See spot, see spot bet: This week's best spot bet opportunities

Jan 1, 2013 |
The Sixers' extended road trip has them playing four games in five days.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
The Sixers' extended road trip has them playing four games in five days.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Spot bets are a classic handicapping practice that has proven profitability 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.

Letdown spot

It’s tough for a team not feel a sense of accomplishment when they make the postseason cut after everyone doubted them all season long. The Minnesota Vikings weren’t expected to be one of the 12 teams still standing in January, but a spirited effort in Week 17 punched their playoff ticket.

Minnesota runs the risk of being complacent after a stunning 37-34 last-second win over the Green Bay Packers last Sunday. The Vikings proved everyone wrong and celebrated a hard-fought win – and season – in front of home fans. Now, Minnesota heads to Lambeau Field where the Packers will not only be out for revenge but will be all business after suffering a shocker in last year’s playoff opener. Books have tagged the Vikes as 9.5-point road underdogs.

Lookahead spot

Conference play is underway in the major college hoops leagues and Big Ten bettors get a true treat when No. 14 Illinois hosts No. 8 Ohio State at Assembly Hall Saturday. But before the Illini open their doors to the Buckeyes, they must travel to West Lafayette, Indiana Wednesday.

Illinois visits the Purdue Boilermakers, who have struggled to gain momentum in the early going. The Boilermakers do have back-to-back wins heading into Wednesday and have long been a thorn in the side of the Fighting Illini. In fact, Purdue has won seven in a row versus Illinois – going back to 2009 – and has posted a 5-2 ATS mark in those games.

Schedule spot

Philadelphia rings in the New Year picking up a Western road trip that finds the 76ers playing four games in five nights, starting in Los Angeles Jan. 1. Following that date with the Lakers, the Sixers play at Phoenix, at Oklahoma City and close out the trip in San Antonio on Jan 5.

These four games are part of an extended eight-game road swing that started in Brooklyn on Dec. 23 and will have the Sixers playing all but one of their last 11 games away from home when it’s all over with. Philadelphia has been terrible as a guest this season, going 5-10 SU and 7-8 ATS – 1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS in the first four games of this trip. The 76ers average just 91.1 points per road game – third lowest in the league.
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