Tuesday Best Bets, Monday recaps
Monday was one of the most surreal days we can recall ever having in the Tuley’s Takes home office. We had bowl games during the day – a nice bonus – capped by the Rose Bowl, then Donovan Mitchell scoring 71 points in the NBA and No. 1 Purdue being upset in CBB, any one of which would usually be the No. 1 news story of the day. But it was all overshadowed by the Monday Night Football game getting postponed.
Personally, I was watching the Bills-Bengals game while cooking a tri-tip on the grill and was shocked like everyone else to see Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin collapse after making what looked like a routine tackle. It’s fairly common to see a football game interrupted by an injury and even seeing players carted off with serious injuries, but this was different as we don’t often see an ambulance go on the field and hear about a player actually receiving CPR. It was later learned that Hamlin went into cardiac arrest.
The games was postponed just after 10 p.m. ET. I always do a Monday Night Football recap at VSiN.com,
but I certainly didn’t expect to be doing it so early (7 p.m. Vegas Time) and about a game that didn’t even get through the first quarter.
It seems silly to talk about our bets after something like this, but this is what we do. My Best Bet of the day on Bengals +7.5/Under 55.5 points was graded no-action (we split our leans with a loss on Purdue 15.5 and a win on Penn State +1.5), so I wish I had used Penn State as my top play, Anyway, the canceled wager ended a 66-day run of daily Best Bets that went 40-24-2 ATS (62.5%) since late October.
Let’s get to the rest of the Monday recaps, then take a peek into Contest Corner (including the ramifications of the MNF postponement in the Circa Sports Million and Westgate SuperContest). We’ll then give our Tuesday Best Bet as well as our early NFL Week 18 and CFB Championship Game picks.
CFB: Penn State (closed -1.5) routed Utah 35-21 in the Rose Bowl to complete the bowl season (game went just Over the betting total of 55 points). Faves went 3-1 SU and ATS on Monday. Overs led 3-1. Faves finished 26-16 overall in bowl season, but dogs still led 25-16-1 ATS (61%). Unders dipped to finish 22-19-1 (53.7%).
More CFB: Earlier, Mississippi State beat Illinois 19-10 in the Reliaquest Bowl, pulling off a miracle cover after closing as 3.5-point favorites on a scoop-and-score on an Illinois desperation lateral play on the final play of the game after leading by 3 on a field goal with :04 left (game still stayed Under 46.5 points). No. 16 Tulane rallied to upset No. 10 USC 46-45 in the Cotton Bowl after closing as a 1.5-point underdog (flew Over 66.5). LSU easily covered as 15.5-point fave in 63-7 rout of Purdue in the Citrus Bowl (went Over 54.5).
CBB: Rutgers upset No. 1 Purdue 65-64 Monday night as a 8.5-point road underdog and +320 on the money line with a high of +345 at Circa Sports (stayed Under betting total of 131 points).
NBA: Faves went 8-3 SU and 7-4 ATS as the Rockets (+7.5) covered in 111-106 loss vs. the Mavericks. The upsets were by the Timberwolves (+4 in 124-111 win vs. Nuggets), Lakers (+2 in 121-115 win at Hornets) and Pacers (+2 in 122-114 win vs. Raptors). Home teams went 8-3 SU and 9-2 ATS. Overs led 7-4.
More NBA: On the season, favorites lead 352-199 SU with 9 games closing pick-'em, but underdogs still lead 278-256-17 ATS (52.1%). Home teams lead 343-217 SU and 294-250-16 ATS (54%). In totals wagering, Overs' slim lead improved to 286-267-7 (51.7%).
NHL: Faves went 2-1 Monday with the upset by the Golden Knights (+140 in 3-2 win at Avalanche). The Bruins (-180 in 2-1 win vs. Penguins in Winter Classic at Fenway Park) and Flyers (-120 in 4-1 win at Ducks). Road teams went 2-1. Unders swept 3-0. On the season, faves lead 340-215 with 16 games closing pick-'em. Home teams' lead dipped to 296-271 with 4 neutral-site games Unders' slim lead improved to 279-269-23.
Circa Sports Million leader Enut34-1 (57-25-2, 69.5%) had Bengals +1 on Monday Night Football with 4 of Top 5 players having a pick on the postponed game. According to the rules on the Circa Sports website, all will receive 0.5 points if the game isn’t completed by 1:59 a.m. PT Wednesday.
Circa Sports Million Top 5 remains at 2-2 so far in NFL Week 17 with postponement of pick No. 5 Bengals +1 on Monday Night Football (will be graded a push if not completed by 1:59 a.m. PT Wednesday).
SuperContest Top 5 remains 2-2 for NFL Week 17 with postponement of #MNF game; according to the rules on the Westgate SuperBook website, Bengals +1 will be worth 0 points (same as a loss) if not completed by 11:59 p.m. PT Tuesday.
SuperContest leader SA247LLC went 3-2 to stand at 58-26-1 (69%) and open up a 3-point lead over 3 others: BENNY STROUP, HEINEKEN 21 and Marvelous Mark3. JHAAS07 was trying to move into 2nd place with Bills -1 but would get 0 points if game not completed by 11:59 p.m. PT Tuesday.
Tuesday Best Bet
Thunder +8.5 vs. Celtics: We don’t have any clear-cut swagger or anti-swagger plays for Tuesday. This is the closest thing as the Celtics are in a mini-anti-swagger spot after having a four-game winning streak snapped on Sunday in a 123-111 loss in Denver. OKC rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 30.8 points per game (fifth in the NBA). The Thunder are only 15-21, but they’re 10-9 at home. In the first meeting between these two teams, the Thunder covered as a 12-point road dog in a 126-122 loss in Boston on Nov. 14, so we just need them to do the same at home. The Thunder are also 11-8 ATS as home dogs this season, including 7-3 ATS in their last 10 times in the role.
NFL Week 18 Best Bets
Lions +4.5 at Packers: The Packers earn an NFC wild-card berth with a win and everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon, but I'll take the Lions, who have been the better team all season. While the Packers have made an impressive turnaround, the Lions were 1-6 before they beat the Packers 15-9 in Week 9. We love getting points with a team that already showed they can beat the other team. Granted, the Packers are playing better since then, but so are the Lions and we also cash if this comes down to a field goal.
Raiders +10 vs. Chiefs
: In another rematch, the Chiefs only beat the Raiders 30-29 in Week 5. The Chiefs tend to let lesser teams stick around, including only beating the far inferior Broncos 27-24 on Sunday. Meanwhile the Raiders covered as 10-point home dogs on Sunday in a 37-34 OT loss to the 49ers, who have a far better defense than the Chiefs. Double-digit home underdogs are 5-1 ATS on the season, so I have to jump on this.
CFB Championship Game Best Bet
TCU +13.5 vs. Georgia: TCU has risen to the occasion all season and has showed it can compete with anyone, including knocking off Michigan in the semifinals. Georgia is still the best team in college football, but this line is set way too high. As we mentioned on "The Greg Peterson Experience," we expect this to be like a Super Bowl line where bettors take the points with the underdog while chalk bettors wait to get a depressed money line on the favorite. Some books are already at -13, so grab the best price you can.