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

Sep 16, 2013 |
Teams heading to London are 4-8 ATS the week before the trip since 2007.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Teams heading to London are 4-8 ATS the week before the trip since 2007.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Spot bets are a classic handicapping practice that has 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 Cleveland Browns may be one of the few teams in the NFL the Minnesota Vikings can overlook after starting the season 0-2. The Vikings, who are 4.5-point favorites hosting the Browns in Week 3, could be busy planning and packing for their trip to “Jolly Ole” England to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4.

While team arrangements are handled by the front office, plenty of players will be more than distracted this week, lining up tickets and travel plans for friends and family or making sure things are sorted out at home before jumping the pond. Don’t think this off-field business distracts from on-field play? The last 12 teams to play in London (2007-2012) are a combined 5-7 SU and 4-8 ATS in the week previous to making the trip to England.

Letdown spot

The wheels have fallen off the “Johnny Football” hype wagon after the Texas A&M Aggies’ 49-42 loss to Alabama Saturday. The Aggies hung tough with the Crimson Tide, but couldn’t pull off the comeback in the end. This game was the "be-all and end-all" for the Aggies’ BCS title hopes, leaving them seriously deflated – like their BCS odds (20-1 to 100-1) – for Week 4’s date with SMU.

The Mustangs attempt to kick their state rivals while they’re down Saturday, opening as 28.5-point underdogs. SMU QB Garrett Gilbert is no stranger to Texas A&M, having faced the Aggies during his time at Texas and won't be overwhelmed by a BCS opponent. The Mustangs have the big-play ability to keep this one closer than the spread indicates, averaging 352.5 passing yards and facing an Aggies defense with some looming question marks.

Schedule spot

The opening leg of the Champions League slate makes for a busy week for many of Europe’s top soccer clubs. Not only will teams take the field Tuesday and Wednesday, but must turn around for respective league games on the weekend. The Arsenal Gunners have perhaps the toughest schedule this week.

Arsenal drew what many have dubbed the “Group of Death” for the Champions League and faces the feisty French club Marseille Wednesday (+140 to win). The Gunners are limping into this match with Olivier Giroud hurting and Santi Cazorla out of action. Following Wednesday, Arsenal is back on the pitch at Stoke Sunday. Stoke is picking up steam after a win over West Ham and a 0-0 draw with Manchester City.
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