Friday was a long day of driving back from Flagstaff, Ariz., and attending my daughter Peyton’s high school play, ending with me back in the Tuley’s Takes home office late and crashing hard (my apologies for the late posting of this column on Saturday morning).
But it was all worth it as we swept our Best Bets posted here yesterday (oh, and the family stuff, too!).
We had St. Peter’s + 12.5 vs. Purdue (closed + 13, though I was on the highway that bypasses all the small towns on Route 66 like in the “Cars” movie) as the Peacocks continued their Cinderella run to the Elite Eight. That also improved our recent run of 28-12-1 ATS (back to 70 percent) on our top play each of the past 41 days. My one regret on Friday was not taking the money line of + 600. We also won with Providence + 7.5 vs. Kansas as the Friars kept it close enough to cover the spread for me and my followers, plus also hit our top NHL First-Period Over 1.5 play as the Avalanche crushed the Flyers 4-1 in the first 20 minutes.
We hope everyone out there had a winning day as well.
Let’s get to the general recaps of Friday’s betting action across the major team sports and then try to keep the good times rolling with our plays for Saturday.
CBB: No. 15 seed St. Peter's upset Purdue 67-64 in NCAA tournament Sweet16 after closing as a 13-point underdog and + 600 on the money line. The game stayed Under the betting total of 134.5). In Friday night’s other early Sweet 16 game, Kansas beat Providence 66-61, but didn't cover as a 7-point favorite while it also stayed Under 141.5). In the nightcaps, North Carolina (+ 2.5, + 125 money line) upset UCLA 73-66 to earn a spot in the Elite Eight vs. St. Peter's (stayed Under 141.5) and Miami-Fla. (-3.5) covered in 70-56 win vs. Iowa State (also stayed Under 131.5).
More Sweet 16 and NCAA tournament:
Underdogs went 3-1 ATS Friday with 2 upsets by St. Peter's and North Carolina while Providence covered in a SU loss. Faves are 36-19 SU with 1 pick-’em, but dogs improved to 32-23 ATS (58.2 percent) with that 1 PK. Unders swept 4-0 Friday to take a 30-26 overall lead.
NBA: Faves went 4-3 with upsets by Hornets (+ 4 in 107-101 win vs. Jazz), Wizards (+ 4.5 in 100-97 win at Pistons) and Knicks (+ 111-103 win at Heat). Hawks (-3 vs. Warriors), Timberwolves (-4 vs. Mavericks), Rockets (-4.5 at Blazers) and 76ers (-5 at Clippers) covered in their wins as faves. Unders went 5-2.
NHL: Faves went 4-1 with the lone upset by the Rangers (-105 in 5-1 win vs. Penguins). Capitals, Jets, Flame and Avalanche all won as chalk with just the Flames and Avalanche (both around -400 faves) covering the -1.5 puck line around -150. Overs went 4-0-1 with the push in the Flames’ 4-2 win over the Coyotes with a betting total of 6 goals..
Thunder + 14 at Nuggets: Most of the focus on Saturday is on the Elite Eight, but my top play of the day comes in the NBA. We have to plug our nose on this one, but we’re taking the Thunder as a swagger play as they snapped a 10-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 118-102 win vs. the Magic. But very few people would know or guess that the Thunder are actually 3-0 ATS vs. the Nuggets with 2 outright upsets and a cover in a 99-95 loss as a 7.5-point dog. This time, we’re getting 14 points, so we’re counting on the Thunder to carry their swagger/momentum from its rare win and at least keep this in single digits. The Nuggets should be content to just get out with a win as well.
Arkansas + 4 vs. Duke:
I’ve been burned fading Duke vs. Michigan State and Texas Tech, but I had this game at Duke -2, so I feel there’s a little edge in taking Arkansas. My lukewarm opinion on this is also why I went with an NBA play as my Best Bet of the day. The lines on these NCAA tournament games are getting tight, though we’re certainly not complaining with our results as the dogs continue to cash (good luck guessing on the Houston-Villanova game, as that’s a coin-flip with the Cougars as 2.5-point faves). Duke is probably playing its best basketball of the season while trying to continue Coach K’s last dance, but if Arkansas plays like it did against Gonzaga, it’ll finish what Sparty and Tech couldn’t.
Devils-Capitals First-Period Over 1.5:
There’s a lot of days where we have a hard time finding a top 1P Over play as either the top teams are off or no games meet our other criteria that we’ve discussed often here. But Saturday we have a bunch of First-Period bets to choose from (or round-robin!). We like this one the best with the Devils being the gift that keeps on giving (43-21 with 1P Overs and a league-leading 46-18 with “goal in first 10 minutes.” We also like the relatively low juice (-145 at DraftKings), plus the Capitals are also on a four-game 1P Over run themselves. Also check out Panthers-Senators (Panthers also on four-game 1P Over run and 26-7 in last 33 games), Blue Jackets-Wild (Wild on 14-3 1P Over run) and Maple Leafs-Canadiens (both solid 1P Over teams).
Good luck today (and every day!).