Spot bets are a classic handicapping practice 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.
The Miami Heat take their 26-game winning streak on the road this week, traveling to Orlando, Chicago, New Orleans and San Antonio to round out the month. Obviously, the big game on the slate is versus the Spurs on March 31. Not only could this be the end of Miami’s incredible run but the game also serves as a possible finals preview, with both clubs boasting the best overall record in their respective conference.
But, before that showdown in San Antonio, the Heat make a stop in the Big Easy. New Orleans is actually playing well heading into this week. The Hornets are 2-1 SU and ATS in the first three games of a seven-game homestand which has them hosting Denver, the L.A. Clippers, Miami and Cleveland before the end of March. The Bugs could catch Miami - which is just 1-3 ATS in its last four outings – looking ahead to the Spurs.
Florida Gulf Coast is the darling of the NCAA tournament, and rightfully so. The Eagles are the first No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16 after shocking Georgetown and San Diego State in their opening two games of the tournament. They were able to surprise their opponents with their athletic brand of basketball on short notice but won’t have that luxury when they take on state rival Florida in Arlington Friday.
The four-day layoff between rounds gives UF head coach Billy Donovan – a defensive mastermind - plenty of time to dissect FGCU’s game plan. Not only that, but the break puts any momentum the Eagles had on ice. The media attention could be more than Andy Enfield’s kids – and wife – can handle and could leave FGCU fat and happy just to be playing in the second week of the tournament. I’m sure the Gators are also a bit chapped about the lack of love from locals heading into this improbable Sunshine State matchup.
The Los Angeles Kings will find out if they’re still a Stanley Cup-quality club on their current five-game road swing. The Kings, who have played well at home (12-4-0-1), haven’t been able to get the job done in opposing barns, posting just a 5-8-1-0 record heading into Monday’s game in Chicago. Los Angeles has been a homebody this month and has played only three road games since Feb. 23, losing all three.
Following that contest with the Blackhawks, L.A. makes its way to St. Louis, Minnesota, Dallas, and Phoenix – the only team in this stretch not in the playoffs as of Monday. The Kings have one of the best defenses in the NHL, allowing just 2.24 goals against per road game. The trouble is they only score 2.24 goals for away from home and have a winning percent of .370 in one-goal games – fourth lowest in the league.