USA Today Sports
Expert Art Aronson of AAA Sports 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
New York Jets at San Diego Chargers (-7)
Seven points is a lot to swallow in any game, especially
against a team like the Jets who figure to play decent
defense at some point. But the NYJ are trending down, and
this past Sunday’s punch-in-the-gut loss to the Lions at home
has the team already in crisis management mode.
A 1-3 record is not a death playoff death sentence, but 1-4
is. Geno Smith looks like he needs more time to be
emotionally ready to play QB in this league, and the odds are
decent that Michael Vick will get the call.
This plays right into the hands of the Chargers, who give up
fewer than 16 points a game and are still riding a high after
their Week 2 win over the Seahawks. The public is on SD, and
with good reason.
Spread to bet later
Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts
Early money is flooding in on the Colts after Indianapolis
crushed the Jaguars and Titans in the last two games by a
combined score of 85-34, so if you like the Ravens, you might
be able to get an extra half-point if you sit this one out
until Thursday or Friday.
The Ravens are coming off a big win over Carolina, but the
road ahead is filled with potholes – four of the next five
are on the road. A victory at Indianapolis could go a long
way toward making the AFC a two-team battle with Cincinnati,
so the Ravens should be motivated.
Bettors might want to hang in for a bit and steal a few bucks
in what might turn out to be a field goal game.
Total to watch
Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars (46)
Only six and a half months to go before the Jaguars are faced
with the agonizing decision of whether to draft whacko-bird
Jamies Winston. In the meantime, they need to figure out what
to do about a defense that ranks at or near the bottom in
every major category.
Holding San Diego to 33 points out on the West Coast was
actually a step up for a D that had even given up 41 to
Washington. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has twice rung up 30+plus
this season and will be full of pee and vinegar after losing
at home to Tampa Bay.
This game has the potential for a big number.