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
Jacksonville Jaguars (+13.5) at St. Louis Rams
If you think that Jacksonville can keep this one close enough to sneak in through the back door vs. the Rams, then you should consider jumping on this line as soon as possible. It opened at -14 but is already dropping fast. There are still some 13.5s out there, but there are also a couple of 13s and even some 11s on the board.
Things don't get any easier for either team as St. Louis is on the road for two straight in Houston and Carolina, while Jacksonville will be in Denver next weekend, likely as the biggest underdog of the last 10 years.
The Jags have put 20 points on the board in two straight losses, while the Rams have mustered just 18 in two straight setbacks.
Jacksonville fought tough versus Seahawks on road for a half and it appears that both the public and the sharps feel that the Jaguars still have some fight left in them. Note that Jacksonville is 0-4 for the third time in franchise history and that the team has never started 0-5.
Spread to wait on
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers(-7)
If you think the Packers can handle business versus their division rival at home then you should consider waiting until closer to game time before getting involved with this contest.
The line opened at 7.5, but quickly dropped. Green Bay is now a 7-point favorite, but there are even a few 6.5s creeping onto the board.
Divisional contests are always the most important games of the season and doubly so for the home side. The Packers are coming off their bye, having lost to the Bengals the week before.
The fact that Green Bay has surrendered 88 points over its first three games and that the Lions won 40-32 over the Bears last week is likely a big reason why both the sharps and the public continue to hammer the visitors in this one.
Total to watch
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (55)
If you’re a fan of the Over consider waiting a bit closer to kickoff before hammering this one. This line opened at 55 but a few 54.5s have hit the board. It's obvious that neither the public nor the sharps believe these teams can muster much of an offensive attack.
Hard to blame them though as the G-Men have posted a miserable seven total points in back-to-back losses (they put up 54 over their first two setbacks), while the Eagles have managed just 36 (after posting 63 in their first two games). Despite having one win between them after the first four weeks, amazingly, the NFC East is still up for grabs.