The NFL is back and will take center stage tonight. The annual Hall of Fame game is going down from Canton, Ohio, with Jacksonville taking on Las Vegas.
What’s interesting about this first preseason matchup is that there are many things to watch in this contest, which isn’t always something you can say in the first game of the year.
Doug Pederson is set to take over as the head coach for the Jaguars, and he’ll be tasked with getting quarterback Trevor Lawrence back on track this season. That will have to wait, with Lawrence and Travis Etienne sitting out of this contest.
A significant focus for the Jags in this meeting will be getting an idea of which quarterback will be the backup, likely coming down to Jake Luton, Kyle Sloter, and C.J. Beathard. Ryquell Armstead and Snoop Conner will probably see the bulk of the load at running back as the duo will play for a roster spot.
Like Pederson making his debut for the Jaguars, Josh McDaniels will be doing the same as the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Things didn’t work out in his first stint as head coach of the Denver Broncos, but the offensive mindset is there that should help pay dividends for a Raiders team that needs more creativity.
This game is the first time you’re slated to see new acquisitions in their respective uniforms, headlined by Davante Adams and Chandler Jones for the Raiders, while Christian Kirk and Brandon Scherff should see time for the Jaguars. Of course, none of these players will have a significant snap count, but it’s still something to look out for tonight as these programs head in more positive directions.
With the first game on tap tonight, there are lines to look at, with the Raiders as slight favorites at -2.5 on the spread after opening at -1.5 on the BetMGM Sportsbook. The total for this matchup is currently listed at just 30.5, after opening at 33.5.
The majority of the action right now is headed towards the Las Vegas side of things, with 76% of bets and 81% of the handle siding with the Raiders on the spread. There have been some large bets towards the Raiders, which has helped move the line even more in their direction.
The moneyline has been similar to the spread, with the Raiders currently priced at -145 compared to the Jaguars sitting at +120. 64% of bets and 76% of the handle has come in towards the Raiders, meaning they’ve been the go-to target in this opening matchup with some sizable bets placed their way.
Looking at what’s transpired with the total, the money has been pouring in on the under, which has seen the number fall three points. The under has 65% of bets, while 78% of the money has been directed that way, meaning some sizable bets have been placed in that direction.
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