USA Today Sports

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

Spot bets are classic handicapping practices 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 USC Trojans scored their most impressive win of the season Friday, upending Oregon State with a 31-14 win in Corvallis – not an easy thing to do for an underperforming program like Southern Cal. The Trojans got massive efforts on the ground from Silas Redd and Javorius Allen and won back-to-back games for just the second time this season.

Southern Cal is primed for the letdown heading to Cal as 17-point chalk in Week 11. The Trojans play their second straight road game and visit a Golden Bears squad that is still fighting despite a laundry list of injuries leading to a 1-8 record. On top of walking into Berkeley all fat and cocky, USC could also get caught looking ahead to a showdown with Stanford next week.

Lookahead spot

The Los Angeles Clippers are among the favorites to claim the Western Conference title and eventually meet the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals – if all goes according to oddsmakers’ plans. The Clippers have a possible finals preview against the Heat in South Beach Thursday night but have a daunting schedule this week, including a red-alert letdown spot in Orlando Wednesday.

Los Angeles’ trip to Orlando is sandwiched between a huge home date with Houston Monday and Thursday’s marquee matchup in Miami. The Magic were projected to be among the worst teams in the Eastern Conference but haven’t rolled over, knocking off the Nets Sunday and going 4-0 ATS in their first four games. Orlando has two full days off to prepare for the Clippers while L.A. has to cross the country for this Wednesday contest.

Schedule spot

The Minnesota Vikings are wearing thin. Not only are the Vikes down and out after letting a sure win slip through their hands in Dallas but are also wrapping up a tough stretch of schedule that has them playing four games in just 18 days, heading into Thursday’s home game with the Washington Redskins as 1-point home underdogs.

Minnesota, which is just 1-7 SU (3-5 ATS), will also be playing in its third primetime game in the past four weeks Thursday, losing to the Giants on Monday Night Football in Week 7 and falling to Green Bay on Sunday Night Football in Week 8. That busy slate and the emotional roller coaster of constantly getting embarrassed on national TV is a heavy tax on this struggling team.

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