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.
The Villanova Wildcats had fun in the sun this past weekend, shocking No. 2 Kansas and edging Iowa in overtime to win the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. The Wildcats narrowly avoided a massive letdown against the Hawkeyes in the championship game, overcoming a sloppy first half in which they committed 12 of their 19 turnovers. If it wasn’t for James Bell catching fire from beyond the arc, Villanova would have been a one-hit wonder this weekend.
It will be a shock to the system when the Wildcats return home. Not only does the bitter cold of Philadelphia sting extra when you’ve been soaking in the tropical heat but Villanova could come crashing back to earth against two tough opponents this week. The Wildcats face off against Big 5 rivals Penn Wednesday and St. Joseph’s Saturday. Be careful of overinflated Villanova’s bubble bursting this week.
The Houston Rockets are living up to the preseason hype, jumping out to a 13-5 record and winning five straight games heading into Monday’s matchup with Utah. The Rockets peaked with a 112-106 win over the division-leading Spurs Saturday and can make another huge statement in the Western Conference with a win over Golden State Friday.
But before Houston butts heads with the Warriors, it hosts the NBA’s best bet Wednesday night. The Phoenix Suns bring their 12-4-1 ATS mark (as of Monday) to the Honda Center, coming off a game in Memphis the night before. The Suns have hung tough with the best in the West, covering on the road in Oklahoma City, Denver and San Antonio this year, and enter the week as 8-1 ATS away from home. Phoenix went 2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS in its four meetings with Houston last season.
Some teams see the NFL Thanksgiving games as a burden, throwing a mid-week wrench into a team’s schedule so deep into the season. Others, like the Dallas Cowboys, have learned to cope with the Turkey Day tasks and benefit from them greatly in Week 14 of the season. Since scoring a comeback win over the Raiders last Thursday, the Cowboys will have 10 full days between games before taking the field in Chicago Monday night.
This extended break is huge for Dallas at this point in the season. Not only does the 10-day hiatus act as a mini bye week, giving the coaching staff added time to fine tune its gameplan for Monday, but it also allows the Cowboys to lick their many wounds. Dallas is expected to return top LB Sean Lee from a hamstring injury, and could get CB Morris Claiborne and return weapon Dwayne Harris back as well.