How Do Hall of Fame Game Teams Perform During the Regular Season?

How Do Hall of Fame Game Teams Perform During the Regular Season?
By Marcus Mosher
Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

The first NFL game of the year occurs in Canton, Ohio, in a small stadium on Aug.4. It's the annual Hall of Fame Game, the first exhibition contest of the year, which this year features the Trevor Lawrence-led Jacksonville Jaguars and Davante Adams and the Las Vegas Raiders.

The teams that play in the Hall of Fame game will play an additional preseason game compared to the rest of the league. Will that give the Jaguars and Raiders an advantage over their opponents in the regular season?

While Ohio sports gambling is currently prohibited, BetOhio.com is ready to dive into the data of past performances from teams in the Hall of Fame Game. 

There are no Ohio mobile betting apps legally offering odds on the game, but it is worth noting that the NFL canceled the game three times since 2010 for several different reasons (lockout, poor field conditions, COVID-19). 

In addition, the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium is a tiny one (with a capacity of just 23,000). It's not always up to NFL standards and it's why the league has canceled the game before. 

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton is among a handful of applicants for sports betting licenses so far.

But enough about the stadium and more about how the two teams that play in this game perform during the regular season.

Since 2000, the average number of regular season wins for teams playing in the Hall of Fame game is 8.42 wins, slightly above league average. 

What is fascinating about the Hall of Fame Game is that 42% of the teams that participated went on to make the playoffs. Again, that is above league average as just 37.5% of teams end up making the playoffs (before the NFL went to a 14-team playoff format).

Hall of Fame Game Teams’ Season Performance Since 2000*

Avg. W-L Record Over-Under Wins Record off Preseason Odds% of Teams That Made Playoffs% of Teams That Made Div. RoundNo. of Super Bowl Wins
8-8** 19-15-442%15.8%0
* — Cancellations in 2011 for NFL Lockout, 2016 for poor field conditions and 2020 for COVID-19
** — Rounded to the nearest whole number

How Far Did They Go in Playoffs?

But how many teams end up reaching the Divisional Round of the playoffs after playing the Hall of Fame Game?

That number is actually lower than expected at 15.8%, slightly below the league average of (25%). Since 2010, only one team has made it to the Divisional Round. That was the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015,. Pittsburgh beat A.J. McCarron and the Bengals in the Wild Card Round before losing to Peyton Manning and the Broncos. 

Since the NFL started the Hall of Fame Game in 1962, no team has ever gone on to win the Super Bowl. 

Is that coincidence or a disturbing trend? It's probably just a coincidence, considering it's only two teams that play in this game and the league generally likes to match up two teams with players going into the Hall of Fame that weekend. 

The NFL isn't looking to get the best matchup on the field for views, as they know it will primarily be third and fourth-string players competing in this contest.

Last 10 Hall of Fame Games

Year ResultRecord That Season Postseason
2021 Pitt. 16, Dallas 3Pitt. 9-7-1; Dallas 12-5Pitt., L in WC Rd.; Dallas, L in WC Rd.
2019 Denver 14, Atlanta 10Denver 7-9; Atlanta 7-9Both missed playoffs
2018 Balt. 17, Chicago 16Balt. 10-6; Chicago 12-4Balt., L in WC Rd.; Chicago, L in WC Rd.
2017 Dallas 20, Arizona 18Dallas 9-7; Arizona 8-8Both missed playoffs
2015 Minn. 14, Pitt. 3Minn. 11-5; Pitt. 10-6Minn., L in WC Rd.; Pitt., L in Div. Rd
2014 NY Giants 17, Buffalo 13NYG 6-10; Buff. 9-7Both missed playoffs
2013 Dallas 24, Miami 20Dallas 8-8; Miami 8-8Both missed playoffs
2012 New Orleans 17, Arizona 10NO 7-9; Arizona 5-11Both missed playoffs
2010 Dallas 16, Cinn. 7Dallas 6-10; Cinn. 4-12Both missed playoffs
2009 Tenn. 21, Buffalo 18Tenn. 8-8; Buffalo 6-10Both missed playoffs
* — Cancellations in 2011 for NFL Lockout, 2016 for poor field conditions and 2020 for COVID-19
** — Rounded to the nearest whole number


Should Teams Play in Hall of Fame Game?

So is there an advantage or disadvantage to playing in the Hall of Fame game? 

Probably not, as most players who appear in the game don't make the final 53-man roster or have a significant role on the team.

The only possible disadvantage is that the teams that have to play in the Hall of Fame start camp a few weeks earlier, making the season feel a bit longer. . 

We’ll see If the Jaguars or Raiders, both with new head coaches this season in Doug Pederson and Josh McDaniels,  respectively, can make the playoffs and maybe even become the first team to make the Super Bowl after playing in the Hall of Fame game. 

Ohio sports betting sites and apps are coming in early 2023, and BetOhio will have the best Ohio sportsbook promo codes well ahead of next year's Hall of Fame Game.

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Contributors

Marcus Mosher covers the NFL, NFL Draft and NFL news for BetOhio.com. The managing editor of The Raiders Wire, Marcus is also a contributor to The Athletic DFW, Pro Football Weekly and FanSided, and previously wrote for FanRag Sports. He hosts Locked On Cowboys Podcast.

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