I'm a softy for All-Star Games -- and today is the NFL Pro Bowl, played in Hawaii, Sunday evening, ET. It is always so interesting to me how the sportsbooks' lines are so "sharp." But, after all, they are in the business of making money. On the other hand, they need to balance risk so that they are not too heavy on one side or the other. They may sometimes lean lines to take advantage of public sentiment, but they also need to manage risk.
The line for the Pro Bowl opened with the NFC favored by 1 to 1.5 points and the total points scored set at 62.5 to 63. This total is high for regular NFL games, but this is an end-of-season all-star game, where hard-hitting defense will be kept to a minimum.
A quick scan of recent Pro Bowl scores shows that the totals (over/under) for the NFL's All-Star game hovers right around the opening total. Interestingly, many bettors love scoring -- and note some scores like last year's total of 75 -- or 2004 where the total surpassed 100 points! As a result, public sentiment is on the "over" -- and has driven the line up a bit, which does give value for the under. I like the under. If you want a side, I lean to the NFC.
PS: Under moved up to 64 at the time of this post; and at 2pm ET, is at 66; I will be waiting on this one...
515pm ET = 66.5