Packers, Colts kick off NFL betting slate with Hall of Fame Game

Leave a comment

Andrew Luck will see the field while Aaron Rodgers might be a mere onlooker when the Indianapolis Colts and the Green Bay Packers meet in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio on Sunday.

Being chosen to play in what is the unofficial kickoff to the NFL season gives a team five preseason games instead of the usual four, meaning one more exposure to possible injury. The Packers know full well about the perils of the preseason after top WR Jordy Nelson went down with a season-ending ACL injury last August. The Packers, who are the second favorite at +850 on the Super Bowl LI futures board, are pretty set on their starters.

Oddsmakers at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com have made Green Bay a one-point favorite for the Hall of Fame Game, and the total is set at 36 points.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy often sits his first-stringers as much as possible during the preseason. It’s doubtful Rodgers will make more than a token appearance. Second-year backup quarterback Brett Huntley has also missed practice this week due to an ankle injury. The next two men up at quarterback are Joe Callahan and Marquise Williams, who are each drafted free agents.

Green Bay is 11-9 straight-up and 9-11 against the spread in preseason games over the last five seasons, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. Since Rodgers became their starting QB in 2008, they are 4-4 SU and 3-5 ATS in preseason games when they are favored by three or fewer points.

Colts coach Chuck Pagano said on Thursday that Luck and all of the starters will play on Sunday, although he did not specify how long they will play. Interestingly enough, on a weekend when Packers legend Brett Favre is being inducted into the Hall of Fame while his former understudy Rodgers is in town, the Colts’ No. 2 QB is Scott Tolkien, who spent three seasons buried on the Packers’ depth chart.

At the very least, Tolkien has some NFL seasoning and insight into the Packers.

Indianapolis, which is listed at +2500 on the Super Bowl odds board, is just 6-14 ATS and 9-11 SU in the preseason over the last five years. That includes a 1-7 ATS and 2-6 SU trend over the last two years.

The total has gone over in 11 of the Packers’ last 20 preseason matchups, including five of the last six. The total has gone under in 11 of the Colts’ last 20 preseason games.

A team’s preseason record has no predictive value for the regular season, but that’s especially true for the Hall of Fame Game. In six of the last seven seasons, the game’s winner has failed to make the playoffs. The last time both teams made the playoffs was 2001.

Patriots looking to break slump for betting favorites at Super Bowl LI

Leave a comment

With their vast collective edge in Super Bowl experience, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are favored against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, although that’s not always a harbinger of success.

The Patriots opened as the three-point favorite against the Falcons with a 58.5-point total in the Super Bowl LI matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The NFL’s championship game will be played on February 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston, with Brady trying to become the first quarterback with five Super Bowl victories while the Falcons will try to win their first championship.

The favored team is 0-5 straight-up and against the spread in the last five Super Bowl matchups, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The Patriots are also 1-4 ATS in their last five games in the Super Bowl, although three of those matchups saw them raise the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The other general trend is that the designated away team is 8-2 SU in the last 10 years, and New England will be considered the away team, just as it was when it defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX two seasons ago.

The Falcons, who are 13-5 SU and 12-6 ATS, have lost and failed to cover the spread in their last four games against the Patriots. The Falcons are also 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games against the AFC. A team’s more recent body of work can have more bearing than a sample stretching beyond a decade, though, and with Ryan as the triggerman in their well-balanced offense the Falcons are 6-2 SU and 7-1 ATS in their last eight games as an underdog.

They are also 6-2 SU and ATS in their last eight games against teams with winning records.

The Patriots are 16-2 SU and 15-3 ATS on the season, including a current 7-0 ATS run. New England’s ability to peak at the right time is not overestimated either, as they are 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS over the last three postseasons. They are also 6-1 SU in their last seven playoff games as a favorite, with the loss coming last season in the AFC Championship Game on the road against the Denver Broncos, who had a historically dominant defense.

The Patriots are 13-4 SU against the NFC over the last four seasons. The opposing quarterbacks of record for the losses were Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Sam Bradford and Cam Newton.

The total has gone OVER in the Falcons’ last eight games. The total has gone OVER in six of the Patriots’ last seven games against teams with winning records. The total has gone UNDER in three of the Patriots’ last four games in the Super Bowl.

New title for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady: Best beer chugger?

Leave a comment

There’s been a lot of talk about Tom Brady’s diet and pajamas, but Brady’s ability to drink?

This is a new one.

Former Patriot Ross Tucker said on The Dan Patrick Show Monday that a young Tom Brady was the best beer chugger he’s ever seen.

“He’s the best I’ve ever seen. And I was in a fraternity,” Tucker said. “It sounds funny when you say it, but the guy has every positive male quality known to man, like I was almost mad that he was that good of a chugger. Because I was sitting there thinking, ‘This is just not fair.’ Why is God not spreading the wealth a little more?”

There’s a pretty good chance that his current diet doesn’t permit drinking, but for argument’s sake: What type of beer would Brady drink?

The New England quarterback doesn’t strike me as a craft beer drinker, but maybe he picked up an affinity for Bell’s while at Michigan or adopted Harpoon while living in New England. Who knows, he’s could be a cheap beer fanatic and enjoy a good PBR.