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Tuley's Takes: Final Four, NHL and a Life Lesson

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

We’re in a pretty disappointed mood here at the Tuley’s Takes home office.

No, it’s not because we’ve been losing bets. In fact, things have never been better in that department as we just completed a 3-1 ATS week in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds with Texas Tech 1.5 vs. Michigan last Thursday, Auburn 5.5 vs. North Carolina on Friday (especially with seemingly the whole world, including many handicappers we respect, saying the Tigers couldn’t run with the Tar Heels) and Michigan State 2 vs, Duke on Sunday – and all three pulling outright upsets! That improved our best-bet record to 10-5 ATS (66.7%) for the tourney. Meanwhile, we got back over the 50-unit mark in profit with our NHL 1st Period parlays thanks to the #FollowtheMoney6 having back-to-back 3-0 days on Sunday and Monday and then 4-0 on Tuesday. In addition, we ran our best-bet winning streak to seven straight weeks in the Alliance of American Football.

And that’s why there’s a pall cast over the Tuley’s Takes home office as the AAF discontinued operations on Tuesday and we don’t have those gambling opportunities to handicap this weekend.

However, as my friend Roger Dorn (his real name, not the fictitious third baseman from “Major League”) says, I’m always able to find a silver lining. I really believe there’s a valuable lesson for sports bettors in this sad news (and a broader life lesson for everyone).

Go for the Gusto! Seize the Day! Just Do It! I’m not writing anything inspirational that you haven’t heard a hundred or a thousand times before, but winners are not afraid of losing. I learned this in my days at the Daily Racing Form. I would hear horseplayers talk about an up-andcoming horse or one coming off a layoff, but then they would invariably say something like “I need to see them run a race.” Too often, the horse would win that next race or run a very strong second and go off at much lower odds in their next race. I quickly learned that I’d rather be first to the party at 20-1 or 30-1 as opposed to waiting and having everyone (oddsmakers, other bettors, etc.) sucking out all the betting value.

The same applies in sports betting. If you are high on a team or a trend or a system, bet them right away. You don’t wait to see if they’re as good as you think they are, and then bet when everyone has also jumped on the bandwagon. Or at least make sure you’re still getting value like we determined when we first heard about the NHL 1st Period Overs on VSiN’s “Follow the Money” morning show with Mitch Moss & Pauly Howard. I have another apropos story about the first and so far, only season of the XFL in 2001, but I’ll save that for another day (probably when the XFL returns in 2020). I heard people say they were going to pass on the AAF until they saw what the product was going to be, and maybe they’d play it next year. Well, “Next Year” doesn’t always come!

Before getting to this week’s games, I want to thank all of you for reading Point Spread Weekly and who listen to the daily broadcasts on our website at VSiN. com or the VSiN app, on SiriusXM 204 or our everexpanding outlets. I had one detractor on my Twitter account @ViewFromVegas this past week who complained about the subscription model. I’m also grateful that he was met with replies from about a dozen VSiN subscribers (and I’m sure it would have been more if more of you were on Twitter!) who “get it.” You know that even though those of us who are handicapping games are trying to pass on winners, that the VSiN lifestyle is about discussing sports betting in an open environment and understanding the market in order to make wise betting decisions.

Give a man a winner and he eats a celebratory steak dinner for a night; teach him to bet wisely and he eats steak dinners for a lifetime! That’s my motto!

So, R.I.P. AAF, if this is indeed the end of that betting opportunity, and now let’s look at this week’s betting menu.

TULEY’S TAKE ON THE FINAL FOUR

As stated in the intro, we went 3-1 ATS last week in our Sweet 16 picks in PSW and Elite 8 picks at vsin.com over the weekend. The lone loss was Purdue 4.5 vs. Virginia on Saturday as we clearly had the “right side” most of the game and only lost by 5, 80-75, after having the game go to overtime and Virginia tacking on 2 late free throws to put it over the number. It was a classic “Bad Beat,” but if that’s what it takes to beat us, then so be it. We’re still thrilled with our 10-5 ATS (66.7%) March Madness record after going 14-6 ATS (70%) last year on these same pages.

And now we’re on to the Final Four on Saturday in Minneapolis. Again, I like one underdog but not the other. Lines are from the South Point as of Tuesday afternoon:

SATURDAY, APRIL 6 - (803) Auburn 5.5 vs. Virginia 6:09 p.m. ET/3:09 p.m. PT Tuley’s Take: As I said to Brent Musburger on his “My Guys in the Desert” show Monday, I was thrilled when I seemed to be on an island in picking Auburn over North Carolina last week and the Tigers came through with the 97-80 victory (longtime readers know that as a “Tuley Cover” – that’s when an underdog not only wins outright but also covers the number of points they were getting!), but after the injury to Chuma Okeke, I didn’t back Auburn against Kentucky in the Midwest Regional Final. However, I was even more impressed with the upset of Kentucky without Okeke as Auburn showed it didn’t need to rely on 3-pointers and instead attacked the lane with the drives of Bryce Brown and Jared Harper. That’s going to be needed against the No. 1 Virginia defense. Besides, similar to Duke, Virginia certainly has a tendency of letting teams stick around even when it appears the Cavaliers are in control. That could prove to be Virginia’s undoing as I’m now more confident in Auburn being able to play at a slower tempo while certainly capable of outrunning Virginia if needed or going bombs away from 3-point territory. Note: this line mostly opened Virginia -5.5; it was bet down to 5 on Monday and then back up to 5.5 on Tuesday. Hopefully it continues to move higher, so I’ll wait to make my bet when it peaks. Best Bet: Auburn 5.5 (or higher).

Tuley’s Other Final Four Lean

(802) Michigan State -2.5 vs. Texas Tech (I made this line MSU -2 and considered a play on Texas Tech when it was available at 3; I might end up playing it later in the week if the line move reverses, otherwise I’ll pass at 2.5; my stronger lean in this matchup is the  BY DAVE TULEY Tuley’s Takes: Final Four, NHL & a Life Lesson 4 AUGUST 30 – SEPTEMBER 3 I’ll pass at 2.5; my stronger lean in this matchup is the Under 132.5; Texas Tech is No. 1 in defensive efficiency but Michigan State also plays great defense and is certainly used to a slower tempo from playing in the Big Ten; remember the Texas Tech game vs. Michigan – a comparable team to MSU – and it was tied 6-6 with more than 10 minutes played in the first half? That would be a great start to this game as well)

TULEY’S TAKE ON NHL 1ST PERIOD WAGERING

As I wrote in last week’s Point Spread Weekly, I had been down to just over 40 units ahead since starting my parlaying method with the #FollowtheMoney6 Over teams (with some variations for some teams that have cooled off at times) after being as high as 50 units ahead a few weeks ago. I was considering backing off but then we rallied to up 44 units a week ago Monday before dropping to 43 with a 1-unit loss last Tuesday. I decided to plug along as long as the rally continued and as long as I didn’t fall below that 40-unit mark (I believe in setting “win limits” as well as “loss limits,” learned from long blackjack sessions where I wouldn’t walk away with a profit).

I mapped out my weekly gameplan (like I’ll do below) and this past week started great with a 1-unit win on Dallas Stars Under last Wednesday as our only FTM team in action. Thursday was another banner day with the Blackhawks-Hawks game being the last time two FTM6 teams faced each other and it easily went Over in the 1st Period at 3-1. The Stars also stayed Under to complete our biggest parlay for a 3-unit profit to get to 46 overall even with losing smaller parlays using the Blue Jackets. Friday was a 1-unit loss with the Penguins to the Devils (this has been the beauty of parlaying these games as I only dropped 1 unit even though the FTM6 teams went 0-2).

Last Saturday was a bad day for yours truly (in addition to the Purdue result) as the Blackhawks had a scoreless 1st Period and the Stars went Over, so even though the Blue Jackets and Lightning went Over, we lost a net 3 units to slip back down to 42 overall and started to consider backing off for the rest of the regular season. On Sunday, I bet just a 1-unit parlay with the Penguins, Blue Jackets, Sharks and swept 3-0 at better than 3-1 odds and then followed that up with another 3-0 day on Monday with basically a round robin (though with different amounts as discussed on “My Guys in the Desert”) to make nearly another 5 units and put us back over 50 units! We pretty much broke even on Tuesday to stay right around the 50 mark (TO BE EDITED TUESDAY NIGHT).

Now, the NHL regular season ends Saturday, so we’re faced with some new scenarios this week with some teams desperately for a playoff spot or a better seed while others might be playing out the string. This can certainly affect how wide-open the 1st Periods will continue to be (or not to be in the case of the Stars). Since we’ve continued to have success, I’m planning to mostly proceed as normal but maybe cutting down bets a little or parlaying fewer combos. (For those wondering if we’ll be continuing with our basic strategies in regard to NHL 1st Period Over/Unders, well, we’ll address that with a special playoff preview piece at VSiN.com next Tuesday for all-access subscribers in time for the first night of the playoffs (and re-run in next week’s PSW).

Here’s how I plan to attack this next week’s NHL schedule:

Wednesday: Light schedule with only Blackhawks in action at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT; will probably just play this straight, hopefully it’s lower juice with the Blues being the opponent.

Thursday: I’m not thrilled with the matchups this night, so am leaning toward just parlaying the three 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT starts (Lightning, Penguins & Devils) and then a separate parlay with Lightning Over to the Sharks Over at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Friday: Pretty cut-and-dried with Blue Jackets Over at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and Blackhawks Over at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT against the Stars, especially if Dallas has already clinched a playoff spot (might pass or even flip to the Under if Dallas still needs this game).

Saturday: If these games don’t mean anything for playoff seeding, that doesn’t mean I’ll automatically pass on the 1st Period Overs. The Lightning play at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT and I’ll probably parlay to at least the Blackhawks Over at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT as one last time with our two most profitable Over teams this season. The Blue Jackets, Devils & Penguins all start at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and make for an obvious three-teamer. I’m also expecting I’ll also parlay the Blue Jackets (playing the Senators, longtime #7 on FTM list) with the Blackhawks Over as well as the Blackhawks Over to the Stars Under, again especially if they still need a win to make the playoffs, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do with

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