After an off-season that seemed to last far too long, NFL football will be back on our television screens this evening. Though it’s just pre-season, and traditional starters won’t be getting many reps, it’s still football and we here at The Sports Geek are back in 2013 to whet your betting appetite. Tonight is the NFL’s annual Hall of Fame Game from Canton, Ohio. After yesterday evening’s induction ceremony, it’s time for the players to conclude the weekend by getting the NFL season off on the right foot. This year, two teams with great potential and much to prove will take to the field as the Dallas Cowboys duke it out against the Miami Dolphins. Though injuries have run rampant through both training camps, it’s still football and it’s the first game in six months. Read on below for our first official pick of the NFL season.
Cowboys vs. Dolphins Betting Odds:
Dallas Cowboys +2.5 (-105)
Vs. Miami Dolphins -2.5 (-115)
Over 32.5 (-105)
Under 32.5 (-115)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Cowboys vs. Dolphins Pick:
After hitting picks at a rate of 61% last year at The Sports Geek in regular season and playoff action, hopefully that good fortune can carry over to the 2013 pre-season. While it can be tough to isolate advantages and scenarios in exhibition match-ups, doing solid research can really help you in your betting quest. For tonight’s game, we’ve done it for you.
The most important tidbit of information to remember before laying your money down is the fact that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will not suit up tonight. The much-maligned QB is still recovering from off-season surgery to remove a cyst from his back. The Dolphins on the other hand are definitely expected to play their first-string quarterback in Ryan Tannehill. The former Texas A&M product had a pretty solid opening year in the NFL, but he still needs a lot of work and this game will provide him with that. Miami has a lot of new faces on offense, and it’s expected that head coach Joe Philbin will give them at least a couple of series to get more familiar with each other in some real game action. One of those key new faces however, receiver Mike Wallace, isn’t expected to be in pads tonight. The former Steeler speedster is dealing with a groin injury and will have to wait on taking passes from Tannehill.
Elsewhere on the injury front, it’s expected that all of Dez Bryant, Anthony Spencer, and Jay Ratliff will all sit out for the Cowboys. They’ve got quite the injury bug rummaging through their camp right now, and coach Jason Garrett is going to give his first-string guys as much time as they need in order to recover for Week 1. Both offensive lines for both Miami and Dallas seem a little banged-up right now and that could significantly affect the offensive production of both teams.
In the pre-season, assessing depth charts is paramount to your betting success. With Ryan Tannehill already slated to get at least some reps tonight, and with former starter Matt Moore behind him, the Dolphins look quite steady behind centre. Matt Moore remains one of the NFL’s best back-up quarterbacks and could easily start for this team if need be. And behind Moore is rookie revelation Pat Devlin. Devlin has received rave reviews thus far in training camp and the kid from Delaware is truly turning heads. Many have stated that Devlin is good enough to unseat Matt Moore as Miami’s number two. Tonight will be Devlin’s chance to shine. For Dallas, with Romo out and Kyle Orton seeming iffy to suit up, the burden will fall to the unknown Nick Stephens and Alex Tanney behind centre. The Dolphins hold a heavy edge here, and enter with much to prove.
Like all early pre-season games, defense should reign supreme while the offense looks to find their rhythm. Banking on a low-scoring affair seems like a good bet, and playing the Under 32.5 seems safe. Our official selection however will be on the Miami Dolphins. After a losing year in 2012, and an 0-4 pre-season for Joe Philbin last year, we’re betting on the ‘Phins getting off to a roaring start in 2013. They have great quarterback depth, and with all of the Cowboys’ stars either sitting out or nursing injuries, Miami seems to be the play here laying just under a field goal. Though betting on the pre-season is constantly referred to as a crapshoot, we’ll take an educated guess to start off the year and roll with the Dolphins -2.5 points. Enjoy and good luck!
PICK = Miami -2.5 (-115)