The NFL preseason officially kicks off tonight as the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens meet in Canton, Ohio for the 2018 Hall of Fame Game (8 p.m. ET). Bettors love football, even preseason football, especially after a long offseason.
According to The Action Network’s public NFL betting data, tonight’s Hall of Fame Game has already garnered more than 7,000 wagers. There’s still plenty of time for more action to come in, and it will, especially in the hours leading up to kickoff.
The Ravens opened as 1.5-point favorites against the Bears at BookMaker.eu and are receiving 73% of all tickets wagered on the spread. With plenty of early action backing Baltimore, the line moved up to Ravens -3 as recently as Monday, before settling back in at -2.5 for the rest of the week.
The Action Network’s Matthew Perrault interviewed CG Technology’s VP of Risk Jason Simbal on his SB Nation Radio show Wednesday and asked how the game had been bet up to that point:
According to @jsimbal of @CGTechnology_ who just appeared on @PushingTheOdds – the vast majority of the money is on the Ravens -2.5 tomorrow (opened -1), the Ravens ML and the under 33.5 for the HOF game vs. Chicago. @ActionNetworkHQ @Josh_Insights Audio to come… @SBNationRadio
— Matt Perrault (@sportstalkmatt) August 1, 2018
That falls in line with our offshore betting data as well. However, around 1 p.m. ET today, sharp buyback pounced on Chicago, dropping the line back to -2. According to Sports Insights’ Bet Signals — which track sharp action in real time — a reverse line move was triggered on the Bears at SBG, explaining that wiseguy action was in fact responsible for the line move.
>> All odds as of 2 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Reverse line movement occurs when a betting line moves in the opposite direction of the betting percentages and indicates sharp money is responsible for the movement.
In addition, our public betting data is reporting that while only 27% of tickets are on Chicago, 54% of dollars wagered are backing the Bears.
The over/under has also drawn interest from bettors as 56% of tickets have come in on the over with 77% of real dollars playing the over as well. With steady money hitting the over, sportsbooks have moved the total to a consensus of 35 (after opening 33.5) across the sports betting market.