Tuley's Takes on Championship Sunday

The NFL’s divisional playoff round was a mixed bag for us here at the Tuley’s Takes home office, though I spent Saturday at Circa with VSiN superfan Randy McKay and work colleagues Matt Youmans and Lou Finocchiaro.

I split my best bets on the Rams + 7 and Browns + 10, but as has been the case most of the football season, my teaser portfolio came through to make it a profitable weekend. We posted here last week that I was teasing the Packers, Ravens and Buccaneers. The Ravens came up short at + 8.5, which is hard in today’s NFL when you allow only 17 points, but the Ravens managed just a field goal. That killed my Packers/Ravens and Ravens/Buccaneers parlays, but fortunately I still had Packers/Buccaneers. And then when the Chiefs were bet down to -8 on Sunday morning, I added Chiefs -2/Buccaneers + 9 to my portfolio. (Hopefully readers have learned enough about advantage teasers capturing the key numbers of 3 and 7 to make this play themselves or saw my late post on Twitter @ViewFromVegas.) Middling my previous bets on Browns + 10 with the Chiefs -2 in Kansas City’s 22-17 victory was the perfect result.

As we’re recapping the last week, I want to give a shout-out to the readers who asked if I was jumping in on NHL first-period Overs to start the season. We sure did and had a great start. They went 4-1 on opening night and 7-3 the next night, and we hit multiple parlays each day. However, we gave back most of our profits when 1P Overs went 1-3-1 on Friday and 5-5 on Saturday. Fortunately I backed off on them before they went 1-9 on Monday, which would have been a bloodbath. I’m going to pass in the near future and hope some individual teams show strong tendencies like they did in 2019 when we capitalized on what came to be known as the #FollowtheMoney5.

Back to the NFL, favorites/underdogs and home/road teams both split 2-2 ATS on the weekend after road teams and dogs each went 4-2 ATS in the wild-card round. So we see no reason not to keep looking at the road dogs in Sunday’s conference title games.

However, a little spoiler alert: Even though I like the Buccaneers and Bills as underdogs, my biggest bet again is most likely going to be a two-team, 6-point teaser.


Buccaneers at Packers (-3, O/U 51)

Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers. That’s certainly the way this is being billed. However, they’re never on the field at the same time. And even though the teams’ defensive stats are eerily similar — the Packers allow 328.7 yards and 22.8 points per game, while Buccaneers allow 327.9 yards and 22.1 points — I trust Brady against the Packers’ defense more than Rodgers vs. the Bucs’ D. I really have this as pick-’em and, while I understand the Packers being small favorites at home, I don’t buy that the Packers should get added points playing at Lambeau Field. With Brady in Tampa Bay, they don’t have the stigma of a warm-weather team traveling to the frozen tundra. This line was widely available Sunday night at Buccaneers + 4, and hopefully those with me on the Bucs were able to grab + 3.5. However, I would still take the + 3 while also using the Buccaneers in teasers. My biggest play would be on Buccaneers + 9/Bills + 9 but also using Buccaneers + 9/Over 45 (or Over 44.5 if you can get it). Best Bets: Buccaneers + 3, plus Bucs in teasers.


Bills at Chiefs (-3, O/U 53.5)


It was wild watching the opening lines for this game after the Chiefs beat the Browns on Sunday. The first lines I saw pop up on the odds screens were Circa with Bills -2.5 and DraftKings with Chiefs -1.5. Circa quickly was bet to pick-’em, while DraftKings flipped to Bills -1.5 before other books posted lines and the Chiefs quickly became consensus 2.5-point home favorites. Some of the differences were of course attributed to the unknown severity of Patrick Mahomes’ concussion, but I’m not sure it was out of line for books to post the Bills as short road chalk. Steve Makinen’s NFL Power Ratings had the Bills and Chiefs exactly tied heading into last week’s games, and I’ve seen other ratings that have moved the Bills ahead of the Chiefs. And we’ve already established that home-field advantage is negligible this season. The Bills actually average more points per game (30.3 points vs. 29.1), while both defenses allow 22.3, so pick-’em looks like the right line. Besides, while I expect Mahomes to be cleared from concussion protocol, let’s not forget how much he was limping Sunday, so the scrambling part of his game could still be severely limited while Josh Allen should have his full arsenal. As of Tuesday afternoon, the spread has been slightly moving to + 3 -120, and some books are starting to go to 2.5. But while I would normally advise grabbing + 3 ASAP in this kind of case, I also think there’s a very good chance that once Mahomes is cleared to play, a flood of bets will come in from those waiting to back the Chiefs and the line might get steamed to + 3.5. Regardless of whether it’s + 2.5 or + 3 by the time you’re betting, I’d recommend betting more on the aforementioned Buccaneers + 9/Bills + 8.5 or better teaser. If the Bucs fail to come through, I’d do a teaser on Bills + 9/Under 59.5. Best Bets: Bills + 3, plus Bills in teasers.


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