NFL Line Watch: Brees’ shoulder has total bettors on alert

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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 on now

Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys (+1)

Are the Falcons finally over the hump? Atlanta owns two tight wins over NFC East opponents (Eagles and Giants), and goes for the division trifecta against the wounded Cowboys Sunday. The Falcons have twice trailed in the late going, only to storm back both times and keep pace with the Panthers in the suddenly-relevant NFC South.

Tony Romo’s injury has caused Dallas money to dry up as bettors have pounded the Falcons 2-to-1. If you like Atlanta to make it three in a row, best lay the money down as soon as possible because the line could bump up pretty quickly.

Spread to wait on

Pittsburgh Steelers at St. Louis Rams (+1)

Steelers action has already tilted this one from Rams -1 to Rams +1, and with 70 percent of early bettors backing Pittsburgh, there could be even more volatility on this game. Pittsburgh’s 25-point blowout of the 49ers in Week 2 settled nerves in western Pennsylvania after the Steelers had been manhandled by the Patriots in the opener.

Rams fans may be in for a roller-coaster ride this season, if the early results are any indication. No one expected St. Louis to be dominated in Washington, but St. Louis just could not get its offense going.

Total to watch

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

As Yogi would say, it gets late early around here, and at 0-2 the Saints find themselves in last place in the NFC South and with an injured quarterback. Reports about Drew Brees’s injured (throwing) shoulder are conflicting, and range from “he’s good to go on Sunday” to “he’ll be sidelined for several weeks”.

If Brees can’t go against the Panthers, the immortal Luke McCown takes over against a Carolina team that has allowed the second-fewest points in the league this season. Not hard to do the math from that point, especially considering that the Panthers’ offense is banged up itself and has been less than mediocre so far.


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