Preseason betting – Lions at Steelers – Bet on a Hollywood-ish ending for Hard Knocks

Year after year, season after season for mostly this entire century, HBO’s “reality tv” series Hard Knocks is a trainwreck – if a trainwreck were equal parts tedious and hilarious, plus drawn out over several weeks’ worth of Thursday nights.

Seriously, if it’s not Jerry Jones crawling through a joke to a punchline he’s told 1,000 times before, it’s Jeff Fisher monotonously intoning about how He’s “not gonna go 7-9.” If it’s not some obese linebackers coach babbling something about blowing out an Achilles tendon while storming the beaches of Normandy on D-day, it’s a bored HBO production crew devoting 10 minutes to the dog mascot of the front office.

In this season of Hard Knocks featuring the Detroit Lions, audiences have been subjected to metric tons of feelgood kinda cheerleading in an “I love you, man” cadence from really the only even slightly colorful member of the Honolulu blue lot, hyperactive head coach Dan Campbell. Campbell seems an earnest enough chap, but the clips of Campbell imparting some useful information or delineating some strategy are the same infuriatingly shallow, cliché-filled and fuck-ridden nonsense so characteristic of this series. In its dispensation of quality football knowledge, Hard Knocks is about as shallow as a Death Valley tidepool.

As for stuff like this, maybe the sausage-factory rules should come into effect sometimes…

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(So what is he saying? The players need to do more laundry...?)

And herein lies the danger for HBO’s intended audience: Folks who know just enough about football who can also accept with credulity the “reality” in “reality tv.” Looking at the inspiring stories of the plucky LB Malcolm “Rodrigo” Rodriguez and/or hometown hero and first-round draft pick Aidan Hutchinson, one might start believing in the possibilities for the 2022 Detroit Lions – Look at how much passion they have! Look how they beat the Indianapolis Colts, a playoff team! Look at the grit! Lions, fuck, yeah!

Except that, don’t both Hutchinson and Rodriguez look, um, way too slight for this game? Isn’t Rodriguez going to win a nice roster spot because he’s a high-energy hustlebug with a favorable contract for the team? And how about the complete whitewashing of starting QB Jared Goff from this entire exercise, as though someone wished to avoid reminded us that he’s twice been on the series before, both times with teams that would miss the playoffs.

Which brings us to the final game of the 2022 NFL preseason and the final episodes of Hard Knocks (Training Camp edition) for 2022. On Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, the HBO stars face one of the league’s nemeses of the series with the following line:

Detroit Lions +5½ at Pittsburgh Steelers, over/under 39 points

Now, come on. Call NFLbets a conspiracy-monger or label us paranoid, but we can’t help but believe that nothing short of a cliffhanging ending to the game will do. (On second thought, a Lions blowout would work as well, but lopsided preseason blowouts are rare enough.)

Granted, interest in theory should be higher for Lions-Steelers than that of a standard preseason game, based on the Hard Knocks series for one and the presence of one of the country’s most popular football teams – and CBS makes this the only 2022 preseason game to be broadcast/streamed nationally. If the NFL doesn’t do anything humanly possibly to keep Detroit in this game, NFLbets would be shocked. Who doesn’t want these lovable, plucky fucking bunch of guys to win against a team which reportedly refuses to be the main subject of Hard Knocks? Take the Detroit Lions +5½ at Pittsburgh.

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