Loaded at wide receiver and possessing the No. 1 overall pick in this week’s draft, Team Michael Irvin enters the 2016 Pro Bowl as a 3.0 favorite over Team Jerry Rice ahead of Sunday night’s showdown at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Both Irvin and Rice serve as Pro Bowl leaders and general manager for the second time since the NFL switched up the all-star game’s format in 2013, however this is the first time Irvin’s squad has been favored.
Last year, Irvin’s squad was a 2.5-point underdog to Team Cris Carter but pulled off a 32-28 victory behind game MVP Matthew Stafford. Back in 2013, Rice’s unit was a 1.5-point favorite over Team Deion Sanders and managed to squeeze out a 22-21 win.
The last time the NFL’s elite were divvied up by conference, AFC vs. NFC, was the 2012 season and the AFC entered the matchup as a one-point favorite. However, the NFC came up with a 62-35 blowout win.
While odds makers at VegasInsider and Sportsbook.ag have a point spread, there has been no decision on an over/under. But it figures to range between 68 to more than 93.5 points. In 2013, the over/under was 85 points. The over/under was 93.5 points in 2014, and 68 points last season.
Irvin used the first selection in Wednesday’s draft to pick Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, and then gave three-time Pro Bowler Wilson all the weapons he could ever want in Atlanta’s Julio Jones, Cincinnati’s A.J. Green, and Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins.
Rice, who like Irvin is seeking his second victory at the helm of a Pro Bowl squad, went with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and then stacked his backfield with Vikings running Adrian Peterson, Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin, and the Jets Chris Ivory. Though Manning won’t lack for suitable targets with teammate Odell Beckham Jr. leading the receiving corps beside Miami’s Jarvis Landry, Oakland rookie Amari Cooper, and the Colts T.Y. Hilton.
Complete Roster: Here
Betting Line: Team Irvin -3
Prediction: Team Irvin over Team Rice, 42-35