It’s been almost eight months since the Rams beat the Bengals 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI – and I’ve been waiting to say the following three words every day since then:
Football. Is. Back.
The Las Vegas Raiders will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL’s annual Hall of Fame game this Thursday, August 4th. This kicks off the NFL preseason and also gives two not-so-lucky teams an extra game on their schedule.
This also gives sports bettors an extra game to wager on! Here are the odds for Thursday night’s game from our exclusive wagering partners at BetOnline.ag:
Odds – Hall of Fame Game
Spread: Raiders -2.5
Moneyline: Raiders -140/Jaguars +120
The Raiders have made an abundance of moves this offseason – the most important of which was the hiring of Josh McDaniels. McDaniels brings much needed change to a Vegas team that suffered from the black cloud of Jon Gruden last season.
They also traded for one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in Devante Adams. Adams is a 5x Pro Bowler and a 2x First Team All-Pro – who now gets to reunite with his college quarterback. Derek Carr and Adams played together at Fresno State.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Raiders acquired Chandler Jones, Rock Ya-Sin, Darius Phillips, and Duron Harmon. For a team that made the playoffs last season, this team is much better than they were a year ago.
Jacksonville also made a coaching change from 2021. After the disaster that was the Urban Meyer project in Duval, the Jaguars went with a more modest approach this offseason – hiring former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson to take the reins.
Pederson already announced that quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne will not play on Thursday night. It’s understandable, as they are the two faces of the franchise.
Trevor Lawrence was the number one overall a year ago and threw just 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions during his rookie campaign. He’ll look to vastly improve on their 3-14 season.
The Jags other first round pick in 2021, running back Travis Etienne, didn’t even get a chance to step on the field after suffering a Lisfranc injury that ended his season before it began. There’s hope in Jacksonville with these two former Clemson Tigers leading the offense.
Though players like Carr and Adams will probably be on the bench for Vegas, the Raiders are simply deeper than the Jaguars. Like I said, there’s hope in Duval, but they still need time to gel. Vegas will get the win on Thursday and cover the spread.
Prediction: Raiders 21 – Jaguars 10
Side: Raiders -2.5
Total: OVER 30.5
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