Monday Best Bet, Sunday Recaps
Sunday felt strange in the Tuley’s Takes home office. It was the traditional day off between the Saturday Final Four and Monday championship game in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, but had tons of sports betting action with NBA, NHL, MLB and XFL, plus the NCAA Women’s title game.
While MLB and NHL favorites dominated (see full recaps below), there were plenty of dogs still barking on the hardwood with LSU upsetting Iowa in women’s b-ball and a historic day of upsets in the NBA.
On just about any other day, the Spurs’ 142-134 OT win at the Kings as 16-point underdogs would have been the biggest sports betting news of the day, but the Blazers (without four starters, including Damian Lillard) rallied from a 12-point deficit to beat the Timberwolves 107-105 as 19.5-point dogs, the biggest point-spread upset in the NBA in nearly 30 years. It was the first time in 30 years that dogs of 15-plus points pulled outright upsets on the same day.
Sunday was also a day of regrets for yours truly, Dave Tuley, as I didn’t have either of those underdogs, nor LSU.
I had the right approach as my plays of the day were two other NBA double-digit dogs – the Rockets +11 vs. the Lakers and the Pacers +12.5 at the Cavaliers – but we only split those as the Lakers ran over the Rockets 134-109 while the Pacers held on to cover in a 115-105 loss.
I also regretted not giving out the St. Louis Battlehawks +3 at the Houston Roughnecks in their 24-15 upset as I’ve been struggling with the XFL lately, as well as a winning NHL First-Period parlay with the Ducks-Flames and Kings-Canucks. I was happy to hear from some readers who said they went ahead and bet those plays anyway, but I feel like I let down other followers for not “trusting the process” and posting the play despite our recent slump.
I really appreciate that our regulars “get it” that I’m still a journalist first and handicapper second (while trying to bet like a professional with an emphasis on searching for value with underdogs and proper money management), but the fact remains that one of the keys to success in this gambling lifestyle that we all enjoy is how we work through the inevitable losing streaks as they happen to everyone.
Anyway, let’s get to the matter at hand with the rest of the recaps of Sunday’s betting action and then get to Monday’s Best Bet (which I already hinted at in yesterday’ column and gave out on “The Greg Peterson Experience” on Sunday night (regular weekly appearance at 11:15 p.m. ET/8:15 p.m. PT, or 15 minutes into archived version) and in the VSiN PRO Best Bets file at VSiN.com
NBA: Faves went 10-3 SU but dogs led 7-6 ATS. The upsets were by the Blazers (+19.5 at Timberwolves), Spurs (+16 at Kings) and Nuggets (+4 vs. Warriors), plus the Pacers (+13 at Cavaliers), Wizards (+11.5 at Knicks), Jazz (+7.5 at Nets) and Mavericks (+3 at Hawks) all covered in losses. Home teams went 8-5 SU but road teams led 9-4 ATS. Overs led 8-5
More NBA: On the season, favorites lead 771-388 SU with 16 games closing pick-'em, but dogs still hold the slimmest of leads at 568-566-25 ATS. Home teams lead 687-488 SU and 588-564-23 ATS (51.1%). In totals wagering, Overs improved slim lead to 587-570-18 (50.7%).
MLB: Faves went 10-5 for the 2nd day in a row with the biggest upsets by the Diamondbacks (+165 in 2-1 win at Dodgers), Nationals (+161 in 4-1 win vs. Braves) and White Sox (+130 in 6-3 win at Astros). Home teams went 8-7. Unders led 9-6. Faves lead 30-19 after 4 days with 1 PK. Home/road tied 25-25. Unders took 25-24-1 lead.
NHL: Favorites went 7-2 on Sunday with the only upsets by the Red Wings (+210 in 5-2 win at the Maple Leafs) and Blue Jackets (+165 in 4-3 win vs. the Senators). Faves have been dominating at 30-7 the last 4 days. Home teams went 5-4 on the day. Overs led 6-3.
XFL: St. Louis Battlehawks (+3.5) upset the Houston Roughnecks 24-15 on Sunday to wrap up XFL Week 7 (game stayed Under 45 points) as faves/dogs and home/road split 2-2 SU and ATS with Overs leading 2-1-1. On the season, faves still lead 20-7 SU and 16-10-1 ATS with 1 PK. Home teams still lead 15-13 SU and 14-13-1 ATS. Overs lead 14-13-1.
NCAA Women’s Tournament: No. 3 seed LSU upset No. 2 Iowa 102-85 after closing as 3.5-point underdog and +140 on the money line (flew Over betting total of 156.5 points).
NCAA Men’s Tournament (ICYMI): Favorites went 2-0 SU in Saturday's Final Four game, but split 1-1 ATS. Over/Unders split 1-1. Overall in the NCAA Tournament, faves improved to 41-20 SU but still tied 30-30-1 ATS with 1 pick-'em (Gonzaga-UCLA in Sweet 16). Unders still lead 37-25 (59.7%).
Monday NCAA Championship Game Best Bet
San Diego State +7.5 vs. UConn: Before the Final Four, the advance lines I saw for this title game matchup ranged from UConn -5 to -6, which seemed about right with both teams favored in the semifinals. San Diego State has made an impressive run to the title game, including knocking off No. 1 overall seed Alabama, but UConn has been dominant as the Huskies are also 5-0 ATS, covering by an average of 15.4 points per game. So, after San Diego State needed a buzzer-beater to get by Florida Atlantic and UConn rolled again over Miami-Florida, it wasn’t a surprise that most books opened on the high end of UConn -6. Early bettors thought that was too low and it took about 10 minutes to go to -6.5 and -7 and was -7.5 by the end of Saturday night and has stayed there as of late Sunday afternoon.
That looks like too much of an adjustment and I have to take the Aztecs. UConn is certainly capable of another blowout win, but it’s more likely that this comes down to a few possessions. SDSU is still No. 4 in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to kenpom.com, and is No. 3 in opponent 3-point percentage, which will make it tough on UConn’s shooters. While some might think the Aztecs need to slow down the pace to be able to keep up with the Huskies, we saw in the win vs. FAU that they can win in a shootout as well. While I think San Diego State can pull off the upset, I’m calling for a final score of UConn 69, San Diego State 66.