Indianapolis Colts vs Green Bay Packers (-1, 36 o/u)
Brett Favre has been looking forward to this weekend ever since the third and final time he decided to hang up his cleats, five years ago. Marvin Harrison has waited seven years for this moment. I’ve only been waiting six months, and even that felt unbearable. But for all of our waiting, it’s finally here: 2016’s Hall of Fame weekend.
While Favre and Harrison’s high point of the weekend will be slipping on their gold jackets, I’m only excited for the game on Sunday, when their former teams meet for the first taste of NFL action since Super Bowl 50. The Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers will officially ring in the start of the upcoming season this Sunday from Canton, Ohio (8:00 PM Eastern).
The excitement of seeing NFL football again will likely dissipate by halftime, right around when the likes of Joe Callahan and Stephen Morris check into the game. Those who tune in to see a high-profile showdown between Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers, might as well keep flipping channels to Celebrity Match Game, because the big names won’t leave an impact on this game.
Coming off a disappointing 2015, Colts coach Chuck Pagano has said his starters will play in this game, but any longer than a drive or two would be a shock. For Green Bay, Rodgers and company have been in this system so long, an extra preseason game offers no upside, so any superstar sightings would be a true upset indeed.
Indianapolis getting a few plays out of their elite QB would figure to be a big enough advantage to make a difference, but offenses are historically very sluggish out of the gate in this game. Even though the over/under is always set around mid-to-low 30s, four of the last five Hall of Fame games have gone UNDER the total anyways.
This is a game where players like Mike Kafka and Jeff Tuel make the game-changing plays: trying to anticipate which future practice squad members will prevail is an exercise in futility. Stay away from the spread, bet the total, and enjoy that NFL football is back (however bad the action is).
(Photo credit: Arnie Papp (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)