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NFL Pre-Season Betting — Steelers & Cowboys Sort Out QB2’s in Hall of Fame Game

Nfl Hall Of Fame Game

2021 NFL Pre-Season Kicks off Tonight in Canton

By Charles Jay

There are a couple of things NFL Pre-Season betting aficionados at BetAnySports should be on the lookout for when things get underway at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio on Thursday night (8 PM ET).

It’s the Hall of Fame Game, and it is the first “exhibition” that will be played in the NFL since the 2019 season.

The Dallas Cowboys and Pittcburgh Steelers do battle in a clash between two of the league’s most storied franchises.

Hall of Fame Game – What happened last season

The Steelers made the playoffs last season but lost to the Cleveland Browns in their first post-season contest. And they enter this season knowing that it could be the swan song for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

The Cowboys missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year, and had to go most of the way without QB Dak Prescott, who hurt his knee. Nursing an injured shoulder, he won’t see action here. And we’d be shocked if Big Ben took any snaps.

Hall of Fame Game — Here are the numbers

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In the NFL pre-season betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Steelers are favored:

Pittsburgh Steelers -3 (+110)
Dallas Cowboys +3 (-130)

Over 32.5 points -110
Under 32.5 points -110

Hall of Fame Game — About the Cowboys: Backup QB needs to be determined

Prescott won’t play anyway, but he wouldn’t have to. The big issue with the Cowboys is who is going to back him up, because the situation became dire when Andy Dalton was shelved with a positive COVID test.

One of the guys who was not ready for prime time and struggled mightily was Ben DeNucci, who is actually still around. He is most likely in the running for a #3 spot on the QB list. The guy who has the inside track is Garrett Gilbert, who is well-traveled, so he has an edge in experience. After leading the Alliance of American Football in passing, the former Texas Longhorn and SMU Mustang quarterback got back to the league and made one start for Dallas last season, completing 21 of 38 passes.

Gilbert has been the guy working with the first unit the most, so he is starting. And he may exit relatively early. Cooper Rush needs some time to re-establish himself. Rush was actually the #2 QB behind Prescott for three seasons, although he has only appeared in five games in regular season action. He is back in the MetroPlex after the Giants put him on, then took him off the practice squad.

Unless DeNucci, a seventh-round pick last year, makes substantial progress, he could be the odd man out. So his appearance, which could come in the second half, may be the most important in his life.

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Hall of Fame Game —  Is Big Ben’s successor being sought?

No one knows for sure whether Ben Roethlisberger is going to retire after the season, but the Steelers are simultaneously looking for the guy who will back him up, as well as someone who could conceivably move forward as the next in line.

That had to be part of the rationale behind signing Dwayne Haskins, a first-round pick and one-time starter in Washington who played himself out of a job. With a new attitude and some maturity, he may be capable of something substantial.

Mason Rudolph, the former Oklahoma State QB who has starting experience with the team, will start here. Haskins will follow him and finish out the first half, at the very least. And Josh Dobbs, the ex-Tennessee Volunteer who is an aspiring rocket scientist (no kidding),will get lots of time in the second half.

Hall of Fame Game — Conclusion

It’s hard to say what will happen in a pre-season game, especially as it is so soon after the start of training camp. Pittsburgh’s backup QB’s have an advantage over those of Dallas. And the Cowboys have three QB’s who have time with this particular offense.

Usually we’re looking for some sloppy offense in the pre-season schedule, but we may see something a bit smoother with people at the controls who are familiar with the schemes going in (with the exception of Haskins).

So we’ll go OVER 31.5 points here.

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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