There’s an old saying in the Las Vegas sportsbooks: “Win on Saturday, lose on Sunday; lose on Saturday, win on Sunday.” It basically means that it's really hard to win on college football on a given Saturday and then follow it up with a winning Sunday in the NFL. Conversely, if you lose on college football, there’s a good chance you’ll bounce back in the NFL (though sometimes not LOL).
Anyway, we followed up our 2-4 ATS record here in the Tuley’s Takes home office on Saturday’s college football card with a winning day on Sunday. We went 4-2 ATS with the plays we posted in yesterday’s column (ATS wins on the Lions, Saints, Falcons and Bengals with the latter three pulling outright upsets). We’re still trying to figure out how the Jaguars could have a 109-yard return of a missed FG and still not cover as 7.5-point home underdogs. We also don’t know how the Buccaneers-Rams went Over 55.5 after a scoreless first quarter.
In addition, we’re glad to report that our Best Bets went 4-1 on the VSiN NFL Best Bets page in Point Spread Weekly and my @ViewFromVegas entry in the Westgate SuperContest went 4-1. Somehow, my Circa entry went just 3-2, but it was still a great day.
Oh, and we won with MLB’s Cardinals for the seventh straight day as they covered the run line for us (we posted the play at Cardinals -1.5 -110, though we bet it at even-money on Sunday morning) with a 4-2 win over the Cubs.
Let’s get to the general recaps, including a look in Contest Corner, and then I’ll give my top takeaways from NFL Week 3 before having a best bet for Monday.
Sunday’s betting recaps
NFL: Packers beat 49ers 30-28 on Sunday Night Football on Mason Crosby's 51-yard FG as time expired (after 49ers took lead on TD and PAT with :37 left). The Packers won after closing as 3-point road underdog and + 155 on the money line while the game went Over the closing betting total of 51 points on the 49ers’ last TD. Favorites went 7-6 SU on Sunday with Buccaneers-Rams closing pick-'em, but underdogs led 8-5 ATS. Including the Panthers covering as faves on Thursday Night Football, faves are 8-6 SU overall in Week 3, but dogs still lead 8-6 ATS. Sunday’s outright upsets were by the Chargers, Saints, Falcons, Bengals, Vikings and Packers while the Lions (+ 7.5 vs. Ravens) and Dolphins (+ 3.5 at Raiders) covered in SU losses. Home and road teams split 7-7 SU on Sunday and were also 7-7 ATS. Including the Panthers' road win/cover on TNF, road teams lead 8-7 SU and ATS in Week 3. Unders went 10-4 Sunday and are 11-4 heading into Monday Night Football.
More NFL: In Sunday’s early games, faves started 5-4 SU but dogs led 5-4 ATS with the Lions (+ 7.5) covering in their 19-17 loss vs. the Ravens as Justin Tucker kicked a record-setting 66-yard FG as time expired. Road teams started the day 5-4 ATS. Unders dominated the early games at 8-1. In the “afternoon games” (1:05 p.m. and 1:25 p.m. kickoffs here in Vegas), faves went 2-1 but dogs led 2-1 ATS with Bucs-Rams closing pick-'em. The Raiders (-3.5) did NOT cover in 31-28 OT win vs. Dolphins. Home teams went 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in the afternoon. Over/Unders split 2-2 in this session.
MLB: Cardinals (-150) beat Cubs 4-2 Sunday for their 16th straight win. Favorites went 9-5 with the Yankees beating the Red Sox 6-3 on Sunday Night Baseball in a game that closed at a consensus pick-’em. Faves went 33-11 over the weekend and now lead 1,343-917 (59.4 percent) on the season with 55 pick-’ems. Unders went 12-3 Sunday to increase their slim lead on the season to 1,112-1,096-101 (50.3 percent).
Circa Sports Million Top 5 Most-Selected Teams went 4-1 in NFL Week 3 with the only loss on the No. 1 choice, the Raiders -4. The Rams, Packers, Dolphins and Cardinals covered for contest players. The Circa Top 5 improved to 9-6 overall through three weeks. DeadMoneyMedia(dot)com (aka Jesse Flynn) is the last remaining undefeated contestant at 15-0, but he hasn’t won anything yet. CSM’s first Quarter ends after Week 4, so DeadMoneyMedia has the inside track on the $171,750 1st-place prize, but at least nine other entrants will be within 1 point of the lead going into next weekend.
In Circa Survivor, 2,917 are still alive (according to the Circa Sports app) with 1 entrant needing the Cowboys on Monday Night Football. The only Sunday eliminations were those on the Giants (28), Chiefs (19), Steelers (12), 49ers (2), Patriots (1), Dolphins (1) and Jets (1).
The Westgate SuperContest’s Top 5 Most-Selected went 4-1 in Week 3 with wins on the Cardinals, Rams, Packers and Dolphins. The only loss was on the Raiders. The SC Top 5 is just 6-9 through three weeks after entering this week at just 2-8. The SuperContest Gold Top 5 also went 4-1 but also has the Eagles + pending on Monday night (note: there’s an extra selection because the Saints and Rams tied for the No. 5 slot in SC Gold). And it’s unofficial, but TD TONY and FIRST FIVE are leading the SuperContest at 14-1. The SC has six three-week contests this year with the first one wrapping up after NFL Week 3 with a prize of $75,000 for first, $25,000 for second and $5,000 for third. One other entrant, "ER and JAR" can catch them with the Eagles + 4 on MNF, in which case they'd each win $35,000. If the Cowboys cover (or it pushes with the Cowboys winning by exactly four points), TD TONY and FIRST FIVE would win $50,000 apiece.
Tuley’s Takeaways from NFL Week 3
1. NFL coaches and their field-general QBs have to learn that you can’t give an opponent any time at all on the clock. We see too many teams scoring TDs too soon without milking the clock or settling for what they think are game-winning field goals only to give their opponents too much time to steal victory from the jaws of defeat. Sunday night was only the latest example with Aaron Rodgers needing just 37 seconds to move the Packers into FG range for Mason Crosby. And Lamar Jackson only needed 26 seconds to get the Ravens close enough or Justin Tucker’s 66-yard game-winner. Oh, and the Chargers were lucky that Patrick Mahomes didn’t pull off a similar feat as they scored their go-ahead TD with 32 seconds to play. With today’s QBs (and the rules giving them every advantage, including pass interference calls to help move the ball down the field), the best defense is to not give the opposing QB any time at all.
2. But we’re loving all these fantastic finishes and close calls as it usually means the underdog is covering if not pulling the outright upsets. Underdogs are guaranteed of having the better ATS record for the third straight week to start the season and are 29-17 ATS (63 percent) with the Bucs-Rams pick-’em not counting.
3. Home-field advantage continues to be negligible despite fans returning to the stands as road teams are 8-7 SU and ATS so far in Week 3 and are 24-22 SU and 26-20 ATS (56.5 percent). Note: Packers-Saints game in Week 1 not counted here as it was on a neutral field in Jacksonville, Fla.
4. The biggest surprise among the league-wide betting stats is probably that -- despite all the high-flying offense, Unders are 11-4 so far in Week 3 and lead 28-19 (59.5 percent) overall.
We’re taking the Cardinals again . . . oh, shoot, they’re off on Monday. Now what do I do? The next-longest MLB winning streak is the Yankees at 6 in a row, but they’re also idle, as are the Cubs, who have the majors’ longest losing streak at 6, as this was a day set aside to make up previously postponed games.
Eagles (+ 3.5) at Cowboys: This didn’t make my cut as a Best Bet in Point Spread Weekly or in my contests, and I actually said to pass in my weekly Tuley’s Takes column in PSW. However, I reserved the right to add it and that’s what I’m doing. As much disrespect as the NFC Least receives, this is still for first place in a division with both teams tied 1-1. Jalen Hurts shined in the Eagles’ 33-6 rout of the Falcons in the season-opener, but then struggled against the 49ers in a 17-11 loss at the 49ers in Week 2. He’ll be facing an easier defense in Dallas, so we’re hoping this is closer to the Week 1 performance. Dak Prescott has played well in his return from last year’s injury, but we’ll still take the Eagles in a shootout (with the added insurance in case the game is decided by a FG).
Good luck today (and every day!).