Team Rice vs. Team Irvin: Experts Final Thoughts & Free NFL Pick

Nikki Adams

Sunday, January 31, 2016 10:53 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 10:53 PM UTC

The highly anticipated Pro Bowl is almost upon us. We weight in on the NFL betting lines currently trading for your last-minute NFL picks.

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Pro Bowl Picks: Team Rice +2
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Pro Bowl Betting Lines
The market went to press with Pro Bowl betting lines on Saturday, opening on a PK line. Since open doors, however, the NFL betting lines have moved up to anywhere from a 1.5-to-2-point line depending on your sportsbook of choice, with Team Irvin to the good.

That is almost entirely down to the quarterback position, you’d think. Team Irvin boasts Russel Wilson while Team Rice has the mercurial Eli Manning at the helm, and while the latter does have two Super Bowl rings – one more than Russell Wilson does – it’s the former that has been the more consistent and successful quarterback in the league over the last couple of seasons, which clearly has made an impression on the NFL betting public.

What’s more, at Russell Wilson is backed up by top NFL draft pick Jameis Winston and second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. At their disposal are several enviable weapons in Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Allen Robinson and DeAndre Hopkins.

Of course, this doesn’t mean Team Rice is shabby by comparison. It’s a star-studded cast with Odell Beckham Jr. (Team Captain) joining teammate Eli Manning, as well as Jarvis Landry, Adrian Peterson, Chris Ivory and Travis Kelce, amongst several others. At the backup quarterback position Derek Carr and Tyrod Taylor feature.


Most Declined Pro Bowl EVER
One of the reasons why odds makers held off putting up NFL odds for this game is partly down to the staggering amount of players that declined the prestigious invitation. Indeed, it’s heralded as the most declined Pro Bowl in recent memory as a total of 47 of the 133 players have decided to give the event a skip.

Most notable absentees: Cam Newton (obvious reasons), Tom Brady (typical), Carson Palmer (probably best after the NFC Conference debacle), Aaron Rodgers (mighty shame) and Ben Roethlisberger (not 100%). It’s also worth noting that Jameis Winston, the final replacement, was the eighth in line at the backup position.


Pro Bowl Betting Verdict
In spite of the massive exodus queue from Pro Bowl action this week, there are obviously still lots of fabulous players to watch in both camps. On paper, Team Irvin does strike a convincing pose. Plus the Hall of Famer led his Pro Bowl team last season to victory, all while trading as the underdogs. For our money, we’re of a mind to go against the grain and take the well-tuned tandem of Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr to lead Team Rice to victory. What the hey – it’s Pro Bowl action. Anything can happen in these hastily assembled, make-shift NFL rosters. Plus, we just like the NFL odds for our NFL picks and feel a bit contrarian.

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