Each week during the pro football season, Covers Expert Art Aronson looks at the NFL odds and tells you which spread to bet now, which one to bet later, and which total to watch as the week plays out.
Spread to bet now
San Francisco 49ers at Tennessee Titans (+4.5)
This line opened at 5. There are still some 4.5s out there, but a few 4s are creeping onto the board now as well. Don't wait to jump on this one if you're planning on backing the home side this week.
When the Titans take the field Sunday, they'll be looking to improve upon their 2-1 home record. Tennessee's defense surrendered just 30 combined points in the two home victories. The Jags are a writeoff and the Texans are plummeting. With a date vs. the Broncos next week, the Colts are likely going to be sitting at 4-3 on Monday morning. If that scenario occurs, an outright victory Sunday would move the Titans into a tie for the AFC South lead.
The 49ers have bounced back after a dismal start, but there's no question their Achilles’ heel has been their play on the road this year, where they’re just 1-1. Tennessee has a similar smashmouth style of defense that the Seattle Seahawks do, a team which held San Francisco to just three points in Week 2. The Titans were in the Pacific Northwest last week and took those same Seahawks down to the wire in the eventual 20-13 setback.
With the sharps and the public jumping on the underrated home side, don't wait any longer if you plan on backing the Titans this weekend.
Spread to wait on
Dallas Cowboys (+2.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
Cowboys backers should wait closer to kickoff before getting down on this one. This line would open as a pick but the home side has seen considerable action already. The Eagles now sit as 2.5-point favorites across the board, with a couple of 3's starting to make an appearance as well.
The Cowboys have shown marked improvement over the last two weeks, taking the Broncos down to the wire and having their way in a 31-16 victory over Washington last week. Dallas, though, is 0-2 on the road this year, losing 17-16 at Kansas City and 30-21 at San Diego, and has a ton of injuries on defense along with RB DeMarco Murray.
The Cowboys and Eagles are now tied atop the NFC East, making this week's contest crucial. Both the sharps and the public know that division games are always the most important and almost always it's more important for the home side.
Total to watch
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts (56)
This line is already dropping. Sunday night games have paid big dividends for Over bettors this season, but both teams are coming off offensive duds.
While the Broncos pulled away with a convincing 35-19 victory over the lowly Jaguars last week, they were unable to cover the sky-high 28-point spread and were up just two points (14-12) at half-time.
Indianapolis came into its Monday night game in San Diego with a lot of momentum but got caught looking ahead and laid an egg in a 19-9 setback.
There will be many storylines to consider in this matchup, but it's clear that both the sharps and the public are thinking that Peyton Manning's return to the stadium that he helped build will be more of a defensive battle once the smoke settles.