With nine weeks of NFL season on the tires, teams can be even more susceptible to situational spots – AKA spots bets – in the backend of the schedule. Football bettors will want to give the calendar a once-over while handicapping the NFL odds, circling the possible letdowns, lookaheads, and schedule spots that could hold value.
Covers’ Senior Industry Analyst Jason Logan does just that in NFL Week 10, giving his favorite spot bet opportunities and how they could impact this Sunday’s outcomes.
LETDOWN SPOT: BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS (+10. 45.5)
There are few bigger highs than taking a win from the Patriots. That’s where we find the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10, playing the downtrodden Cincinnati Bengals a week removed from putting the boots to Brady & Co.
Baltimore not only has to deal with that change in intensity – from battling an undefeated Super Bowl champ to facing an 0-8 Bengals teams starting rookie QB Ryan Finley – but takes a sour smack of a situational sandwich, walking into a possible lookahead spot as well, with a huge homestand against Houston in Week 11 (which could have playoff seeding implications).
The Ravens have shown a tendency to play down to opponents, going 0-6 ATS in their last six meetings with a losing team, and are just 3-5 ATS on the year. Baltimore blew away Miami in Week 1, battled hard for a win in Seattle in Week 7, and upset New England at home last week. But the Ravens failed to cover versus the likes of Arizona, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and these very Bengals in Week 6.
LOOKAHEAD SPOT: MIAMI DOLPHINS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-10.5, 44)
If any team was going to look past this week’s foe, the Colts have the best case. Indianapolis was biting its nails while waiting for word on QB Jacoby Brissett’s health after he suffered a knee injury last Sunday. Brissett looks like he avoided any serious damage but his status for Week 10’s home date versus Miami is still undetermined.
While he may be able to grit it out, the Colts might not need him to suit up to upend the Dolphins, and backup Brian Hoyer may get the nod. Even if Brissett does play, expect the team to protect any further injury as they plan for a big divisional matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11.
The Jaguars are coming off the bye week and making a move to the returning Nick Foles at QB, benching rookie passer and pop-culture phenomenon Gardner Minshew. Indianapolis will be playing it safe ahead of that divisional dance and brings a 0-5-1 ATS mark in its last six meetings with losing teams into a Week 10 game against one of the NFL’s worst.
SCHEDULE SPOT: ARIZONA CARDINALS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-4.5, 51)
It’s a pirate’s life for the Buccaneers, who have been out to sea for nearly 50 days before making port at Raymond James Stadium in Week 10. Tampa Bay is coming off a grueling stretch of games away from home, starting at L.A. in Week 4 and spanning a trip to London, England in Week 6, a bye in Week 7, and back-to-back controversial losses at Tennessee and Seattle the past two outings.
This matchup with the Cardinals is just Tampa Bay’s third true road game of the season, having lost the other two to San Francisco and the New York Giants. There’s a lot of motivation to get the football-starved Florida faithful a victory this Sunday and the home-field edge could be just what the Buccaneers need to get over the hump after four of their six losses were decided by a touchdown or less.
The Bucs could easily be taking a two-game winning streak into this matchup with Arizona, if not for some botched calls by the officials in Weeks 8 and 9. We saw the Oakland Raiders in a similar schedule spot in Week 9, returning home for the first time after a 49-day period with a bang: winning and covering as 2-point chalk over Detroit last Sunday.