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
Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans (+3)
If you're a fan of Seattle, consider jumping on this line right now.
If you listen to all of the talking heads out there, you may as well just hand the Super Bowl title to the Seahawks. It’s hard to argue with them, though. The team has pretty much looked unstoppable during its 3-0 to start the season.
The Texans are reeling, looking for answers on both sides of the ball after their 30-9 letdown versus Baltimore Sunday. The fact that the Ravens man-handled the Houston defense the way it did without RB Ray Rice in the lineup is a bit of a shocker. Now the Texans have to face "Beast Mode" – Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch - and also dynamic QB Russell Wilson.
A suddenly-struggling home side versus a surging Seahawks team will not be overlooked by the general betting public. Expect this line to climb higher as everyone jumps on the league's hottest team.
Spread to wait on
New York Giants (+4) at Kansas City Chiefs
This line opened at 4.5 and is already starting to drop. There are still plenty of 4s on the board, but there are a few 3.5s popping up.
The Giants are 0-3 and are coming off a brutal 38-0 beatdown loss in Carolina. The Chiefs are 3-0 and are coming off a fantastic 26-16 win on the road in Philadelphia. If you believe that New York is due to get off the schneid this week (or at least keep it close), you may want to jump on this line right away.
The initial line movement would say that neither the public nor the sharps think that New York is as bad as it’s shown through the first three games and that the Chiefs are not as good as their start would indicate.
Kansas City will face a desperate and proud Giants team this week which is essentially playing for its season. While it would take an unbelievable turn in fortunes to even make the playoffs after three straight losses, a fourth would be the nail in the coffin.
I'm as surprised as most at what Andy Reid has done in such a short time with the Chiefs, but would caution reading too much into their start. Kansas City has beaten the Jaguars, the Cowboys and the Eagles - three teams which have combined for three total wins between them as we head into Week 4.
Total to watch
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (43)
If you're a fan of offense, you may want to consider getting down on this line before it creeps any higher. The total in this game opened at 42.5 and has since gone to 43 across the board.
The Jaguars are 0-3 - most recently coming off a 45-17 loss in Seattle. While Jacksonville wasn't able to cover with the 20 points they were afforded, the teams would smash the O/U, which was set at 39.
There were some silver linings for Jacksonville last week, like the return of RB Maurice-Jones Drew, who carried the ball 19 times for 43 yards and a major score. Despite the offensive starters sitting for Seattle for most of the second half, the Jaguars in the end would seemingly have fared a lot better than San Francisco did in its lackluster 29-3 setback in the Pacific Northwest the week before.
Speaking of San Francisco, Indianapolis steamrolled the offensively-challenged 49ers, 27-7, last week. Newly acquired RB Trent Richardson had a TD run on his first carry from scrimmage. After the way the Texans played in Baltimore, the Colts believe they have a legitimate shot at winning the AFC South and certainly won't be holding anything back this week with three tough games on the horizon (vs. Seattle, at San Diego, vs. Denver).
Two teams which did a lot better than most were expecting last week means that this total will continue to climb.