The NFL Pro Bowl got a big-time makeover this year, and I'm so here for it. Instead of the standard football game no athletes really care to risk their bodies to play in, the NFL has added a new spin.
It's still probably not going to be particularly watchable, but at least it's something different! Peyton Manning will coach the AFC, while his brother Eli Manning will coach the NFC. Now, let's break down everything you need to know.
You can find a full list of the players selected for the Pro Bowl here, however, there have been plenty of opt-outs due to players preparing for the Super Bowl or due to injury. DraftKings Nation is tracking roster replacements here.
These events begin Thursday, February 2 and will air on ESPN, ABC, ESPN+ and Disney XD from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET.
The winner of each event in the skills competition receives three points for his respective conference.
Returning events: Precision Passing, Best Catch, Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball
New events: Longest Drive (golf ball challenge), Lightning Round (Water balloon toss, punt catches from the jugs machine and a challenge to dump a bucket of... something?... on the opposing conference's coach), Move The Chains (OL/DL strength/agility contest), Kick-Tac-Toe (Kickers, punters and long snappers — you guessed it, play tic tac toe), The Gauntlet (an obstacle course)
Events listed in Italics will take place on Sunday instead of Thursday.
It's going to look a little different this year. Instead of a full game of tackle football that nobody's really interested in, we'll now have a game of 7-on-7 flag football that no one is really interested in! Each conference will play a flag football game Sunday, with the action televised on ESPN and ABC from 3 to 6 p.m. ET, with the chance to earn six additional points.
This is when things get a little interesting. There will be a third and final flag football game played, with each conference starting out with a score that matches their point total through all other events. For instance, if the AFC tallies 12 points through the skills challenges and first flag football game (let's be real — Derek Carr will be playing), they'll start out the final game with 12 points. If the NFC had 24 points, the game would have a starting score of 12-24, in favor of the NFC.
Still with me? Good! Each Pro Bowl Flag Football game played will be 20 minutes long, with two 10-minute halves. Each drive will start at the offense's five-yard line, where they'll have four downs to convert for 20 yards. Once they do that, they'll have another four downs to make it to the end zone. Simply, this game is made for scoring — please and thank you!
Usually, you can! The bets you can make are quite limited, typically limited to point total and moneyline (AKA, a bet on which conference will win the game). It remains to be seen if sportsbooks still intend to post odds given that it's no longer a traditional gridiron game.
The good news? You can wager on which conference will win the Pro Bowl Games with Gaming Society's Bet Club predictor game! Make your prediction below!
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)