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

Jan 15, 2013 |
The Flyers could be primed for an opening-night hangover following the Pens game.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
The Flyers could be primed for an opening-night hangover following the Pens game.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
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.

Letdown spot

The Philadelphia Flyers rekindle their state rivalry on opening night of the condensed NHL schedule, hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday. Philadelphia embarrassed Pittsburgh in the playoffs last year and will be chomping at the bit to get another shot at the Pens.

Following that home opener, the Flyers go west to play the Buffalo Sabres Sunday – not quite the hate-fueled rivalry they share with Pittsburgh. Expect an opening-night hangover and some rusty skates from Philly while the Sabres’ hockey-starved crowd will be jacked up for their first game of the year.

Lookahead spot

The Big Ten is the cream of the college hoops crop. The conference has six teams in the Top 25 including Michigan State, which has a showdown versus No. 11 Ohio State Saturday. But before Sparty hosts OSU, Michigan State visits Penn State Wednesday.

The Spartans have a checkered past with the Nittany Lions, with the two programs trading wins and losses in the last eight meetings. Penn State has gone 4-3-1 ATS in those games and are 3-1-1 ATS in its last five home games versus MSU.
Schedule spot

The Houston Rockets better have plenty of fuel in the tank. With an upcoming road trip – and a stretch of four games in five nights – Houston could be sucking fumes come the weekend. The Rockets host the Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday before hitting the bricks on a four-game away swing.

The trip starts in Dallas Wednesday, then to Indiana Friday, at Minnesota Saturday and finishes in Charlotte on Monday Jan. 21. Houston has been terrific at home but is 7-11 SU and 8-9-1 ATS away from the Toyota Center. The Rockets, the NBA’s top scoring team, are averaging 101.7 points on the road compared to 108.9 at home.
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