Monday night is the usual end of the sports betting week here in the Tuley’s Take home office (at least during football season), so it was great to have the CFB Playoff Championship game between Georgia and Alabama to wrap up the weekend.
Of course, it was even better to hit our best bet of the day on the Under 52.5 (though it closed 53) in Georgia’s 33-18 victory. The game started a little scary as Georgia apparently had a scoop-and-score on Alabama’s first possession, but fortunately it was overturned on replay and the game settled into the defensive battle we were expecting. The scoring got a little wild in the fourth quarter (29 points after only 22 had been scored in the first three quarters), but it still stayed Under for us. I’m glad I stayed away from my lean on Alabama and just stayed with the Under as it was clearly the right side.
Close readers of this column probably took notice that I considered the First-Period Over in the Kraken-Avalanche game. I mentioned that I liked the bet, but it looked like books were going to make it Over 2 instead of Over 1.5, so I didn’t want to give it out as my best bet. As it turned out, while several books did go with Over 2, which was just a push as the teams played to a 1-1 tie in the first 20 minutes, there were some that offered Over 1.5 goals around -170 or -175, so if you weren’t afraid to lay the hefty juice, you could have had another winner.
I go with another hockey play for Tuesday, but first let’s recap the betting results from Monday night.
CFB: No. 3 Georgia beat No. 1 Alabama 33-18 on Monday night to win the CFB Playoff National Championship Game, but it was NOT an upset as the Bulldogs won (and covered) as 3-point favorites. The games stayed just Under the closing betting total of 53 points after it looked like a stone-cold Under nearly the whole game.
CBB: There were no Top 25 teams in action Monday night, which was a nice move by the major CBB schools to step aside for the CFB Championship Game. The biggest upset on the betting board was San Diego beating Pepperdine 72-62 as a 4.5-point road underdog.
NBA: Faves went 4-3 SU on Monday but dogs led 5-2 ATS as the Pacers (+ 9 at Celtics) and Kings (+ 5.5 vs. Cavaliers) covered as dogs in SU losses. The upsets were by the Pistons (+ 11 vs. Jazz), Hornets (+ 3 vs. Bucks) and Blazers (+ 8.5 vs. Nets). Unders went 6-1.
NHL: Faves went 2-1 Monday with the lone upset by the Bruins (smallest of dogs at -105 in 7-3 win at the Capitals). The Avalanche (-360 vs. Kraken) and Kings (-115 vs. Rangers) won as chalk. Overs went 2-1.
Maple Leafs-Golden Knights First-Period Over 1.5 -135: The juice on this bet is reasonable enough for me to recommend as my best bet. As I’ve written before, I’m looking for First-Period bets in games with high game totals (prefer 6.5, though Over 6 is acceptable if I have a combined hit percentage above what the vig requires, In this case, the Golden Knights are 24-14 with First-Period Overs on the season and playing the Maple Leafs, who are 18-15 (combined 42-29 for 59.5 percent while a vig of -135 requires you to hit 57.5 percent) while they’ve gone Over 1,5 goals in eight straight games. I recommend a straight bet, but if you’re looking for something to pair it with in a parlay, I also like the Canucks-Panthers First-Period Over 1.5 -140 as the Panthers are 23-12 with First-Periods and have gone Over in five straights,