Saturday NHL Best Bets, Friday Recaps
Friday was a diverse day in the Tuley’s Takes home office. I helped Chris Andrews with his “inside the betting action” column on this Sunday’s NFL Championship Games, added my plays to the VSiN NFL Best Bets article and did a bunch of handicapping for my “Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” column for Saturday’s big day and added it to my friend Ed Sehon’s “Mr. Ed” piece at VSiN.com/horse-racing/.
But while we have to wait to see how successful all those plays turned out to be over the weekend, the most rewarding part of Friday was my NHL First-Period Over bets as we went 3-0 for our followers and personally cleaned up by sweeping our round-robin parlays.
I won my Best Bet on Senators-Maple Leafs 1P Over -150/Flames-Kraken 1P Over -140 (parlay payoff of +186) as Senators-Maple Leafs was a 7 p.m.ET/4 p.m. PT game and the teams both scored in the first 7:15. I then had to wait until 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT to complete the parlay as Flames-Kraken also covered early with both teams scoring in the first 7:16 on the way to four goals in the first 20 minutes!
At the same time, my other posted “potential play” on the Blue Jackets-Canucks cashed even easier as the teams exchanged goals in the first 2:08! Regular readers will remember that I usually play round-robins of 2’s and 3’s in these situations and that paid around 10-1 depending on what lines you received on the individual First Periods.
For our grading purposes here, we’re back to 6-6 with my daily top 1P Over plays, but because these parlays are at plus-money the way we play these, we’re now back ahead 4.74 units.
Let’s recap the rest of Friday’s (full-game) betting action and then look for Best Bets on Saturday as we’ll stick to the ice since it’s been so successful. We have a bunch of plays for Saturday (more-than-usual bunch of swagger/anti-swagger plays, plus it seems like the NHL is trying to stay out of the NFL’s domination of the news cycle on Sunday and Monday LOL!)i And then, as has become our custom around here, we’ll rerun our NFL column from Wednesday and update our “takes” on the NFL Championship Games based on the current lines.
NBA: Faves went 4-1 SU on Friday and 3-2 ATS as the Magic (+8.5) covered in their 110-105 loss at the Heat. The lone upset was by the Timberwolves (+1.5 in 111-100 win vs. Grizzlies). Home teams also went 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS. Unders led 3-2.
More NBA: On the season, faves improved to 468-262 SU with 10 games closing pick-'em, but dogs still lead 370-341-19 ATS (52%). Home teams lead 444-296 SU and 382-341-18 ATS (52.8%). In totals wagering, Overs still lead 377-351-12 (51.8%).
CBB: No. 25 New Mexico beat Air Force 81-73 as the only Top 25 team in action on Friday night, but the Lobos didn't cover as 12.5-point home favorites.
NHL: Faves/dogs split 4-4 on Friday with upsets by the Senators (+170 at Maple Leafs), Devils (+135 at the Stars), Kings (+120 at Panthers) and Flames (-103 at Kraken). Home/road teams also split 4-4;. Overs led 4-3-1 with the push in CBJ-VAN (7). On the season, faves lead 451-292 with 20 games closing pick-’em. Home teams lead 393-357 with 4 neutral-site games. Overs improved slim lead to 360-358-32.
Saturday NHL Best Bets
Canadiens-Senators 1P Over 1.5 -150/Coyotes-Ducks 1P Over -140 (parlay payoff of +186): We’ll ride the Senators again, who improved to 9-1 with the Over 1.5 in their last 10 first periods and are 31-17 overall (all betting stats from @PSUOtto on Twitter), and use it with Coyotes-Ducks, with the Ducks at No. 2 in the league at 35-13 (72.9%) while these two teams combine for 58-38 (60.4%). For those looking for a third 1P Over, I’ll be using Sharks-Penguins as they combine for the same 57.3% hit rate as MTL-OTT as the Sharks are back over 60% at 29-19 on the season after snapping a 4-game 1P Under streak on Friday.
Islanders -105 vs. Golden Knights: This is a swagger play on the Islanders, who just snapped a 6-game losing streak on Friday night vs. the Red Wings. We also have a whopping 3 anti-swagger plays as we’re fading the Avalanche, Bruins and Oilers, who all had 6-game winning streaks snapped on Wednesday or Thursday. Their opponents to bet on are the Blues +190 at the Avalanche, Panthers +145 vs. the Bruins and Blackhawks +320 at the Oilers.
Here's the rerun of our weekly breakdown of the NFL schedule, with updates in italics:
Welcome to our regular Wednesday “Tuley’s Takes Today” column where we give our breakdown of all the games on the NFL schedule, which this week is the two Conference Championship Games, and give our Best Bets and “pool play” strategy.
This week has a different feel to it as we’ve had a change of favorite in the AFC title game. Regular readers and those who caught my weekly Sunday night appearance on “The Greg Peterson Experience” – where my NFL early Best Bets have gone 22-12 ATS (64.7%) since the start of November – know that I gave out a 2-team, 6-point teaser on 49ers +8.5/Bengals +7.5 and advised listeners/readers to bet it ASAP due to the uncertainty of Patricks Mahomes’ high ankle sprain and the early action coming in on the Bengals.
Sure enough, the money continued to come in on Monday and the spread flipped from Chiefs -1 to Bengals -1 and then -1.5, which is where it still sat as I’m writing this early Wednesday morning. I loved that play and those who hesitated missed it; however, as I’ll discuss further below, the value has probably flipped to the Chiefs +7.5 (and those who did jump in with us on the Bengals +7.5 now have a shot at a 14-point middle). Friday update: the line has flipped back to the Chiefs being favored, offering the chance for those that missed Bengals +7 or +7.5 to get our original wager.
But let’s start with the NFC Championship Game at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT on Sunday. Posted lines are as of early Wednesday morning unless otherwise noted. For current lines, check out the VSiN NFL odds page
We have two great matchups on Sunday. I knew immediately when the lines came out that the proper play was to tease both underdogs through the key numbers of 3 and 7, so that’s why we went with 49ers +8.5/Bengals +7.5 as we expect both games to be one-score games.
As for this individual game, I also like the 49ers plus the points, though I’ve been waiting for it to get to 49ers +3 just in case they lose by a field goal. The line opened Eagles -1 and -1.5 at some books and was bet steadily higher to -2.5 with BetMGM going to -2.5 -120 before settling at -2.5 -115 as well as several other books, so we’re hoping the money keeps coming in on the favorites as 76% of the bets and 77% of the money at DraftKings was on the Eagles -2.5 as of early Wednesday on the VSiN Betting Splits Page
(check back for current figures).
Even though the Eagles have been the best team in the NFC all season – and impressively returned to form in their 38-7 rout of the Giants in the divisional round – I still trust the 49ers more on their 12-game winning streak (8-4 ATS) as their No. 5 offense should have more success against the Eagles’ No. 2 defense and their No. 1 defense has a better chance of getting stops against the Eagles’ No. 3 offense.
I usually lock in my Best Bets for the week in these Wednesday columns (which used to appear in our “Point Spread Weekly” digital magazine), but it’s my column and just like how we’re able to wait for the best number in the real world, I’m reserving the right to make 49ers +3 a conditional pick.
Best Bet: 49ers +8.5 in teasers, plus 49ers +3 if we can get it (pool play: 49ers 55/45 in ATS contests – higher at +3 – but Eagles still 55/45 in SU pools).
Thursday update: more books have gone to Eagles -2.5 -115, but still waiting to get 49ers +3.
Friday update: the South Point was the first book to move to Eagles -3/49ers +3 (and they stick to -110 each way) at 11:43 p.m. PT late Thursday, so hopefully more books follow suit.
Saturday update: more books have moved to -2.5 -120 and 49ers +3 have continued to pop up but don't last long.
I really see this game as a toss-up, with the Chiefs playing in their fifth straight AFC Championship Game against the defending AFC champion Bengals, who have overcome the “Super Bowl loser hangover” to go 14-2 SU (13-3 ATS) since an 0-2 start.
The big news has been Mahomes’ high ankle sprain, though he’s expected to play. But the fact is that his counterpart Joe Burrow is 3-0 against the Chiefs, all as underdogs, in the past 13 months, so the Bengals really have their number. It was an easy call to jump on the 49ers +8.5/Bengals +7.5 teaser on Sunday night.
Now that the line has flipped to the Bengals -1.5 as of Wednesday morning, the value has also flipped to the Chiefs +7.5 in teasers for those who missed the early bet (and too juicy to pass up the 14-point middle for those who did join us on Bengals +7.5). Even though we still believe the Bengals are the right side and the more likely winner, we also think that Mahomes will keep the Chiefs in the game – and even if Chad Henne is pressed into service, he again looked capable when he led a 98-yard TD drive against the Jaguars before Mahomes returned to the lineup. Regardless, we’re counting on a one-score game either way.
Best Bet: Bengals +7.5 in teasers for those who got it; now, Chiefs +7.5 in teasers (pool play: Chiefs 55/45 in ATS contests assuming they’re listed at +1.5, though Bengals 55/45 in SU pools).
Thursday update: the line moved to pick-'em at most books on Wednesday with reports of Patrick Mahomes making progress with his injured ankle, taking it out of the "teaser zone," while South Point moved to Chiefs -1 as of early Thursday.
Friday update: more books moved to Chiefs -1 on Thursday, with Circa the first to go back to Chiefs -1.5 as of early Friday, so that's giving more people the chance to have both sides of the teaser on this game.
Saturday update: line seems to have settled at Chiefs -1.5, so the Bengals +7.5 is again widely available. I also added Bengals +7.5/Over 42 as an alternative teaser in the NFL VSiN Best Bets column at VSiN.com.