Each week during the pro football season, Covers Expert Art Aronson of AAA Sports 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.
Game to bet now
Pittsburgh at Kansas City (-3)
What's up with Ben Roethlisberger? The face of the Steelers franchise for the last decade seems like he needs a career change, if his comments after last Sunday’s no-touchdown, five-interception game are any indication.
“Maybe I don’t have it anymore,” the QB said after Ben and the Steelers were roasted at home by Jacksonville.
Whatever it is that Roethlisberger has managed to lose, he had better find it in a hurry because the undefeated Chiefs are waiting. From a record standpoint (the Steelers are still in first place in the mediocre AFC North) the 3-point line might make sense, but expect KC money to soon flood in as Roethlisberger’s comments make their way into the consciousness of the betting public. KC is 5-0 SU and 5-0 ATS, and betting on streaks to end have depleted a lot of bank accounts over the years.
Game to wait on
New England at New York Jets (+9.5)
Tank this, say the Jets, who have to be considered the biggest surprise in the league so far. At 3-2 the NYJ are more than in the mix in a solid AFC East. And if New York can get it done against a shaky Patriots team this coming Sunday, it’ll be game on in the division.
That’s a big if, and the entire NFL is waiting for Bill Belichick to straighten out his defense and begin to dominate again. The Pats will have had a few extra days to get ready for this one after their OK-but-not-great performance last Thursday at Tampa Bay.
The Jets, meanwhile, have taken full advantage of their easy schedule and have put together a three-game win streak. It might be useful to sit this one out for a bit and wait for a line move. If heavy money comes down on NE, books might adjust the vig if they don’t want to take on the extra half-point to make it a 10-point line.
Total to watch
Miami at Atlanta (47.5)
Dead last. That’s where the Dolphins rank in offense, which about where a team that can’t pass the ball or run the ball should be. The fact that Miami is 2-2 is somewhat of a minor miracle, and a testament to the team’s ability to stop the run.
Whether they can stop Atlanta’s passing attack is another question, however. The Dolphins will probably have to score in the 20's to cover the 47.5, and that’s a tall order for a club that has barely averaged 10 points per game so far.