We hope everyone had a happy and safe New Year’s Eve like we did in the Tuley’s Takes home office, though we did wander out for our family’s annual celebration at Opportunity Village (a local Las Vegas charity).
Our night ended a little early due to high winds, and we returned home to watch the end of the Lakers game. That was a blowout, and the same amount of drama (or lack of it) as the two CFB Playoff semifinals.
We lost our best bet on Cincinnati, which we got at + 14 on Friday. We at least cut our losses as I had bet Alabama -13 as I said on the “Opening Line” show on Sunday, Dec. 12 and in these columns. I still lost on the game as I bet 1.5 times more on the Bearcats but it was worth to me as we had a shot at hitting a “side” (where you cash one bet while pushing the other) as Alabama led 17-3 at halftime and Cincinnati was within a TD of putting it back on 14 with the final score of 27-6.
It was worth a shot.
Let’s recap the rest of the betting action from New Year’s Eve and then try to start the New Year with some winners, plus update the rest of our best bets for the weekend.
CFB: No. 1 Alabama ran over No. 4 Cincinnati 27-6 in the Cotton Bowl Classic/#CFBPlayoff semifinal, easily covering after closing as a 13-point favorite . The game stayed well Under the betting total of 57.5 points). In the second semifinal, No. 3 Georgia beat No. 2 Michigan 34-11, but it was NOT an upset as Georgia easily covered as a 7.5-point favorite. That game stayed Under 46.5 points. Faves went 2-0 SU and ATS in #CFBPlayoff semis while Unders also went 2-0.
More CFB: In Friday's earlier bowl games, No. 17 Wake Forest (-17) covered in 38-10 win vs. Rutgers in the Gator Bowl as the game stayed Under the betting total of 63 points. Also, Central Michigan (+ 5.5, + 185 money line) upset Washington State 24-21 in the Sun Bowl as it stayed Under 56.5. Bowl faves went 3-1 SU and ATS on the day while Unders swept 4-0.
Even more CFB: Faves lead 22-9 SU this bowl season with 1 game closing pick-'em (Western Kentucky-Appalachian State) and faves also lead 18-13 ATS (58.1 percent) with that 1 PK. Overs still lead 17-15 (53.1 percent) overall, though Unders are 12-8 (60 percent) since a 3-9 start.
CBB: No. 18 Kentucky was only the Top 25 team in action on Friday and routed High Point 92-48 to cover as a 27-point home favorite. The biggest upset on the main betting board was William and Mary (+ 10, + 390 money line) beating Northeastern 71-70.
NBA: Faves went 7-3 SU Thursday but split 5-5 ATS as Pacers (+ 2.5 in 108-106 loss vs. the Bulls) and Timberwolves (+ 12.5 in 120-108 loss at Jazz) covered in losses. The upsets were by the Celtics (+ 3.5 vs. Suns), Hawks (+ 1.5 at Cavaliers) and Thunder (+ 3 vs. Knicks). Overs went 6-4.
NHL: Faves and dogs split 2-2 Thursday with the upsets by the Devils (+ 133 in 6-5 OT win vs. Oilers) and Rangers (-105 in 4-3 shootout win at Lightning). Golden Knights (-190 vs. Ducks) and Capitals (-170 at Red Wings) won as chalk as both also covered -1.5 puck line in 3-1 wins. Over/Unders split 2-2.
Saturday’s Takes (and NFL weekend)
Oklahoma State + 2.5 vs. Notre Dame: This wasn’t among my original best bets (similar to Purdue), but I still liked the Cowboys as a short underdog. Hopefully you grabbed them as short underdogs as it’s mostly at pick-’em as the New Year came in.
Baylor + 1.5 vs. Mississippi: The Sugar Bowl is another marginal best bet (I only added it to my plays on the VSiN CFB Best Bets page in Point Spread Weekly this week because some of my other best bets – Washington State and Central Michigan – had their games canceled), but it’s another short dog that has a great chance at the upset.
Raiders + 7 at Colts: When we were putting together Point Spread Weekly, this line was down to 1.5 and then adjusted back to 6.5 when it appeared that Carson Wentz might start after all. Either way, we expect the Raiders to stick around and stay within a field goal, so we like it even better as a few books have gone to + 7.5.
Falcons + 14.5 at Bills: The Bills have straightened out their season, but I still don’t think they should be big faves over the Falcons, who continue to fight for an NFC wild-card spot.
Cardinals + 6 at Cowboys: These teams are seemingly heading in opposite directions, but I still don’t believe the Cowboys should be favored by this much over a still-dangerous Cardinals team. Some offshores have gone to 6.5, so shopping around for the best line.
Bengals + 5 vs. Chiefs: The Chiefs are up to the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but the Bengals need this game just as much and Joe Burrow and Co. can certainly match the Chiefs score for score. Most books are down to 4.5 so grab 5 if you still can.
Broncos + 6.5 at Chargers: We would prefer Teddy Bridgewater, but we’ll still go with Drew Lock. We were hoping for at least 7 but now it’s up to + 7.5 and even 8 at a few books.
Texans + 12.5 at 49ers: If the Texans (led by Davis Mills and Rex Burkhead) could knock off the Chargers, there’s no reason to doubt they can make a game of it against the 49ers, especially if Trey Lance is forced to start. The line is mostly down to 12 so grab the best number you can.
Lions + 7 at Seahawks: The Lions continue to cash for us, so no reason to stop. We missed the opener of + 9 but it’s back up to 7.5 at most books.
Vikings + 7 at Packers: This line was at 6.5 when we wrote this week’s Tuley’s Takes for Point Spread Weekly, so we were waiting for it to get back to 7 when it was announced MInnesota QB Kirk Cousins tested positive for COVID-19. Sean Mannion will fill in and the line is up to 13, so we’ll still take the Vikes though we don’t get that price in our contests.
Happy New Year’s from all of us in the Tuley’s Takes home office and VSiN.