A Look at the Pro Bowl’s Team Irvin Betting Odds
Team Irvin enters the Pro Bowl as 3-point favorites according to the first point spreads. The NFL’s all-star game is this Sunday in Honolulu, Hawaii, at Aloha Stadium. After the roster was set last Sunday, the two “general managers”, Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice, drafted their squads, much like boys do at recess when choosing sides for a football game. Let’s look at some of the advantages that Team Irvin has going into this game.
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Team Irvin drafted three quarterbacks that have a lot in common, in Russell Wilson, Jameis Winston and Teddy Bridgewater. Wilson is the most complete quarterback of the three, having elevated his passing game to new heights this season as a response to the dwindling strength of the running game. However, the other two quarterbacks have shown strong arms — and swift feet. Given the lackluster defense that usually goes on in Pro Bowls, you can expect Team Irvin’s quarterbacks to wreak havoc on the field, taking off if the coverage down the field is too tight and pass protection starts to break down.
Superior Wide Receiving Corps
With Julio Jones and A.J. Green as the primary receiving options, Team Irvin has a more seasoned pairing than Odell Beckham Jr. and Amari Cooper, the top pair for Team Rice. While Beckham and Cooper are more explosive, Jones and Green have been more consistent in their production, and they have just as much speed. If you add in the tight ends (Tyler Eifert for Team Irvin and Travis Kelce for Team Rice), that’s an additional advantage in potential targets for the Team Irvin offense.
Superior Offensive Line
You don’t usually see 4-12 teams send multiple players to the Pro Bowl, so the fact that Zack Martin and Travis Frederick are both offensive linemen in the game from the Dallas Cowboys shows you their relative strength. They have gained a reputation for working as shutdown linemen, opening up holes for the running game and keeping pass rushers out of the backfield. There’s not a lot of intense defense in the Pro Bowl, so having the better offensive line will give Team Irvin even more time to operate the passing game.
The Dallas Cowboys also have a kicker in the Pro Bowl — the nearly automatic Dan Bailey. For kicks inside 50 yards, Bailey has the best percentage in the NFL over the past few seasons. So if the offense stalls within field goal range, Bailey is an even more reliable option than Josh Brown, the selection for Team Rice. While Team Rice has a speedier kick returner in Tyler Lockett, Team Irvin chose Darren Sproles, who has shown a knack over the years for springing the big return at just the right time.
Expert Betting Prediction
Like many Pro Bowls in the past, this will turn into a track meet. However, I like Team Rice to come out on top in this one, 49-42.