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

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.

Lookahead spot

The San Francisco Giants have a big National League showdown with the Atlanta Braves on deck this week, serving as a possible NL Championship Series preview. But before the reigning World Series winners open AT&T Park to the Braves Thursday, they welcome the Philadelphia Phillies for a three-game set starting Monday.

Philadelphia, once a contender for the NL Pennant, has limped out to a 14-18 start. The Phillies' bats have struggled to make contact, hitting .353, and the pitching staff is lugging a 4.51 collective ERA. Philadelphia marches Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone to the mound for this series, the latter two presenting some solid betting value against a Giants squad looking ahead to Atlanta.

Letdown spot

The 2013 NFL season is five months away but spreads were recently released for all games from Week 1 to Week 16 at Cantor Gaming sportsbooks in Nevada. Football bettors searching for letdown value on the schedule can look no further than the Dallas Cowboys’ road game at Kansas City as 1.5-point favorites in Week 2.

Dallas once again opens the season versus the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. Last year, the Cowboys started the schedule with a huge primetime road win at MetLife Stadium only to fall flat on their faces in a 27-7 loss at Seattle as 3-point favorites Week 2. Dallas is set up to repeat that fate at Arrowhead in the second week of the season and will undoubtedly be bet up from -1.5 come kickoff on September 15.

Schedule spot

Our traditional schedule spots involve teams with a clustered calendar, jumping through hoops and time zones to make their games. This week, however, the schedule spot doesn’t so much center around one team as it does one player. Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade has a homecoming planned when his team travels to Chicago for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Saturday.

Wade, a Windy City Native, has been slowed by injuries for most of the NBA season. He averaged 21.2 points during the regular season – lowest since his rookie season – and is scoring just 13.7 points over three postseason appearances. Miami’s long layoff between series has allowed him to rest up and, with LeBron James likely letting his teammate take the spotlight, bettors should expect a spirited effort from D-Wade in Chitown this weekend.

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