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 Georgetown Hoyas are the hottest team in college hoops, winning seven in a row SU and ATS. Their most recent victory - a 62-55 road win over Cincinnati as 4-point underdogs – has Georgetown locked in a three-way tie with Syracuse and Marquette atop the Big East at 9-3 in conference play. The Hoyas already have a win over the Golden Eagles and can put some space between them and the Orange with a victory at Syracuse Saturday.
But before Georgetown invades the Carrier Dome, it hosts Big East bottom-feeder DePaul Wednesday. The Blue Demons, however, aren’t going to roll over. They recently snapped a nine-game losing skid and have covered in three straight outings. DePaul, which is 6-2 ATS on the road, covered at Georgetown last year and is 3-1 ATS in its last four versus the Hoyas.
We caught the Philadelphia Flyers with their guard down at the start of the NHL season, coming off an intense home opener with the rival Penguins only to fall flat versus the Sabres the next night. History has a tendency to repeat itself, especially in compressed schedules like this year’s lockout-shortened slate which leaves little time for correction.
Philadelphia finds itself in a similar situation, visiting Pittsburgh Wednesday before returning home to host floundering Florida Thursday. The Flyers, who have a frantic schedule this week with three games in four nights, could be low on gas by the time they play the Panthers. That game is the first one back in Wells Fargo Arena after a six-game road trip.
The Boston Celtics needed the All-Star break more than any team in the league. Their aging roster is down three players – Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger, Leandro Barbosa – and star small forward Paul Pierce is nursing a pinched nerve in his neck. The Celtics went into the four-day layoff on a high note, winning eight of nine games (7-2 ATS) before the break, but face a daunting challenge starting Tuesday.
Boston opens the second half of the schedule on a five-game Western Conference swing, beginning in Denver Tuesday. The Celtics, who are a dismal 8-15 SU and 7-15-1 ATS on the road, then travel to Los Angeles (Lakers), Phoenix, Portland and Utah. In fact, Boston plays at home only twice in the next 11 contests – a span of nearly a month.