See spot. See spot bet: This week's best spot bets

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Ben Burns - 2/4/2015 4:30 PM

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. Expert Ben Burns points out his favorites:

Lookahead spot

The San Antonio Spurs can't help but lookahead to their upcoming "Rodeo Road Trip" which takes the Spurs out of the AT&T Center for most of the month of February. San Antonio will be on the highway for a nine-game stretch that takes the Spurs all the way out East and then back West in a span of 20 days. However, while the Rodeo Trip would fall under our regular "Schedule Spot", San Antonio's inability to stay focused before the trip is an absolute lookahead.

Over the past three seasons, including 2015, the Spurs have suffered a slump just before heading off on that extended away trek. In 2013, San Antonio went a perfect 6-0 SU but only 2-3-1 ATS. Last season, they flopped to a 1-3 SU mark and failed to cover in each of those games. And this year, the defending NBA champs are 3-2 SU and 0-4-1 ATS in their last five games, with Orlando coming to town Wednesday. San Antonio has one more home stand after that, hosting Miami Friday, before opening the Rodeo Trip in Toronto Sunday.

Letdown spot

The Wisconsin Badgers haven't had much time to catch their collective breathes with the frantic pace of the Big Ten. The Badgers were on the road for two tough games - at Michigan and Iowa - last week and return home to face No. 25 Indiana Tuesday night. Wisconsin is just 3-5-1 ATS since the beginning of conference play and that once gigantic home-court edge in the Kohl Center is slipping, with a 1-3-1 ATS mark in their last four in Madison.

The Badgers will finally get a chance to relax - somewhat - against the Northwestern Wildcats this weekend. Northwestern sits at the bottom of the Big Ten, going just 1-7 SU in conference play so far. The Wildcats do, however, present some great value on the road, where they are perfect 6-0 ATS heading into Tuesday's tilt in Nebraska. Northwestern was blown away by Wisconsin 81-58 at home on Jan. 4, so the Badgers could get caught putting their feet up with a large spread likely looming in Saturday's game.

Schedule spot

The Anaheim Ducks are hopping the country for a five-game road trip, which opens in Nashville Thursday. The Ducks will be playing the first three stops of this trip in four nights, taking on the Predators, Washington Capitals (Friday), and Tampa Bay Lightning (Sunday) - three opponents that love to push the pace and keep goaltenders busy.

Nashville ranks third in shots on goal in the NHL (32 per game), while Washington boast the league's third-best power play (23.5 percent), and Tampa Bay nets a league-high 3.2 goals a game. That's a whole lot of offense to handle in that short span. After that, the Ducks finish up at Florida Tuesday and at Carolina Thursday -two teams on the other end of that offensive scale.

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