When you bet on NFL Hall of Fame Game this year between the Indianapolis Colts and the Green Bay Packers, you might want to keep in mind this little tidbit: Colts head coach Chuck Pagano intends to start his, well, starters for the 2016 edition of the match. “Everybody’s going to play,” Pagano said. Even the kid that always gets picked last? This is football betting site-worthy news because this is an exhibition game – it’s even less relevant than the rest of the preseason. That is to say, coaches very seldom play starters, and not for very long when they do.
Granted, Pagano is not very likely to play his starters for much more than a drive or two. Nonetheless, if he truly does mean ‘everybody,’ then that includes QB Andrew Luck – which does make sense; you’re paying the guy more than anybody else in the league, so you might as well get every penny’s worth out of him. Furthermore, Luck has not played a full game – preseason or otherwise – since November 8th, 2015 (a 27-24 win over the Denver Broncos). A couple of days later, the QB was diagnosed with a lacerated kidney and a partially torn abdominal muscle. What was supposed to be a 2-6 week recovery turned into a season-ending injury.
Needless to say, coach Pagano will be eager to see how Luck gets along in a game setting – as will be fans who bet on NFL. On the other side of the gridiron, the Packers are even less likely than the Colts to play their starters. Green Bay lost wide receiver Jordy Nelson for the entire 2015 season during a Week 2 preseason game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. The torn ACL deprived QB Aaron Rodgers from a preferred target. They won’t want to needlessly endanger another important piece of the starting lineup this year. Additionally, the Colts and the Packers are scheduled to meet smack dab in the middle of the regular season at Lambeau Field on November 6th. Obviously, neither coach is going to want to give away too much to a future opponent.
All things considered, the best part of the Hall of Fame Game will in almost all certainty the beginning, when the starters take the gridiron for a few snaps. The rest may not be much to write home about, but let’s not lose sight of the two single most important things about this match. First of all, wrap up the 2016 enshrinement weekend, which will honor such NFL legends such as Brett Favre, Marvin Harrison, and Tony Dungy – the latter two of which are living, breathing parts of the Colts history. And second, and maybe more important of all, that it will provides us with our first chance to bet on NFL since the Super Bowl in February, and ahead of the start of the 2016 regular season in September 8th. If that’s not enough to tune into the HoF game on August 8th, then I just don’t know what is.