Tuley: Thursday Best Bets in NIT, NHL; Wednesday recaps; MLB season preview

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

March 30, 2023 05:33 AM


Thursday Best Bets, Wednesday Recaps

Wednesday was a very interesting hump day with work meetings and running around town to get in my last-minute MLB season bets.

Well, that’s not entirely true as I made my actual bets on my mobile apps, though I did run to the Westgate to enter their MLB Over/Under Season Win Totals contest.

I usually do the vast majority of my baseball betting on a day-to-day basis during the season. I had a lot of success over the years with underdogs as well as umpire Over/Unders, but those have dried up and are not as lucrative as they used to be. Last summer from July until the end of the season, I was rejuvenated by shortening the games by focusing on dogs with First-Five-Inning wagers. I expect that will be our focus when we jump in on individual games.

I’m not expecting to get involved with any games on Opening Day, so my only MLB wagers so far are on the San Diego Padres and Toronto Blue Jays. I’ve been high on both teams the past couple of years and I’m hoping they finally pay off (and recoup my prior losses) this year.

For our purposes here (and in the VSiN Best Bets file), I’ll go with both teams to win their respective divisions with the Blue Jays at +190 to win the AL East (Station Casinos here in Vegas) and the Padres at +120 to win the NL West (Westgate SuperBook). I also found the Blue Jays at 13-1 to win the World Series and the Padres at +950 (both at William Hill/Caesars).

As for my supposed Best Bets on Wednesday, I lost my top play on the Timberwolves +6.5 at the Suns as I had the right side the vast majority of the game for the second night in a row but lost in the end as the Suns won 107-100. I also lost my secondary play on the Wild-Avalanche 1P Under 1.5 as 1P Overs continue to be too strong (I was trying to time my move right by feeling that there was finally value on a 1P Under, but it didn’t work – at least not in this case).

Anyway, let’s recap the rest of Wednesday’s betting action and look for more Best Bets on Thursday, (note: I am passing on one potential “anti-swagger” play against the Celtics, who just had a 7-game winning streak snapped, as it would entail betting the Bucks -3; I'm just mentioning it for those readers who don’t mind betting chalk), plus our early play for the Final Four.

Wednesday Recaps

NBA: Faves went 9-1 SU and 6-3-1 ATS with the push in Bucks (-13) 149-136 win at Pacers. The Rockets (+10.5) covered in 123-114 loss at Nets and Pistons (+9.5) covered in 107-106 loss at Thunder. The lone upset was by the Clippers (+2) in 141-132 win at Grizzlies. Home/road teams split 5-5 SU, but road teams led 6-3-1 ATS. Over/Unders split 5-5.

More NBA: On the season, favorites improved to 750-379 SU with 16 games closing pick-'em and also regained lead at 553-551-25 ATS  (50.1%). Home teams lead 669-476 SU and 578-544-23 ATS (51.5%). In totals wagering, Overs still hold slim lead at 569-559-17 (50.4%).

NHL: Underdogs went 2-1 with upsets by the Panthers (+135 in 3-2 win at Maple Leafs) and Wild (+140 in 4-2 win at Avalanche). The Islanders (-120) beat Capitals 2-1 but faves went 0-3 on -1.5 puck line. Road teams swept 3-0. Unders went 2-0-1 with push in MIN-COL (6) game.


Thursday NIT Best Bet

North Texas +2 vs. UAB: Regular readers will remember that I was hoping to bet North Texas as an underdog in the NCAA tourney but the Mean Green didn’t get a bid. Instead, UNT has run off four straight wins (we only bet North Texas the one time as an underdog, +4.5 vs. Oklahoma State) in the NIT to face Conference USA rival UAB in the title game. I wish I had posted this yesterday as North Texas was +3.5, but we like it at any number as we’re counting on the outright upset. UAB beat North Texas 76-69 in the Conference USA tourney, but North Texas won the two regular-season meetings. We also like that North Texas is ranked No. 33 at kenpom.com (UAB is No. 45) and is No. 18 in adjusted defensive efficiency. For our grading purposes here, we’ll take +2, but the money line is around +110.

Thursday NHL Best Bets

Sharks +140 vs. Golden Knights: This is a game between the best and worst teams in the Pacific Division, but it’s a “swagger play” on the Sharks as they just snapped a 9-game losing streak on Tuesday vs. the Jets. The Sharks have matched up well with the Golden Knights in their 3 meetings as VGK leads 2-1 but the goals are tied 8-8, so we still see this as a coin-flip at a nice plus-price

Flyers-Senators 1P Over 1.5 -130 / Ducks-Kraken 1P Over 1.5 -160 (parlay pays +174): Let’s return to 1P Overs as the Flyers and Senators (No. 5 1P Over team) combine to go 87-60 (59.2%) and the Ducks (No. 2) and Kraken (No, 7) combine to go 91-54 (62.8%).

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.

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