Before we get to the showdown between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl 56, we have the Pro Bowl. It is never easy, but let’s look at the NFL odds for the 2022 Pro Bowl and try and figure out what linemakers were thinking in setting them.
2022 Pro Bowl Odds
There are three main bets on every football game. We have the spread, the total, and the moneyline. We’ll go through each one and try and figure out what, if anything, it means for how the game might play out.
The spread: AFC -1
It’s always funny when sportsbooks do this. Why set this at AFC -1? They could just make it a pick ’em.
There’s only so much analysis we can do on Pro Bowl betting odds. We have mostly the best players from each conference facing off in an exhibition. Perhaps the AFC has a slightly better roster, but ultimately, this game comes down to effort and the final few minutes.
In most Pro Bowls, neither team starts really trying to win until the second half of the fourth quarter. The best we can do in utilizing information to predict the outcome of the game is to try and figure out who might be in the game late in the fourth quarter.
For the NFC, we’re probably looking at Russell Wilson at quarterback. In the AFC, it should be Mac Jones. That’s advantage NFC for me, which is why it’s strange the sportsbooks decided either side needed to be even a slight favorite, let alone the AFC.
The moneyline: AFC -120
Although the AFC has won four straight Pro Bowls, that’s no reason to think they will win again. As always, the game is a toss-up.
The interesting thing about betting odds is that more often than not, they are not influenced by what the sportsbooks think will actually happen but rather what the bettors are doing. I’ve seen sportsbooks have to move the coin toss for the Super Bowl off of -115 on both sides because so many bettors were betting tails.
If you’re a bettor trying to find any little edge, the Pro Bowl actually may have one. The NFC at even money or better is an objectively good value because this truly is 50-50 on both sides. It’s possible bettors skew a bit toward the AFC, so sportsbooks are accounting for that and trying to get some NFC money. If I were going to bet the Pro Bowl, I would take them up on their offer and back the NFC at better odds.
The total: 61
Depending on where you look, you can find the total at roughly 61 points. Historically, the Pro Bowl favors offense more often than not. Defenders aren’t usually laying out big hits (sorry, Brian Moorman), and sometimes they flat out let the offense score.
From 2010-2013, the Pro Bowl saw an average of 61 points per game. Since 2014, scoring has been down a bit, with teams failing to reach a combined 50 points five times. Each year is different, and it all depends upon how seriously the defensive players take the game and how much effort they put in to get stops.
While I’m a bettor that prefers unders, I’d be terrified of taking one in the Pro Bowl. There’s time to bet based on value and time to bet to have fun. This is the latter. If you are going to bet on the total, go with the over. Have a good time with it. Hope that after a one-year hiatus, the players in the game are looking to put on a show and give us a shootout.