NFL betting action begins Sunday night with the Hall of Fame Game that features a sports betting matchup of two playoff teams from last year as Dallas meets Cincinnati. One of the big keys for the game will be the many backup players that will see action as the top starters for both teams will see limited action in this exhibition opener as there will be 4 more preseason matchups for each team before the regular season opener in 5 weeks.
Beyond that there have been some training camp injuries on both sides that will also mean additional backup personnel will see more action than expected. The Cowboys lost highly touted rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant to injury during practices last week and he may be out until the regular season opener. Defensive end Marcus Spears is now also out for 4 to 6 weeks due to a sprained left knee.
Additional Dallas minor injuries were to linebacker Stephen Hodge, safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, defensive end Sean Lissemore, free safety Pat Watkins, and offensive guard Montrae Holland. For the Bengals receiver Antonio Bryant will miss the Hall of Fame Betting Game due to a bad knee. Offensive tackle Andre Smith was also ailing with a bad foot.
Cincinnati cornerback Adam Jones was kicked upstairs to the first team due to minor injuries to Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall. Offensive guard Nate Livings also moved up to a starting slot due to nagging calf problems for Evan Mathis. In other late roster moves the Bengals signed tight end Jermaine Gresham, who was their top draft pick.
He agreed to a 5-year deal. Head coach Marvin Lewis indicated that Gresham stands a good chance to see action in Sunday Night’s game. Even before he signed Gresham had the unusual distinction of being listed as the number one man on the depth chart. Gresham’s promotion was aided, however, by injuries to Cincinnati’s other two tight ends Reggie Kelly and Ben Utecht last year and the inability of last year’s 3rd round pick Chase Coffman to fully adapt to the pro game.
Handicappers can expect Dallas to give backup quarterbacks Jon Kitna, Stephen McGee, and Matt Nichols plenty of work Sunday night while the Bengals will also empty the bench with quarterbacks JT O’Sullivan and Jordan Palmer. SBGglobal.com Sportsbook opened with Cincinnati as a 3-point chalk with an over/under set for 32.5. Kickoff is set for 8:05 Eastern and NBC will televise the game.