Each week during the pro football season, Covers Expert Art Aronson 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.
Spread to bet now
Oakland Raiders (+7.5) at New York Giants
If you think the Raiders can bounce back from a lackluster effort at home to the Eagles, then consider getting down on this line as quickly as possible.
It opened at 7.5, but for the most part 7's are the norm. It could drop even lower. So far Oakland has been a profitable wager for bettors at 4-3-1 ATS. Not so much in New York, where the Giants are just 1-2 ATS in front of the home town crowd and only 9-12 ATS in the same position over the last two.
Both teams are in the middle of the pack defensively (Giants 15th, Raiders 18th) and offensively (Oakland 14th, Giants 22nd). New York struggled the last time it faced a mobile pivot (38-0 loss at Carolina as a 1-pt favorite).
Bettors aren't forgetting Manning's penchant in turning the ball over and clearly think that the G-Men could once again have their hands full with Oakland's Terrelle Pryor this week.
Spread to wait on
Houston Texans (-2.5) at Arizona Cardinals
Texans' fans would be wise to wait a little closer to game time before jumping on their team this week. This line opened at 2.5, but a few 3's are starting to make an appearance.
In a game that it absolutely needed to win, Houston lost 27-24 to the Colts Sunday night. After that disheartening setback, bettors will be quick to jump on the home side which comes out of its bye week sitting at 4-4 (Arizona stopped a two-game slide with a convincing 27-13 victory over Atlanta just before its break).
With no reason to look past the Texans (Cardinals play in Jacksonville next Sunday), expect the Arizona line to continue to climb throughout the week.
Total to watch
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers (56.5)
Over bettors should get down as soon as possible. This line opened at 56.5 and has already moved to 57. A sunny afternoon in San Diego would seem conducive to a high-scoring affair between these two offensively minded clubs.
Denver soared above the posted number in all eight of its games. The Chargers have gone just 4-4 O/U, but 2-1 O/U in front of the home town crowd. Four of these teams’ last five in the series have soared above the posted number, including both games between these divisional foes last season.