Monday was kind of a letdown in the Tuley’s Takes home office after such an action-packed weekend (and last Wednesday through Friday was just as busy with the conference tournaments), but we were almost too busy to notice since we were so busy with working on our brackets and first-round NCAA wagers.
But the highlight of our day was our Best Bet (Blazers + 12.5 at the Hawks as a “swagger play” after the Blazers had snapped a 6-game losing streak with a win in its previous game) easily cashing as we improved to 21-8-1 ATS (72.4 percent) with our top play the last 30 days, which started with the Bengals + 4.5 covering in the Super Bowl. The Blazers, who closed as 14-point underdogs, were clearly the right side as they actually led 34-29 at the end of the first quarter and 67-58 at halftime before the Hawks rallied to win 122-113.
We did lose our secondary best bet on the Jazz + 1.5 in a 117-111 to the Bucks after being in it late. Now, for all the people who like to criticize my “dog-or-pass approach,” I think it’s important to note that the Jazz closed as a 2-point favorite. We talk all the time about preferring to be contrarian with our bets and fading the public, and Monday’s night’s results are yet another example why that’s the case. I know most people feel more comfortable when they like a game at + 1.5 and money comes in and more that team to -2 as they think they’re on the sharp side. However, I see that as a negative and if I hadn’t already bet the Jazz + 1.5, I would have passed. Conversely, after giving out the Blazers + 12.5, the market didn’t like that as the Hawks were bet up to -14, so even though I was fading the steam, I felt better getting more points.
Let’s get to the general recaps of Monday’s betting action, and then try to keep the good times rolling on Tuesday. I’m also re-running Contest Corner from the other day with the two March Madness contests for Las Vegas tourists and locals. Then, we’ll post our top plays for Tuesday, plus add our NCAA Tournament plays for later in the week. If you are looking for my reasons for liking each play, check out the VSiN Best Bets file on the website as we’re more interested in this space in timing those bets to get the most value.
NBA: Faves went 6-3 SU and 5-4 ATS as the Blazers (+ 14) covered in 122-113 loss at the Hawks. The upsets were by the Nuggets (+ 3.5 in 114-110 win at 76ers), Kings (+ 4.5 in 112-103 win vs. Bulls) and Bucks (+ 2 in 117-111 win at Jazz). Overs went 4-3-1 with the push in the Nuggets-76ers game with a closing consensus total of 224.
NHL: The Coyotes beat the Senators 5-3 in Monday's lone NHL game as + 130 road underdogs. The game went Over the betting total of 6 goals.
CBB: Rare night off in college basketball on the day after Selection Sunday as NIT and NCAA First Four teams were traveling.
For those coming who will be in Las Vegas for March Madness next Thursday and Friday, the Westgate SuperBook is hosting "Hoops Central Showdown" ($100 to enter, maximum 3 per person). All entrants pick 28 first-round games vs. the contest spread (note: the 4 games involving the winners of the “First Four” games are not included. There is no rake and the contestants picking the most winners will receive 50 percent for first place, 30 percent for second place and 20 percent for the third. The deadline is 10 p.m. PT on Wednesday.
Another March Madness contest in Vegas is Last Man Standing at Station Casinos. It costs just $25 to enter and has a special promotion that if you buy four entries, you get one free ($100 for 5 entries). This is more aimed at locals as you pick one game ATS each day of the NCAA tournament, so out-of-staters would need to return for the second and third weekends if you remain alive as all picks must be submitted in person at a Stations property. .
Note: We don’t like any of the dogs in Tuesday’s four NBA games and believe it’s so chalky that we actually considered a four-team ML chalk parlay as it pays around + 160 depending what combo of lines you get at a single book. Instead, we’ll do the same thing with the two NCAA play-in games:
Texas Southern-Indiana ML parlay: I don’t like either dog in the two “First Four” games in Dayton on Tuesday night and expect both favorites to make it into the main field of 64. Just before 5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT, DraftKings went to Indiana -180 vs. Wyoming while Texas Southern is -165 vs. Texas A&M Corpus Cristi. That comes to a nice + 150, but shop around for the best combo of prices.
Devils-Canucks First-Period Over 1.5 -165: We took the day off with 1P Overs on Monday with just one NHL game (though it went Over 1.5 in the opening period in case you were wondering) after going 0-3 on Sunday. As I had to tell a Twitter follower on Sunday who said that “the NHL bets drag down the Tuley’s Takes column as a whole,” I’ve long conceded that these 1P Overs haven’t been as lucrative as winter/spring 2019, but we’re still grinding out a profit thanks to our winning nights making up for the losing days like Sunday, so we’re going to keep providing them to our readers that enjoy playing them. I also don’t see the harm as I’ve also been clearly relegating them to secondary status with CBB and NBA plays being listed as our Best Bet most days. As for this play on Tuesday, the Devils let us down the other night but they’re still 27-7 with the 1P Over their past 34 games and 39-20 overall on the season for the fourth-best 1P record in the league (all NHL betting stats from @PSUOtto on Twitter). The Canucks are on a 12-3 run of their own and 32-28 on the season for a combined 71-48 (59.7 percent).
And here’s the upcoming NCAA first-round Best Bets (listed in order of preference by day):
Boise State + 2.5 vs. Memphis: Line seems pretty solid across Las Vegas, in other states and offshore.
Colorado State + 2.5 vs. Michigan:
Murray State + 1.5 vs. San Francisco:
I gave this out on “The Lookahead” show on VSiN on late Sunday night, but now Murray State has moved to -1.5 favoritism as of late Monday. I didn’t get Murray State as a dog, so I’m passing now that the Racers are chalk (see Jazz example from Monday night) though I’m still using them in the vast majority of my brackets.
Colgate + 7.5 vs. Wisconsin: This line has bounced all over, but has mostly settled at 7.5. However, I’d advise to bet ASAP as Colgate is emerging as a popular underdog play.
Virginia Tech + 1 vs. Texas:
This was the first bet I made on Sunday night when I saw some books going to pick-’em, though plenty of 1’s still available.
Montana State + 15.5 vs. Texas Tech:
Some 15.5s still exist, but 15 is more common and there are some indications that this could drop so I’d bet it ASAP.
Good luck today (and every day!).