Sunday Best Bets, Saturday Recaps
Saturday was another long day in and out of the Tuley’s Takes home office.
As I wrote yesterday, Friday was a long day that ended with this daily column being posted very late Friday/early Saturday and then we also posted our “Team Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” column late Saturday morning/early Saturday afternoon for East Coast readers.
That was certainly worth the wait for our horseplaying followers as I went 2-for-2 with my plays on Saturday as Zydeceaux ($21.40 to Win, $7.80 to Place) won Tampa Bay Downs’ 6th race at 9-1 and Tap Dance Fever ($10 to Win, $4.20 to Place) won Tampa Bay Downs’ 7th race at 4-1. Then, Rampart race and sports book manager Duane Colucci gave out the Late Pick 4 at Aqueduct that paid $326.75, Ed Sehon had Cloud Storage ($8.20 to Win, $22.40 Exacta) and Colucci added the Late Pick 4 at Oaklawn that paid $197.85.
My wins helped minimize the pain of losing my Best Bet of the day on the Under 42 in the Seahawks-49ers game. It turned out that my better NFL bet ended up being the Jaguars +8.5 in teasers, though it didn’t look so good when they fell behind the Chargers 27-0 in the second quarter.
Let’s recap the rest of Saturday’s action and look at Sunday’s card for Best Bets, including continuations of those Jaguars teasers! And then, as has become our custom around here, we’ll rerun our Wednesday column and update our “takes” on the rest of the NFL wild-card playoff games this weekend based on how the lines are moving.
NFL: Jaguars rallied to beat Chargers 31-30 on Riley Patterson's FG as time expired after trailing 27-0 in the second quarter for the third-biggest rally in playoff history. The ViewFromVegas is the Jaguars closed as 2-point home underdogs and +120 on the money line. The game flew Over the betting total of 46.5 points). Faves split 1-1 SU and ATS and Overs went 2-0 on the day as the 49ers routed the Seahawks 41-23 earlier to kick off NFL Super Wild Card Weekend after trailing 17-16 at halftime and then running off 25 unanswered points. The 49ers easily covered as 9.5-point home favorites (game flew Over the betting total of 42 points).
NBA: Faves went 5-2 SU on Saturday but 4-3 ATS with Jazz (+7) covering in 118-117 loss vs. 76ers. The upsets were by the Hawks (+7.5 in 114-103 win at Raptors) and Timberwolves (+4 in 110-102 vs. Cavaliers). Road teams went 4-3 SU but home teams actually led 4-3 ATS. Unders led 4-3.
More #NBA: On the season, favorites lead 410-228 SU with 9 games closing pick-'em while underdogs still lead 323-297-18 ATS (52.1%). Home teams lead 390-257 SU and 333-297-17 ATS (52.9%). In totals wagering, Overs' lead dipped to 334-305-8 (52.3%).
NHL: Faves went 8-6 Saturday with biggest upsets by the Blue Jackets (+196 at Red Wings) and Flyers (+180 at Capitals). Road teams went 8-6. Overs led 9-4-1 w/ push in TB-STL (6). On the season, faves 392-253 with 19 PKs. Home teams 338-314 with 4 neutral-site games. Overs retook the lead at 315-313-28.
CBB: No. 2 Kansas beat No. 14 Iowa State 62-60, but didn’t cover as 7.5-point home favorite. Kentucky upset No. 5 Tennessee 63-56 as 11-point road underdog while No. 9 Arizona, No. 15 Arkansas, No. 16 Miami-Florida, No. 18 Wisconsin, No. 19 Providence, No. 20 Missouri, No. 23 San Diego State and No. 24 Duke also all lost to unranked teams.
Sunday NFL Best Bets
Dolphins +13.5 at Bills: More on our Best Bet of the day below or in the VSiN Best Bets file, but if you’re with us please shop around as a few books have offered +14.
Jaguars +8.5/Giants +9 teaser: We had our doubts when the Jaguars trailed the Chargers 27-0, but they stormed back to not only cover the teaser but beat them 31-30. That makes our top teaser live with the Jaguars to the Giants on Sunday, but we also have live teasers to the Bengals -2.5 vs. the Ravens on Sunday and +8.5 to the Buccaneers on Monday. We’ll also add a Sunday-only Giants +9/Bengals -2.5 teaser for good measure.
NHL: Just like on Saturday, none of the top 1P Over teams are facing each other (and no 1P Under combos hitting at a high enough rate to get me to look that way), so we’re passing on these plays again on Sunday.
Here's the rerun of Wednesday column with our "takes" on all 6 wild-card games this weekend, and then we add our updates with new news and how the lines are moving:
Welcome to the weekly Wednesday edition of “Tuley’s Takes Today” where we usually go over the full NFL schedule and now do the same for playoffs starting with super wild-card weekend.
For those who don’t know, we’ll give our Best Bet for each playoff game using our “dog-or-pass” approach. A big emphasis is put on timing our bets to get the best numbers, so we hope readers have made a habit of catching our weekly appearances on “The Greg Peterson Experience” (12:15 a.m. ET/9:15 p.m. PT on Sunday nights or 15 minutes into the archive) as we’re 33-20 ATS (62.2%) since the start of football season and 20-11 ATS (64.5%) since the start of November with the vast majority being our early bets on the NFL and this week included the Dolphins +11 at the Bills and the Buccaneers +3 vs. the Cowboys.
Those numbers look like they’re long-gone, so we’ll still give our opinion of what bettors should do if wagering later in the week and weekend (and then we update our “takes” in the daily columns leading up to game day). I’ll also include my “pool play” strategies that I use to just do during the regular season as I’ve been receiving more invites for playoff contests where we have to pick every game and assume many of our loyal readers are getting involved with those as well.
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.
The 49ers are arguably the hottest team in the league with a 10-game winning streak and 8-2 ATS even after having to go with third-string QB Brock Purdy. They have the No. 1 defense in yards allowed per game (and giving up just 16.3 points per game) and the No. 5 offense. Even with the line possibly going to double digits, it’s hard to pull the trigger. I don’t subscribe to the faulty “it’s hard to beat a team three times” when one team is clearly superior to the other as the 49ers beat the Seahawks 21-13 (covering as 3.5-point road faves) in Week 15 and 27-7 way back Week 2 in the game in San Francisco. The only play we like in this game in the Under as you can see both of the previous meetings were more than a touchdown Under this total of 42.5 as we expect the 49ers to shut down the Seahawks’ offense again and grind out a victory.
Best Bet: Under 42.5 (pool play: Seahawks 55/45 in ATS contests on principle, but 49ers 90/10 in SU pools).
Friday update: total is down to 42 at most books, so grab best number you can.
After losing their season-opener to the Commanders and then shutting out the Colts 24-0 in Week 2, the Jaguars’ 38-10 rout of the Chargers in Week 3 is where they really showed that this wasn’t the same ole Jags. The Chargers are still more of a public team, but that’s really the only reason why they’re a road favorite here. The Jaguars average more points per game (23.8 to 23.0) and allow fewer points per game (20.6 to 22.6), so I’m really tempted to say the wrong team is favored here. However, we think the better way to play this is to tease Jacksonville through the key numbers of 3 and 7 in 2-team, 6-point teasers. This is a good time to list the other advantage teasers (aka “Wong teasers” for old-timers) as we’ll use Jaguars +8 with the Giants up to +8.5 or +9 at the Vikings, Bengals down from -7 to -1 vs. the Ravens and Buccaneers from +2.5 up to +8.5 vs. the Cowboys.
Best Bet: Jaguars in teasers (pool play: Jaguars 60/40 in ATS contests and 55/45 in SU pools).
Thursday update: line has been bet up to Chargers -2.5, so the teaser on the Jaguars up to +8.5 is even stronger.
As mentioned in the intro, we grabbed the Dolphins +11 on Sunday night even though we weren’t sure who would be the QB for Miami. We’re certainly hopeful that it’ll be Tua Tagovailoa or at least Teddy Bridgewater and maybe the line move is indicative of “someone knows something.” Regardless, this is actually more of a play against the Bills, who we’ve had a lot of success against this season as they somehow always seem to let teams stick around as they’re 13-3 SU but only 8-7-1 ATS, including losing outright to these Dolphins in Week 3 and then only beating them 31-29 just three weeks ago and failing to cover as 7-point home favorites. Again, we’ll feel better about the Dolphins’ chances with Tagovailoa, but even though they didn’t score a TD in the 11-6 win vs. the Jets, Thompson did play turnover-free football and led the game-winning FG drive. And even though Tua played in the Week 16 game, don’t forget that Raheem Mostert rushed for 136 yards. Buffalo apologists will point out that Mostert is doubtful with a broken thumb, but Jeff Wilson Jr. ran for 143 vs. the Jets on Sunday. I know I’m in the minority (and I love being contrarian), but I still see the Dolphins as a live underdog.
Best Bet: Dolphins +9 or better (pool play: Dolphins 67/33 in ATS contests though Bills still 75/25 in SU pools).
Thursday update: it was finally officially announced that Tagovailoa is OUT and this ballooned up to 13, which we like even more.
Friday update: line continued to climb to +13.5 at DraftKings and majority of Vegas books, so we continue to be in the minority (which is fine with us).
Saturday update: line is now up to +14 at some books!
The Sunday afternoon NFC wild-card game is between two teams that have “done it with mirrors” all season as their records (Vikings 13-4 and winners of the NFC North; Giants 9-7-1) far exceed their statistics as they both had a knack to win close games. These two teams met just three weeks ago in Week 16 when the Vikings beat the Giants 27-24 but failed to cover as 4.5-point home favorites in a back-and-forth game that the Giants outyarded the Vikings 445-353 but needed a TD and 2-point conversion to tie the game with 2:01 left before Greg Joseph kicked a Minnesota record 61-yard, game-winning field goal as time expired. The line for Sunday’s rematch is the Vikings -3. Some books opened -2.5 but those were bet quickly to -3, which was the margin of victory in that first meeting. The line is too short for us to bet the Giants straight, but we still see this as a one-score game and will tease them up over a touchdown.
Best Bet: Giants in teasers (pool play: Giants 55/45 in ATS contests but Vikings 67/33 in SU pools).
With the possible exception of the 49ers, the Bengals are the hottest team heading into the playoffs. They overcame the “Super Bowl loser hangover” and are 12-2 SU and 11-1-1 ATS since their 0-2 start with the push being on Sunday in their 27-16 over these same Ravens with an overly inflated closing line of -11. The line is back down to 7 even though it’s uncertain whether Lamar Jackson will be able to return for the Ravens. We have to think he will return even if he’s less than 100%, though it’s tough to back the Ravens in that case. Instead, we think the right play is to tease the Bengals under a field goal and just count on to advance with the win.
Best Bet: Bengals in teasers (pool play: Bengals 55/45 in ATS contests and closer to 85/15 in SU pools).
Thursday update: it's looking more and more like Jackson might not be able to start, so the line steamed to Bengals -8.5. I'd advise that anyone with me wanting to use the Bengals in teasers do it ASAP as I could see books moving to -9 to deter 6-point teasers.
Friday update: as predicted, this line continued to rise Friday and it now up to -9.5.
Saturday update: to my surprise, most books have dropped back to Bengals -8.5, so that puts them back into teaser territory.
Again, we grabbed the Buccaneers +3 on Sunday night as Tom Brady is still Tom Brady and we can’t resist taking him as a home underdog, especially against a Dallas team that we don’t trust. The Buccaneers’ defense is No. 9 in yards allowed per game – and we keep thinking back to the way it dominated in the 19-3 season-opening road win over the Cowboys – and has continually kept them in games to give Brady a chance at late-game heroics. Besides, the Brady-to-Mike Evans combo came through with 3 TD passes in the Week 17 division-clinching win vs. the Panthers, so hopefully that’s a good sign that a late rally won’t be needed. Marc Lawrence of playbook.com and Matt Youmans' “Circa Friday Night Invitational” also adds that playing against any away team in the wild-card round that is coming off a loss of 14 or more points is 14-1 ATS (93%) since 1980. We fully expect the Bucs to pull the minor upset, though we wouldn't blame those that missed the +3 to just decide to tease them up through the key numbers of 3 and 7 to +8.5.
Best Bet: Buccaneers +2.5 or better, plus teasers (pool play: Buccaneers 67/33 in ATS contests and at least 60/40 in SU pools).