Thursday Best Bets, Wednesday Recaps
Wednesday was mostly spent going over more Super Bowl prop bets and continuing to monitor the Super Bowl LVII side and total as the Eagles remained 1.5-point favorites over the Chiefs at all Las Vegas sportsbooks and the Over/Under continued to climb to 50.5 points.
We also continue to hear more and more people tossing around historical betting trends that sound important but really aren’t, such as saying the winner of the Super Bowl is 46-7-3 ATS (82.1% since we count pushes in this case as the point spread comes into play), so the “point spread doesn’t matter – just pick the winner.”
Granted, this is true on the surface. But a lot of people were saying the same thing before the wild-card round but then only 4 of 6 winners (66.7%) covered as the Bills (-14) failed to cover in their 34-31 win vs. the Dolphins and the Bengals (-7.5) failed to cover in their 24-17 win vs. the Ravens. As I said on “The Greg Peterson Experience” that week, that “ATS trend” is misleading because it’s in direct correlation to how high or low the point spreads are. The example I gave is that if every game was pick-’em, then 100% of winners would also cover. If higher like the Bills and Bengals lines, then of course it’s more likely the point spread will come into play.
So, of course, with the line at 1.5, it’s more than 95% that the spread won’t matter in this Super Bowl, but that shouldn’t be used as a reason to bet one way or the other (though I guess it does illustrate that you shouldn’t waste money by paying an extra 10% in vig to buy a half-point to the Eagles -1 or the Chiefs +2).
The points have mattered with my recent basketball plays, however, as I lost my Best Bet on Wednesday for the third straight day, with all right around the spread. I lost my posted pick on the Magic +8.5 (I got +10) in their 11-point loss, 105-94, at the 76ers. I could easily be 3-0 ATS the last three days if we had received a key basket or a few free throws each game, but obviously our goal is to not be involved in coin-flip results like this, so we'll take our lumps.
I certainly miss having more football games to play at a time like this (or NHL 1P Overs for that matter). We’ve made a lot of money the last six months, so we’ll continue to make daily picks, but limiting the units we’re giving back. We trust our followers are exercising money management as well during this slump which feels similar to last summer when we struggled after the NBA and NHL playoffs came to a close with only MLB on the daily schedule, but then got back on the winning track with 1st 5 Inning plays.
Let’s recap the rest of Wednesday’s action, then look for Best Bets for Thursday. Then, as has been our custom here, we’ll recap our NFL “takes” column from Wednesday with our early Super Bowl bets for those who missed it (though it was also featured in the VSiN newsletter on Thursday morning).
NBA: Faves/dogs split 4-4 SU & ATS with upsets by the Blazers (+6 in 122-112 win at Grizzlies), Rockets (+6 in 112-106 win vs. Thunder), Timberwolves (+5.5 in 119-114 win vs. Warriors) & Hawks (+1.5 in 132-100 rout at Suns). Home teams went 5-3 SU & ATS; Unders 5-2-1 with push in Hawks-Suns (232) game.
More NBA: On the season, faves lead 490-275 SU with 11 games closing pick-'em, but dogs still lead 387-359-19 ATS (51.9%). Home teams lead 464-312 SU and 398-361-18 ATS (52.4%). In totals wagering, Overs still lead 392-370-14 (51.4%).
CBB: Florida upset No. 2 Tennessee 67-54 as 4.5-point home underdog and +180 on the money line (stayed Under betting total of 132.5 points). No. 16 Xavier beat Providence 85-83 in OT, but didn't cover as 3.5-point home favorite (went Over 153.5 thanks to extra 5 minutes as 152 was scored in regulation).
NHL: Faves (both on road) went 2-0 heading into All-Star Break with Hurricanes (-142 in 5-1 win at Sabres) and Bruins (-130 in 5-2 win at Maple Leafs). Over/Unders split 1-1. On the season, faves lead 466-296 with 20 PKs. Home teams lead 406-363 with 4 neutral-site games. Overs hold slim lead at 368-366-34.
Thursday CBB Best Bet
San Francisco +13 at Saint Mary’s: We like the Dons as 13-point road dogs. We know Saint Mary’s beat them in their prior meeting by 17 points, 78-61, as a 7.5-point road favorite and now gets them at home, but San Francisco has won its three games since then and averages 75.8 points on the season, led by Tyrell Roberts’ 15.5 points per game, compared to 71.4 ppg for the Gaels. Saint Mary’s has the better defense (allowing 57.1 ppg compared to the Dons’ 70.3 ppg), but San Fran should be able to stay closer in the rematch.
Thursday NBA Best Bet
Mavericks -190 ML vs. Pelicans/Bucks -190 ML vs. Clippers (+133 parlay payoff): We see Thursday as a chalky night in the Associations, so we’re going to take these two faves and turn them into a +133 dog in a parlay and just count on them to win straight-up. The Mavericks’ play is actually a fade of the Pelicans, who are on a 9-game losing streak while the Bucks are on a five-game winning streak.
Here's the rerun of Wednesday's column, with an update on our early Super Bowl bet:
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 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 6 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’s 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 8 games and gave up just 7 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 also 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.
Prop bets tied to my prediction of close game
Game tied after 0-0
Largest lead Under 14.5 points
Double result: halftime tie/Chiefs win (also halftime tie/Eagles win, just in case)