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NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, August 3

NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, August 3

NFL: Streaks, Tips, Notes

New York Giants vs Buffalo Bills

Believe it or not, it's the beginning of another football season as the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants square off Sunday in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. Bills 2-2 SU/ATS in preseason last year ended regular season 6-10 (8-8 ATS). Bills will be an interesting group to watch. Think Bills were a ground-heavy attack team last year, they've just added Bryce Brown, Anthony Dixon complementing Spiller and Jackson. Giants had a rough start to 2013. After a 1-3 SU/ATS preseason, 'Big Blue' lost the first six but finished strong ending 7-9 SU/ATS on the campaign. This marks Giants fifth appearance in the Hall of Fame Game (2-1-1) with the last being in 2002 when they defeated expansion Houston Texans, 34-17. Buffalo has made three previous appearances in the HOF Game but have never won with the last loss against Titans in 2009. Oddsmakers have Buffalo -3 point favorite with the total set at 32.5. One factor to consider in making an NFL Sport Pick in this contest, the past six HOF games the designed home team is a perfect 6-0 (5-0-1 ATS) outscoring the opponent 21.3 to 13.0 in tallying 3 'Over', 3 'Under'.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, August 3

NFL Odds and Spreads
By: Mike Wilkening

The NFL exhibition slate begins Sunday night, with the Giants and Bills squaring off in the NFL’s Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, (8 p.m. ET, NBC).

Now let’s get down to business.

The Bills are two-point favorites against the Giants, with a total of 32.5. Narrow point spreads and little totals are exhibition hallmarks. The point spread is a shrug; the total is stop-sign red. Everyone knows the Bills and Giants will try to get their work in with a maximum of efficiency and a minimum of personnel losses.

Forgive the Bills and Giants if they aren’t thrilled to be playing an extra preseason game -- or any exhibition game for that matter. The Bills lost quarterback Kevin Kolb to a career-ending concussion last summer, while the Giants lost tailback Andre Brown to a broken leg in the exhibition finale.

The injuries had a major impact on both teams’ fortunes. Without Kolb, the Bills didn’t have a quarterback with significant experience behind rookie EJ Manuel. In the end, this hurt Buffalo, which saw Manuel miss six starts with knee issues. The Bills were 2-4 in those games, and they lost another winnable game at Cleveland after backup Jeff Tuel struggled in relief of the injured Manuel.

Similarly, the loss of Brown had a chilling effect on the Giants’ running game. With virtually no depth beyond Brown, the Giants got little from their ground game early in the season, and it was reflected in the play of the overall offense. Though the Giants briefly rallied after an 0-6 start, they were never really in the playoff hunt.

With the Bills’ and Giants’ recent injury issues in mind, here are storylines handicappers must consider as they study Sunday night’s game:

What are both clubs trying to get out of the game?

Both teams need improved offensive play this season. The Giants hired a new coordinator (Ben McAdoo) and changed schemes with more quick, short passes as part of the new menu. Given recent history, look for quarterback Eli Manning to play about a quarter in the preseason opener, and his comfort in the offense is something to monitor.

The Bills’ offense also bears watching. Buffalo started fast in the 2013 exhibition slate, scoring 64 combined points in the first two games while regularly employing a no-huddle scheme. Then, Manuel went on the shelf with a knee injury, and Kolb was lost for the season, leaving Buffalo to scramble at quarterback to end the summer. While the Bills need to keep Manuel healthy, they also must have the offense sharp entering 2014.

How will the teams proceed with their backup quarterbacks?

The Bills have the stronger QB depth. Thaddeus Lewis and Jeff Tuel are the primary competitors for the top reserve role behind Manuel, with Dennis Dixon also in reserve. Lewis was superior to Tuel a season ago, winning a pair of his five starts. Tuel, Lewis and Dixon all have two seasons of experience in Buffalo’s offense.

The Giants’ QB depth chart is more unsettled. Second-year pro Ryan Nassib, a fourth-round pick in 2013, is trying to beat out Curtis Painter, who held the backup job a season ago. Both are trying to master the new offense -- and with less practice reps than Manning, to be certain.

Which club has the better depth?

We’ll give the edge to the Bills, who have some skilled players holding down reserve roles on both sides of the ball, especially at tailback. Potential third-stringer Bryce Brown is a starter-caliber talent; if he’s getting backup reps in the summer, he could put up some nice numbers against reserve defenses.

The Giants have decent depth, but they will be without tailback David Wilson (neck), and rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) will likely sit, too. In other words, the Giants’ offense might have some issues moving the ball once the starters depart.

If the Bills have stronger depth, then what’s the case for the Giants? Well, for one thing, Tom Coughlin-led clubs have generally done OK in preseason openers. According to, his teams are 9-7-1 against the number in their preseason games since 1996 (56.3 percent), with nine straight-up wins. We offer this data to take or leave, not as a sure-fire angle, of course.

Finally, how much scoring can we reasonably expect?

Here are some historical numbers to ponder:

In the 12 completed Hall of Fame games since 2000, teams have combined to average 34.8 points. Overall, in those 12 seasons with a completed Hall of Fame game (which excludes 2003 and 2011), clubs have combined to average 37.8 points per contest.

Last season, teams averaged 20.6 points in the preseason, the most since 2000, which is as far back as we could find cumulative NFL exhibition point statistics. Teams have averaged at least 20 points in two of the last three seasons.

Overall, teams have combined to average 32.8 points in the last 25 completed Hall of Fame games, which is in line with the over/under of 32.5.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, August 3

NFL Hall of Fame Game Betting Preview: Bills vs. Giants

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Giants (+3, 34)

Football bettors rejoice as the NFL returns with the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio Sunday. The Buffalo Bills and New York Giants face off in a battle of two New York franchises looking to get their seasons off on the right foot in their first preseason action after both missing the playoffs in 2013.

New York missed the postseason during Eli Manning's worst year since winning his second Super Bowl, while the Bills dealt with injuries to quarterback E.J. Manuel as well as running back C.J. Spiller during another disappointing year. But don't expect the star players to carry much of a workload during a game that is famous for first-team offenses and defenses taking as little snaps as possible.

LINE HISTORY: Various sportsbooks opened the line between Bills -1 and -2.5 before it has reached -3 heading into the weekend. The total opened as low as 32.5 and is up to 34 points at some markets.

INJURY REPORT: Bills - DT M. Dareus (Ques, Disciplinary), LB N. Bradham (Out, Suspension). Giants - T W. Beatty (Ques, Leg), CB J.Hosey (Out, Suspension).

WHAT SHARPS SAY: "Feeling here is this game is more important to the Giants than the Bills with New York anxious to turn things around as quickly as possible following first losing season last year since 2004. Eli Manning's ferocious offseason conditioning program cements it." - Covers Expert Marc Lawrence.

WHAT BOOKS SAY: "Action of the Hall of Fame Game has been good with the Bills seeing 68 percent of the action as 3-point favorites while the 34-point total is seeing 77 percent of the money roll in on the Over." Michael Stewart, oddsmaker


Thanks to Manuel's injury-plagued 2013 the Buffalo Bills may have the edge at QB in this game as backups Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel both have game experience from the 2013 NFL season once the Bills go to their bench Sunday.

Thad Lewis was 3-2 ATS and 2-3 SU as a starter for the Bills in 2013, throwing for 1,092 yards and four touchdowns while managing to just throw three interceptions during five starts. Lewis also added 52 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground and best matches Manuel's dual-threat ability as a playmaker who earned wins over the Dolphins on two occasions in 2013.

Meanwhile, Jeff Tuel started twice for the Bills, costing bettors money both times in losses against Cleveland and Kansas City. Tuel passed for 309 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Reports indicate that despite his struggles Tuel may be in line for the No. 2 job over the more productive Lewis. The Bills also have former Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon as a fourth QB. Dixon was a 2008 fifth-round selection from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As for the Giants, quarterback options are not as plentiful behind Eli Manning. The Giants have two low-quality backups behind their two-time Super Bowl winner as veteran relief option Curtis Painter and 2013 midround pick Ryan Nassib will get the bulk of Sunday's snaps.

Painter has experience during his time in Indianapolis. In 2011, when Peyton Manning was out for the season, the lifer backup stepped in to make eight starts. Nassib is just off finishing a career at Syracuse where he threw for 9,000-plus yards as well as 70 touchdowns during three seasons as a starter for the Orange.

If the Giants want to match the Bills' advantage at quarterback depth in this preseason battle they will need a big game from their younger backup in Nassib, who is looking to supplant Painter for the No. 2 role this August.

ABOUT THE BILLS: Rookie Sammy Watkins' debut will be the highlight for casual fans during the Hall of Fame Game. Watkins dominated at Clemson, most famously during its Orange Bowl victory over Ohio State, to become the first wideout taken in the 2014 NFL Draft with the fourth overall pick. Trading up to select Watkins, Bills fans are hoping to see some early flashes of potential to become one of the best wideouts in the league.

According to reports, seventh-round offensive linemen Seantrel Henderson has been a revelation during Bills training camp. Starting camp the earliest out of the NFL franchises, reports surrounding the former top high school prospect out of the University of Miami have been positive as the Hurricanes pass blocker was never short on talent and only dropped to the last round due to character issues. Expect Henderson to get plenty of snaps in the trenches for the Bills as they look to test their rookie.

ABOUT THE GIANTS: New York typically struggles in preseason action as it rests quarterback Eli Manning, going 1-3 ATS in 2013. Following Manning's struggles in the regular season last year, it will be interesting to see how many drives head coach Tom Coughlin gives Manning. The quarterback told the media that while Coughlin has yet to announce if his first teamers would play, he is confident he and the starter will gets some reps Sunday night.

"We have five (preseason games)," Manning told reporters. "Whatever coach wants to do. I wouldn't mind trying to get in a rhythm, get in a couple series and see if we can get some rhythm with that first group."

Running the football was a problem for the Giants in 2013, a problem that the team addressed by bringing in Oakland Raiders rusher Rashad Jennings and drafting Boston College workhorse Andre Williams to join former Madden cover athlete Peyton Hillis in the backfield. Jennings rushed for 733 yards and six touchdowns in Oakland last year while Williams shined for Boston College as a physical, downhill runner that matches the presence the veteran Hillis brings. Expect plenty of runs down the middle for New York once Manning leaves the game Sunday, as Coughlin tries to build confidence in not only the running backs, but also in the offensive line.

While the Bills drafted Sammy Watkins in the first round, the Giants added a talented wideout of their own in Odell Beckham Jr. Fans are excited to see "ODB" play, but the former LSU star will be likely sitting out of Sunday's clash with a hamstring injury. Luckily for the Giants, the team has four more preseason games.


Dallas bucked the trend in 2013 by winning as an underdog as well as helping the game go Over the total in a 24-20 win over the Dolphins. Favorites are 9-7 SU and 7-7-2 ATS since 1996 after the Cowboys won straight up as underdogs in 2013.

The last 16 Hall of Fame Game meetings have produced a perfect 8-8 Over/Under split, but the game saw its highest score since 2008 when the Dolphins and Cowboys combined for 44 points in a 24-20 final last year.

Buffalo is 0-3 in Hall of Fame Games, losing most recently to the Tennessee Titans in 2009. New York is 1-1 in the HoF Game, beating down the Texans 34-17 in 2002 in its most recent performance in the preseason contest.

* Eight of the last 10 Hall of Fame Games have played Over with a total of 35 or less points.
* NFC teams are 8-2 SU and 7-2-1 ATS versus AFC teams in contests in Canton.
* Bills are 1-5 SU in their opening preseason games the last six years
* Bills are 1-11 SU and 1-10-1 ATS last 12 versus NFC preseason foes.
* Giants are 18-5 SU and 16-7 ATS in preseason openers versus AFC opponents, including 11-1 SU and ATS as pick or dogs.

COVERS CONSENSUS: 51 percent of bets are on Bills -3 while 50 percent of total wagers are on Over 33.5.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, August 3

HOF Notes - Giants vs. Bills

Buffalo Bills

Head Coach: Doug Marrone

Quarterback Rotation: E.J. Manuel, Jeff Tuel, Dennis Dixon, Thad Lewis

Doug Marrone enters his second season as Buffalo’s head coach. He’s been in the NFL for seven years, from 2006-08 he served as the offensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints after a four-year span as the offensive line coach of the New York Jets (2002-05). With this being only Doug Marrone’s second year as a Head Coach: we don’t have much to go on for his preseason trends – however I’ve isolated something that may give us a solid play for the Bills this preseason. Since he's still a fairly new head coach, I can see Marrone wanting to put out a solid effort as the Bills put together a 2-2 SU/ATS record in his first preseason in 2013, which includes a 44-20 blowout of the Colts in the exhibition opener last August.

New York Giants

Head Coach: Tom Coughlin

Quarterback Rotation: Eli Manning, Ryan Nassib, Curtis Painter

A solid money-making trend has shown up for the Giants as of late as Tom Coughlin in the past four years has seemed to put no effort in the Giants dress rehearsal game as the Giants are 0-4 both straight up and against the spread. This year’s dress rehearsal game is on Aug. 22 against the Jets. The Giants captured their preseason opener in 2013 over the Steelers, 18-13 as 2.5-point road underdogs, but lost their final three exhibition contests. New York owns a solid 4-1 ATS record in preseason openers since 2009, while the 'over' went 3-2 in those games.

Hall of Fame Game History & Trends

Recent Trends

The Giants have gone 2-2 all-time in the Hall of Fame game with their last appearance coming in 2002 when they defeated the Texans 34-17.

The Bills have gone 0-3 in their three HOF game appearances.

The margin of victory has been by more than three points in six of the last seven HOF games.

The 'over' has gone 2-1 in the last three HOF games.

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