Tuley: Saturday Best Bets in NCAA Final Four, XFL, NHL; Friday recaps

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

April 1, 2023 03:09 AM


Saturday Best Bets, Friday Recaps

Friday was a pretty frustrating day in the Tuley’s Takes home office

For starters, we were going through withdrawals after a full 15-game MLB slate on Thursday’s Opening Day with a mere 5 games on Friday, and none before 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. here in Vegas. We’re in the midst of the race for playoff spots in the NBA and NHL, yet the night’s biggest highlights were in the NCAA Women’s Final Four (recaps below, led by Iowa’s upset of No. 1 South Carolina).

Unfortunately, I didn’t bet Iowa and Caitlin Clark, fearing that she wouldn’t be able to pull the upset as a one-woman show, but she did.

Even more unfortunately, my actual bets didn’t fare as well. I lost my top play on the Clippers +6.5 at the Grizzlies in a 108-94 loss. It didn’t start so bad with the Clippers jumping out to a 34-21 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Grizzlies rebounded to grab a 55-51 lead by halftime and then pulled away in the third quarter.

I also lost an NHL First-Period Over play as the Canucks only led the Flames 1-0 after the opening 20 minutes. The Flames were 0-for-3 on power plays in the first period and then both teams seemed to flaunt it in my face by scoring 3 goals apiece in the second period. The only consolation is I only lost 1 unit as I went with the Over 2 +125 in this game instead of laying around -155 on Over 1.5 (but both lost regardless).

I was happy that I passed on the Arlington Renegades +5 as they lost 24-15 to the Seattle Sea Dragons, but I still lost as I took Under 37.5.

All in all, a very frustrating day.

Let’s recap the rest of Friday’s betting action and try to do better on Saturday. We’re encouraged with the return of NCAA men’s college basketball with the Final Four as we’re 10-5 ATS (66.7%) this postseason, including winning our last three bets with San Diego State First-Half Under 62.5 and +2 in last Sunday’s win vs. Creighton and North Texas +2 vs. UAB in the NIT Championship Game on Thursday.

Friday Recaps

NBA: Faves went 10-3 SU on Friday, but dogs led 7-6 ATS as the Jazz (+13 at Celtics), Pistons (+6.5 at Rockets), Spurs (+18 at Warriors) and Nuggets (+13 at Suns) all covered in losses. The upsets were by the Knicks (+3.5 at Cavaliers), Pacers (+6 vs. Thunder) and Nets (+1.5 vs. Hawks). Home teams went 8-5 SU but road teams led 9-4 ATS (all 4 dogs that covered in losses were on the road). Overs went 7-5-1 with push in ORL-WAS (225).  

More NBA: On the season, favorites improved to 760-384 SU with 16 games closing pick-'em, but dogs retook the lead at 560-559-25 ATS. Home teams still lead 677-483 SU and 582-555-23 ATS (51.2%). In totals wagering, Overs still hold slim lead at 577-565-18 (50.5%).

Women’s NCAA Final Four: No. 2 seed Iowa upset previously undefeated and No. 1 South Carolina 77-73 as 10.5-point underdog and +495 on money line (stayed Under 151.5). In the other national semifinal, No. 3 seed LSU beat No. 1 Virginia Tech 79-72 but it wasn't an upset as LSU was a 1.5-point fave (went Over 133.5).

MLB: Underdogs went 3-2 on Friday with upsets by the Rockies (+170 in 4-1 win at Padres), Diamondbacks (+170 in 2-1 win at Dodgers) and Guardians (+150 in 9-4 win at Mariners). Faves still lead 10-9 after 2 days with 1 game closing pick-'em. Road teams went 3-2 and improved to 11-9. Unders led 3-2 and are now tied with Overs at 10-10 overall.

NHL: Favorites went 3-1 Friday with the lone upset by the Sabres (+124 in 3-2 OT win vs. Rangers; Jets (-250 in 6-2 win vs. Red Wings), Flames (-150 in 5-4 OT win at Canucks) and Stars (-245 in 5-2 win at Coyotes) won as chalk. Home/road teams split 2-2. Overs led 3-1.

XFL: Seattle Sea Dragons (5-point road favorites) covered in 24-15 win vs. Arlington Renegades to kick off Week 7 (went Over betting total of 38 points). On the season, faves lead 19-5 SU and 15-8-1 ATS (65.2%) with 1 pick-’em. Home teams dip to 13-12 SU and 12-12-1 ATS. Overs take 13-12 lead.


NCAA March Madness Final Four Best Bet

San Diego State-Florida Atlantic 1H Under 61: We’re going back to the well with the First-Half Under. The handicap is similar to Sunday’s San Diego State-Creighton game as the Aztecs are ranked No. 4 in defensive efficiency, according to kenpom.com, with Florida Atlantic rated No. 29. There should be plenty of contested shots and the teams feeling each other out in the opening 20 minutes. More people are becoming aware that the Under has hit in San Diego State’s last 12 games, but with this bet you don’t have to worry about a potential foul-fest spoiling the Under like you do in a full-game wager. I don't have a play on either underdog in Saturday's Final Four as both line look a little short to me, so I'm sticking with this as my Best Bet of the day after touting it all week (most books down to 60 as of late Friday night, so hopefully our followers grabbed the 61 earlier in the week or are able to shop around 60.5 or 60 on gameday).

Saturday XFL Best Bet

San Antonio Brahmas +3 at Vegas Vipers: One of the biggest mysteries of the XFL season is why this Vegas team continues to get so much respect from oddsmakers and bettors. I understand they were better than their 0-4 start as they were competitive in most of their games, but they’re 1-5 with the only win against Orlando, the worst team in the league (and they didn’t even cover as 7-point favorites in that 35-32 win). We backed San Antonio last week as it earned a season split with Arlington and has a chance to catch them for second place in their division with a win. The Brahmas allow the fewest points per game at 14.7. Of course, their offense is next-to-last in the league at just 14.8 points per game, but that should improve against a Vegas defense allowing 27.2 points per game.

Saturday NHL Best Bet

Sabres-Flyers 1P Over 1.5 -155 / Ducks-Oilers 1P Over 2 -125 (parlay pays +196): These 1P parlays have gone cold and we’ll certainly have to re-assess our approach come playoff time. For now, we’re going with this play on Saturday even though we again have the books going to Over 2 with the top 1P Over teams (heck, DraftKings had Over 2.5 overnight). The Sabres and Flyers combine to go 88-60 (59.5%) on the season while the Ducks and Oilers, the No. 2 and 6 over teams, are even better at 96-54 (64%), which is why the books are adjusting on them. If we push on the Over 2 leg, the parlay reverts to a straight bet on Sabres-Flyers.


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