Some of the guesswork of the preseason – such as how long the starters will be in the game – can be covered off when it comes to the Baltimore Ravens under coach John Harbaugh.
The Ravens are 2.5-point favorites against the Chicago Bears with a 33.5 total on the NFL Hall of Fame Game odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, as the preseason begins with the traditional opener in Canton, Ohio.
The Ravens are 8-0 both straight-up and against the spread in their last eight preseason games, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, and are also 14-3 SU and 11-6 ATS in their last 17 preseason games as a favorite.
The Bears, who were 5-11 SU and 9-6-1 ATS in 2017, will be playing their first game under rookie head coach Matt Nagy, who split the last five seasons as quarterback coach and offensive coordinator with the Kansas CIty Chiefs. Starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who has reportedly had issues with accuracy while learning a new offensive scheme, might not play much.
The Bears do have a modicum of NFL seasoning under center with backups Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray, the latter of whom followed Nagy over from Kansas City.
The over/under on the Bears’ season win total is 6.5, with the under at +115 and the over priced at -135. Only three of Chicago’s last 10 first-year coaches were able to engineer a two-win (or more) improvement.
The Ravens, who were 9-7 SU and 8-7-1 ATS last season, could be better spoken for at quarterback on Thursday. While longtime starter Joe Flacco could end up being held out of action entirely, former Washington Redskins starter Robert Griffin III will see extended action as he tries to reboot his career after a year out of football. Rookie Lamar Jackson, a former Heisman Trophy winner with speed that evokes a young Michael Vick, will also face a Bears defensive group that is without first-round pick Roquan Smith due to a holdout.
The over/under on the Ravens’ season win total is 8, with the over offering -145 and the under priced at +125. Five of their final seven games are against non-playoff teams from 2017, suggesting the schedule is manageable enough to get the over or a push.
Defenses are generally ahead of offenses early in the season, so it’s not surprising that the total has finished under in four of the last six games in Canton. The total also went under in five of the Kansas City Chiefs’ last eight preseason games while Nagy was their offensive coordinator. The total has also gone under in six of the Ravens’ last seven preseason games.
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