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 Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5)
Steelers' fans should consider jumping on their team right away. This line opened at +3, quickly dropped to 2.5, with 1.5's and 1's now starting to predominate.
The Lions would hold on for a 21-19 win in Chicago last week while the Steelers would bounce back from back-to-back losses to beat the Bills 23-10.
As brutally as Pittsburgh started the season, at 3-6 entering Week 11, it still mathematically has a shot at catching the division leading Bengals who are 6-4. A cold day at Heinz Field in mid-November is just what the doctor ordered for Pittsburgh to continue its winning ways.
Expect bettors to hit the undervalued home side throughout the week and for this number to inch closer and closer to the "pick em" range.
Spread to wait on
Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears (-3)
Bears' backers be warned! I'd recommend waiting a little closer to kickoff before jumping on your team this week.
This lined opened at -3 and as of printing, I do in fact see a couple of 2.5's on the board (Pinnacle, 5Dimes), and I suspect that we'll start to see more and more as the week goes on.
Chicago coach Mark Trestman has said that QB Jay Cutler suffered a high-ankle sprain in last week's 21-19 loss to the Lions and has been ruled out vs. Baltimore. Josh McCown will now get the start for 'Da Bears under center this week.
The defending champs have looked brilliant at times this season and pretty pedestrian in others, but their 20-17 win over rival Cincinnati has them once again firmly in the mix for the division title this year. Cutler's injury will force bettors hands into backing the visitors this week.
Total to watch
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (46)
Under bettors would be wise to get down on this one immediately.
This line opened at 46, and while for the most part that is still the predominating number as of printing, there are now a few 45.5's on the board as well. I think it could drop even lower.
Over the Vikes nine games this year, the total is 7-2; 5-0 at home but just 2-2 on the road. The Seahawks O/U to date is 5-5, dead even at 2-2 at home and 3-3 away from friendly confines.
A wet, blustery week leading up to kickoff in Seattle seems like conducive conditions for each club putting an added emphasis on running and protecting the ball in this game.