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

May 20, 2013 |
The Heat will have an entire week off before tipping off their series with the Pacers.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
The Heat will have an entire week off before tipping off their series with the Pacers.
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

One of the big questions heading into the NCAAF season is if Notre Dame can maintain its spot among the nation’s elite – a question that will likely be answered in Week 2 when the Irish visit Michigan for a night game at the Big House. This rivalry recently had some fuel thrown on the fire when Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke claimed Notre Dame was “chickening out” of the series with UM after cancelling the 2015-17 games.

Before the Irish try to make Hoke eat his words, Notre Dame will stretch its legs as a 28-point favorite hosting Temple in Week 1 of the season. Not only will the Fighting Irish be slugging through a hangover from their BCS beating last January, but the Golden Domers will be tweaking the playbook and experimenting against the Owls before the Week 2’s showdown in Ann Arbor. Twenty-eight points seems too much for a team playing by trial and error.

Letdown spot

Being as good as the Miami Heat are is a double-edged sword. Sure, the Heat have rolled through postseason competition, sweeping the Bucks and beating the Bulls in five games. But all that down time can leave the team rusty, like it did in a Game 1 upset to Chicago in the second round.

Miami has had its feet up since eliminating the Bulls on May 15 and won’t take the court for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Indiana Pacers until Wednesday – seven full days between outings. Indiana, on the other hand, will still be playoff sharp having knocked off the Knicks Saturday. Books are giving the Pacers 7.5-points in South Beach in Game 1.

Schedule spot

The St. Louis Cardinals have succeeded in just about every category and situation this season, jumping to the top of the National League Central. They’re a stellar 14-8 at home and 14-7 on the road and rank among the Top 10 in many batting and pitching statistics. The only spot the Cardinals haven’t truly excelled in is versus NL West opponents. St. Louis is 23-11 versus the East and Central but only 5-4 versus the NL West.

The Cards are currently in San Diego for a trio of games with the Padres, who split a four-game series with the Nationals and took two in a row in an interleague set with the Orioles. St. Louis then heads to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers, who own a 5-1 mark versus NL Central foes this season. Last season, the Cardinals were swept 0-3 in both trips to San Diego and Los Angeles.
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