How was your Championship Sunday? If you loved the favorites and the Overs in any way, you were probably quite happy.
It was more of a mixed result here in the Tuley’s Takes home office. We lost with the Titans against the Chiefs and won with the Packers-49ers Over 45, but we’ll still take our overall results at 6-4 (60% for the mathematically challenged) in the playoffs (3-3 ATS and 3-1 on totals). I have no regrets backing the Titans, as I really thought they had a great chance to pull the upset or at least cover. Of course, I was happier with my decision to pass on the Packers, even when they got to 8 over the weekend, and stay with my pick on the Over.
I hope you saw my story at VSiN.com on how the Chiefs-49ers Super Bowl odds opened and have been bet into shape. You can continue tracking all the movement at vsin.com/odds and on my Twitter feed @ViewFromVegas. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Chiefs have settled as one-point favorites, with the Over/Under having been bet up to 54.5 at half the sportsbooks in Vegas.
As I said Sunday night on the “Opening Lines” show, I’ll have my full breakdown of the Chiefs-49ers matchup in next week’s “Point Spread Weekly.” My initial thoughts were that I don’t have a strong opinion on the side and liked the Over when it lower. I did give some early hints about prop bets I already have in mind: “Tie After 0-0,” which makes sense with the game around pick-’em; “Largest Lead Under 14.5 Points,” and maybe even “Will There Be Overtime?” at 8/1.
For this week, it’s a good time to look around at MLB and NHL, especially the first-period Over/Unders that treated us so well last year, before we’re inundated with Super Bowl hype.
Takes on MLB
With Over/Under season win totals being posted last week, I was tempted to give my early thoughts in “PSW,” but I put it off with the uncertainties surrounding the sign-stealing scandal. It still might be too early, as more suspensions could be coming. Your feelings about that probably will determine whether you’re comfortable making any of these bets.
— Astros Over 94.5 wins: A lot of people are expecting the Astros’ success to drop after the scandal. The Over/Under season win total opened at 97 at Caesars but is down to 95 there and 94.5 at the Westgate SuperBook. However, there’s a lot to be said for the motivation of a talented team that thinks the whole world is saying it succeeded because of cheating (see the post-Deflategate Patriots). I’m waiting to see if it goes any lower, but I plan to bet the Over.
— White Sox Over 84 wins: I nailed the AL Central last year with the Twins at 9/2 to win the division, but they’re overpriced now at -125. The White Sox are attracting a lot of attention, so now is probably the time to go Over their win total of 84 as well as taking them at 275 to win the AL Central.
— Brewers Over 82.5 and Padres Over 82.5: In the National League, the East and Central races are too wide open to call, while the Dodgers are too loaded to bet against in the West. But I think there’s value in going Over with these two teams, as the Brewers are a solid team getting Christian Yelich back from injury and the Padres are an up-and-coming team that I project easily finishing above .500.
Takes on NHL
Regular readers will recall our great success last year with NHL first-period Over/Unders from January through the first round of the playoffs. We tried to see if we could repeat that at the start of this season, but the same teams weren’t as consistent and we went back to concentrating on college and pro football.
However, it’s time to jump back in as we’re hitting the 50-game mark of the season, which is right about the time we got on board after first hearing about the hot trend on VSiN’s “Follow the Money” show with Mitch Moss and Pauly Howard. The bad news is no team is hitting at an 80% rate like the Blackhawks and Lightning were at this time this year. The good news is the books aren’t putting up many 1P Over 1.5s around -180 or -200 or going to Over two goals.
Another difference from last year is that, according to charts provided by FTM producer John Brown, first-period Overs were hitting at just 54% as of Monday night, while second-period Overs were hitting at 62.11% and third-period Overs at 60.26%. I’ll leave those to you if you want to dabble in the second and third periods, but expect to lay much higher juice or having to go Over two goals.
Here are the games for which I’m looking to play first-period Over/Unders over the next two weeks:
— Wednesday: Red Wings-Wild 1P Under 1.5. These teams are about 50/50, but I see advance lines of the 1P Under 1.5 at 120.
— Monday: Blues-Canucks 1P Over 1.5. The Canucks are on an 11-3 1P Over run and 57.14% overall, while Blues are at 55%.
— Wednesday, Jan. 29: Coyotes-Ducks 1P Over 1.5. Both teams are hitting 1P Over at 58%, with the Ducks also on a 9-1 1P Over run.
— Thursday, Jan. 30: Kings-Coyotes 1P Over 1.5. The Kings are hitting 60% 1P Overs, with the Coyotes at 58.82%.
— Friday, Jan. 31: Hurricanes-Golden Knights 1P Over 1.5. Both teams are about 59% on 1P Overs.
— Friday, Jan. 31: Blues-Oilers 1P Over 1.5. The Oilers are a league-best 67.35%, with the Blues at 55%.
— Saturday, Feb. 1: Avalanche-Flyers 1P Over 1.5. The Avalanche are at 65.31% on 1P Overs, with the Flyers at 55%.
— Saturday, Feb. 1: Blackhawks-Coyotes 1P Over 1.5. The Blackhawks are at 60%, including a 12-1 run, with the Coyotes at 58%.
— Saturday, Feb. 1: Ducks-Kings 1P Over 1.5. The Ducks are at 58.33%, with the Kings at 60%.
— Sunday, Feb. 2: Canucks-Hurricanes 1P Over 1.5. As noted previously, these teams are hitting about 57 and 59%, respectively, with the Canucks on a recent 11-3 1P Over run.
— Monday, Feb. 3: Stars-Rangers 1P Over 1.5. The Stars were on a recent 11-3 1P Over run, and the Rangers had a recent 9-2 run and were at 63.83%.