Tuley: Thursday Best Bets in MLB, NHL; plus Wednesday recaps

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

April 13, 2023 05:16 AM


Thursday Best Bets, Wednesday Recaps

Wednesday was a very surreal day of nostalgia and record-keeping in the Tuley’s Takes home office.

On a personal note, my wife and I watched some “Guy’s Grocery Games” episodes starring Guy Fieri – inspiring me to make grilled cheese and ham sandwiches for lunch – and we also were going through a lot of the kids’ old games and bikes/trikes/scooters/etc. as we were spring-cleaning and starting to prepare for a yard sale (date TBD). There were a lot of bittersweet memories as we recalled buying all those things and how excited the kids were when we gave them as birthday or Christmas presents, and also sad that they're not little kids anymore.

I was already in a nostalgic mood because late Tuesday/early Wednesday, a longtime friend, Marty McGee, had announced he was retiring from the Daily Racing Form and I Tweeted from my @ViewFromVegas account: “Congrats, @DRFMcGee: and while you're thanking those who helped you on your #horseracing career path, I'd like to publicly thank you for helping me get a foot in the door @DailyRacingForm in August 1993 (nearly 30 years ago) to put me on the career path that I've been blessed to have!”

For those interested in the back-story, I was working as a page designer/copy editor at The Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, Illinois, a far suburb of Chicago. That means me and another sports copy editor were mostly responsible for laying out the entire sports section (at least 5 pages daily and up to 16 pages on Sundays), editing all the stories from both our own writers and the wire services, writing the headlines, picking all the photos, writing the captions, formatting all the agate (box scores, standings, etc., etc.) and proofing the final pages.

I was doing only a little writing at the time (my occasional attempts at humor columns as I envisioned being the last of the great American sports columnists, plus covering occasional games by the Bears, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox, DePaul, Northwestern, etc.) and did a daily bankroll during the spring and summer at Arlington International Racecourse. McGee knew how bummed I was each day that I had to leave the press box around 3 or 3:30 p.m. to drive out to Crystal Lake to work on the desk. We also played on the press box softball team in a league on the Arlington backstretch and one night after a game we were having some beers and he asked if I’d be interested in working for Daily Racing Form. I loved the idea of combining my journalism skills with my newfound love of horse racing (and, by natural extension, gambling!).

McGee had me send my resume and clips to Neil Cook, DRF’s editor-in-chief at the time, and I didn’t hear back anything for several weeks, but McGee kept assuring me that it was a sure thing. FInally, Cook flew me down to the Lexington, Kentucky, offices and a 5-minute interview led to a job offer and I started at DRF on Aug. 30, 1993 (the same day that David Letterman moved to CBS from NBC). I was transferred to the main editorial offices in Phoenix in March 1994 and eventually to Las Vegas in November 1998. And the rest is history. If you care to read more, my full bio is at VSiN.com, written when I first started here in September 2017.

Things didn’t get any less surreal when the games started being played late Wednesday afternoon and into the night. I pushed on my Best Bet of the day on the Nationals First 5 Innings +135 at the Angels and later with the Giants First 5 +145 vs. Dodgers. The Nationals led 2-1 and the Giants led 3-0, but the L.A. teams rallied in both cases as the games were tied 2-2 and 3-3, respectively, after 5 innings.

Combined with a push on the Diamondbacks F5 +115 at the Brewers on Tuesday, that gives me 3 straight pushes and we’re now 2-2-5 (how crazy is that?) with our MLB First 5 plays so far this season for a net profit of 0.2 units.

Another thing I did Wednesday was update my grading of my NHL First-Period Over parlays. Longtime VSiN reader Aaron asked me to confirm that those plays have been profitable overall and also asked if they were also profitable if playing straight and not in parlays. I replied that while we’re no longer up the +7.95 units that we were from the Super Bowl through March 28, our NHL 1P Over plays are still 14-19 overall for +5.22 units despite going 2-6 over the past two weeks to give back 2.73 units of profit (we have our final regular-season parlay on Thursday before deciding if we continue into the Stanley Cup playoffs).

As for playing it straight, the individual games are 41-25, but with an average price of around -160, that’s just around break-even, so we believe that validates our parlay approach that capitalizes on the higher payoffs when they both hit (as I mentioned to Aaron, it also helps that when both lose we only lose 1 unit on the parlay instead of two -160 wagers).

Let’s get to our daily (full-game) recaps of Wednesday’s betting action, including our disappointment that we didn’t have either NBA play-in underdog – Chicago Bulls or Oklahoma City Thunder – as they improved to 4-0 ATS the last 2 days. And then we give our plays for Thursday.

Wednesday Recaps

NBA play-in tournament: Thunder (+5.5) upset Pelicans 123-118 to advance to face TImberwolves for No. 8 seed in Western Conference (game went Over 226.5 points). Earlier, Bulls (+6) rallied from a 19-point deficit to upset Raptors 109-105 to face the Heat for No. 8 seed in the East (went Over closing total of 212.5).

More NBA play-in tournament: Dogs went 2-0 SU and ATS and are 3-1 SU and ATS the last 2 days; and all were road dogs, so same for road teams. Overs  went 2-0 on Wednesday – ending 8-game Under streak in play-in games, including 2-0 on Tuesday and 6-0 last year – 2-2 the last 2 days.

MLB: Faves went 12-3 with the only upsets by the A's (+174 in 8-4 win at Orioles), Marlins (+172 in 3-2 win at Phillies) and Royals (+145 in 10-1 win at Rangers). Road teams led 8-7. Unders 8-7. The Rays (-128 in 9-7 win vs. Red Sox) improved to 12-0 to start the season. Faves lead 116-67 on the season with 2 games closing pick-'em. Home teams dipped to 96-89. Overs dip to 101-77-7 (56.7%).

NHL: Favorites swept 3-0 on Wednesday night with the Islanders (-360 in 4-2 win vs. Canadiens), Stars (-162 in 5-2 win at Blues) and Flames (-245 in 3-1 win vs. Sharks) all winning plus also all covering -1.5 puck lines. Home teams went 2-1. Overs led 2-1.


Thursday MLB Best Bets

A’s +1.5 +115 / First 5 +180 at Orioles: This is actually a “swagger play” on the A’s as they snapped a 6-game losing streak on Wednesday against these Orioles, and we look for them to carry that momentum into Thursday’s early start (1:05 p.m. ET/10:05 a.m. PT) Adam Oller vs. the very fadeable Cole Irvin. We’ll take the A’s at +180 in the First 5 Innings as well as the full-game run line at +1.5 +115 (I’m not listing it as a Best Bet, but I’ll also add a little on the A’s +200 full-game money line).

Thursday NHL Best Bets

Hurricanes +100 at Panthers: This is an “anti-swagger play” against the Panthers, who just had a 6-game winning streak snapped on Monday vs. the Maple Leafs. In addition, the Hurricanes are still trying to hold off the Devils for the Metropolitan Division title while the Panthers are locked into their playoff seeding.

Senators-Sabres 1P Over 1.5 -180 / Canucks-Coyotes 1P Over -165 (parlay pays +150): As mentioned above, this will be our final NHL 1P Over play of the regular season. The Senators are on a 5-game 1P Over streak and combine with the Sabres to go 102-59 (63.4%) on the season. The Canucks and Coyotes, as the No. 1 and No. 1 1P Over teams, are a combined 104-57 (64.6%).


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