Sunday Best Bets, NCAA title game opening-line report
Saturday was a great day of sports betting (and horse racing) action in the Tuley’s Takes home office, though rough on the personal bankroll.
I went 0-for-4 with my horse racing plays in my separate “Team Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes'' column as I had several live horses but could only manage one second-place finish (paid $6 to Place) and another fast-closing third-place finish that earned me nothing. My sports plays here fared worse as I lost my top play on the San Diego State-Florida Atlantic First-Half Under 61 as both teams pushed the pace faster than expected and couldn’t seem to miss. I also lost with the San Antonio Brahmas +3 in a 26-12 loss at the Vegas Vipers and split my NHL First-Period Over parlay (another losing play).
While we’ll recap the betting results of the other major team sports below, the biggest event of the day was the Final Four, of course, with San Diego State beating Florida Atlantic on a basket as time expired and UConn cruising gate-to-wire over Miami-Florida.
I also kept my reporting cap on as I tracked the opening-line movement for Monday’s national championship game. Several books opened UConn as 6-point favorites and the early money poured in on the Huskies as they were bet to -6.5 and then -7 in about the first 10 minutes. But the line didn’t stop there as the Wiliam Hill/Caesars books here in Vegas went to -7.5 and locals giant Station Casino went to UConn -8. It didn’t take long for Circa Sports and Bet MGM to join Caesars at -7.5 (around the same time that DraftKings opened at UConn -7.5 in the states where they have licensed books).
By midnight ET/9 p.m. PT, UConn -7.5 was clearly the consensus line everywhere and by the time of this writing (5:30 a.m. ET/2:30 a.m. PT), all Vegas books were at UConn -7.5 except for Stations still at -8.
The Over/Under has been more stable –
though I saw a low of 130.5 and a high of 132 –
but by the end of the night it was split between 131 and 131.5.
Let’s recap the rest of Saturday’s betting action and try to do better on Sunday, plus I’m personally taking San Diego State +8 at Stations and locking my play in at SDSU +7.5 on the VSiN PRO Picks page
(I’ll add my full write-up in Monday’s version of this column).
NCAA Tournament: No. 4 seed UConn beat No. 5 Miami-Fla. 72-59 in the Final Four in Houston as the Huskies easily covered as 6-point favorites (game stayed well Under betting total of 149 points). Earlier in the other semifinal, No. 5 seed San Diego State rallied to beat No. 9 Florida Atlantic 72-71 on a buzzer-beater, but the Aztecs didn't cover after closing as 2.5-point faves (went Over the total of 131 points with 4:03 to spare).
More NCAA Tournament: Favorites went 2-0 SU in Saturday's Final Four games, but split 1-1 ATS. Over/Unders also 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 the Sweet 16). Unders still lead 37-25 (59.7%).
NBA: Favorites/underdogs split 1-1 SU and ATS Saturday as the Association mostly stepped aside for college basketball. The Heat (+2.5) upset the Mavericks 129-122 (Over 224.5) while the Pelicans (-4.5) covered in a 122-114 win vs. the Clippers. Home teams swept 2-0 SU and ATS. Overs also swept 2-0.
More NBA: On the season, favorites lead 761-385 SU with 16 games closing pick-'em, but dogs still hold the slimmest of leads at 561-560-25 ATS. Home teams improved to 679-483 SU and 584-555-23 ATS (51.3%). In totals wagering, Overs improved slim lead to 579-565-18 (50.6%).
MLB: Faves went 10-5 with the biggest upsets by the Giants (+127 in 7-5 win at Yankees), Guardians (+120 in 2-0 win at Mariners) and Cardinals (+119 in 4-1 win vs. Blue Jays. Home teams went 8-7. Overs led 8-6-1 with push in Mets’ 6-2 win at Marlins with betting total of 8 runs. Faves lead 20-14 after 3 days with 1 PK. Road teams still lead 18-17. Overs take 18-16-1 lead.
NHL: Favorites dominated 11-2 on Saturday with only minor upsets by the Sabres (smallest of underdogs at -105 in 6-3 win at Flyers) and Kings (also -105 in 3-1 win at Kraken). Road teams went 8-5. Over/Unders split 6-6-1 with the push in Panthers-Blue Jackets (7) game.
XFL: The previously winless Orlando Guardians upset the previously undefeated DC Defenders 37-36 on Saturday night as 9.5-point home dogs and +360 on money line (game flew Over the betting total of 46 points). Earlier, the Vegas Vipers (-2.5) covered in 26-12 win vs. the San Antonio Brahmas (pushed on consensus closing total of 38 in Vegas, though announcers were calling it an Under at 38.5, which was the closing total at Caesars).
More XFL: Faves/dogs split 1-1 SU and ATS on Saturday. Home teams swept 2-0 SU and ATS. Faves and home teams both 2-1 SU and ATS in Week 7. Overs 1-0-1 on Sunday, 2-0-1 in Week 7. On the XFL season, faves lead 20-6 SU & 16-9-1 ATS (64%) with 1 PK. Home teams lead 15-12 SU and 14-12-1 ATS. Overs lead 14-12-1.
Sunday NBA Best Bets
Rockets +11 vs. Lakers: This is a “swagger play” on the Rockets as they just snapped a 7-game losing streak on Friday in a 121-115 win vs. the Pistons with Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green scoring 33 and 32 points, respectively. The Lakers are obviously playing better than they were earlier in the season and are 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in their last six games, but I still don’t think they should be favored by double digits. In fact, the Rockets beat the Lakers 114-110 on March 15 and the Lakers only won by 8 in their only other meeting. I’m also surprised this line was so high overnight considering Anthony Davis is listed as probable and LeBron James is questionable.
Pacers +12.5 at Cavaliers: This play is similar, though I don’t like it as well as the Pacers are a “mini-swagger” play as they’re just coming off snapping a 4-game losing streak and are on the road. Still, the Cavs should be content to grind out a win.