NFL line watch: 12th Man may want to wait for big Cheese move

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Each week during the pro football season, Covers 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 and which total to watch as the week plays out.

Spread to bet now

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-7)

The Colts now own two playoff wins. Shoving Cincinnati to the gutter was one thing and beating Denver was cool – even if watching Peyton Manning reminded old-timers of an ancient Willie Mays falling down while trying to chase down fly balls in his final season.

The question is are the Colts just happy to be taking an extra step or do they have more than a puncher’s chance of taking down the Belichick & Brady Wrecking Co.?

The Patriots were undefeated at home this season in games that mattered and have already put 35 points on the board against a good defensive team (Baltimore). Indianapolis and Andrew Luck are hoping that the Patriots spent a good portion of their energy in the already-epic win over the Ravens, and will come out flat.
 
Spread to wait on

Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5)

OK, the Packers are one bobbled ball away from being on the outside looking in, but they are here and get a chance to climb into the boiling cauldron in Seattle and try to beat the Seahawks.

The Cheeseheads couldn’t do it in the season opener (Seattle, 36-16), but that’s now ancient history. Green Bay has the best player in the league (Aaron Rodgers) and doesn’t figure to freak out like so many other visitors to the Pacific Northwest over the past few seasons.

Early money is coming in heavy on the Packers, with bettors figuring if the Panthers can hang with the Seahawks for a half, there’s an opening for the Packers. Heavy money in Green Bay’s direction might eventually shave off that half a point. So if your book is at 7.5,  see how things stand later in the week.
 
Total to watch

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (53.5)

January weather in Foxboro usually ranges from very cold to very snowy, but the long-term forecast calls for game-time temperatures in the high 30s, and nothing coming out of the sky. That’s good for the dome Colts, and also good for Over bettors.

The Ravens and Patriots burned past the 47.5 number midway through the third quarter this past weekend, almost forcing books to hike the total on this one by a full touchdown. It might not be enough even at 53 points, especially given the way New England’s defense has taken a step back in the last half-dozen games.

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