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

Dec 9, 2013 |
The Lakers offense will have to adjust to Kobe being back on the road this week.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
The Lakers offense will have to adjust to Kobe being back on the road this week.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Spot bets are classic handicapping practices 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 Carolina Panthers won’t have to wait long to get their paws on the New Orleans Saints again. Carolina took a 31-13 knock on the chin Sunday Night, losing the inside track on the NFC South race and a potential playoff spot, but hosts the Saints in Week 16. Sandwiched in between those games with New Orleans are the lowly New York Jets, who are 11.5-point road underdogs in Carolina Sunday.

New York rose from the ashes with a 37-27 win over the Oakland Raiders Sunday, covering as 3-point home chalk. Geno Smith tossed for 219 yards and a score while adding another touchdown on the ground.

The Jets actually have a shot at the postseason – believe it or not – and are just one game out an AFC Wild Card spot. That coupled with Rex Ryan singing for his supper and a distracted Panthers side, the J-E-T-S could stay within that double-digit spread Sunday.

Letdown spot

It’s been a few disappointing weeks for the Fresno State Bulldogs, who despite claiming the Mountain West Conference crown Saturday, end up being the opening act to bowl season.

The Bulldogs, who had their BCS bowl hopes dashed by San Jose State at the end of November, defeated Utah State for the MWC title and accepted a bid to play the 9-4 USC Trojans in the Las Vegas Bowl on December 21 – the first day of bowl action.

At 11-1 on the season and boasting a conference crown from the respectable MWC, the Bulldogs seem like they got the short end of the stick with bowl matchups. While a trip to Vegas is always fun, Fresno State finished No. 20 in the Top 25 and should have gotten better bowl billing this postseason.

Schedule spot

Ask Kobe Bryant how he played in his return from Achilles’ surgery Sunday night, and he’ll likely give the film Grown Ups 2 a better review (Grown Ups 2 actually got 7 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). Bryant scored one more point than he had turnovers – nine points/eight turnovers – and missed clutch shots down the stretch in a loss to the Raptors.

The Lakers offense seemed out of whack with its top scorer in the way, freezing out playmaking PG Steve Blake for only four assists. Blake averaged 9.75 assists in the four games prior to Bryant’s return. Los Angeles averaged almost 105 points in that four-game span, going 3-1 SU and ATS.

There is going to be a transition period for L.A. and it couldn’t come at a worse time. Following a home game with Phoenix Tuesday, the Lakers hit the bricks for four straight road games - at OKC, Charlotte, Atlanta, Memphis - and play seven of their next 10 away from Staples Center. Los Angeles is just 5-4 ATS on the road this year.
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