AFC vs. NFC Point Spread: 2018 Pro Bowl Odds, Prediction

Payton Matthews | Tue. Jan 23 2018, 02:01 pm

Sports Interaction bettors have been treated to Sunday NFL action every week since September, and that continues this Sunday, ahead of the Feb. 4 Super Bowl, with the annual Pro Bowl. The NFC is a slight favourite over the AFC for the game in Orlando.

It’s rather amazing that the Pro Bowl takes such good betting action and gets good TV ratings in the USA because there’s essentially no defence played in the game. After a ridiculous 62-35 NFC win in Hawaii following the 2012 season, the NFL decided to go to teams chosen by Hall of Fame captains instead of AFC vs. NFC. That was fine, but you also didn’t know which players were on which squad.

Pro Bowl Point Spread and Betting Analysis

Last year, the NFL went back to AFC vs. NFC and moved the Pro Bowl from Hawaii to Orlando’s Camping World Stadium. The AFC won 20-13 to tie the all-time conference series at 22 apiece. The offensive MVP for the game was Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, and the defensive MVP was Buffalo Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, who had a late interception to clinch it. The 33 combined points were the game’s fewest since the Pro Bowl following the 1998 season.

The Pro Bowl has several rules in place to help ensure no players get injured. For example, you won’t see guys blitzing the quarterback. Players also can’t attempt to block punts, PATs or field-goal tries. There are no kickoffs, and both offences and defences must run vanilla schemes. Thus, most Pro Bowls – like the NHL and NBA All-Star Games – are very high scoring.

In addition, several annually players pull out of the Pro Bowl with “injuries” even if they could play were it a game that counts. The NFL is doing something rather interesting at this year’s game as it will honour the University of Central Florida’s football team. UCF is in Orlando and has claimed a mythical national championship for this past NCAA season as the nation’s only unbeaten team.

AFC

Of course, the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots are playing in Super Bowl LII next Sunday in Minneapolis so they will have no players competing in the Pro Bowl. Patriots starting quarterback Tom Brady was named a Pro Bowler for a franchise-record 13th time but won’t play yet again because he’s usually playing for a Super Bowl (and pulls out of the game when he’s not). Brady is being replaced by Oakland’s Derek Carr. The other quarterbacks are Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and Kansas City’s Alex Smith. The AFC offence will have a Steelers feel because running back Le’Veon Bell and receiver Antonio Brown also are in the game. NFL leading rusher Kareem Hunt, a Chiefs rookie, also is a Pro Bowler. The AFC head coach is Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin.

NFC

Six Eagles were named to the game, including quarterback Carson Wentz and top defensive player Fletcher Cox. Wentz, who was lost to a season-ending ACL injury in Week 14, is being replaced by Rams quarterback Jared Goff. The other NFC quarterbacks are Seattle’s Russell Wilson and New Orleans’ Drew Brees. The Saints also became the first team in 42 years with two Pro Bowl tailbacks in Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara. The NFC has won four of the past seven Pro Bowls in the conference format. The NFC head coach is New Orleans’ Sean Payton.

AFC vs. NFC Pro Bowl Prediction

NFC 38, AFC 31