Our Pro Bowl Picks are in! This will be the only football action for those wanting to make NFL picks can have this weekend. Hey, beggars cannot be choosy and if you want Pro Bowl betting odds to follow, this is your best choice.
If you have been reading the comments from the players who are in this year’s Pro Bowl, they are honored it be in the game, but given the preference, Hawai’i is the choice over Phoenix.
Last year’s format worked terrifically, with former players as “head coaches” and being there more from an inspirational standpoint to get the players motivated.
It was a welcome change after years of what amounted to a touch football game from players, who were more concerned about not getting hurt than actually playing to win.
NFL football handicappers and anyone making Pro Bowl betting picks will be interested to see if this last year’s trend continues from an effort perspective or did those playing just not want to be criticized again.
Let’s take a look at the rosters and figure out if Team Carter or Team Irvin has the edge.
Get our Take on the Game That Really Matters:
Super Bowl Picks: Patriots vs. Seahawks
Breaking Down the Offenses
Coach John Harbaugh and his staff will be in charge of Team Carter and they have quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Drew Brees and Andy Dalton.
What stands out about this trio is who a couple of the wide receivers are, namely T.Y. Hilton and A.J. Green. At this time there is no way to know when they pass-catchers will play, but it is safe to assume the majority of their playing time will happen their quarterback from the regular season is in the game, which creates an inherit advantage.
Coach Jason Garrett will be running the show for Team Irvin and their signal callers’ roster includes Tony Romo, Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan. One could make the argument this is the stronger group and they also will have two receivers that played with these quarterbacks in Jason Witten and Golden Tate.
When comparing the two offensive lines, I’ll give the edge to Team Irvin, who has three Dallas linemen, who would know more about Romo’s tendencies and having DeMarco Murray in the backfield is a plus from a continuity point of view.
In considering the running backs, Murray is a perfect fit for his team, but Jamaal Charles and Alfred Morris offer more explosiveness and both could go the distance with a seam, which can easily happen in such a contest because defensive players are playing on instinct rather than schemes they are used to.
Breaking Down the Defenses
Any defense which has J.J. Watt is going to be good and with his competitive motor, he’ll be a force. Watt will be surrounded with three Pro Bowlers each from Buffalo (DE Mario Williams, DT Marcell Dareus and DT Kyle Williams) and Kansas City (DT Dontari Poe, LB Justin Houston and LB Tamba Hali), which on the surface sets up Team Carter nicely to stop the run and rush the passer.
Team Irvin on the other hand looks to be more geared to rushing the passer. Here we find pocket-collapsers like DE Cameron Wake, DE Robert Quinn, DE DeMarcus Ware, DT Geno Atkins, LB Von Miller, LB Clay Matthews and LB Elvis Dumervil. Whatever they do not take care of, tackling-machine Luke Kuechly will likely finish the rest.
In reviewing the two secondaries, Team Irvin could have a slight edge because of the man to man skills of cornerbacks Joe Haden, Vontae Davis and Brent Grimes. Not that CB Patrick Peterson, Aqib Talib, Antonio Cromartie and Sam Shields are bad; they can just be beaten more regularly.
Early on it has not been easy to find NFL odds on Sunday’s ESPN telecast. I found a site that had the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas with Team Carter at -2 with a total of 78, which I’m not certain is 100 percent accurate. The only other number I found at various sportsbooks as of Friday morning was 5Dimes.eu posting a total of 73, which was down from 76.5.
Regardless, I prefer the overall roster and diversity of Team Irvin and this would my side action play.