Sunday was a day full of family and food in the Tuley’s Takes home office, but also the other F – football – with an NFL Week 16 tripleheader plus Circa Survivor to follow.
As I Tweeted and also mentioned on “The Greg Peterson Experience,” Circa Survivor is as exciting to follow as the game themselves with its record $6.133 million prize pool.
On Saturday, a contestant with the alias of Maddog-2 nearly was the sole winner of the whole jackpot after winning (barely) with the Vikings in their 27-24 win vs. the Giants and then watching as the Steelers nearly lost vs. the Raiders in the Saturday night game with the other 3 remaining entrants – BROWNA-1, JED-4 and THE ENEMY WITHIN-2 – needing them to stay alive.
For those who don’t know, like other survivor/eliminator/last-man-standings pools, Circa Survivor requires contestants to pick one NFL SU winner a week without using a team twice, but also has extra Thanksgiving and Christmas “weeks,” so those four had to submit another pick by 9 a.m. PT on Christmas morning from just the four Sunday/Monday games.
Maddog-2 used the Dolphins, who were beaten 26-20 by the Packers, so he was eliminated less than 17 hours after being within 46 seconds of winning the whole thing. Then, it looked like it might come down to THE ENEMY WITHIN-2’s play on the Chargers on Monday night as BROWNA-1 and JED-4 used the Buccaneers, who trailed the Cardinals most of the game until Tom Brady pulled one of his patented comebacks for a 19-16 victory in overtime.
So, we’re down to 3 entries with BROWNA-1 and JED-4 onto NFL Week 17 while THE ENEMY WITHIN-2 tries to join them tonight.
Personally, it was a Christmas miracle as underdogs went 3-0 ATS on the day (unfortunately, I didn’t have a thing on the Rams’ minor upset of the Broncos). I won my Best Bet of the day on the Cardinals +7.5 as home dogs vs. the Bucs to improve to 37-20-2 ATS (64.9%) with our daily top play the last 59 days.
Let’s get to our usual daily recaps of the rest of Sunday’s betting action, including an overview of Contest Corner, and then give my Best Bet for Monday Night Football as well as early NFL Week 17 plays that we gave out on “The Greg Peterson Experience” as we’re putting our 31-16 ATS (66%) record on the line with our regular Sunday night plays on the show since the start of the football season, including 18-7 ATS (72%) since the start of November.
NFL: Buccaneers (-7.5) rallied to beat Cardinals 19-16 in OT in the finale of the Christmas Day tripleheader, but they didn't cover as 7.5-point road favorites (game stayed Under the betting total of 42 points). Underdogs went 2-1 SU on the day and swept 3-0 ATS. Road teams went 2-1 SU, but home teams led 2-1 ATS. Unders led 2-1.
Rams routed the Broncos 51-14 in the middle Christmas Day game as 3-point home underdogs (flew way Over betting total of 36.5 points).. In the early game, Packers upset the Dolphins 26-20 as 3.5-point road dogs (stayed Under 49.5).
Even more NFL: On the season, faves dipped to 151-82-2 SU with 4 pick-'ems while dogs improved to 125-103-7 ATS (54.8%). Home teams dipped to 128-103-2 SU with 6 neutral-site games and 116-111-6 ATS (51.1%). Unders lead 131-106-2 (55.3%) with primetime Unders 30-19-1 (61.2%).
NBA: Faves went 4-1 SU but only 3-2 ATS as Suns (+4) covered in 128-125 OT loss late Sunday. The upsets were by the Warriors (+7) in 123-109 win vs. the Grizzlies. Home teams also 4-1 SU & 3-2 ATS. Overs led 4-1 with the lone Under (232.5) in the Warriors' victory.
More NBA: On the season, faves lead 314-174 SU with 9 games closing pick-’em, but dogs still lead 245-228-15 ATS (51.8%). Home teams lead 302-195 SU and 254-228-15 ATS (52.7%). In totals wagering, Overs improved slim lead to 251-240-6 (51.1%).
Circa Survivor is down to 3 live entries as the Dolphins' loss eliminated Maddog-2, who less than 17 hours ago nearly won the entire $6.133 million as the solo winner. BROWNA-1 and JED-4 both survived with Buccaneers in OT while THE ENEMY WITHIN-2 needs the Chargers on Monday Night Football to have 3 advance to NFL Week 17.
Circa Sports Million Top 5 Most-Selected Teams went 2-3 in NFL Week 16, dropping to 40-36-4 (52.6%) on season. Wins were on the Bengals -3 and Steelers -2.5. Losses were on Eagles +5.5 (No. 1 picks dropped to 11-5, 68.8%), Lions -2.5 and Browns -2.5.
SuperContest Top 5 Most-Selected Teams went 2-3 in NFL Week 16 (43-36-1, 56.6%, on season) with wins on Bengals -3 and Packers +4, but losses on Eagles +5.5 (No. 1 pick, which dropped to 7-9, 43.8%), Lions -2.5 and Titans -3.
Monday Best Bet
Colts +4 vs. Chargers: The last time we saw the Colts, they were blowing a 33-0 lead to the Vikings, but I maintain you have to have some talent to build a 33-0 lead. Even though they've returned to their losing way with interim coach Jeff Saturday, they're still good enough to stick with the Chargers. And this is just as much of a play against the Chargers. I don't know who said it first -- me or my VSiN colleague Matt Youmans -- but for years we've both been saying that the basic strategy in their games is to bet them as underdogs and fade them when favored. Case in point: they failed to cover as 2.5-point favorites in their 25-24 Week 12 win at the Cardinals and only pushed as 3-point faves in their 17-14 win vs. the slumping Titans in Week 15.
Early NFL Week 17 picks
Texans +4.5 vs. Jaguars: Similar to the Chargers' above, the Jaguars are in the unfamiliar chalk role after so much success as underdogs. Besides, the Texans nearly beat the Cowboys and Chiefs before upsetting the Titans on Saturday. They would love to play spoiler against the AFC South rivals.
Saints +6.5 at Eagles: The Eagles lost 40-34 to the Cowboys as they're trying to clinch the NFC's No. 1 seed and first-round bye without Jalen Hurts, but now face a tough test against a New Orleans team trying to steal the NFC South. The Saints defense fares better against pocket passers like Gardner Minshew and will continue to try to grind out wins with their QB-by-committee.