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
St. Louis Rams at Kansas City Chiefs (-6)
Would you bet on a team the week after it plays in the Super
Bowl? That’s essentially what you would be doing if you lay
cash on the Rams in this one. St. Louis used every tactical
weapon in its arsenal to take down the Seahawks, and you have
to wonder how much petrol will be left in the tank when they
travel to Kansas City this coming Sunday.
The Chiefs are coming off the high of a solid win in San
Diego that kept them in the playoff conversation, and they
are a solid 4-2 against the spread. Kansas City will no doubt
do everything it can to run the ball against the Rams’
28th-ranked rush defense, so all the arrows are pointing
toward the Chiefs in this one. Jump before the line goes up a
Spread to wait on
Philadelphia Eagles (+2.5) at Arizona
This is the early game of year in the NFL, with both teams at
5-1. The Eagles have been pasting teams at home, but have
actually been outscored by opponents in their two home games.
Still, early money is on the Eagles, who are a national team
and always attract play.
There is a possibility that this one could move to 2-points
as heavy money on Philly from the East continues to flood the
offshores. Arizona is 5-1 and starting to take of advantage
of dysfunction in San Francisco and Seattle to make a real
run at the NFC West.
Total to watch
Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons (In London)
These are the worst of times in Atlanta, where the 2-5
Falcons are basically out of it already in the NFC South and
giving up gobs of points, despite a benign schedule so far.
Fans have been clamoring for Mike Smith’s head on a platter,
and there is already talk about bringing in Rex Ryan to fix
what ails the defense, which is just about everything.
The Lions aren’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard every
week, but they’ve been winning with their league-best defense
that allows only 15 points a game. The Falcons will want to
run the ball to stay competitive and keep the fans off their
backs, so a long look at an under play is needed here.