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HALL OF FAME GAME 2006
RAIDERS VS EAGLES
It's once again time for the NFL to tee it up as the NFL pre season officially gets underway with the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. This years game is a match up between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Oakland Raiders.
Handicapping the NFL pre season is no easy task. Which teams will want to win? Which teams and coaches don't stress winning in pre season? There's a whole host of questions the handicapper must content with when wagering on pre season games. Here on Bettorsworld, our Key Release crew will only have a few official pre season plays. We rate our plays from 1 to 10 *'s, and it's rare that we have a play larger than a 3* in the NFL pre season.
Our 1* releases are pretty much just opinions. Occassionally just a little stronger than an opinion, and that is precisely what we have for this opening NFL pre season game.
The Oakland Raiders are looking to regroup. They will have a new coach in place, albeit a former Raider coach, in Art Shell. But Shell will have is work cut out for him. He inherits a team that went just 4-12 last year and was 1-12 under Norv Turner in division play. Shell will be bringing in an entire new staff and the team figures to take some time to get things together.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles have unloaded some major baggage in Terrell Owens. The Eagles had big expectations last year after making it to the Super Bowl the year before, however the team was a complete mess in 2005, due to a combination of major injuries to key players and of course the Terrell Owens fiasco. As a result, the Eagles season was lost last year and the team went 6-10.
There would appear to be a huge difference in class between these two teams heading into 2006. We really like the Eagles this year. We feel that a huge weight was taken off the collective chests of the Philadelphia Eagles with T.O's departure. No more distractions. No more media circus. No more idiot making a mockery of his teamates and the NFL in general. Now this Eagles team can concentrate on playing football and attempt to pick up where they left off in 2004 with a Super Bowl trip. The talent is still there. The coaching staff is in tact. This is a 10 win team minimum this year.
Of course this is not a regular season game. But we feel the Eagles will be in a better position than the Raiders to get a win here. They'll want to send a message to the rest of the league that they are back and they'll want to prove that it was distractions and injuries, not lack of talent that caused their 6-10 year.
The Raiders on the other hand, aren't expected to win. It's understood that they have a ton of work to do.
Clearly if there is an edge to be had here, it's with the Eagles. For the Raiders, a new coach and a new coaching staff means a new system. It takes time to learn a new system. It can't be done in one pre season game. For the Eagles, it's the same ol same ol. Same coaching staff. Same system. Plus, perhaps, a little added motivation now that T.O is gone and Mcnabb and Westbrook are healthy.
Eagles are no prize in pre season under Andy Reid, however it appears as though the Eagles are the right side here. The number is Philly -3 +105 at Pinnacle, and we'll lay it for a 1* play.