The Betting Odds of the Pro Bowl’s Team Rice

Posted by Aaron . on January 30, 2016 in

In the 2016 Pro Bowl, Team Michael Irvin is favored to beat Team Jerry Rice by 3 points according to the first point spreads. Let’s take a look at the roster for Team Rice and decide the advantages and disadvantages.

You can watch the Pro Bowl on ESPN.

Offensive Chemistry for Team Rice

Since 2013, the NFL has gone away from the conference format for the Pro Bowl and instead picked Hall of Fame players to serve as “general managers” for their squads, picking players for each side sort of like kids in a playground choose sides for football at recess. Team Rice has a big advantage in their offensive chemistry.

Why? Because they chose quarterbacks and wide receivers from the same teams when they could. So you’ll have Eli Manning throwing the ball to Odell Beckham, Jr. and Derek Carr throwing the ball to Amari Cooper — two of the most explosive combinations in the NFL.

Team Rice Has the Better Running Back Tandem

At tailback, Team Rice has Adrian Peterson, the NFL’s leading rusher. Team Irvin has Devonta Freeman and Todd Gurley, two solid backs, but neither is in Peterson’s echelon yet. At fullback, Team Rice has John Kuhn, a punishing runner (and receiver) who also blocks extremely well. Those Team Irvin defenders who are thinking more about mai tais and tanning than they are about tackling will think twice before taking either of these two on.

Team Rice’s Linebacking Corps is More Solid

At linebacker, Team Rice features Julius Peppers, who has been a terror for opposing passers and runners throughout his time in the league, and Clay Matthews, who was singlehandedly almost the reason why the Packers’ defense was stout enough to get the team to the NFC divisional playoffs — and almost to the NFC Championship. Team Irvin features NaVorro Bowman, Derrick Johnson and Lavonte David, three talented players, as well as Sean Lee, but Lee’s fragility makes it less likely that he will be playing the Pro Bowl recklessly.

Weaknesses for Team Rice

Team Irvin arguably has the best quarterback with Russell Wilson. He’s always been dazzling with his mobility, but the accuracy of his passing, particularly on balls down the field, took off this year. He’ll have such terrific targets as Julio Jones, A.J. Green and DeAndre Hopkins down the field, with underrated Tyler Eifert at the tight end. Also, with Zack Martin and Travis Frederick on the Team Irvin offensive line, Team Rice will have a hard time generating much pressure — and they would have a hard time even if this were a competitive game, so with the more lax approach to defense, this will be even more of a problem for Team Rice.

Expert Betting Recommendation

Team Irvin is favored to win by three points. If you take a close look at what the two teams are bringing on offense, the decision that Team Rice made to keep quarterbacks and receivers together should pay off, making the Team Irvin defense pay. I like Team Rice to win this track meet, 49-42.