HALL OF FAME GAME PREVIEW:
The Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens meet in the Hall of Fame Game this Thursday night in Canton, with the sportsbooks setting a tight betting line for the contest (BAL -2.5).
The Baltimore Ravens are a perfect 8-0 straight up and against the spread over their last eight preseason games. After compiling perfect preseason records in 2016 and 2017, the Ravens will try to start 2018 off with a win this Thursday night when they face the Chicago Bears in the Hall of Fame Game.
In the team’s last 16 preseason games, the Ravens are 13-3 SU and 14-2 ATS.
Chicago Bears vs. Baltimore Ravens
When: Thursday, August 2, 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio
Betting Line / Total: Baltimore -2.5 / 33 Points
Some coaches take the preseason more seriously than others, and Baltimore Head Coach John Harbaugh’s track record in these games suggests that winning is a point of emphasis.
The Ravens have been particularly strong on defense over the last two seasons allowing only 11.5 points per game over their current eight-game preseason winning streak and just eight points per game during the 2017 preseason. Two Heisman trophy winners should get action under center for Baltimore this Thursday night in Robert Griffin III and first round pick Lamar Jackson.
The Ravens carried the momentum of a 4-0 SU and ATS preseason into a 2-0 SU and ATS start in 2017, but missed the playoffs after going 7-7 SU and 6-7-1 ATS over their last 14 games.
Since going without a losing season in four years from 2010 through 2013, the Bears have finished each of the last four years with 10 losses or more and are 19-44 SU over that stretch. To make matters worse, contract negotiations with first round pick Roquan Smith have stalled as the linebacker is holding out due to the Bears trying to add stipulations to withhold guaranteed money from his contract. It isn’t a good look for a Chicago team that wrapped up 2017 with a 2-7 SU and 4-4-1 ATS skid.
Thursday night’s total is set at 33 points. The UNDER is 6-1 in Baltimore’s last seven preseason games and 8-3 in Chicago’s last 11.
The Hall of Fame Game has historically not been the most exciting of matchups with only one of the last seven editions of this game producing a total of 40 points or more. The presence of Griffin III and Jackson at quarterback does add some intrigue, and even low quality preseason football is better than no football.