For the fourth year in a row, the NFL Pro Bowl will take place the week before the Super Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii at Aloha Stadium. Odds for the 2013 Pro Bowl opened up with the NFC favored by 3 points and current Odds now show that the AFC is favored by 1. The total for the game is set at 83.5.
The 43-man teams are comprised of 21 offensive and 17 defensive players plus five specialists, including a long snapper. The AFC All-Star team will be led by John Fox and the coaches from the Denver Broncos while Mike McCarthy and the Green Bay Packers' coaching staff will guide the NFC Pro Bowl squad for the second consecutive year.
The NFC has been hit particularly hard by the absence of San Francisco players since a conference-high nine 49ers were picked to play in Hawaii, marking nearly 21 percent of the conference's 43-man roster. That list included projected starters Joe Staley and Mike Iupati on the offensive line and Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner from San Francisco's imposing defense. Running back Frank Gore and linebacker NaVorro Bowman also needed to be replaced.
Over in the AFC, six Ravens were tabbed for the contest: veteran safety Ed Reed and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata from Dean Pees' defense, running back Ray Rice, his lead blocker Vonta Leach and guard Marshal Yanda from the offense, along with return specialist Jacoby Jones.
Overall 16 players declined invitations, citing injury -- eight from both sides, including all three NFC quarterbacks -- the Packers' Aaron Rodgers, Atlanta's Matt Ryan and Washington's Robert Griffin III. The Saints' Drew Brees, New York's Eli Manning and Seattle rookie Russell Wilson stepped up as replacements for McCarthy.
Over in the AFC, Manning will be joined by rookie Andrew Luck of Indianapolis, a replacement of the injured Tom Brady, and Matt Schaub of Houston.
Wilson and Luck are among 30 players making their debut in the 2013 version of the Pro Bowl, which is the 43rd meeting between the AFC and NFC All-Stars with the all-time series deadlocked, 21-21.
High scores have been a recent trend at the Pro Bowl. In fact, the nine highest combined scores in Pro Bowl history have all occurred since 2000, including 100 points last year, the second-highest in history.
Each player on the winning Pro Bowl team receives $50,000, while each on the losing end earns $25,000.
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NFL Free Picks: 2013 Pro Bowl Betting
What pro football bettors need to know about the 2013 Pro Bowl on Sunday (1/27/13) -- a free pick from Pregame.com's Steve Fezzik with Bryan Leonard and host RJ Bell.