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Hall of Fame Game Odds - Bills will upset Titans

Posted by Stan Simmons on 4/18/2012 12:26:58 PM
<football oddsWhen the Hall of Fame odds go up, you know the NFL betting season is finally here - especially since the Sunday-night game signals the start of the NFL preseason. We won’t see two totally battle-ready rosters duke it out, but we’ll get a good idea of how teams could shape up and which players could surprise.

Hall of Fame game odds: Bills have more motivation to win

  • WHO: Buffalo Bills vs Tennessee Titans (-3)
  • WHAT: Hall of Fame game betting
  • WHEN: Sunday, August 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET
  • WHERE: Fawcett Stadium in Canton, OH
  • KEY STAT: Three of last five HOF game winners missed the playoffs that season
  • PICK: Bills +3

While the Hall of Fame game odds are difficult to handicap, as we never know how many reps the starters will see, it’s at least safe to say that betting under the projected total of 31 points is a good idea, as both teams are works in progress offensively.

At least in the passing game, the Bills may give their new offense a few more series than Tennessee will. Trent Edwards is likely eager to develop a rapport with Terrell Owens and you know T.O. would like to make a statement on the national stage, so don’t be surprised if that new tandem hooks up for a touchdown. Still, you should temper your expectations, as the Titans’ secondary specializes in picking off passes. Also remember that the Bills O-line is depleted with the loss of Jason Peters and, even with no more Albert Haynesworth, the Titans’ pass rush should put heat on Edwards or anyone else taking snaps for Buffalo.

The Titans’ passing game ranked 27th in the league last year and we can’t expect Kerry Collins to repeat his mild success with no one worth throwing to besides Nate Washington and versatile running back Chris Johnson. It will, however, be interesting to see if Vince Young gets significant playing time. Would he help or hurt the Titans’ Hall of Fame game odds? My guess is that he’ll be rusty and lack communication with his wideouts, so the Bills’ underrated secondary should keep the Titans in check.

On paper, it appears the Titans’ phenomenal running game should light up the Bills’ poor run defense and that Tennessee will stymie Buffalo’s running attack, but stop and think for a moment before you hurry to your offshore sportsbook. LenDale White and Chris Johnson are a great tandem, but how many carries will they get? Jeff Fisher will rest them and likely give inexperienced Quinton Ganther the bulk of the load. Buffalo may rest Marshawn Lynch, but its backups, Fred Jackson and Dominic Rhodes, have succeeded at the NFL level and could do some real damage against second and third-string defenders.

STAN’S PICK: Three of the last five Hall of Fame odds champs went on to miss the playoffs in those seasons. Heck, even the lowly Oakland Raiders triumphed in Hall of Fame game betting. In other words, a team’s actual NFL regular-season prospects have little to do with the result. The new-look Bills have a bit more to play for and, offensively, have a few more NFL-ready backups, so they should upset the Titans. Bet on the Bills.

For full Hall of Fame game odd and other preseason NFL lines, check out the Betting Edge at

Stan Simmons first tasted football through the college game, but his football handicapping has strictly focused on the professional sport. Not many people devote as much time to the NFL as Simmons. For six days a week he works, labors and handicaps the sport, and on the seventh he rests as the games play out. Thoughts or questions?



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