Sunday Best Bets, Saturday recaps
Saturday was all about the NFL divisional playoffs in the Tuley’s Takes home office, even though we also had plenty of horse racing action and our NHL First-Period Overs.
We won our Best Bet of the day on the Jaguars-Chiefs Under 53 in the Chiefs’ 27-20 victory, which was helped by Patrick Mahomes leaving the field with an ankle injury and then hobbling through the second half (though backup Chad Henne led a 98-yard TD drive in relife, so we still believe we were right on the right side of the bet). We also won with the Chiefs -2.5/Eagles -1.5 teaser from earlier in the week that it seemed everyone (sharps and squares alike) had from earlier in the week.
We did lose on the Giants +7.5 and lost our main NHL First-Period Over parlay on the Ducks-Sabres 1P Over 1.5 -160/Lightning-Flames 1P Over 1.5 -140 as the Sabres led the Ducks 2-0 but the Flames led the Lightning only 1-0 after the first 20 minutes even though there were 9 goals scored in the whole game. We’re still a very respectable 4-4 with these plays (especially since they’re plus-money dogs with the way we play them in parlays) for a net profit of 2.94 units. Note: the individual plays are 12-4 picks for those willing to lay around an average of -160, so you’d be up more than 5 units if playing them straight.
We did also have a winner with the Oilers-Canucks 1P Over 1.5 as the Oilers led 2-0, but the Ducks-Sabres/Oilers-Canucks combo paid around +160 and we were still a small loser for the day with our recommended round-robin.
But the NFL winners more than made up for those.
Let’s recap the rest of Saturday’s (full-game) action and then give our Sunday Best Bet in the NFL Divisional Playoffs. We do have one anti-swagger play in the NBA, but none of our preferred NHL 1P Over teams are in action as the day will mostly be about the NFL. I’ll also make my weekly appearance on “The Greg Peterson Experience” at 12:15 a.m. ET/9:15 p.m. PT on Sunday night to recap the weekend’s action and give my early “takes” on the opening lines for the NFC and AFC Championship Games next Sunday.
NFL: Eagles ran over Giants 38-7 in NFC Divisional Playoffs late Saturday. The VFV is they easily covered as 8-point home favorites as the game stayed Under the betting total of 48 points. Earlier, Chiefs beat Jaguars 27-20 in AFC Divisional Playoffs with a hobbled Patrick Mahomes, but the VFV is the Jaguars covered after closing as 9.5-point road underdogs. However, the Chiefs still covered as very popular teaser play. The game stayed Under 52 points.
More NFL: Faves swept 2-0 SU on Saturday, but faves/dogs split 1-1 ATS. Home teams also went 2-0 SU & 1-1 ATS. Unders swept 2-0. The Eagles' win improved faves to 6-2 SU so far in playoffs and their cover cut dogs' lead to 5-3 ATS. Home teams improved to 6-2 SU while cutting road teams' lead to 5-3 ATS. Overs dipped to 5-3.
CBB: No. 14 TCU upset No. 2 Kansas in 83-60 as 7.5-point road dog and +260 on the money line. No. 11 Arizona beat No. 5 UCLA 58-52, but it wasn't an upset as the Wildcats were 1.5-point home faves. Oklahoma State (-1) beat No. 12 Iowa State 61-59, but also not an upset.
NBA: Faves went 5-2 SU and 4-3 ATS with the Raptors (+3.5) covering in 106-104 loss vs. Celtics. The upsets were by the Hornets (+8 in 122-118 win at Hawks) and 76ers (+5.5 in 129-127 win at Kings). Home teams went 4-3 SU & 5-2 ATS. Unders led 4-3.
More NBA: On the season, faves lead 443-245 SU with 10 games closing pick-'em, but dogs still lead 347-322-19 ATS (51.9%). Home teams lead 419-279 SU and 361-320-18 ATS (53%). In totals wagering, Overs still lead 362-326-10 (52.6%).
NHL: Faves went 9-5 on Saturday with the biggest upsets by the Canadiens (+295 in 3-2 OT win vs. Maple Leafs) and Blackhawks (+220 in 5-3 win at Blues). Home teams went 8-6. Overs led 8-5-1 with the push in WIN-OTT (6). On the season, faves lead 425-274 with 20 PKs. Home teams lead 368-340 with 4 neutral-site games. Overs improved slim lead to 343-339-30.
Sunday NFL Best Bet
Bengals +6 at Bills: More on this below, but we’re still expecting this to come down to a field goal one way or the other.
Sunday NBA Best Bet
Suns +9.5 vs. Grizzlies: This is a much smaller play, but we’re still making it as the Grizzlies are a play-against in the anti-swagger role after having their 11-game winning streak snapped Friday by the Lakers. Fade away!
Here’s the rerun of our Wednesday column with updates in italics:
Welcome to our weekly Wednesday column (the one that used to appear in “Point Spread Weekly”) where we give our “takes” on every game on the NFL schedule, this weekend with the divisional playoff round.
We give our Best Bet, or how we recommend to bet, on each game. Just like the regular season, even if we can’t come up with a specific play for a game, we’ll include our “pool play” strategy to give a gauge for those who play in pools where you have to make a pick on every game.
Again, as also did during the regular season, we’ll then update our posts in our daily columns the rest of the week and through the weekend.
Note: Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of early Wednesday morning unless otherwise noted. Check out VSIN.com's live NFL odds page for current odds.
We gave this out last Sunday night after missing the +5 opener at some books, but it’s now back to 5 at the majority of books and +5.5 at South Point here in Las Vegas as of early Wednesday mornings. Bengals are live dogs in this game that should be closer to pick-’em. Besides, this is just as much of a bet against the Bills, who we faded successfully again with the Dolphins (+14 in their 34-31 loss) as they continually let teams stick around.
Of course, this is the rematch of the Week 17 Monday night game that was suspended after Buffalo’s Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field, and then canceled. A lot of people are saying that the Bills have the motivational edge, but it was actually the Bengals who were deprived of a chance to pull the upset that night and feel they should be hosting this game or at least have it on a neutral field.
Regardless, it’s what Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ offense does on the field that has me on them as they were moving the ball at will in that earlier meeting. A lot of people are making a big deal about the Bengals’ injuries on the offensive line, but it’s not like they’re going to be playing with only two offensive linemen and they’ve worked around this problem before.
This should come down to a field goal one way or the other. In fact, I’d say it’s just as likely that the Bengals win by a touchdown or more.
Best Bet: Bengals +5 (pool play: Bengals 67/33 in ATS contests and let’s call for the outright upset at 55/45 in SU pools).
Thursday update: the line continued to climb as it's up to Bill -5.5 at most books even though the majority of bets have come in on the Bengals. Let's see if it gets to +6.
Friday update: line is up to 6 at the South Point and Wynn in Las Vegas, so as always be sure to shop for the best number you can get between now and game time.
Saturday update: South Point back down to 5.5, but Circa up to 6 as of early Saturday morning with just about all books following suit during the day.
This line is too short for me to take the Cowboys against a 49ers team that has won 11 straight games (and 9-2 ATS) even after having to go with third-string QB Brock Purdy. The 49ers just have too many weapons with Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, etc. I also don’t trust that the Cowboys’ defense is back to mid-season form after shutting down the Buccaneers. Before that, the Dallas D had allowed 113 points in the four prior games (28.3 points per game).
On the other side of the ball, the 49ers have the No. 1 defense in the league and allow just 16.3 points per game. I don’t see Dak Prescott able to match the 49ers score for score.
Best Best: Pass (pool play: 49ers 55/45 in ATS contests and closer to 75/25 in SU pools).