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

Sep 23, 2013 |
Tampa Bay is looking past Arizona and to a much-needed bye in Week 5.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Tampa Bay is looking past Arizona and to a much-needed bye in Week 5.
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

There’s a mutiny brewing on the Buccaneers’ pirate ship. Players are feuding with the head coach, the franchise is trying to give the No. 1 QB the bum’s rush, and the offense ranks 31st in the NFL averaging 11.3 points a game.

All of that has led to a 0-3 start for Tampa Bay, which takes on the Arizona Cardinals as a 2.5-point home favorite Sunday – one week away from a much-needed bye in Week 5. Bettors should beware the Bucs, who will undoubtedly be looking past Arizona and to a week away from football and the drama of the locker room.

Letdown spot

What better way to celebrate snapping a seven-game losing skid to your bitter rivals than a trip to Hawaii. The Fresno State Bulldogs, coming off a thrilling 41-40 victory over Boise State last Friday, are heading to paradise in Week 5, taking on the Warriors as 20-point suggested road favorites.

Playing in Hawaii is hard enough for visiting teams, with guys more concerned with soaking up the tropical surroundings than getting the job done on the field. Fresno State has been able to avoid that in the past, but never after a win as big as last week. A letdown looms on the islands.

Schedule spot

The MLB schedule makers have all but gift wrapped an American League Wild Card spot for the Cleveland Indians. All the Tribe has to do it tie the bow on a successful turnaround season. Cleveland, which is a half game back on Tampa Bay and gripping to one of the AL’s two wild card tickets heading into Monday, is coming off a four-game sweep of the hapless Houston Astros.

The Indians close the year with two home games versus the Chicago White Sox and a four-game road trip to play the Minnesota Twins. Both of those AL Central rivals have checked out on the season and are a combined 8-24 against the Tribe this year. Chicago is a mere 2-15 versus Cleveland, allowing an ERA north of 6.00 in those contests. A motivated Indians club is primed to finish 2013 strong and roll into the postseason.
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