Tuley's Takes: If you like the Celtics, what are you waiting for?

June 1, 2022 08:13 PM
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We can’t believe the calendar is turning to June already in the Tuley’s Takes home office.

This should be a great summer as we’re doing some family trips (San Francisco in June, Hawaii in July, plus Reno and Flagstaff to move our two oldest kids into the dorms for the fall semester). I haven’t had a day off since starting the “Tuley’s Takes Today” version of this column at VSiN.com on Sept. 13. That’s 261 straight days as of Tuesday.

I hope all of you reading Point Spread Weekly have also been reading our daily columns as we recap the prior day’s betting results, try to give an overview of the current day’s menu and give out our recommended plays for the day. Followers certainly haven’t been disappointed as we were hitting at better than 60% for three months from Super Sunday through mid-May. We hit a bit of a slump (still around 50%) the rest of the month, then closed out strong over the holiday weekend by going 4-0 ATS with our top play each day with wins on the Heat on Friday night when it seemed the whole world was on the Celtics, the New York Rangers on Saturday, the Blue Jays on Sunday (as we backed off from making the Heat our Best Bet) and the Diamondbacks on Monday. We also went 8-2 ATS overall on the holiday weekend with the Heat’s four-point loss as 3-point dogs in Game 7 being one of the losses.

I plan to continue our daily columns uninterrupted at least through the end of the NBA Finals, but there’s plenty of work to be done before even thinking of taking a day off. Let’s clean out my reporter’s notebook and give my takes on the sports we’re still following this spring.

Tuley’s Takes on the NBA

During the NBA and NHL playoffs, PSW’s Wednesday publishing date sometimes falls in the middle of the rounds, but it works out perfectly this week with the NBA taking a few days off before the Finals tip off on Thursday. The Celtics and Warriors have earned their way here. It seems weird since neither was the No. 1 seed in their conference (Celtics were No. 2 in the East while the Warriors were No. 3 in the West and even finished 11 games out of first place in their own division). However, no one seems surprised that either are here.

I see this as a very even series and already stated my position on “The Lookahead” show on Sunday night when I said — with the Heat-Celtics Game 7 still in progress — that I was sure I would be backing either team in Game 1 on Thursday. The Celtics have shown that defense does travel, plus I like the fact they didn’t have to run back in two days like we see after a team survives a grueling seven-game series in prior rounds.

With more time to think about the series, I’ve already bet the Celtics + 145 to win the title. Now, I’m hearing other people say they’re hoping to wait for the Warriors to win Game 1 to get a better price on the Celtics. However, I don’t approve of that approach as you lose a ton of value if the Celtics (the team you actually like) steals Game 1 and then you have to lay a price. No thanks. I’d rather go all-in on the Celtics now and also bet them + 3.5 in Game 1. If the Warriors do win Game 1, I’ll be on the Celtics ATS again in Sunday’s Game 2, though if they win Game 1 I’ll probably pass.

As for the games in Boston, the calendar breaks the right way for us next week with Game 3 on Wednesday, so we can wait to see what the oddsmakers do before next week’s PSW.

Tuley’s Takes on the NHL

The NHL couldn’t wait for PSW’s schedule and started the Western Conference finals with the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night. In “Tuley’s Takes Today” on Tuesday, I passed on the Oilers in Game 1 and instead went with Under 6.5 goals + 115. While everyone seems to be predicting a high-scoring series between these teams (our Betting Splits page at VSiN.com had a whopping 82% of the handle at DraftKings on the Over when I wrote Tuesday morning’s column and still had 79% as of noon PT when filing this column), I’m fading the public. As I wrote in TTT, the Under was 3-2 in the season series, including an Over in the last game when the Avalanche were playing out the string at the end of the regular season. I’m counting on more defense than the masses are expecting. Unless we see early games flying Over, I plan to bet the Under each game and fully expect to have a winning record in the series.

In the other conference finale that starts Wednesday, I like the Rangers + 160 in a series upset of the two-time defending champion Lightning (which is seeing its bandwagon filling up as a popular choice, especially after knocking off the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers). They’re actually home dogs, which I like, and just like the Celtics, I’m not waiting to bet them on the series price or game-to-game, so gimme Rangers + 105 in Wednesday’s opener. I expect to bet them each game, though possibly passing off of a win and jumping back on them after a loss.

Tuley’s Takes on MLB

I’ve been doing some regular handicapping with my MLB dogs lately (such as the Blue Jays on Sunday and the Diamondbacks with Zac Gallen on Monday), but most of my baseball action lately has been with my swagger/anti-swagger plays. Of course, those can be few and far between if teams aren’t going on extended streaks (as we’ve written before, we usually require a streak of six or more before considering it enough to build up or lose swagger).

The teams we’re tracking after Memorial Day are the Blue Jays with a five-game winning streak heading into Tuesday’s games and the Angels with a five-game losing streak. Other teams approaching swagger/anti-swagger territory are the Mets with a four-game win streak and the Phillies with a four-game skid.

Tuley’s Takes on the USFL

A lot of people continue to ignore the USFL, but we love it as it continues to return profits every weekend.

We rode the Unders the first three weeks as they went 8-4. We then warned everyone that the oddsmakers had adjusted to that early run (and had gone too far) and the value was then on the Overs, which went 11-1 the next three weeks. Unfortunately, we didn’t bet all the Overs blindly but cashed our fair share each week with our best bets. We then warned that the books had adjusted again and the lines were pretty solid and Over/Unders split 2-2 in Week 7 (note: you could have still gone 3-1 with Overs if you had bet the Stallions-Maulers Over 41.5 earlier in the week before it closed 42.5 ahead of the Stallions’ 26-16 win). We went 2-0 by being selective with the Generals-Bandits Under 42.5 (Generals won 20-13) and Stars-Gamblers Over 44.5 (Stars won 35-24). 

As for this week, the totals are looking solid again, but my midweek leans are on the Maulers-Generals Under 42 (I have it at 38 points) and Panthers-Stars Under 48 (I have it at 45).

Check out our official plays each morning in “Tuley’s Takes Today.”

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