Tuley's Takes: Saturday Best Bets in USFL, plus 4 (count em, 4) MLB First 5 Innings plays

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

June 24, 2023 04:37 AM


Friday Best Bet Results

Friday was another day mostly spent following the action in Major League Baseball.

After waiting around the Tuley’s Takes home office the first half of the day, I headed downtown to Circa to sign up some proxy clients. I was bummed to see that the Braves jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning as I had the Reds First 5 +130.

But in what turned out to be the best game of the day (and perhaps the year, according to my ATS Report), the Reds battled back to tied the game 5-5 by the bottom of the 4th inning, saw the Braves regain the lead at 7-5 in the top of the 5th and exploded for 4 runs in the bottom half for the 9-5 win (and went on to win 11-10 for those using my picks on the full-game money line).

I didn’t actually use the Reds as a “Best Bet” or on the VSiN Pro Picks page. I lost my supposed top play on the Diamondback First 5 Innings +160 at the Giants in another roller-coaster ride as the D-backs trailed 3-1 after the first 3 innings, retook the lead at 4-3 in the top of the 5th but then the Giants bypassed them in the bottom half to deal us the loss.

The 0-1 with our official pay drops us to 20-22-7 in June, but since several of my wins have been at plus-money, I’m still ahead $2.28 after finishing at +15.6 units in May.

Let’s look for more Best Bets on Saturday as we try to stay profitable for the month. I’m going to lead with my USFL play I’ve been touting all week and then I have not one, not two, not three, but four (count ‘em, four) “swagger/anti-swagger” plays. We’re usually lucky to have one full-fledged swagger or anti-swagger play but we had 3 teams have long losing streaks snapped on Friday night and 1 team having a long winning streak snapped, again as recapped in our ATS Report. Note: Our "Team Tuley's Thoroughbred Takes" horse racing picks for Saturday will be posted at VSiN.com later Saturday morning after early scratches.


USFL playoff Best Bet for Saturday

Pittsburgh Maulers-Michigan Panthers Under 39: We locked in this play in Tuesday's edition of this column. As we previously discussed on “The Greg Peterson Experience” on Sunday night (and again on Monday night), my handicap of this game has the Maulers -2 and an Over/Under of 37 points. I certainly didn’t expect the books to set it any higher with the Maulers averaging just 17.7 points per game and the Panthers at 17.1, but they did. While I was able to bet it myself at Under 42.5, there’s still value at the 39 as of Tuesday morning. Wednesday update: Over/Under is down to 38.5 at a lot of books, so shop around. Saturday update: Since I wasn’t still recommending Under 39 and needing to have 38 or fewer points to win, I’d still recommend it at Under 38.5 (though hopefully most followers got better. With the point spread flipping to the Maulers being the underdog, I might also bet that but waiting to see where the line goes. Wednesday update: the line has flipped back to the Maulers being favored, so I’m passing on the side. I’m also waiting to decide on the New Orleans Breakers-Birmingham Stallions game (I have it at Stallions -2 and Over/Under 45, which is right where the lines are as of early Tuesday). Wednesday update: the line is now back up to 3 at some books, but I’m waiting to see if I can get more points with the Breakers as I’m hoping the public drives up the line on the defending champion Stallions and we can get more than a field goal.

MLB Saturday Best Bets

Pirates First 5 Innings +130 at Marlins: We like this play the best out of our 4 MLB plays for Saturday. This is a “swagger play” as the Pirates had their long 10-game losing streak snapped on Friday in their 3-1 win at the Marlins. We’re also comfortable with Osvaldo Bido (0-1, 3.60 ERA) vs. Bryan Hoeing.

Reds First 5 Innings +120 vs. Braves: This is the one “anti-swagger play” of the day as the Braves had their 8-game winning streak snapped in Friday’s 11-10 loss to the Reds. We’re not thrilled with Graham Ashcraft (3-5, 6.78 ERA) vs. Jared Shuster (4-2, 4.57 ERA) but it’s more of a play against the Braves, plus we do get the red-hot Reds with their 12-game win streak.

Rockies First 5 Innings +140 vs. Angels: This a “swagger play” on the Rockies as they snapped an 8-game losing streak vs. the Angels on Friday. It’s pretty much a toss-up with Chase Anderson (0-1, 4.12 ERA) vs. Griffin Canning (5-2, 4.40 ERA) but we do like that we have the Rockies at home.

A’s First 5 Innings +195 at Blue Jays: The A’s are back in a “swagger spot” after snapping an 8-game loss streak, but they’re still the A’s. It’s still a play, however (and also looking for F5 +0.5 at plus-money). At least it’s not the worst matchup with Hogan Harris (2-1, 4.45 ERA) vs. Jose Berrios (7-5, 3.64 ERA).

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A Numbers Game: Be careful betting baseball games right now, if they don’t involve teams still trying to make the playoffs. Teams that have clinched or teams that are completely out of it will be approaching games far differently. View more tips.

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