Saturday Best Bets, Friday Recaps
Welcome to Tax Day, everyone, though we’re relieved in the Tuley’s Takes home that we get an automatic extension until Tuesday with it falling on Saturday. It’s also Jackie Robinson Day, so that’s another reason to celebrate.
We weren’t as happy on Friday as we lost our Best Bet on the Thunder +5.5 at the Timberwolves (see recaps below as it wasn’t close) and also lost on the Bulls +5.5 at the Heat, though we still feel we were on the right side as the Bulls were covering until the closing minutes when the Heat ended the game on a 15-1 run.
At least we won our MLB play as the Tigers came through as a “swagger play” (after snapping a 6-game losing streak on Friday) by leading the Giants 2-1 after the 5th inning for our preferred play and also cashed at +135 on the full-game money line.
Let’s get to the rest of our daily (full-game) recaps of Friday’s betting action and then turn our attention to Saturday’s Best Bets in the NBA, MLB and even the XFL (note: it’s also opening day in the USFL, but we’ll wait to see those teams in action before deciding if we’ll be wagering anything on that spring football season).
NBA: Timberwolves (-6) routed Thunder 120-95 in play-in tournament late Friday to claim No. 8 seed in Western Conference (game stayed Under betting total of 228.5 points). Earlier, the Heat (-5) rallied and pulled away to cover in 102-91 win vs. Bulls to earn No. 8 seed in East (stayed Under 209).
More NBA: Faves went 2-0 SU and ATS on Friday, so faves/dogs split 3-3 SU in play-in tournament, but dogs still led 4-2 ATS. All were home faves, so home/road teams also split 3-3 SU with road teams leading 4-2 ATS. Unders went 2-0 on Friday (after Overs were 2-0 on Wednesday) to finish 4-2.
MLB: Blue Jays beat Rays 6-3 to end the Rays' 13-game winning streak that tied the modern-era record to start the season. The Blue Jays did it as +110 home underdogs (game pushed on betting total of 9 runs). Faves went 8-7 with biggest upsets by Twins (+158 at Yankees), Brewers (+152 at Padres), Cubs (+142 at Dodgers), Rangers (+140 at Astros) and Tigers (+135 vs. Giants). Road teams 9-6. Unders 7-6-2. Faves lead 127-78 on season with 2 pick-'ems. Home teams' lead dipped to 105-102. Overs also dipped to 110-88-9 (55.6%).
NHL: Faves went 2-0 Friday as regular season came to a close. The Sabres (-176 in 5-2 win at Blue Jackets) and Avalanche (-230 in 4-3 win at Predators) both won as chalk, but only Sabres covered the -1.5 puck line. Road teams went 2-0. Overs 1-0-1 with a push in BUF-CBJ (7).
Saturday NBA Best Bet
Warriors +1 at Kings: We might be on another public dog here, but we have to take the Warriors plus the point (still the majority line as of late Friday night/early Saturday morning here in Las Vegas, though DraftKings has moved GSW to a 1-point road fave in its states). The Kings are certainly worthy of being favored as the higher seed (and the Warriors’ terrible record on the road at 11-30 SU and 13-28 ATS, 31.7%), but the Warriors are the defending champs and still have the better defense and much more playoff experience with both individual players as well as the organizations (Sacramento’s first playoff appearance in 16 years).
Saturday MLB Best Bet
Blue Jays -115 vs. Rays: Regular readers saw this coming a mile away as an “anti-swagger” play against the Rays after their 13-game winning streak was snapped on Friday. The dilemma for yours truly is we’re going against our “dog-or-pass” mantra with the Blue Jays as a short home favorite, but the price isn’t too prohibitive at -115 (barely more than the standard -110 we lay in the point-spread sports). Still, I guess that’s why I’m not listing it as our top play of the day.
Saturday XFL Best Bet
Vegas Vipers +7 at Houston Roughnecks: There are a few +7’s out there if you shop around, but I’d still recommend this at +6.5 as the XFL’s extra-point rules have resulted in just 2 of this season’s 40 games (5%) landing on exactly 7 points. We cashed with the Vipers as 7-point dogs (closed +5) last Saturday in a 21-17 OT loss at the St. Louis Battlehawks as they’re playing their best now that Jalan McClendon has replaced Luis Perez at QB. The Vipers actually have the second-best ATS record in the league at 4-3-1 ATS behind DC at 7-1 ATS. In addition, Houston (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS) has come back to Earth after its hot 4-0 start, but even though the Roughnecks snapped a 3-game losing streak last Sunday in San Antonio, they didn’t cover as 6.5-point favorites in their 17-15 victory. We expect another one-score game here.