Tuley: NFL Sunday Best Bets on NFC, AFC Conference Championship Games

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

January 29, 2023 05:09 AM

Sunday NFL Best Bets, Saturday Recaps

Saturday was an action-packed day in the Tuley’s Takes home office as we had horse racing in the morning and afternoon – highlighted by the Pegasus card at Gulfstream Park – and our NHL plays and plenty of college and pro basketball to follow in the afternoon and evening.

The best result of the day came in Gulfstream’s Race 12 when Rampart race and sports book manager Duane Colucci, John Lauro and yours truly all landed on Atone in our “Team Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” column and he won the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational at 7-2 and paid $9.60. Colucci also gave out the late Pick 4 that paid $1,774.75.

My NHL Best Bet didn’t fare as well as I lost my parlay on Canadiens-Senators 1P Over 1.5 -150/Coyotes-Ducks 1P Over -140 as the first game was scoreless after the first 20 minutes (and the Senators added insult to injury by scoring 3 goals in the 2nd quarter – I hate when that happens!) and the Ducks only led the Coyotes 1-0 after the first period.

We did win our recommended third play on Sharks-Penguins as that turned out to be the best play as they both scored 2 goals in the opening period, but lost all our parlays. We dropped to 6-7 overall with our top NHL 1P plays, but because these parlays are at plus-money the way we play these, we’re still ahead 3.74 units.



We did cut our Saturday NHL losses a little with our underdog plays as we split 2-2 with the Islanders beating the Golden Knights at +100 and the Panthers beating the Bruins at +145.

Let’s recap the rest of Saturday’s betting action and then list our Best Bets for the NFC and AFC Championship Games as we head into Sunday. No NBA or NHL action as the NFL takes over (none of our NHL 1P Over teams are in action anyway). And then, as has become our custom around here, we’ll rerun our NFL column from Wednesday with our updates.

Saturday Recaps

NBA: Faves/dogs split 5-5 SU with Knicks-Nets closing pick'em, but dogs led 6-4 ATS with Lakers (+8) covering in controversial 125-121 OT loss at Celtics. The upsets were by the Rockets (+5.5 at Pistons), Wizards (+5.5 at Pelicans), Raptors (+3 at Blazers), Timberwolves (+1 vs. Kings) and Clippers (+1 at Hawks). Road teams went 6-5 SU and 7-4 ATS. Overs 6-5.

More NBA: On the season, faves lead 473-267 SU with 11 games closing pick-'em, but dogs still lead 376-345-19 ATS (52.1%). Home teams lead 449-302 SU and 386-348-18 ATS (52.6%). In totals wagering, Overs lead 383-356-12 (51.8%).

CBB: Oklahoma upset No. 2 Alabama 93-69 as 5-point home underdog in SEC/Big 12 Battle. No. 4 Tennessee beat No. 10 Texas 82-71, covering as 5.5-point home fave. Mississippi State (+1.5) upset No. 11 TCU 81-74 in OT. Missouri (+1) upset No. 12 Iowa State 78-61.

NHL: Faves went 7-4 with upsets by Sharks (+200 in 6-4 win at Penguins), Flyers (+190 in 4-0 win at Jets), Panthers (+135 in 4-3 OT win vs. Bruins) and Islanders (+102 in 2-1 OT win vs. Golden Knights). Home teams went 9-2. Unders led 6-4-1 with push in STL-COL (6). On the season, faves 458-296 with 20 PKs. Home teams 402-359 with 4 neutral-site games. Over/Unders back to .500 at 364-364-32.

Sunday NFL Best Bets

49ers +8.5/Bengals +7.5 (2-team, 6-point teaser): Gave this our last Sunday night and in my Monday column – also added 49ers +4.9/Chiefs +7.5 when the line flipped early in the week – but still my Best Bet for Sunday.

49ers +3 at Eagles: If you’ve been able to grab it…and it still might become available Sunday morning.

Bengals +7.5/Over 42 (6-point teaser): Added this in the VSiN NFL Best Bet column at VSiN.com on Friday for those who don’t want to fade the Eagles or are just looking for a bet on the nightcap.

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.

San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)

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. Ditto on Sunday. 

Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5) at Kansas City Chiefs

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/Sunday 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.


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