clear, the Dolphins season isn’t riding on a win in the Hall-of-Fame game by any means, but this is a franchise desperate for positives and will be looking for them anywhere they can find them..and they can find one here.
After spreading around money in free agency and verbalizing their intent to compete for the division crown in an AFC East that is ripe for the taking, the impact on the fanbase with a little jumpstart early can’t be underestimated.
The projected on-field matchups and the intangibles are enough for me to put a pre-season half unit on the Miami Dolphins -2.5
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Enjoy the game.