Breaking news: Bettors love the NFL.
According to The Action Network’s proprietary number of bets statistic, Thursday’s Hall of Fame Game between the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens set a new record for the most heavily bet preseason game in our database (since 2004).
Our number of bets data reflects the total amount of tickets wagered on the spread, moneyline and over/under at two offshore sportsbooks.
The 2018 edition of the NFL’s preseason opener closed with 21,631 bets, barely edging the 2015 Hall of Fame Game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings that drew 21,353 betting tickets.
To put these numbers in perspective, Thursday’s New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox game was the most popular game on the MLB slate, garnering 15,641 wagers.
Here’s a look at the 10 most popular NFL preseason bets since 2004:
While the 2015 and 2018 Hall of Fame Games finished very close in terms of betting tickets, there’s a massive gap between those two and the third-most heavily bet preseason game between the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers in 2016.
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It’s also interesting to note each of the 10 games above was played over the past five preseasons, with nine of the 10 taking place during the previous four.
With the 2018 Hall of Fame Game setting a new high mark, don’t be surprised to see more games throughout the 2018 NFL preseason jump into the top 10.