Each week during the pro football season, Covers Expert Art Aronson looks at the NFL odds and tells you which spread to bet now, which one to bet later, and which total to watch as the week plays out.
Spread to bet now
Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins (Pick)
If you're a Washington fan, you may want to consider jumping on your team as fast as possible. This line opened at a pick’em (still available at some books), but is already starting to climb.
After holding on for a 34-24 win at home versus Minnesota in their opener, the Lions took to the road for a game in Arizona and lost 25-21 as 1-point favorites in Week 2. With a second straight road contest, games versus the Bears and the Packers looming, and facing a desperate Redskins team this week, the public is going to start jumping on the home side in this situation.
Washington has started the year 0-2 after finishing 10-6 and clinching the NFC East in 2012. It looked flat-footed in the opener versus the Eagles and shell shocked in a 38-20 loss as a 9-point dog in Green Bay last week. It's hard to believe that there are now questions regarding whether or not RG III should make way for backup Kirk Cousins (don't worry Skins fans, coach Mike Shanahan has quashed that line of thinking: "We have a lot of confidence in Robert.").
Lions bettors are keeping an eye on RB Reggie Bush. News early in the week says his knee injury is not as bad as initially thought and that the dynamic back could be in the lineup Sunday. If he's not, expect this line to climb even higher.
Spread to wait on
Indianapolis Colts at San Francisco 49ers (-11.5)
If you're a fan of the 49ers, consider waiting until closer to kickoff before jumping on your team. This line opened at -11.5 and is already dropping.
Teams that make it all the way to the Super Bowl and lose, more often than not, struggle the following season. San Francisco was looking to buck that trend in Week 1 and wiped the floor with the Packers. Last week's divisional battle in Seattle was primed to be a classic as well, but that wasn't the case as the Seahawks handled the visitors 29-3.
Andrew Luck and the 1-1 Colts are quickly garnering interest from the general betting public. Luck returns to the West Coast after stumbling in a 24-20 setback to the Dolphins last week. But with a "cream puff" in Jacksonville on deck, there will be no looking ahead for Indianapolis - perhaps another big reason this line continues to fall.
Total to watch
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (49)
If you're a fan of Overs, you may want to consider jumping on this one right away. This line initially opened at 48.5, but it's already starting to climb. There are still a lot of 49s out there, but a few 49.5s are starting to hit the board.
Peyton Manning already has nine TD passes after the first two games (Denver has a combined 90 points in that span), which has this spread on the rise.
It's hard to get a true read on the Raiders quite yet. They lost 21-17 in Indianapolis in Week 1 - a game which they actually controlled for the most part - and then beat the toothless Jaguars 19-9 in Week 2.
Until someone can actually prove that they can stop Denver's offensive assault, expect the public to keep hammering the Over.