When you think of the NFL Pro Bowl, “offense” is likely the first word to enter your mind.
The game often resembles what happens on the schoolyard – throw the ball deep, score the touchdown, repeat. The over-under numbers in the Pro Bowl are sometimes 25-30 points (or more) higher than regular season games.
But last year, the Pro Bowl threw us a curveball. Two of them, actually. First, the league ditched the traditional NFC vs. AFC format. In hopes of jazzing up the game, the NFL selected two Hall of Famers – Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders – to draft the teams, conference and even team affiliation didn’t matter.
Then the game itself was not what we’ve been accustomed to seeing. It was competitive and low-scoring. Team Rice defeated Team Sanders 22-21. That’s usually a halftime score for the Pro Bowl. It goes without saying, the UNDER hit.
The NFL kept the same draft strategy this season – Cris Carter and Michael Irvin chose their rosters a few evenings ago.
So when Team Carter and Team Irvin meet Sunday (6:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN), will we see a similar game to last year’s?
We’ll have to wait to see. But the sportsbooks are predicting a close contest and expect about 3 more touchdowns to be scored.
Here are the Pro Bowl odds you need to know:
Pro Bowl Point Spread
Pinnacle Sports: Team Carter -2.5
Bovada: Team Carter -2
Westgate: Team Carter -2.5
BetOnline: Team Carter -2.5
Point spreads for the Pro Bowl are generally under a touchdown. Last season’s game mostly saw Team Rice as a 1-to-1.5 point favorite and they won 22-21. In some books, it pushed. In others, Team Sanders covered.
The underdog had won the previous 2 games (NFC vs. AFC) straight up.
Prior to last season’s game, the margin of victory had been 7 points or more in 6 straight contests.
Before 2014’s Pro Bowl, the last time a favorite covered the spread was after the 2008 season when the NFC defeated the AFC 30-21. The NFC were 2.5-point favorites.
Pro Bowl Over-Under
Pinnacle Sports: 68.5
In last year’s Pro Bowl, the first time the game used the draft to decide the teams, the total points came in at just 43, which was less than half of what the over-under was placed at by most major sportsbooks. Many books had the O/U between 89 and 91 points.
It was just the second Pro Bowl in the past 15 to go under 50 total points.
The point totals for the previous 4 Pro Bowls (when it was AFC vs. NFC), were 97, 100, 96 and 75 – giving the OVER easy victories each time.
The last time the UNDER hit was the game after the 2008 season, when the point total were 51 (the NFC won 30-21).
Pro Bowl Money Line
Pinnacle Sports: Team Carter 1.689 … Team Irvin 2.310
Westgate: Team Carter -140 … Team Irvin +120
BetOnline: Team Carter -130 … Team Irvin +110