Wiseguys share the hottest spot bet opportunities of the week


USA TODAY Sports

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 a few of his favorites.

Letdown spot

Wisconsin is rolling these days. In fact, the Badgers enter Thursday’s game at Michigan State off seven straight wins, covering the spread in all seven of those games. One of those victories came at Illinois, a 63-55 Badger win on 1/31.

Off the big game versus the Spartans, and off a big upset win at Maryland in their previous game, it may be easy for the Badgers to suffer a letdown against the lowly Illini. Keep in mind that Maryland and Michigan State are the top two teams in the conference while Illinois (11-14) is third from the bottom. Consider grabbing the points with revenge-minded Illinois on Sunday afternoon.
 
Lookahead spot

The Louisville Cardinals responded to the news that they weren’t eligible for the postseason by blowing out a bad Boston College team. Since then, the Cardinals have suffered losses at Duke and at Notre Dame. They’ll get another crack at Duke on Saturday afternoon and the recent revenge factor should help provide the Cardinals with some added motivation for that game.

First, however, Louisville will take on Syracuse on 2/17. Sure, the Cards will want to snap their losing streak. They’ll be laying a fairly big number though and with the Blue Devils looming on deck, it could be easy to get caught looking ahead. Take a look at Syracuse on Wednesday.
 
Schedule spot

Returning home from an extended road trip can be tough. Girlfriends, wives, friends, bills (regular life) all need to be attended to and can often prove distracting. On Thursday the 18th the Maple Leafs will be playing their first game in Toronto in two full weeks. Much has happened over that span, as the team has traded away its captain, while traveling across the continent.

The last time that the Leafs returned from a West Coast trip, they were defeated by lowly Columbus, in their first game back. The Hurricanes are 10-4 their last 14 visits here, including wins in each of the last two. They won here 1-0 in January and 4-1 here last season. Consider Carolina on Thursday.

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