Tuley-s Takes: NHL and NBA, Plus MLB and the U.S. Open

Well, we got what we wanted – sort of – with a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night and Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.

I use the qualifying “sort of” because while we all love long championship series to watch and wager on and all the drama that they entail, I still have my Blues 250 series ticket and Raptors in 6 bet at 14-1 (which would have been dead if the Raptors had clinched Monday night.

In addition to these two games (and perhaps another Game 7 on Sunday if the Warriors win Thursday night), we have a full sports betting weekend with the U.S. Open plus the regular day-to-day grind of baseball (and WNBA, AFL, MMA and NASCAR for those involved with those sports). So, let’s go through it all.

TULEY’S TAKES ON NHL STANLEY CUP FINALS

Just like the now-famous St. Louis fan Scott Berry, I haven’t hedged my Blues bet to win it all and intend to let it ride (though with much less at stake than Berry’s $400 bet at 250-1 that could be worth $100,400 late Wednesday night – or worth $0 if the Bruins win).

With this going the full seven games, it’s obviously been a pretty even series, so I feel good having the Blues 250 when their Game 7 price is around 145 to 150. Even though it’s in Boston, I think it’s way overpriced with the Bruins at -165 to -170, especially when you consider the road teams are 4-2 in this series (with the Blues 2-1 in Boston) while the underdogs are 4-1 SU (Game 4 closed pick ‘em).

So, if you didn’t jump in with me on the futures, I’d still advise taking the 150 as you’re still getting a more than fair price on what should be closer to a coin-flip. Personally, I’ll probably just go with the Under 5 (around 130). Overs lead the series at 4-2, but Game 6 really should have been an Under to even it up at 3-3 as it was 1-0 entering the third period, but the two teams exploded for five goals in the final period to put it Over. I expect Game 7 to be low-scoring again with so much on the line; granted, it could turn into a wild last period again with empty-net goals, etc., but I’m betting against it.

Best Bets: Under 5 130, plus Blues 150 if you don’t have a futures ticket (and even if you do!).

TULEY’S TAKES ON NBA FINALS

As I wrote last week, I already sold my $100 18-1 ticket on the Raptors winning the title (bought when they trailed the Bucks 2-1) at PropSwap for $550, so I don’t have that anymore, but I still have my 14-1 ticket on the “Raptors in 6” as I predicted here in Point Spread Weekly two weeks ago.

As I also wrote last week, I bet the Raptors 5.5 in last Friday’s Game 4 and then passed on them in Monday’s Game 5 even though they met my condition of “Raptors end up being home underdogs (possible if Durant does indeed return).” If you jumped on the Raptors when they did get to 1 after a wild day of betting as Durant come back to play only to get injured again, you got a push with the Warriors’ 106-105 victory; extra kudos to those who were more patient and got Raptors 1.5.

I’m sticking with my Raptors in 6 prediction, and instead of hedging I’m planning to bet the Raptors again as road underdogs (and why not as they won Games 3 and 4 in Oakland and are 3-0 there this season). As of Tuesday afternoon, the line was a pretty solid Warriors -3 after wavering between -3.5 and -4 on Monday night right after Game 5. I’ll take 3 if I see the market stop dropping, though certainly hoping the public gets back on the Warriors’ bandwagon and drives the number higher. If there is a Game 7 on Sunday, I’ll stick with the Raptors even as small home favorites.

Best Bets: Raptors 3 or better in Thursday night’s Game 6; Raptors in Game 7 (if necessary).

TULEY’S TAKES ON MLB 1ST INNING YES/NO

After the past week of these wagers that I debuted in last week’s PSW, I’m not ready to pronounce the experiment a failure quite yet – but it hasn’t been the resounding success that we found with NHL 1st Period wagers when jumping in back in January.

As I wrote last Friday on VSiN.com, the plays I gave out last Wednesday and Thursday in PSW were up 3.95 units. Unfortunately, the two plays I gave out in that article (Orioles-Astros “Yes” and Twins-Tigers “No”) both went 0-3 over the weekend, so my official posted plays lost 3 units to stand at just 0.95 with PSW/VSiN plays. Those were mostly blind picks since these odds aren’t posted until the morning of gameday, so I was also handicapping and betting more plays. I was actually up more than the 3.95 units last Wednesday/Thursday as I latched onto the Orioles-Rangers “Yes” and hit a parlay with the A’s-Mariners “Yes” plus a straight bet when the Reds-Cardinals game was postponed last Wednesday. Unfortunately, I was also playing a lot more parlays over the weekend and gave back all those profits and then some before getting bailed out Sunday with Dodgers-Giants “Yes” 110 parlay with Mariners-Angels “No” 125 that paid 3.7 units.

So, no matter how you slice my results, it’s been close to an even-Steven proposition. I didn’t post any plays for this week at VSiN, but I did rewrite my piece for last Saturday’s New York Post and gave my top plays for the Monday through Wednesday series as the A’s -Rays “Yes” with Cardinals-Marlins “No.” I lost my main parlay Monday as the Cards-Marlins came through but the A’s-Rays did not. However, Tuesday went a lot better as the A’s-Rays/Cards-Marlins parlay hit for 2.4 units (A’s-Rays “Yes” was -120 at Circa w/ Cards-Marlin “No” at -115) and I also used those teams with the Blue Jays-Orioles “Yes” and cashed 2.55 units with the A’s-Rays and 2.65 with the Cards-Marlins, so I’m back ahead overall.

For Wednesday, I’ll stick with those two as my main parlay again along with the Blue JaysOrioles “Yes” and Astros-Brewers “Yes” in smaller parlays.

For the weekend, I’ll focus in on the BrewersGiants “Yes,” Mariners-A’s “Yes” and PiratesMarlins “No” as those teams have been pretty consistent with those results. I’ll use in varying combinations. Please let us know how you’re playing these 1st Inning Yes/No wagers; if there’s enough interest we’ll see about doing another “Tuleys’ Takes EXTRA” for the weekend or in the VSiN newsletter or daily “What You Missed (So Far)” emails.

TULEY’S TAKES ON U.S. OPEN

As I wrote before the Masters and PGA Championship, I’ve had success with golf’s majors in recent years so I keep getting requests for my value plays. I’m 0-for-8 so far this year (with four picks in each major) but I pretty much view the majors as one season and it takes just one winner at 16-1 or higher to show an overall profit. I don’t want to be forced into a Hail Mary on the British Open, so here’s hoping we have the winner in our foursome this weekend:

Justin Thomas (25/1)

How you feel about Thomas’ chances probably comes down to if you believe he’s recovered from his recent wrist injury. If you believe he’s not fully healed and ready to return to his former form, then 25/1 probably isn’t high enough. But if you believe he’s fine and has true odds in the midteens, then you’re happy to take 25/1. Count me among the latter.

Francesco Molinari (35/1)

Has anyone been better than him the past year? Oh, well Brooks Koepka, of course, but he’s only 8/1. I’m not sure why Molinari is offered this high (except that he’s never finished a U.S. Open in the Top 20), but I’m glad to get him at this price.

Bryson DeChambeau (50/1)

I’ve picked him before and I’m picking him again. He has the game that when he puts it all together, he’ll win one of these majors. And I want to be on him when he does.

Jim Furyk (125/1)

You don’t have to be a big hitter like the Dalai Lama to win at Pebble Beach, so that levels the playing field for the aging (he’s 49) 2003 U.S. Open champ. If he’s hitting his Greens in Regulation, he can give these young guns a run for the money. Good luck this weekend (and every weekend)

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