See spot. See spot bet: This week’s best spot bet opportunities

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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. Covers Expert Ben Burns points out his favorites:

Letdown spot

How the hell do you suffer a letdown in the biggest game on the planet? Two weeks of nothing but Big Game hype and good ole butterflies in the stomach, that’s how. Even at the professional ranks, players can get a little worked up for the Super Bowl and that can lead to some dropped passes and mental errors in the early going. The first quarter of the Super Bowl has produced an average combined score of 8.12 points over the last seven years, well below the 9.5 points books have hung as the first quarter total for Super Bowl XLIX Sunday.

While the Seahawks are very familiar with the pressures of the Big Game, they are by no means immune to them. And the Patriots have some players and staff with Super Bowl experience but not enough to settle the nerves of the collective roster. The first quarter Over/Under may be leaning a little more on the 4.1 and 5.5 points per first quarter Seattle and New England averaged on the year and not the 3.9 and 4.4 points against they held opponents to in the opening frame. Sprinkle in some Super Sunday jitters and a first-quarter letdown could be primed for both teams.

Lookahead spot

As you prep your Super Bowl bets, there’s another “big game” this weekend. No, it’s not a NBA big-name showdown of superstars or a high-profile major conference clash, and it sure didn’t have a media day held in its honor. Bragging rights in the Missouri Valley Conference are on the line when the Wichita State Shockers visit the Northern Iowa Panthers Saturday.

Hey c’mon, this is a battle of teams ranked No. 12 and No. 18 in the country. That’s a big reason to beware the Panthers this week as they visit the Southern Illinois Salukis Wednesday. The Panthers could get caught looking past SIU on the road and to this weekend’s showdown with the Shockers. Northern Iowa is a dismal 0-3-1 ATS in its last four trips to Carbondale and the home team has dominated this series, going 5-1-1 ATS in the last seven between NIU and SIU.

Schedule spot

The Sacramento Kings get a rotten deal from the NBA schedule makers, leaving the sun shine of the Golden State for the frigid, snow-slammed streets of Toronto, Cleveland and Indiana this week. They were actually scheduled to play in New York Monday but snow storms forced the league to postpone the game and the Kings had to fly to the Big Apple for nothing, leaving NYC for Toronto – playing the Raptors Wednesday – before the weather got bad.

Sacramento is a horrid 1-6 ATS in its last seven road games overall and boasts a 1-10-1 ATS mark in its last 12 games versus Eastern Conference opponents. The Kings not only fight off those frightful trends, but play a stretch of three games in four nights. Sacramento doesn’t have a deep rotation, getting just 29.2 points per game from its reserves – 24th in the NBA. All that travel, coupled with a frantic schedule, could catch up to the Kings this week.

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