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 spots aren’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, like in the case of NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, a lookahead spot can mean extra value for bettors. The Sprint Cup takes a break this week, just in time for Newman to clear his head after being informed that he will be let go by Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of the year.
There’s no doubt Newman is looking ahead to Indianapolis and the Brickyard 400. Not only is the No. 39 driver a native of Indiana – and would love to win one in front of some friendly fans - but the July 28 race is the first step in landing a gig for 2014. Newman has only one Top 5 in 12 starts at the Brickyard and boasts an average finish of 19.1 there. He ran strong at home last year, finishing seventh in the July race at Indy.
The MLB All-Star break can be an abrupt stop for streaking clubs come the middle of July. The Seattle Mariners are one of those teams, winning three straight and six of their last 10 outings before the break put the freeze on their improved play. The M’s are chasing the Angles and Rangers in the AL West, 13 games back of the first-place Oakland A’s.
Seattle could have a little trouble finding that momentum after the All-Star Game, kicking off the second half of the season with a three-game road series versus the Houston Astros. The Mariners have struggled against the Astros already this year, going 4-5 and posting a chunky 5.01 ERA in nine games with their new division rivals.
The Los Angeles Sparks are the hottest team in the WNBA’s Western Conference, winning five straight games after an 88-76 victory over Phoenix Sunday. The Sparks have a few days off before the schedule throws down a gauntlet at the end of the week.
Los Angeles kicks off a stretch of three games in four days with a home game versus East-leading Atlanta Wednesday, then opens the doors of the Staples Center to Phoenix Thursday before the Sparks hit the bricks for a trip up the coast. Los Angeles clashes with classic rival Seattle Saturday. The Sparks have troubles away from L.A., with a 2-4 SU and ATS mark on the road this season.