In what most regard as the most meaningless game of the season, including the preseason, the NFL Pro Bowl is on Sunday in Orlando at the Citrus Bowl. A lot of people are clamoring to get rid of this game, but I say that it’s a nice lead-in to Super Bowl Week. The game will of course feature the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. Tom Brady will be going for his fifth Super Bowl ring, which will cover all of the fingers on his hand (because I had to tell you that much). Meanwhile, Matt Ryan has made amends for being a notorious playoff choker, but this season he’s taken his team all the way to the Super Bowl in an MVP campaign. The MVP award comes down to those two guys, Tom Brady and Matt Ryan. Both will compete in the largest game of them all next week in Houston at the Super Bowl. Until then, though, why don’t we have some fun with the Pro Bowl on Sunday.
The top-2 quarterbacks in the NFL, in my opinion, are not going to be featured in this game. They will be preparing for a much more important game next weekend. It’s important to note that the Pro Bowl format is different this season. Gone is the fantasy draft format, which I did not care for all that much. Back is the matchup of conferences, as All-Stars from the NFC take on All-Stars from the AFC. On Saturday players took part in a wacky skills competition, which for the most part, got good reviews from fans. Of particular interest was the “drone drop” competition. This was a glorified wide receiver competition, in which a football was dropped 125 ft. from the sky, where they had to nab as many balls as possible. Odell Beckham, to not many people’s surprise, came out as the victorious party.
Beckham didn’t look very Beckham like against the Packers in the Wild Card Round, but he dazzled in the drone drop. I guess, that makes up for it, a little? New rival, Dak Prescott, will have the chance to throw to Beckham, along with Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins. Cousins assumes the role that Matt Ryan would have if it weren’t for him playing in the Super Bowl. I can’t really say that Cousins is the most deserving of this spot after the Redskins choked down the stretch. A sure playoff appearance turned into a headache in Washington. Let’s get to the pick below for the annual NFL All-Star game known as the Pro Bowl.
AFC vs. NFC Pro Bowl Betting Odds:
vs. NFC -4.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
AFC vs. NFC Pick:
If you’re looking for a game that features little defense, because well all know you’ve missed college football, this is what you’re going to get at the Pro Bowl. Funny enough, there were plenty of totals in college football higher than this posted total of 80.5 in the Pro Bowl, a game players don’t care to play defense in. That just shows you how bad some defenses are in college football.
Quarterback play is the entire Pro Bowl. Receivers run free all over the field, while defenders act like they’re playing defense. Now, I will say one thing, defense has been a lot better in recent years than it was five or so years ago. It was just embarrassing the product on the field, but defenses have been going through the motions at least in the last two years.
The NFC features a quarterback rotation of Dak Prescott, Drew Brees, and Kirk Cousins. Prescott is the one in that list who sticks out to me. He will play this game hard. Not like it’s a regular season game, but he will put more effort in than any other player on the field in my opinion. Prescott had a special year as a rookie, passing for 23 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, while rushing for another 6 touchdowns. He was joined by the ultra-talented Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott rushed for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns for a well-deserved trip to this game. He is going to run hard, I don’t care what this game is.
The AFC will counter with Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, and Ben Roethlisberger. Yeah, I can’t say that’s the most impressive looking starting three, but it could be of special importance to Roethlisberger, who said he’s giving retirement a serious look at. Other than Big Ben, though, I do not expect Smith or Dalton to be too into this game. Smith has that kind of attitude that I only see him getting excited for games that matters, and Dalton is not an all-star. I can see the combo of Prescott, Elliott, and Brees getting after it early in this game. The NFC are 4.5 favorites for good reason. I see them covering, and it’s always hard for me to pass up an OVER in an all-star game.
PICK: NFC -4.5 (-110)
BONUS PICK: OVER 80.5 (-110)