Tuley's Takes: Sunday Best Bet in MLB, plus USFL playoffs

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

June 25, 2023 07:10 AM


Saturday Best Bet Results

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.

I know this is backwards from how Charles Dickens opened “A Tale of Two Cities,” but it’s how I felt after the results of my “Tuley’s Takes” columns on Saturday as I had my worst sports betting day in a long time in these columns, yet still personally had a winning day thanks to my “Team Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” horse racing column that also runs on Saturdays.

I was already 0-3 on the day on my MLB First 5 Inning plays (Pirates, Reds and A’s all lost in early games) when my TTTT pick on a horse named Lightning Tones went off at 28-1 in the Carry Back Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday afternoon and rallied to pay $58.40 to Win and $14.40 to Place. I felt especially proud that I wrote “Lightning Tones is the only consistent closer in a field of horses that all want the lead. We’re hoping they knock each other out dueling on the front end and Lightning Tones comes along in the stretch to pick up the pieces. Wager: Win and Place.”

That’s exactly how the race was run and it guaranteed me a profit on the day no matter what happened with the rest of my sports bets (granted, I don’t bet as much on my horse racing long shots as I do on my sports bets, but 28-1 makes up for a lot of losers in both the racebook and sportsbook).

The dichotomy of my betting results wasn’t lost on some of my followers on Twitter @ViewFromVegas. I tried to be philosophical about it when I Tweeted “It’s hard to win at #sportsbetting & #horseracing at the same time.” The gambling gods don’t let that happen a lot. The same goes during football season when it seems impossible to have a winning college football Saturday and a winning pro football Sunday on the same weekend. And Vegas legend is full of a million stories of poker players that lose their winnings in the racebook or sportsbook or other parts of the casino and vice versa. (Note: poker is on my mind as I’m planning to play in a World Series of Poker online bracelet event on Sunday to further diversify my gambling dollars this weekend!)

Anyway, I thought I was going to salvage my sports results with my Best Bet of the day on the Pittsburgh Maulers-Michigan Panthers Under 39 in a USFL semifinal game that I had been touting all week (and I got it at Under 42.5 last Monday). Saturday night’s game was a defensive battle and the Maulers led 20-17 in the fourth quarter with a chance to close it out with a defensive stop; however, the game turned into a shootout and I lost that as well as my last MLB play on the Rockies First 5 (yep, that was the worst bet of the day as the Angels scored 13 runs in the top of the 3rd inning to lead 23-0 after 5 innings on the way to a 25-1 victory, but at least it just counts as 1 loss).

Let’s look for more Best Bets on Sunday as we try to end the weekend on a strong note, though maybe I should download some horse racing past performances as well!


MLB Sunday Best Bet

Guardians First 5 Innings -110 vs. Brewers: I’m not too high on many MLB underdogs this Sunday (and I think most readers would understand that I'm a little gun-shy after Saturday’s results), but I do like this matchup with Cleveland’s Aaron Civale (2-2, 2.67 ERA) vs. Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes (5-5, 3.96 ERA), who isn’t as good as he’s been in recent years and we’ve already faded him a couple of times this season. There is one “anti-swagger” play that I’m probably doing to pass on as the Reds had their 12-game winning streak snapped by the Braves on Saturday, and that’s because the Reds are around -170 road favorites (note: I might try to turn the Reds from a fave to a dog by laying First 5 -0.5 runs if I get plus-money as the Braves have been jumping out to early leads in this series).

USFL playoff Best Bet for Sunday

New Orleans Breakers +3.5 vs. Birmingham Stallions: As I mentioned on “The Greg Peterson Experience” last Sunday night (and again on Monday night) and in my columns here all week, I handicapped this game at Birmingham -2 with an Over/Under of 45 points. I missed on the Breakers +4 when some books put it up last Monday and the line settled at 3. I’ve been waiting all week for the line to go back up over a field goal and it finally happened Saturday night at several books. I trust other books will follow suit before kickoff as I expect the public will continue to bet the defending champion Stallions. But like Pittsburgh’s victory over Michigan in the other USFL semifinal, this game should come down to the final gun. 

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