NFL Hall of Fame Game Thursday Preview: Raiders vs Jaguars

The Most Meaningless and Welcome NFL Game of the Year Is Here!

The NFL is back! Sort of. It’s the NFL Hall of Fame Game Thursday: One of the most meaningless games but since it’s the first NFL game of the 2022-23 season, everyone is taking it. As such, the NFL Point Spreads have this one as a pick’em since nobody knows who will be on the field. The Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars may roll out some of their starters. But with this game meaning nothing, we’re not banking on it.

Raiders vs Jaguars Game Info

    • Matchup: Las Vegas Raiders (0-0) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0)
    • Location: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, OH
    • Day/Time:
    • Live Stream: NBC, Peacock

    Who Will be Taking the Field?

    Hall of Fame Game Thursdays usually feature the backups of the backups, the guy’s teams can afford to cut. It depends on where the team stands heading to the preseason. In Jacksonville’s case, new coach Doug Pedersen and his staff are likely looking for which players can fit into their system. They may also want to get the backups, and possibly some starters, as many reps as possible.

    For Las Vegas, this team thinks of itself as a Super Bowl contender. The team won’t risk seeing a prized acquisition like Davante Adams get hurt. Instead, as we can see in the NFL injury report, the Raiders need many depth players; those guys who will step up in case starters or backups get hurt or fizzle out.

    Some key names to keep track of are Jake Luton, and Kyle Sloter for Jacksonville – and Nick Mullens, and Chase Garbers for Las Vegas. Luton and Sloter are the QB3 and QB4 of the Jaguars and could see the most playing time here, while Mullens and Garbers are their counterparts for Vegas.

    Jaguars Still Adjusting to Pedersen

    When Pedersen took over as coach for Jacksonville, this was a team that was last in the NFL in points scored. The Jaguars scored on only 26.4 percent of their offensive drives. To remedy that, the Jaguars paid a king’s ransom for receiver Christian Kirk. They also took the tight end, Evan Engram. Neither should see much playing time this Thursday. And while Kirk’s spot is all but assured, Engram isn’t the official “TE1”.

    Dan Arnold, who Jacksonville acquired in a trade, could get plenty of reps alongside Luke Farrell. Zay Jones was also brought in to fill the left wide receiver spot but he’s not exactly a world-beater. So keep an eye out on the likes of Laquon Treadwell and Kevin Austin Jr. as they battle it out for this position.

    It may take a while before the young Jaguars acclimate to Pedersen’s schemes. He also tends to feature in low-scoring preseason games; the total has gone under or pushed in nine of the 13 ones he’s been involved in. So don’t expect this to be the best NFL game this year.

    Raiders Still Looking to Fill Several Key Positions

    Speaking of new coaches, Josh McDaniels will be the new face of Las Vegas’s coaching staff. This is his second tenure as a coach after mixed results with Denver nearly a decade ago. McDaniels is often hailed as one of the brightest offensive play callers in the NFL. The Raiders have a talented roster led by quarterback Derek Carr.

    But there are still plenty of positions up for grabs. This Hall of Fame Game Thursday will be the start. We’re looking at the right wide receiver spot where the likes of Mack Hollins, Tyron Johnson, and Jordan Veasy compete to be named the Day 1 starter.

    If you bet on NFL games, pay attention to the state of Las Vegas’s offensive line. The center and right tackle positions could be decided during the preseason. Andre James and Brandon Parker are the respective starters. But expect Hroniss Grasu and Alex Leatherwood to look to win the positions, respectively.

    NFL Hall of Fame Game Betting Trends

    NFL Hall of Fame games tend to be low scoring. The last six games averaged just 26.9 points. Three of these games had totals of 24 points or fewer. The 30.5 points on the sportsbook seem high considering.

    This is the Raiders’ fourth appearance in the Hall of Fame game and the Jaguars’ second. The Raiders are 3-0 and one of only two teams to be unbeaten after having played three or more games. The Jaguars last played in 1995, which was their inaugural season. They lost to their fellow expansion franchise, the Panthers.

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