See spot. See spot bet: This week's best spot bet opportunities

Jul 2, 2013 |
Dallas is destined for a letdown with Oakland sandwiched in between big games.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Dallas is destined for a letdown with Oakland sandwiched in between big games.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Spot bets are a classic handicapping practice that have proven profitable no matter what sport you’re betting. Whether it’s a team looking past this week’s opponent, one coming off a hard-fought victory, or a rough patch of schedule, bettors can find value picking their spots.

Lookahead spot

The Dallas Cowboys have had a hard time covering the spread at home since opening their $1 billion palace in 2009. America’s Team is a dismal 11-21 ATS at home in that span, including a 3-13 ATS record in Cowboys Stadium the last two seasons. And games like Week 13’s home date with the Oakland Raiders are a big reason why.

The Raiders come to “Jerry’s World” for Thursday Night Football in late November, sandwiched between a huge divisional road game versus the New York Giants in Week 12 and a Monday nighter at Chicago in Week 14, which will likely hold playoff implications. Oddsmakers have set Dallas as an 8.5-point home favorite hosting lowly Oakland, peaking past its AFC opponent and to an important Monday showdown in the Windy City.

Letdown spot

The Pac-12 title hunt should be fun to watch this college football season, if most of the country can stay up that late. A number of teams are contending for the conference crown, including UCLA and Washington, who clash on a Friday night in Week 12. The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas opened the Bruins as 2-point home favorites and early money pushed that spread to -4.

Those two extra points could give Huskies backers some added value with Washington, which catches UCLA coming off an important road game in Arizona the week before. The Huskies have a veteran squad with 20 starters back from 2012, including QB Keith Price. The junior was overshadowed by a surplus of QB talent in the Pac-12 last year and is a sleeper to win the 2013 Heisman Trophy.

Schedule spot

The Boston Red Sox had better pack the sun block with an approaching West Coast road swing. Boston is home to the San Diego Padres to start the week, finishing Thursday afternoon before jumping on a cross-country flight to play the Los Angeles Angels Friday. That three-game set with the Halos opens a 10-game, 10-day stretch that takes the team from L.A. to Seattle to Oakland before the All-Star break.

The Red Sox have yet to hit the left side of the country this season, only going as far as Texas for a three-game sweep at the hands of the Rangers in early May. Boston is 10-6 versus AL West foes so far this season but went just 8-24 against them in 2012. The BoSox visited those three teams over a nine-game, late-summer road trip last year, coming away with a 1-8 record.
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