For the first time since 2020, the NFL Pro Bowl returns to the forefront of the league’s two-week build-up to the Super Bowl. Last year’s installment of the highly entertaining AFC vs. NFC showdown was canceled due to the COVID pandemic.
The AFC has dominated this game in recent years, winning four straight Pro Bowls since 2016. Predictably, the top sportsbooks peg the AFC as the slight favorites to win once again.
AFC vs. NFC
Sunday, February 6, 2022 – 03:00 PM EST at Allegiant Stadium
NFL Odds and Lines
Currently, FanDuel Sportsbook has the AFC priced at -120 and the NFC at +100 in the moneyline betting markets. The point spread for this game is nestled delicately on a 1.5-point spread with the AFC to the good, and the total is set to 62.5 points with both the over and under juiced to -110.
Initially, the game opened as a pick’em, but the line jumped out to -1.5 quickly as the NFC’s list of dropouts grew. Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and Cooper Kupp are some of the key game-changing players that will be giving the Pro Bowl a miss for various reasons.
Similarly, the total opened on 61.5 points before ticking up to 62.5 points. This is interesting considering the NFC’s absentee list includes two of the game’s most prolific passers. In recent memory, the Pro Bowl has trended towards the over, including the last Pro Bowl that resulted in a 38-33 win for the AFC. It’s this trend that is the likely catalyst for the public betting up the over.
Mike Vrabel Leads AFC
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is set to lead a star-studded cast at the Allegiant Stadium. Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert are amongst some of the biggest stars on the roster, along with running backs Jonathan Taylor, Nick Chubb and Najee Harris who replaces Bengals’ star rusher Joe Mixon.
Tyreek Hill is expected to lead the wide receivers corps that includes Stefon Diggs and Keenan Allen. As well, tight ends Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews will also make an appearance at this year’s Pro Bowl.
On the defensive side of the ball, Tyrann Mathieu is set to lead the charge. He will be joined by T.J. Watt, Myles Garrett, Matt Judon, Denzel Perryman, J.C. Jackson and Darius Leonard to name a few.
Matt LaFleur Leads NFC
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur is tasked with leading the NFC to their first victory in five years. Making his task that much more difficult will be the absence of his star quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the retirement of Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time.
Instead, LaFleur will have to rely on the quarterbacking services of Kyler Murray, Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson. This is a decent trio of quarterbacks, but admittedly a step down from Rodgers and Brady.
The running back group is solid with Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara and James Connor. However, the receiving corps is an advantage for the NFC with Justin Jefferson, Deebo Samuel, Mike Evans and CeeDee Lamb. Joining the offense will be tight ends George Kittle and rookie Kyle Pitts.
On the flipside, the defense gives the NFC a fighting chance with players such as Nick Bosa, Josh Sweat, Jonathan Allen, Vita Vea, Chandler Jones, Trevon Diggs and Budda Baker, to name a few, converging together.
NFL Predictions and Picks
It’s easy to understand why the bookmakers favor the AFC. They have an obvious advantage in all facets of the game.
In the main, though, the sheer quality at the quarterback position gives the AFC its greatest advantage over the NFC to win this game. So, for those looking to back the AFC, grab the -1.5 point spread with your NFL picks now before the line ticks up.
NFL bettors love a good shootout. Hence, the over is the popular pick here. There is a chance this game might go under 62.5 points given the absentees at the quarterback position.
However, this game has trended towards the over in recent years because players are taking a lax approach to it. It’s a meaningless game after all. Nobody wants to risk getting hurt and ruining their prospects for the coming season.
Pro Bowl Pick: AFC -1.5 (-110) at FanDuel