Friday was mostly spent finishing my 2021 taxes (somehow I missed the memo that they’re not due until Monday!), and it ended with picking up my wife and daughter at the airport from their trip to New York. I left the Tuley’s Takes home office in North Las Vegas at 9:30 p.m. PT and didn’t get home until nearly 1 a.m. PT, crashing hard before filing this column, so my apologies on it being posted later than normal.
In between all the chaos (seriously, I had to battle traffic from the BTS concert at Allegiant Stadium to get to Harry Reid Airport, plus their flight was delayed 1.5 hours from Chicago-Midway with luggage delayed another hour, then at least a 30-minute wait – seemed longer – in the Raising Cane’s drive-thru on the way home), I won with my Best Bet of the day on the Pelicans + 4 at the Clippers. That game was every bit as crazy as the rest of my day as the Pelicans actually went off at -1 after it was announced that Paul George was out for the Clippers. The Pelicans led by as many as 16 points as it looked like they would coast to victory, but then the Clippers went on a 34-6 that made it look like they would coast to a double-digit win. Finally, the Pelicans re-rallied for the win and covering all numbers.
That improved our record to 40-21-1 ATS (65.6 percent) with our top play of the day the past 62 days after a recent slump. We also won two of our 3 recommended MLB play (wins on Tigers + 118 at Royals and Phillies + 102 at Marlins while losing on the Phillies at the Marlins, but we’ll take it at + 1.2 units) and also hit our lone NHL 1P Over play as the Jets-Panthers 1P Over 1.5 cashed in less than 6 minutes.
Let’s recap the rest of Friday’s betting action and try to keep the good times rolling on Saturday.
Pelicans squandered a 16-point lead and then re-rallied to beat Clippers 105-101 late Friday to earn the Western Conference's No. 8 seed in the play-in tournament. The Pelicans closed and covered as 1-point road faves after opening as 4-point dogs before Paul George was declared out. The game also stayed Under the betting total of 216 points.
Earlier Friday evening, the Hawks won and covered as 2-point road favorites in 107-101 win at Cavaliers to earn the Eastern Conference's No. 8 seed. The game also stayed Under 223. Faves went 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS vs. closing lines in the play-in tournament with the lone exception being the Cavaliers covering in their loss to the Nets in the No. 7 vs. No. 8 game in the East. Unders went a perfect 6-0 in the play-in tourney.
Faves went 8-7 Friday with the upsets by the Twins over Red Sox, Nationals over Pirates,, Orioles over Yankees, Tigers over Royals, Cardinals over Brewers, Braves over Padres, Mariners over Astros. Over/Unders went 7-7-1 with the push in the Nationals’ 7-2 win over the Pirates with a betting total of 9 runs.
Faves (8-7 on Friday) lead 65-47 SU on the young season with 1 game closing pick-’em. Home teams (8-7 on Friday) went back over .500 at 57-56, Unders (7-7-1 on Friday) lead 61-44-8 (58.1 percent), still thanks mostly to going 13-1-1 last Saturday.
Faves went 2-0 on Friday's short card as the Panthers (-260 in 6-1 rout vs. Jets) and Islanders (-148 in 3-0 shutout at Canadiens) also both covered the -1.5 puck line. Over/Unders split 1-1 as Jets-Panthers closed with a consensus betting total of 6.5 goals, though some had O/U 7 for a push.
Mavericks + 5 vs. Jazz:
Yes, I know Luka Doncic is out for the Mavs in Game 1, but I still maintain this like has been adjusted too much, so I’ll take the points as I expect Dallas to make a game of this and possibly even steal a game (something we don’t usually say about a higher-seeded home team). As my VSiN colleague Jonathan Von Tobel points out, the Mavericks are just 3.3 points worse per 100 possessions when Doncic isn’t on the floor (and the defense actually plays 4.2 points better). Besides, the Jazz have been struggling down the stretch, so I certainly wouldn’t trust them to cover a number like this.
Raptors + 4.5 at 76ers:
A lot has been made of James Harden not showing up when it counts, and I’m certainly happy to fade him in Game 1 here with a Raptors team that won the season series 3-1 (and 4-0 ATS), including sweeping both games in Philadelphia.
New Jersey Generals + 3.5 vs. Birmingham Stallions:
I gave this out earlier in Point Spread Weekly, so hopefully anyone following along grabbed the hook. Home-field advantage has been negligible across all major sports recently, so I certainly don’t think it’ll be worth anything for the host Stallions with all USFL regular-season games being played in Birmingham. And it appears the betting market agrees that 3.5 was too high of a line. However, the fact the hook is gone at most books keeps this from being my Best Bet of the day.
We hit 2 out of 3 on Friday (which ain’t bad, as Meat Loaf used to sing). The Phillies are pick-’em against the Marlins and I’m backing off on them for the time being, but I’ll give the Cardinals another shot at + 103 at the Brewers, as well as the Tigers + 105 at the Royals and Mariners + 140 vs. the Astros.
Parlay Golden Knights-Oilers 1P Over 1.5 -170/Maple Leafs-Senators 1P Over 1.5 -155:
Hopefully we carry over the momentum from Friday’s easy win (though we’re not claiming any kind of correlation) with these two 1P Over 1.5 bets in games with game totals of 6.5. We’ve been backing off from doing multi-team round-robins as these plays have been cooling off, but for those looking to go wild you could also throw in the Devils-Kraken and Blue Jackets-Kings.
Good luck today (and every day!).