Expect Easy Points With The Return To AFC vs. NFC Format In Pro Bowl

Camping World Stadium image

Kevin Stott

Friday, January 27, 2017 3:04 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 3:04 PM UTC

The NFL Pro Bowl returns to its normal AFC vs. NFC format this year and moves from the Aloha State to the Sunshine State for Sunday night’s showdown which will see Andy Reid and his Chiefs coaching staff leading the AFC against Jason Garrett and the Cowboys’ staff in charge of the NFC.


The lightly wagered on NFL Pro Bowl moves from Honolulu to Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida (Partly Cloudy, 48°) this year. It is also back to the old AFC vs. NFC format after seeing former pros like Michael Irvin, Cris Carter, Jerry Sanders, and Deion Sanders serve as head coaches and “drafted” selected Pro Bowlers healthy and willing to play in this now near-exhibition game the last three years. This time, the two coaching staffs will be Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys and Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Offshore sportsbook 5Dimes opened the NFC as solid 5-point favorites before being bet up to 5½ (-120) Thursday with the total opening at 73½, being bet up to 76 before going back down to 74½. Team Irvin easily covered the 3-point Spread against Team Rice last year, 49-27, with the total going Over.


Which Roster has the Better Skill Position Players?

The two teams appear fairly even in the backfield with Andy Dalton, Alex Smith, Philip Rivers at QB and Demarco Murray, Jay Ajayi, Melvin Gordon at RB for the AFC. On the other side, Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees at QB and Ezekiel Elliott, Jordan Howard, Darren Sproles at RB for the NFC.

At WR, the slightest edge to the NFC with Dez Bryant, Odell Beckham, Mike Evans and Doug Baldwin over the AFC’s Jarvis Landry, Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas and TY Hilton although with Travis Kelce and Delanie Walker at TE. The AFC evens out that perceived edge at receiving positions with the older Jimmy Graham (30) and Greg Olsen (31) at that spot on the NFC roster.

Two possible edges for the AFC may come from their special teams in the form of Ravens PK Justin Tucker who was a remarkable 38-for-39 of FG Attempts this season and Kansas City Chiefs KR and electric Rookie Tyreek Hill (6 TDs) who will likely be used on Offense and who has proven he can score in the blink of an eye.


Why the Over Trend May Resurface

In the three Pro Bowl games with the former pros serving as coaches, an average of 59.7 ppg were scored while in the previous 7 games played under the conventional AFC vs. NFC format, the average game saw a robust 78.3 ppg, with 4 straight Overs before that change in format. So can we expect a flood of points here and potentially 75-90 lazy points being scored once again? With battering ram Elliott and Lucky Charm Sproles on one side, lightning bolt Hill and waterbug Hilton on the other, two old gunslingers in Brees and Rivers and some weaker-than-weak “tackling” by Defenders in this game, then the answer has to be a resounding “yes.”


Predicted Final Score: NFC 45 AFC 41Free 2017 Pro Bowl Pick: Over 82½Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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