Saturday Best Bet Results
The First Saturday in May was a great day in the Tuley’s Takes home office and in the race and sportsbooks here in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas.
It started rocky as I was up until 5:30 a.m. PT after doing all my editing and writing duties on Friday night and then taking my son to catch a 4 a.m. bus at his school for a field trip to Knott’s Berry Farm in California. After catching a couple of hours of sleep, I woke up to the news that Kentucky Derby favorite Forte had been the fifth 3-year-old to scratch from the race and had to update my VSiN story for the fourth time in three days.
But after that, the day was a joy even though my first pick in my “Team Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” column was also scratched. After that, I had a $20.80 winner on Swan Lake in Gulfstream’s 11th race and my top Derby pick, Two Phil’s, was leading into deep stretch before holding on for second and paying a healthy $10.44 to Place. That was a little disappointing but I felt better when I saw that the Exacta with Mage paid $330.44 and the Trifecta paid $982.36.
I also nearly qualified for my second entry into the National Horseplayers Championship next March as I also made a move to the lead with two races left in a 99-player NHC qualifying tournament on Saturday with another double-digit winner in addition to Swan Lake. There were two berths up for grabs, but unfortunately I gave up my lead late like Two Phil’s as one player hit a 54-1 shot in the next-to-last race and another passed me with an 8-1 winner in the finale. So close but yet so far (though I did earn more NHC Tour points in addition to a 20-place finish in another tourney on Friday that has me motivated to try and compete in the year-long Tour that awards $75,000 to the winner, plus a $3 million bonus if the champ goes on to also win the NHC).
As for my sports Best Bets in these daily columns, I hit my top play on the Red Sox First 5 Innings +120 at the Phillies as they led 5-3 for the purposes of our wager and went on to win the game 7-4 for those who bet my play that way. I did lose my secondary play on the Tigers First 5 +150 at the Cardinals. I thought I was doomed when the Cards jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but the Tigers actually tied it 3-3 in the top of the 5th before the Cardinals scored 2 in the bottom half of the 5th to deal us the loss. Again, if you played the Tigers on the full-game ML you cashed as they rallied to win 6-5.
I also felt good as our “dog-or-pass” philosophy saved us money as favorites in the NBA and NHL went 3-0 on the day.
Let’s look at Sunday’s menu for some more Best Bets as I think the schedule looks dogs could be barking again.
Sunday NBA Best Bet
76ers +2.5 vs. Celtics: Both dogs are in “zig-zag” (aka “loser of the last”) spots on Sunday with the 76ers at home and the Nuggets on the road. Home court has meant a little something in the NBA playoffs as hosts are 57.4% (hence, visitors are only 42.6%) so I give Joel Embiid and Co. a better chance to even their series as opposed to the Nuggets extending their 2-1 lead on the road in Phoenix. That series looks more like one that could go the full 7 games with the home team winning each game.
Sunday NHL Best Bet
Kraken +125 vs. Stars: The “zig-zag” has done nearly as well in the NHL even though it’s SU instead of ATS. The Kraken, who ousted the defending champion Avalanche in the first round, are kinda doing the same thing as an expansion team in their second season that the Golden Knights did in their first. After splitting the first two games of this series in Dallas, they have a great chance to grab a 2-1 lead here at home (even though home-ice advantage hasn’t meant as much in the NHL playoffs as road teams are 35-23 -- but that just shows how wide-open and random these hockey results have been).
Sunday MLB Best Bets
Rangers First 5 Innings +105 at Angels: We faded Texas’ Martin Perez (4-1, 2.41 ERA) a few weeks ago and we’re not making that same mistake again (unless we get really good value LOL). But, seriously, we think oddsmakers have the wrong favorite here with Jose Suarez (1-1, 7.89 ERA). The Angels are also in a “mini-anti-swagger” spot after having their 5-game winning streak snapped on Saturday in the Rangers’ 10-1 rout.
Red Sox First 5 +105 at Phillies: We also get the Red Sox, winners of their last 8 games, as short road dogs as they go for another series sweep with Tanner Houck (3-1, 5.34) vs. Taijuan Walker (2-2, 6.91 ERA).