2017 Pro Bowl Betting Analysis

2017 Pro Bowl Betting Analysis

The 2017 Pro Bowl kicks off this Sunday at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. After three years where teams were drafted by former NFL stars, the league announced that it would return to the conference format which had been used for the previous 42 years. The rosters were announced on December 20, with Jason Garrett coaching the NFC team and Andy Reid coaching the AFC team.

On Thursday afternoon, the NFC opened as 5-point favorites at 5Dimes, with the total listed at 74. Since 2004, the underdog has gone 10-3 against the spread (ATS) and 7-5 straight up (SU) in the Pro Bowl. Interestingly, no Pro Bowl spread has ever exceeded 5.5, but the NFC moved from -5 to -5.5 in early action.

Bookmaker, one of the market-setting offshore sportsbooks, posted their Pro Bowl line the following day with some major discrepancies. Although 5Dimes had listed the over/under at 74.5, Bookmaker opened their total 8-points higher at 82.5. They also listed the NFC as a smaller favorite, opening at -4.

The table below displays the performance of underdogs over the past 13 Pro Bowls.

YearUnderdogFavoriteUnderdog ScoreFavorite ScoreOddsResult
2016Team RiceTeam Irvin27492.5L
2015Team IrvinTeam Carter32282.5W
2014Team SandersTeam Rice21221.5W
2013NFCAFC62351.5W
2012AFCNFC59415.5W
2011NFCAFC55410W
2010AFCNFC41342.5W
2009AFCNFC30212.5L
2008NFCAFC42303W
2007NFCAFC28313.5W
2006NFCAFC23174W
2005NFCAFC27383.5L
2004NFCAFC55523W

In terms of the total, the over has gone 7-6 since 2004 including four consecutive overs prior to the format change. Bettors always love taking overs, but that’s especially true for the Pro Bowl. There’s only been one instance in which the majority of bettors took the under, and that happened in 2008 when only 43% of bettors took the over. That was largely influenced by three consecutive Pro Bowls going under the closing total.

The table below displays the Pro Bowl total trends over the past 13 seasons.

YearHome TeamVisitor TeamHome ScoreVisitor ScorePoints ScoredOddsResult
2016Team RiceTeam Irvin27497674.5Over
2015Team IrvinTeam Carter32286068.5Under
2014Team SandersTeam Rice21224389Under
2013NFCAFC62359779.5Over
2012NFCAFC415910075Over
2011NFCAFC55419666.5Over
2010AFCNFC41347557Over
2009NFCAFC30215165.5Under
2008NFCAFC42307262Over
2007NFCAFC28315964Under
2006AFCNFC17234067Under
2005AFCNFC38276566Under
2004NFCAFC555210751.5Over

Historically there have been two main schools of thought for Pro Bowl bettors: take the underdog on the moneyline and pound the over. The reasoning is simple enough — neither team plays defense which leads to high-scoring games and unpredictability. This erratic scoring disproportionately favors the underdog since bettors would be receiving plus money. Our research confirms that has been an effective strategy.

The average closing total was 65.4 under the conference format and 77.3 under the fantasy draft format. Oddsmakers steadily increasing their Pro Bowl totals, and I would expect that this total will continue to climb as the inevitable influx of public money takes the over. If you’re interested in taking the over, it’s probably best to act now. If you’re interested in taking the under, it’s probably better to wait until the number is artificially inflated.

These numbers are subject to change before kickoff, so bettors should be sure to visit our free NFL odds page for the latest lines, injuries, public betting trends and more.

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David Solar

David is the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He specializes in sports betting analytics and creating data-driven betting systems.

1 Comment
  • Kyle
    January 30, 2017 at 1:49 am

    When i saw the under was 80.5 i was like i need to put my entire bankroll on this, my pre game prediction was no more than 50 at the most. Wish i had a million, easy 900k for all those high rollers.

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