Preseason football in the NFL starts officially on August 3 at 8:00 p.m. ET when the Buffalo Bills meet the New York Giants in the Hall of Fame game.
According to Bovada and topbet, Buffalo is a 2-point favorite, with the total points sitting on 32.5.
Narrow spreads and small totals are hallmarks of preseason games. Everyone knows the Giants and Bills will attempt to get as much work in as possible with great efficiency and a minimum of injuries.
The Giants and Bills should be forgiven if neither is happy with playing an exhibition game especially an extra one at that.
Kevin Kolb a quarterback for Buffalo suffered a concussion last season that ended his career, while Andre Brown a tailback for the Giants broke a leg in the last game of the preseason last year.
Both teams had major setbacks from the two injuries. Buffalo without Kolb did not have a quarterback that had an experience behind EJ Manuel their rookie.
Manuel suffered through injuries his first season and missed 6 games. Since Buffalo lacked experience in a backup, they were 2-4 with Manuel out.
Brown’s absence hurt the Giants rushing attack. With little or no depth behind Brown, New York did not have any running game the first part of the regular season and started the season 0-6.
Both teams desperately need improved play for their offense. New York hired Ben McAdoo as their new offensive coordinator. The offense has changed to showcase more short, quick passes.
Starting quarterback Eli Manning likely will play some and maybe even the entire first quarter.
The Bills likely will have a hurry up offense with Manuel under center.
Buffalo has more depth at quarterback with Thaddeus Lewis as well as Jeff Tuel. Last season Lewis played much better than Tuel.
Ryan Nassib in his second year is one of New York’s backup quarterbacks. He is attempting to take the backup role away from last year’s backup Curtis Painter.
Numbers to Think About
Since 2000, in the 12 Hall of Fame games, teams have combined for 34.8 points on average. In those same 12 season not counting 2003 or 2011, teams during the regular season have averaged 37.8 points per game.
Last preseason, teams averaged 20.5 points per game, the most scored since 2000. Teams have averages close to that amount during 2 of the past 3 NFL seasons.
Over the past 25 Hall of Fame games, there has been an average of 32.8 points scored by both teams combined.
That figure is more in line with the current over/under posted on sportsbooks.