The Super Bowl is still a week away, but there is a “competitive” football game this week. That’s right. We are talking about the Pro Bowl. Strap in, degenerates.
*Line taken from the Westgate Superbook on Thursday evening
AFC vs. NFC (-1) – 55.5-point total
Rich: We finally made it. After 20 weeks of mundane, team-based action, we finally get what we’ve all been waiting for…our favorite NFL players playing dodgeball!
The Pro Bowl is here and offers those who just can’t help themselves an opportunity to bet on a “competitive” NFL game this weekend. For those in that camp, we’ll run down a few Pro Bowl trends. From the 2006 game on, underdogs are not only 8-3 against the spread – one was a pick’em – but have also outright won seven of those games.
Over that same timespan, since 2006, Pro Bowl games have averaged 67.4 combined points, but they recently have been fairly low scoring despite the assumption these exhibition games feature a ton of points. The past two Pro Bowl games have featured just 47 and 33 total points, and both teams combined for 47 or fewer combined points in three of the past five All-Star games. Over that 12-year period mentioned, the under has hit six times, but four of those have been in the last five years.
I don’t have anything remotely close to a take on how this game will play out on the field because there’s just too much variance in playing time and actual effort put forth. Recent trends, however, suggest you should money line whichever team in which you feel confident. While there has been value in the game total going under recently, we do inherently know that the league would prefer the game to feature scoring.
Ray: Rich lays out the numbers perfectly, and there really is nothing left to add for a game which is nothing but guesswork. The recent under trend is worth noting, but it was preceded by seven seasons of almost all overs. Perhaps if the total was in the 60s it would be worth considering, but it is even lower than the current betting line on the Super Bowl, an actual game which features actual defenses.
The underdog trend is more interesting because it has a longer history and is much more lopsided. It also makes some sense. In a game devoid of much motivation, perhaps the “nobody believes in us” card holds some meaning. Yeah. That is where we are trying to handicap this game.
Given the horrific betting week from which I am still recovering and the second-half of broken trends which torpedoed my betting season, I am not confident enough to trust a blind-bet trend on an exhibition game. If I were more adventurous, though, the AFC on the money line would be my bet of choice.
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