Fridays are usually pretty quiet in the Tuley’s Takes home office. Except for these nightly columns (and the accompanying “Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes,” so check that out for horseracing plays from me and my friends), most of my writing is done for the week and I can usually relax and get some chores done.
However, this Friday ended up being far from relaxing with the constant barrage of COViD-19 updates across all sports, highlighted by the NFL moving Saturday’s Raiders-Browns game to Monday and Sunday’s Washington-Eagles and Seahawks-Rams games to Tuesday.
After the dust had settled, I was finally able to enjoy my alma mater, Northern Illinois, playing in the Cure Bowl as our best bet of the day and covering as a 12-point underdog in a 47-41 loss.
Let’s get to the recaps of Friday’s betting across the sports landscape, including my PSA about the rules in the major football handicapping contests here in Las Vegas before updating our best bets for the weekend.
CFB: Coastal Carolina rallied and then held off Northern Illinois 47-41 in the Cure Bowl in Orlando, Fla., but the NIU Huskies covered after closing as 12-point underdogs. The game flew Over the betting total of 64 points. Dogs went 2-0 ATS on the first day of bowl games while Overs also started 2-0. Earlier Friday, Middle Tennessee State beat Toledo 31-24 in the Bahamas Bowl to kick off the bowl season as the Blue Raiders did it as 10.5-point underdogs and + 315 on the money line. That game went Over the betting total of 50 points.
NBA: Faves went 4-3 SU but only 3-3-1 ATS as the Warriors (-4) pushed vs. the consensus closing line in a 111-107 win at the Celtics (line shoppers cashed on Warriors -3.5 and/or Celtics + 4.5). Upsets were by the Nuggets (+ 3.5 at Hawks), Timberwolves (+ 1.5 vs. Lakers) and Spurs (+ 11.5 at Jazz). Overs went 7-1. Dogs still lead 64-53-2 ATS (54.7 percent) in December with 1 game closing pick-’em. Overs are 11-1 the last 2 days and are 66-52-2 (55.9 percent) in December, cutting Unders' lead on the season to 230-203-6 (53.1 percent).
CBB: No. 9 Villanova was the only Top 25 team in action on Friday night and was upset 79-59 by Creighton, which did it as a 7-point home underdog and + 240 on the money line in the Big East opener for both teams. The game went Over the betting total of 134 points.
NHL: Underdogs went 4-2 Friday (and 6-0 on the %plussig% 1.5 puck line) with upsets by the Coyotes (+ 255 at Ducks), Capitals (+ 123 at Blackhawks), Capitals (+ 110 at Jets) and Blues (-105 vs. Stars). Unders went 4-2.
We spent a good part of Friday updating our @ViewFromVegas Twitter followers about the rules regarding postponed games for the Westgate SuperContest (games must be played by 11:59 p.m. PT Tuesday to be included in the contest week) and Circa Sports Million/Survivor at Circa (games must be played by 2 a.m. Wednesday). So, basically, as long as the 3 postponed games are played by Tuesday night, they’ll all be considered action for contest purposes.
If not played within the weekly window, the SuperContest grades all picks on those teams as a loss while Circa gives half a point for each team in Circa Sports Million but any team that doesn’t play counts as a loss in Survivor. If the NFL declares a winner without the game being played (such as a forfeit), both contests award 1 point for the winning team and 0 for the losing team (also applies for Survivor).
We’ll see if any more major news developments happen Saturday. Submission deadlines for Circa Sports Million and Survivor are at 3 p.m. PT while SuperContest’s deadline is 11:59 p.m. PT.
Western Kentucky + 3 vs. Appalachian State: Give me WKU QB Bailey Zappe and the points. I advised the other day to grab the + while you still could. Most books are at 2.5, so hopefully you got the 3 just in case, though we’re obviously calling for the outright upset (so the money line is also a recommended play at + 120 or better).
Eastern Michigan + 9.5 vs. Liberty:
This number is pretty solid, though a few offshore books have gone to 10, so shop around for the best number.
Teaser portfolio: We’ve written a lot about 2-team, 6-point NFL teasers all season, including them leading to a winning weekend for us in Week 14 even though faves went 11-3 ATS and we went 1-4 ATS with our best straight bets. Now, in Point Spread Weekly, I wrote that my top teaser of the week was Patriots + 8.5 at the Colts on Saturday night with the Bengals + 7.5 at the Broncos on Sunday (though now available to tease from + 3 to + 9). The Dolphins have been bet up to -9.5 vs. the Jets, so that removes them from our preferred teaser plays, but we still have the Steeers teased up from + 1.5 to + 7.5.
Washington + 5 at Eagles:
More COVID impact here. I advised to wait for more updates and I’m sticking with that with the game moved to Tuesday.
Panthers + 10.5 at Bills:
I wrote the other day that “some books have gone to 11, so we’ll also wait to bet this game” and now it’s up to 12 so we’re still waiting for it to peak.
Giants + 10.5 vs. Cowboys:
This is also up to 11 – and was up to 11.5 at some books – so it looks like that’s the best we’re going to get, so grab the best number you can.
Lions + 13.5 vs. Cardinals:
I advised to grab %plusign% 13.5 or even 13 and I stand by that as it’s down to 12.5 at several books.
Saints + 11 at Buccaneers:
I jumped the gun on Friday by advising to take + as I feared we might be seeing the last of them, but a few books have gone to 11.5, so now I say to wait if you haven’t already bet the Saints.
Good luck today (and every day!).