Posted on January 27, 2019, by Travis Pulver
People watch the Pro Bowl but not because of the quality of the game. They watch it because it is the only game on and the second to last one of the season. After spending every Sunday for the last few months watching football, it just seems like the right thing to do. But bet on the game?
Most fans and the casual gambler will recoil in horror at the thought. But just like any other game, there is money to be made. You just have to know how to bet on the Pro Bowl.
The spread is going to be negligible more often than not for the Pro Bowl. This year, the NFC is a one-point favorite. You might as well just look at it as who is going to win straight up. But the over/under can be a lot of fun to bet on with the way scoring tends to go in the Pro Bowl.
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But before you lay any money down, there are certain trends you should be aware of:
- Youth: Young guys tend to be more excited about playing in the game, especially if it is there first. So, you can expect more effort out of them.
- Attrition: If there is a significant difference between the number of guys voted in that are not playing, that could be considered an advantage. But there isn’t much of a difference this year (AFC will be using 12 subs; the NFC 11)
- Starters: Don’t worry too much about who was named a starter and who wasn’t. Starting the Pro Bowl doesn’t necessarily mean someone is going to play much.
- Season stats do not matter: With the amount of effort always a question mark entering the Pro Bowl, reviewing stats from the regular season (when they tried hard) is a waste of time.
- Underdogs: 12 of the last 15 Pro Bowls have seen the underdog win against the spread.
- Moneyline: Underdogs have won nine f the last 14 Pro Bowls straight up.
- Over/Under: Historically, this has gotten a little tricky over the years. When the scores were blowing up every other year oddsmakers tried to react accordingly. Sometimes it worked; often times it didn’t, and the eventual total was dramatically different. As a result, of the last 15 games the over has been covered just seven times.
Who’s Going to Win?
The best you can do when trying to predict a winner in the Pro Bowl is make an educated guess. With all the unknown variables, it is really impossible to do much more. But to do so, that means there has to be something that could theoretically give one team an edge over the other—which the NFC has.
Familiarity can make a huge difference in this game. While it is fun to play with guys from different teams, the familiarity between teammates can be the difference in winning and losing.
The NFC is being coached by the staff of the Dallas Cowboys. Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot, and Amari Cooper will be playing. It is probably safe to say Jason Garrett will be able to call plays for his trio that will put them in a position to excel.
Or he could sit them down for most of the game because he doesn’t want them to get injured in a meaningless game. It is the Pro Bowl. Things can be unpredictable like that.
So, if you feel the need to bet on the outcome of the Pro Bowl, take the NFC.