It may be Super Bowl bye week, but that doesn't mean it has to be a bye week for the NFL betting crowd. There's still the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, which has been so close to a 50-50 proposition that it almost a coin toss.
The Pro Bowl returns to Hawaii this season after last year's brief stop in the Super Bowl city, which in 2010 was Miami. The AFC defeated the NFC last season 41-34 with Matt Schaub collecting MVP honors.
That win snapped a short two-game winning streak by the NFC and split the last 10 Pro Bowls down the middle with each conference winning five times. Going back 40 years, you guessed - 20 wins for the AFC and 20 for the NFC.
The NFC is currently a slim 1.5-point favorite in the All-Star event at Sportsbook.ag and that shouldn't come as a surprise considering the large number of AFC starters that have pulled out due to injury. That list includes QB Tom Brady, RB Maurice Jones-Drew, WR Andre Johnson, and TE Antonio Gates.
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The large number of injuries for the AFC will see either Philip Rivers or Peyton Manning get the start at QB, while rounding out the rest of the starting lineup should be Arian Foster, Dwayne Bowe or Brandon Lloyd, and Marcedes Lewis. Reggie Wayne will also be in as one of the lone AFC starters to actually play.
On the NFC side all of the offensive starters are currently ready to go. The lineup will include QB Michael Vick, RB Michael Turner, WRs Roddy White and Calvin Johnson, and TE Jason Witten.
Total bettors have profited handsomely in the past decade with the OVER prevailing in 9 of the past 11 games.
The list of injured starters doesn't sum up all of this weekend's Pro Bowl no-shows. Any Packers and Steelers are also out due to the upcoming Super Bowl. That leaves six Packers to be replaced and four Steelers. A few of those more notable names include Greg Jennings, Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson, James Harrison, and Troy Polamalu.
The easiest decision for bettors to make this weekend should be how to bet the total, which was set at 62. That may seem quite high, but it should be considering the OVER is 9-2 in the last 11 Pro Bowls. In fact, the final score has fallen below 50 only once in the last 10 Pro Bowls, while has eclipsed the 60-point mark six times.
If you're looking for an MVP prop bet choice one of the obvious ones would be Michael Vick. After Schaub's MVP win last year a QB has claimed the award four of the last seven years. Since Vick is the only QB guaranteed to start right now that makes him the most logical pick.
The only former Pro Bowl MVPs back this year with a shot at a repeat win are Manning, Adrian Peterson, and Larry Fitzgerald.