Six months after Tom Brady knelt for the final time to end the 2020 season, the NFL has returned. As usual, the Hall of Fame Game kicks off the 2021 preseason. This year’s edition features the Pittsburgh Steelers facing the Dallas Cowboys.
On an island a week before the rest of the teams start their preseasons, the Hall of Fame Game always resonates with bettors longing for pigskin action. We’ll take a look at the markets and what information is floating around out that might prove useful.
Cowboys vs. Steelers Odds & Betting Markets
As for the total, that sits around 33 the day before kickoff.
Eventually props markets should open up as well. However, at this time, it’s difficult to find any out there, likely due to inherent uncertainty over playing time in early preseason action. Usually, the time to look for these is game day.
Hall of Fame Game News
Which Players Will Play?
NFL preseason openers typically mean very few reps from players expected to play major roles in the coming season. Coaches rightly loathe risking injury for little potential upside.
In other words, don’t expect many recognizable players on the field, unless you’re someone who dives deep into rosters and the back end of the draft.
Both Steelers and Cowboys beat reporters for The Athletic said to expect few regulars, if any.
Still, there will be some names of interest.
For instance, Dwayne Haskins and Mason Rudolph could both take snaps for the Steelers. Either one could be tabbed as the eventual replacement for future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger. Haskins reportedly outplayed Rudolph so far in camp, and he possesses more upside due to his first-round pedigree. The Steelers may be more inclined to give him more reps if they feel the same way.
The Steelers possessing the ball should be the most interesting part of the game in general. They may also give reps to early-round rookies RB Najee Harris and TE Pat Freiermuth. Meanwhile, Dallas has their own early picks on defense: LB Micah Parsons, CB Kelvin Joseph and DL Osa Odighizuwa.
Can History Tell Us Anything?
Well, don’t expect too many points. The past 10 editions of the Hall of Fame Game finished with an average score of 19-13.1.
That follows with the conventional wisdom that defenses are usually ahead of offenses early on. Offense requires precise timing and rhythm that has yet to be developed this early in the season, so that idea makes sense.
Unfortunately, the very low total already accounts for this, so that isn’t terrible actionable from an immediate betting standpoint.
In terms of the Steelers themselves, two data points exist as Mike Tomlin has coached the team in Hall of Fame Games in 2007 and 2015. Both games finished very low scoring, with the Steelers winning the former contest 20-7 and losing the latter 14-3.
Whether you get action down or not, enjoy the 2021 Hall of Fame Game. Football season is back, albeit in watered-down form for the time being.