Once upon a time the NFL Pro Bowl kinda meant something. Players didn't make the big money they do now, so the extra cash for the winners acted as motivation. And conference pride, to a degree, still mattered.
But over the years, as the money became meaningless and pride waned, the Pro Bowl devolved into a semi-glorified scrimmage, and more recently an outright farce.
So in an effort to generate some interest the NFL has eschewed the conventional AFC/NFC matchup for this year's Pro Bowl and adapted a unique supposed solution; allowing NFL greats Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders to draft teams from a pool of All-Pros, and have them battle it out Sunday at Aloha Stadium out in Honolulu.
Apparently, this is the best idea they could come up with, but it remains to be seen how much NFL football betting will take place in this new format with random rosters.
The Pro Bowl Betting Line
Understandably, this “game” might be a little hard to both line and handicap. Most outlets opened their Pro Bowl betting at a pick'em, with an OVER/UNDER of around 89. In early action the line held steady, while the total was bumped to 90.
The last three Pro Bowls have averaged 98 total points.
Earlier this week Sanders took quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Cam Newton with his first two picks in the Pro Bowl draft.
Rice made New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham and Philadelphia RB LeSean McCoy his first two choices.
Rice's squad also includes Saints QB Drew Brees, Dallas RB DeMarco Murray, Chicago RB Matt Forte, two New Orleans offensive lineman, Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cleveland WR Josh Gordon, Chicago WRs Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, and St. Louis DE Robert Quinn.
Sanders' team also includes Philly QB Nick Foles, Kansas City RB Jamaal Charles, Green Bay RB Eddie Lacy, Washington RB Alfred Morris, Cincy WR AJ Green, Dallas WR Dez Bryant and TE Jason Witten, Houston defensive monster JJ Watt, and Jacksonville LB Paul Posluszny.
Carolina's Ron Rivera will coach Rice's team, while Indy's Chuck Pagano will coach Sanders' team. So Rivera will be going against his own quarterback with the Panthers, one Mr. Newton.
Of course, the rules for the Pro Bowl have changed over the years to neuter the game itself. It's surprising they haven't just put flags on the players and declared “no heavy breathing.”
The league has altered the rules once again for this year's game; among the changes will be no kickoffs, two-minute warnings and change of possessions at the end of every quarter, and a 35-second clock instead of a 40-second clock.
The shorter clock should increase the number of plays from scrimmage, while the elimination of the kickoffs – the offenses will start possessions from their 25-yard lines - might actually enhance field position.
But the lack of kickoffs also deprives Sanders' team of Cordarrelle Patterson's league-best return skills.
See Super Bowl odds, listings of hundreds of props and bonus offers on Denver vs Seattle.
If oddsmakers are right, the New Orleans vs Philadelphia Wild Card matchup will produce the best passing performance of the weekend and the best rushing performance.
Drew Brees is a 3/2 favorite to pass for the most yards as the NFL playoffs kick off Saturday. Aaron Rodgers is next at 7/2 but he faces a tough San Francisco defense and possibly messy weather in Green Bay.
Andy Dalton and Nick Foles are next at 5/1 and 7/1 respectively.
On the Wild Card rushing prop, Eagle LeSean McCoy is the even odds favorite. The rushing champion has been dynamic and is a slight betting favorite against Kansas City’s Jamal Charles at 2/1.
On the receiving yard prop, Cincinnati’s AJ Green is favored at 4/1 while Jordy Nelson is a surprise second wagering choice at 5/1.
Check out all the NFL player prop betting odds for Wild Card weekend at Bovada. And for computer predictions, trends and live NFL playoff odds, check out Odds Shark.
WILD CARD WEEKEND - Who will record the most Passing Yards?
Drew Brees (NO) QB 3/2
Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB 7/2
Andy Dalton (CIN) QB 5/1
Philip Rivers (SD) QB 7/1
Nick Foles (PHI) QB 7/1
Alex Smith (KC) QB 12/1
Andrew Luck (IND) QB 12/1
Colin Kaepernick (SF) QB 12/1
WILD CARD WEEKEND - Who will record the most Rushing Yards?
LeSean McCoy (PHI) RB 1/1
Jamaal Charles (KC) RB 2/1
Eddie Lacy (GB) RB 5/1
Ryan Mathews (SD) RB 5/1
WILD CARD WEEKEND - Who will record the most Receiving Yards?
A.J. Green (CIN) WR 4/1
Jordy Nelson (GB) WR 5/1
Randall Cobb (GB) WR 6/1
DeSean Jackson (PHI) WR 6/1
Marques Colston (NO) WR 6/1
Jimmy Graham (NO) TE 6/1
Anquan Boldin (SF) WR 9/1
T.Y. Hilton (IND) WR 9/1
Michael Crabtree (SF) WR 15/1
Dwayne Bowe (KC) WR 15/1
The Carolina Panthers are 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS over their last eight games.
The New Orleans Saints are 6-0 SU and 5-0-1 ATS in six home games this season.
One of these impressive winning streaks will come to an end Sunday night on NBC when New Orleans hosts the Carolina Panthers and the NFL online betting sites and one prediction computer says it will be the Saints starting over.
Oddsmakers had the New Orleans Saints as 3-point favorites at home, but the computers like Cam Newton to lead his team to a 28.8 to 25.3 final. It’s fitting that Carolina was the last team to beat the Saints in New Orleans back in December of last year.
“The current spread streak isn’t the only impressive stat associated with the Panthers in Week 14,” said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com. “They are 11-1 ATS in their past dozen visits to the Superdome and they are 6-1 ATS in their past seven games as underdogs.”
It’s not the only game of the week where the computers like a trend to continue.
Since starting the season off 9-0 SU and 6-3 ATS, the Kansas City Chiefs have gone 0-3 SU and ATS including two losses in three weeks to Denver. The Chiefs enter Washington to take on the Redskins as a 3-point road favorite, and the computers are predicting an extremely comfortable win and cover for the Chiefs at 28.5 to 14.9.
Washington is 0-4 SU and ATS over its last four games, while the Chiefs are 5-0 SU and ATS against the Redskins in recent years, according to the Odds Shark NFL database.
The New York Jets have fallen behind in the playoff race with an 0-3 SU and ATS slump over their last three games, but they’ll be a rare favorite Sunday at -2.5 at home against the Oakland Raiders.
Oakland is 8-4 ATS this season despite a 4-8 SU record, and could improve both records with a win on Sunday if the computer projections are correct. Oakland is projected to win outright by a score of 15.1 to 10.6 in New York; a score that would go well under the posted total of 40 points.
The total has gone OVER in 10 of the Denver Broncos' 12 games this season, and Sunday’s game at home against the Tennessee Titans is expected to go over once again. The computers predict a final score of Denver 36.6 to Tennessee 25.1.
This score would go over the current total of 48.5 points, but would land right on the nose of the current spread of Denver -11.5. Denver is 21-2 SU and 16-7 ATS over its last 23 regular season games.
Another game that saw the computer pick and the point spread in perfect lockstep was the Cincinnati vs Indianapolis game. The Bengals had been five-point home chalk (according to another NFL Odds site) and the computer was predicting a 26-21 final.
Week 14 Odds Shark Computer Picks
Cleveland (16.3) at New England (26.1)
Atlanta (17) at Green Bay (22.3)
Kansas City (28.5) at Washington (14.9)
Miami (20.4) at Pittsburgh (18.9)
NY Giants (16.4) at San Diego (21.2)
Indianapolis (21.4) at Cincinnati (26.4)
Carolina (28.8) at New Orleans (25.3)
Buffalo (17.7) at Tampa Bay (15.5)
Oakland (15.1) at NY Jets (10.6)
Tennessee (25.1) at Denver (36.6)
Houston (13.6) at Jacksonville (7.1)
Dallas (26.8) at Chicago (24.1)
Detroit (26) at Philadelphia (24.5)
Minnesota (16) at Baltimore (23)
St. Louis (20.9) at Arizona (23)
Seattle (31.5) at San Francisco (27.4)
The Carolina Panthers are 4-0 SU and ATS over their last four games, but they face an equally hot team on Sunday when they visit the San Francisco 49ers, who are 5-0 SU and ATS over their last five games.
Bookmakers list San Francisco as a 6-point favorite at home, despite some strong trends – and a computer projection – that favor Carolina.
But the computers project this game differently, giving Carolina the outright edge by a score of 30.8 to 27.9. Historically, Carolina has fared well on the road in San Francisco, owning a 5-3 SU and 7-1 ATS all-time record, according to the NFL database at OddsShark.com.
The projected 58.7 points would go well over the game’s posted total of 43.
Carolina isn’t the only team that the computers are projecting to win outright as a road underdog. Despite the fact that the New York Giants are 2-6 SU and 3-5 ATS this season, the G-men are favored by 7.5-points hosting the Oakland Raiders, who are coming off of an embarrassing 49-20 loss at home to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Oakland is being picked to get back on track against the lowly Giants this week though, edging out an outright upset by a score of 14.4 to 11. At 25.4 points, this is the week’s second lowest predicted score, and would easily stay under the game’s total of 43.5.
Lastly among underdog picks (and NFL odds updates), the Buffalo Bills are a 3-point underdog on the road against Pittsburgh this week, and are projected to win outright by a score of 16.6 to 15.4. Like New York, Pittsburgh has struggled unexpectedly this season with a 2-6 SU and ATS record through the first half of the season.
As is the case just about every week, the computers pick the Denver at San Diego game to have the week’s highest total, with Denver coming up with a 41.3 to 28.9 win. That win would give Denver the cover as a 7.5-point road favorite and go OVER the game total of 58. Denver is 8-0 on the OVER this season.
The week’s lowest projected total comes in the Jacksonville at Tennessee game, where Tennessee is picked to win 20.6 to 3 as a 13.5-point home favorite. The total is set at 41.5 points.
See all Week 10 NFL computer picks:
Denver (41.3) at San Diego (28.9)
Seattle (29.7) at Atlanta (16.3)
Washington (20.1) at Minnesota (18.2)
Philadelphia (23.2) at Green Bay (29.2)
Cincinnati (24.9( at Baltimore (19.2)
Dallas (27.4) at New Orleans (30.5)
Detroit (27.8) at Chicago (27.1)
Carolina (30.8) at San Francisco (27.9)
Miami (18) at Tampa Bay (11.9(
Oakland (14.4) at NY Giants (11)
Buffalo (16.6) at Pittsburgh (15.4)
Houston (11.6) at Arizona (18.6)
Jacksonville (3) at Tennessee (20.6)
St. Louis (17.1) at Indianapolis (28.1)
Calvin Johnson's epic Week 8 game caught the attention of oddsmakers, who pushed up numerous prop bets on Megatron for Week 9.
Can the burly wideout surpass 200 yards in a game during teh rest of the season? Oddsmakers set the 'no' bet as a -140 moneyline favorite position.
The prop wager on whether he can surpass 2000 yards total in 2013 is also a 'no' position at -500.
On the other end of the talent spectrum sits Josh McCown, the journeyman quarterback thrust into a starting role with the Chicago Bears in the Week 9 Monday Nighter.
Check out the props courtesy of Bovada and see NFL point spread betting numbers at Foxsports.com this week.
Will Calvin Johnson record 200 or more Receiving Yards in a game between Week 10-17?
Will Calvin Johnson record 2000 or more Receiving Yards in the 2013 Regular Season?
Kansas City Chiefs - Points per game allowed in the 2013 Regular Season
Kansas City Chiefs - Will they allow 17 points or less Week 9 vs Buffalo Bills
Philadelphia Eagles - Will they score an offensive TD Week 9?
Chip Kelly - Will he be the head coach of the Eagles for Game 1 of the 2014 Regular Season?
Steven Jackson - Yards per carry Week 9?
Marvin Jones - Total TD's in the 2013 Regular Season?
*Currently at 7
Trent Richardson - Will he have a 100 Yard or more Rushing game as a member of the Colts in the 2013 Regular Season?
Josh McCown - Total Passing Yards Week 9?
Josh McCown - Total TD Passes Week 9?
Over 1½ (+145)
Under 1½ (-175)
Josh McCown - Total Interceptions Week 9?
Over ½ (-275)
Under ½ (+215)
Will the Carolina Panthers make the playoffs?
Will the New York Giants make the playoffs?
NFL MVP - Odds to Win
Peyton Manning (DEN) QB 1/3
Drew Brees (NO) QB 7/2
Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB 10/1
Andrew Luck (IND) QB 18/1
Calvin Johnson (DET) WR 20/1
Tom Brady (NE) QB 33/1
Alex Smith (KC) QB 33/1
Andy Dalton (CIN) QB 33/1
Philip Rivers (SD) QB 40/1
Jimmy Graham (NO) TE 40/1
Tony Romo (DAL) QB 66/1
Football betting odds on every game every day, check it out.
On the week that featured the most passing touchdowns in NFL history (started off by Peyton Manning’s seven in Thursday night’s season opener), you would expect games to have trended heavily towards the OVER.
But that surprisingly wasn’t the case with the total splitting at eight UNDERs and eight OVERs in Week 1.
Interestingly, there was a pretty significant time-based split which would have made interesting opportunities for those who like to place an NFL teaser bet or two.
Sunday’s early games went 8-2 on the UNDER, with Minnesota 24 - Detroit 34 and Cincinnati 21 - Chicago 24 the only two games that didn’t go UNDER. But the two afternoon games, Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, and Monday Night Football all went OVER the total at 6-0.
Underdogs held the slight betting edge at 8-7-1 ATS in Week 1, with the week’s two biggest dogs covering the spread. The Oakland Raiders were an 11-point underdog on the road against the Indianapolis Colts and the Buffalo Bills were a 10-point underdog at home against the New England Patriots.
Both the Raiders and the Bills actually held leads in the fourth quarter and both went on to lose SU, but got off to 1-0 ATS starts.
Of eight ATS covers by underdogs, half came with outright upsets; Miami +2.5 over Cleveland, Tennessee +6.0 over Pittsburgh, NY Jets +4.0 over Tampa Bay, and Philadelphia +4.0 over Washington on Monday night.
The Jets came into the season considered by many to be one of the worst teams of the league along with the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars, but came away with an 18-17 upset at home over Tampa Bay.
Jacksonville certainly looks like the worst team in the league right now coming off a 28-2 loss to Kansas City, and is a 6-point underdog this Sunday in Oakland.
Along with Over/Under splits and ATS splits, home/road splits were pretty much right down the middle in Week 1 as well. Home teams held a slight edge at 9-7 SU and 8-7-1 ATS, but there wasn’t much separation here.
With everything so evenly split, we head into Week 2 still waiting for some clear 2013 season trends to develop. Computer picks courtesy of OddsShark.com.
Road Score Home Score Home ATS Total OU
NY Jets 20.8 New England 21.8 -11 NYJ 45 U
Minnesota 15.8 Chicago 28.8 -5 CHI 40.5 O
Washington 24.5 Green Bay 24.5 -7 WAS 48 O
Carolina 10.8 Buffalo 13.8 3 BUF 44.5 U
Dallas 29.2 Kansas City 30.2 0 KC 46.5 O
San Diego 26.8 Philadelphia 35.8 -7 PHI 52.5 O
Cleveland 14.2 Baltimore 15.2 -6 CLE 42.5 U
St. Louis 22.8 Atlanta 26.8 -7 STL 47.5 U
Tennessee 18 Houston 24 -8.5 TEN 42 O
Miami 24.8 Indianapolis 21.8 -1.5 MIA 42.5 O
New Orleans 24.8 Tampa Bay 17.8 3 NO 47 U
Detroit 37.2 Arizona 24.2 0 DET 48 O
Jacksonville 3 Oakland 13 -4 OAK 39.5 U
Denver 37.8 NY Giants 30.8 3.5 DEN 55.5 O
San Francisco 26.2 Seattle 25.2 -3 SF 43 O
Pittsburgh 10.5 Cincinnati 14.5 6 CIN 39.5 U
The betting action is heating up at the sportsbooks as kickoff approaches for the first Sunday of the NFL season, pushing lines up and down all across the board.
Here's a look at some of the moves that caught our attention as of Friday morning, courtesy of 5Dimes.
After going 10-6 and making the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade two seasons ago Detroit fell last year to 4-12. On the other end of the spectrum, after going 3-13 two years ago Minnesota jumped to 10-6 last year and made the playoffs.
But there seems to be a train of thought out in NFL fandom that both teams might reverse themselves again this season. That seems to be apparent in the betting on Sunday's matchup between these two division rivals. Early this week many books were listing the Lions as 3.5-point home favorites over the Vikes.
But as of Friday morning many of those books had bumped Detroit to upwards of -6, according to OddsShark.com.
Kansas City hit rock bottom last year, going 2-14 and canning coach Romeo Crennel. However, the Chiefs got lucky when Philly tired of Andy Reid, and snatched him up.
They also upgraded at quarterback with the addition of ex-Niner Alex Smith. Jacksonville, meanwhile, also went 2-14 last year and also changed head coaches, but they just don't seem to have the same immediate potential for improvement as Kansas City.
Bettors seem to be latching on to those ideas, because the Chiefs have been bet from 2.5-point road favorites for Sunday's game at the Jags across the magic number to -4.5 points.
Other significant line moves include the Colts, coming off their impressive first season with Andrew Luck at QB, being bet from -7.5 over the Raiders to -10.5; the Buccaneers getting bet from -2 over the hapless Jets to -4; the Cardinals getting bet down from +6 at the Rams to +4.5; and the Texans getting bumped from -3 at the Chargers on Monday night to -5.
Finally, the biggest move on the OVER/UNDER board has seen Sunday's Bears/Bengals game get bet down from 45 points to 41.5 points.
Check out more NFL football betting odds on all Week 1 games and beyond.
When you have led the NFL in passing in four of seven seasons, it's natural that your name would appear near the top of passing yardage odds each season.
Hence, it's perfectly natural to see Drew Brees at 4/1 at online sportsbook Bovada, as they announced their passing yard props, receiving yard props and rushing yard props for 2013.
The New Orleans pivot has surpassed 5,000 yards the past two seasons. A trio of gunslingers are close behind him and those with NFL betting tips on profiting from props can tell you all of them are legitimate threats.
Aaron Rodgers has never led the league in passing, but he is a 6/1 bet this year. Matthew Stafford in Detroit is 13/2 and perennial MVP threat Peyton Manning is fourth at 7/1.
Tom Brady is 12/1 and he led the NFL in passing in 2005 and 2007.
On the rushing yardage props, the NFL odds focus on reigning MVP Adrian Peterson. He is 11/4, comfortably ahead of Seattle's Marshawn Lynch at 7/1.
Check out the passing and rushing yard props below.
Who will record the most Passing Yards in the 2013 Regular Season?
Drew Brees (NO) QB 4/1
Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB 6/1
Matthew Stafford (DET) QB 13/2
Peyton Manning (DEN) QB 7/1
Matt Ryan (ATL) QB 10/1
Tom Brady (NE) QB 12/1
Tony Romo (DAL) QB 15/1
Andrew Luck (IND) QB 15/1
Eli Manning (NYG) QB 20/1
Jay Cutler (CHI) QB 28/1
Philip Rivers (SD) QB 33/1
Matt Schaub (HOU) QB 33/1
Cam Newton (CAR) QB 33/1
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) QB 33/1
Sam Bradford (STL) QB 40/1
Carson Palmer (ARI) QB 40/1
Josh Freeman (TB) QB 40/1
Andy Dalton (CIN) QB 40/1
Joe Flacco (BAL) QB 40/1
Colin Kaepernick (SF) QB 40/1
Robert Griffin III (WAS) QB 50/1
Ryan Tannehill (MIA) QB 50/1
Alex Smith (KC) QB 50/1
Russell Wilson (SEA) QB 66/1
Michael Vick (PHI) QB 66/1
Mark Sanchez (NYJ) QB 200/1
Who will record the most Rushing Yards in the 2013 Regular Season?
Adrian Peterson (MIN) RB 11/4
Marshawn Lynch (SEA) RB 7/1
Doug Martin (TB) RB 10/1
Arian Foster (HOU) RB 10/1
Alfred Morris (WAS) RB 12/1
Jamaal Charles (KC) RB 14/1
C.J. Spiller (BUF) RB 14/1
Trent Richardson (CLE) RB 16/1
Chris Johnson (TEN) RB 18/1
Ray Rice (BAL) RB 18/1
LeSean McCoy (PHI) RB 20/1
Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC) RB 20/1
Stevan Ridley (NE) RB 25/1
Matt Forte (CHI) RB 28/1
Steven Jackson (ATL) RB 28/1
Frank Gore (SF) RB 33/1
Demarco Murray (DAL) RB 33/1
Darren McFadden (OAK) RB 33/1
Reggie Bush (DET) RB 40/1
Lamar Miller (MIA) RB 40/1
Montee Ball (DEN) RB 40/1
Ryan Mathews (SD) RB 50/1
Rashard Mendenhall (ARI) RB 50/1
Ahmad Bradshaw (IND) RB 50/1