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NFL Hall of Fame Game preview

The NFL betting season officially kicks off this weekend with the start of the preseason, the Hall of Fame Game from Fawcett Stadium. Betting on the preseason can be a good way to pad your bankroll for the start of the regular season, where the real money is to be made.

This year's game features the Cincinnati Bengals and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are a slim 2.5-point favorite despite a pretty lame history in the Hall of Fame Game. The 'boys have played in the HOF game three times before and they lost every time. Their last HOF game defeat came in 1999 when they fell to the Browns in overtime.

The Bengals have only played in two HOF games and they're 1-1 SU. Their last HOF game appearance was in 1988 when they defeated the then Los Angeles Rams. The Cowboys may be favored in Sunday's game, but don't expect their starters to see the field very much. Tony Romo should get the start, but he likely won't play anymore than the first quarter. Romo complained of a sore arm earlier this week so Wade Phillips could decide to cut his playing time down to a single series to avoid what could be a catastrophic injury. When Romo does exit the game Jon Kitna and third-stringer Stephen McGee will finish off the game.

The players Cowboys fans had hoped to see most in the preseason may not play a single snap until September. Dallas first round draft pick Dez Bryant was supposed to use the preseason to prepare for a possible starting gig during the regular season. Instead he'll be out 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain. The Bengals should play Carson Palmer for at least the first quarter Sunday night to get him acclimated with his new-look receiving corps.

Cincinnati still has Chad Ochocinco and they acquired Antonio Bryant and Terrell Owens (both former Cowboys) who will both need time to gel with Palmer. Also looking to learn the Cincinnati system is 2010 draft pick Jermaine Gresham at tight end. Bryant and Owens aren't the only former Cowboys looking to make a mark on their former team. Cincinnati is also kicking the tires on Adam “Pacman” Jones and with Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall both banged up he could end up starting on Sunday night.