Super Bowl Best Bet; Saturday Recaps
Saturday was an amazingly busy day in and out of the Tuley’s Takes home office with tons of sports betting action leading us toward the Super Bowl on Sunday. We were also busy entering prop contests and buying “squares” while also following all the action in the other sports, including our first love of horse racing.
I went on VSiN’s “Live Bet Saturday” show at 2:30 p.m. PT and reported that the Westgate, Circa and South Point sportsbooks had dropped from Eagles -1.5 to -1. Host Ben Wilson literally interrupted my comments to tell us that his odds screen had lit up red with Westgate moving to pick-’em. During the afternoon, the South Point also went to pick before both went back to Eagles -1 the rest of the night and that became the consensus as Super Bowl Eve came to a close. The Over/Under was also trending toward 51.5 with the Wynn and Treasure Island going to 52..
We’ll see what happens with both the side and total in the morning and in the hours leading up to the 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT kickoff. I’ll be giving updates every hour or two on my Twitter feed @ViewFromVegas
As for my personal action (and our posted plays in these daily columns) on Saturday, I won my Best Bet on our NHL First-Period Over parlay on Canucks-Red Wings 1P Over -175/Flames-Sabres 1P Over -165 that paid off at +152. The Red Wings scored two goals in the first 2:35 of the game with the Canucks to easily win that leg while the Sabres took just over 12.5 minutes to get their second goal against the Flames to get us the cash.
We lost our top CBB pick on Portland +11.5 vs. Saint Mary’s as Portland stayed close (trailing just 39-38 at halftime, but the Gaels pulled away in the second half to win 81-64 and cover the spread. At least we won our second CBB play on Indiana +3 at Michigan as the Hoosiers pulled the 62-61 outright upset to get us the split and keep us ahead on the day.
Let’s recap the rest of Saturday’s (full-game) action, and then get to our Best Bets on Sunday, which will also be discussed in further detail in the return of our official “takes” column from a week ago Wednesday. But we’ll list those as well as another NHL 1P Over play for earlier Sunday as we don’t have any basketball plays.
CBB: Missouri upset No. 6 Tennessee 86-85 as 12.5-point road underdog and +630 on the money line. Stanford upset No. 4 Arizona 88-79 as 7.5-point home dog and 270 on the money line. Oklahoma State upset No. 11 Iowa State 64-56 as 6-point road dog and +220 on ML. No. 8 Virginia beat Duke 69-62 in OT and ended up covering as 6-point home fave. No. 18 Indiana rallied to beat Michigan 62-61 as 3-point road dog. In the only game between Top 20 teams, No. 14 Baylor beat No. 17 TCU 72-68, covering as 2-point road fave.
NBA: Faves went 7-2 SU and ATS with only upsets by the Lakers (+5.5 in 109-103 win at Warriors) and Kings (+2 in 133-128 OT win vs. Mavericks). There were close covers by the 76ers -2 at Nets, Knicks -5.5 vs. Jazz and Cavaliers -6.5 vs. Bulls. Home teams went 5-4 SU and ATS. Unders led 6-3.
More NBA: On the season, favorites lead 547-295 SU with 11 games closing pick-'em, but underdogs still lead 422-399-21 ATS (51.4%). Home teams lead 506-347 SU and 439-395-19 ATS (52.6%). In totals wagering, Overs’ slim lead cut to 428-411-14 (51%).
NHL: Favorites went 8-6 with the biggest upsets by the Blue Jackets (+300 in 4-3 win at Maple Leafs), Canadiens (+180 in 4-3 OT win vs. Islanders), Rangers (+175 in 6-2 win at Hurricanes) and Capitals (+170 in 2-1 win at Bruins). Road teams went 8-6. Overs led 8-6.
Sunday’s NFL Best Bet
Chiefs +7.5/Over 45 (2-team, 6-point teaser): These is the current best combo as we’ve been sticking with this as our official Best Bet for Super Bowl LVII the past two weeks since giving it out first on our regular appearance on “The Greg Peterson Experience” on Sunday, Jan. 29. We’ve been appearing at 12:15 a.m. ET/9:15 p.m. PT each Sunday night all football season and will be on again tonight after the Super Bowl. With some books going to pick-’em, this could be moving out of what we call the “teaser zone” where we can tease a short dog up over a touchdown, but we’re sure hoping our regular readers locked in this play long ago if they’re with us on the Chiefs.
Sunday NHL Best Bet
Kraken-Flyers 1P Over 1.5 -150/Ducks-Golden Knights 1P Over 1.5 -165 (parlay payoff +168): The Ducks have been good to us overall, but were in a slump before hitting on Friday to get back to 37-16 (69.8%) with 1P Overs on the season and are a combined 64-41 (61.3%) with the Golden Knights. The Kraken and Flyers are a combined 64-43 (59%), so we’re pretty happy with this parlay with games that start at 1 p.m. ET and 3 p.m. ET, respectively.
Here's the rerun of Wednesday's column, with an update on our early Super Bowl Best Bet and more props:
Tuesday was mostly spent doing some chores around the Tuley’s Takes home office (including vacuuming out our pool after some recent inclement weather – though we didn’t have snow in our part of the Las Vegas valley) and following the Super Bowl line movement.
As we tweeted out Tuesday afternoon, the Wynn was the last Vegas sportsbook at Eagles -2 as they dropped into line with the rest of the books at -1.5 [Monday update: see my note below about the South Point moving back to Eagles -2 early Sunday]
while the Over/Under remained at a consensus 49.5 points with Circa Sports and Resorts World the only books to go up to 50.
If you’ve been a regular reader of my columns this season (or the prior six years in our digital magazine “Point Spread Weekly”), you know that Wednesday is when I give my weekly NFL “takes” on the full schedule. I was planning to wait until next week to post our official Super Bowl Best Bet since we’re more than 11 days until Super Sunday, but I figure there’s no time like the present.
Besides, this is looking like it’s going to be the biggest betting game to this date in sports gambling history with such a great matchup, plus being the first Super Bowl in a U.S. state with legalized betting (Arizona) as well as being the first Super Bowl with legal betting in Ohio, Massachusetts and Kansas.
It’s also going to be the most over-analyzed game ever. I would rather go on record with my reasoning for my Super Bowl wagers or else I fear that if I wait until next week that it’ll sound like I’m copying other people’s analysis.
Frankly, there are only so many different ways you can handicap this game. The people on favored (at least for now) Philadelphia are going to say the Eagles have the better defense and best all-around team at this point, plus they’ll point out the injuries on the Kansas City side. After the opening Super Bowl LVII line settled at Eagles -2.5 on Sunday night, I made my regular weekly appearance on VSiN’s “The Greg Peterson Experience” and gave Chiefs +8.5/Over 43.5 (2-team, 6-point teaser) as my early Super Bowl Best Bet. We repeated that in our Monday and Tuesday columns as well as in the VSiN daily email updates and on the website. With the line coming down, we also want to lock in our teaser play in case the line moves any lower or the Chiefs get bet to favoritism. I’ll also list some prop bets that are in line with my prediction of a close game. We’ll add more of our reasons for these plays, plus add others, as the prop market settles down, but I’m listing them in case readers want to shop around early.
Tuley’s Take: Before Sunday’s NFC and AFC championship games, most sportsbooks with advance Super Bowl lines had this matchup at pick-’em or the Chiefs -1. I’ve also had the Chiefs power-rated a few points ahead of the Eagles all season, so even though I understand the reasons for the Eagles being bet to favoritism on Sunday night, I side with those oddsmakers that opened the Chiefs as the chalk.
Now, I’m picking the Chiefs to win the game (leaning toward a predicted score of Chiefs 27, Eagles 24), but I’m very respectful of the Eagles on both sides of the ball and see this as a coin-flip game that could go either way. That’s why I feel the Best Bet is to make a 2-team, 6-point teaser on Chiefs +7.5/Over 43.5 as I fully expect this to be a one-score game either way.
Kansas City coach Andy Reid has a well-earned reputation (dating back to when he coached Philadelphia) of winning off a bye week, so we’re counting on that as well as the two-week gap to help the Chiefs get healthier (note: this didn’t work two years ago when the Chiefs were dominated 31-9 by the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV after two weeks to prepare).
A lot is being made of the Eagles having a big edge on defense as they ranked No. 2 in the NFL in yards allowed per game while the Chiefs ranked No. 11. The Eagles also allowed 20.2 points per game, but their supporters point out that since giving up 33 points to the Packers in Week 12, they’ve allowed an average of fewer than 16 points in their last eight games and gave up just seven points in each of their NFC playoff routs of the Giants and 49ers.
But these aren’t the 1985-86 Bears (who posted back-to-back playoff shutouts of the Giants and Rams). The Eagles’ defensive stats have received a lot of luck from the schedule-makers and their playoff draw as they’ve faced a relatively weak schedule and weaker QBs down the stretch. Let’s look at the list: Titans with Ryan Tannehill, Giants with Daniel Jones, Bears with Justin Fields, Cowboys with Dak Prescott, Saints with Andy Dalton. Giants with Davis Webb, Giants again with Jones and 49ers with Brock Purdy/Josh Johnson/Christian McCaffrey.
Seriously, the only top offense they faced in that stretch with a healthy QB was the Cowboys in Week 16 and lost 40-34 while allowing 419 yards. They’re taking a big step up in class now as they face Patrick Mahomes and the league’s No. 1 offense.
As I said above, I’ve made my biggest bet on the teaser as I expect a close game. I’m going with the Over 43.5 as the second leg of the teaser as we also expect a shootout. Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ No. 3 offense will also have their share of success. It also helps with the indoor fast track in Glendale, Ariz., plus the long TV timeouts to get in all those Super Bowl commercials helps the offenses set up big plays.
Best Bet: Chiefs +7.5/Over 43.5 (2-team, 6-point teaser), plus Chiefs +1.5 and +105 on the moneyline.
Thursday update: Bet teaser ASAP as Over/Under has continued to rise, so get Chiefs +7.5, Over 44.5 if you still can.
Monday update: South Point went to Eagles -2 on Sunday morning, so it might be a sign that Chiefs teasers might go a little higher.
Tuesday update: Treasure Island joined South Point at Eagles -2 to add more value if you can tease Chiefs to +8, though Over also rising to 51 at most books to take away some value there.
Saturday update: Those Eagles -2 lines disappeared on Friday night, but still acceptable to tease Chiefs up to +7.5.
Sunday update: Tease to Chiefs +7.5 if you still can; Over also slipping away as total continues to climb.
Prop bets tied to my prediction of a close game
Game tied after 0-0 (following PATs) -110: In the recent era with Super Bowl points spreads relatively close to pick-’em, we love this prop as we just need to get tied during the whole game. It hasn’t cashed the last two years, but before that, it hit four Super Bowls in a row (LI through LIV) and is a still-profitable 5-3 the last eight years. It can happen as early as 3-3 in the 2019 game between the Patriots and Rams or as late as 28-28 in 2017 when the Patriots famously rallied to catch up with the Falcons with 57 seconds left in regulation. The Eagles and Chiefs are pretty evenly matched as the low point spread indicates (and some books opened the Chiefs as small faves, so this is the definition of a coin-flip game) and we expect this to be a close, back-and-forth game with Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts both fully capable of matching scores at some point.
Largest lead Under 14.5 points -140: This is another prop tied to our prediction of a close, back-and-forth game. Since joining VSiN, I’ve gone 4-1 with this prop (and 6-2 the last eight years with the only losses being the Buccaneers’ 31-9 rout of the Chiefs two years ago and the Falcons’ infamous 28-3 lead vs. the Patriots six years ago). Again, we’re counting on Mahomes or Hurts to rally his team if falling behind by two scores. We’re not crazy about the increased juice, but we’re actually relieved as we feared that oddsmakers might lower the number to 13.5 with the spread so close to pick-’em.
Halftime Tie/Eagles Win 16-1 and Halftime Tie/Chiefs Win 18-1: This is basically a bet on there being a tie at halftime, again based around our prediction of this being a close, back-and-forth Super Bowl. Since we don’t see “Will the game be tied at halftime?” prop offered anywhere, we play this “Double Result” at the Westgate SuperBook and bet both the “Halftime Tie/Eagles Win” at 16-1 and “Halftime Tie/Chiefs Win” at 18-1 options. If the game is tied at intermission, we know we’re going to end up with a net profit of +750 if the Eagles win or +850 if the Chiefs win. [Update: I didn’t see “halftime tie” at any books when I posted this early last week, but DraftKings posted it at 11-1 and it was bet down to +950, which is still a better payout. As of Saturday afternoon, DraftKings had it at 10-1.] This has been a long-term profitable play as we cashed three years ago when the Chiefs-49ers Super Bowl LIV was tied at 10-10 and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl XLIX that was tied 14-14.
Shortest TD Under 1.5 -160: We used to get a nice, juicy plus price on this each year, but this has cashed for us eight of the last nine years and the oddsmakers have slowly made it a favorite. But it’s still worth playing as -160 is still cheap considering how often it comes in (plus we’re playing with house money). This can cash multiple ways: organically with a team moving the ball to the 1-yard line and punching it in or having a defensive pass interference call in the end zone place the ball at the 1-yard line. Note: it’s much more rare, but it also would cash if an offensive player falls on a fumble in the end zone for a 0-yard fumble recovery or if a defensive player were to score on a fumble recovery or interception in the opposing team’s end zone for a 0-yard score.