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Tuley's Takes Today: Recapping NFL Week 1 and what it means for Week 2 (9-14)

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 

September 14, 2021 06:15 AM

Welcome to Day 2 of our new column, “Tuley’s Takes Today.”

I felt pretty good with Monday’s debut. My goal here is to give a look back at the prior day’s betting action, try to see if you learned anything from it, and then put what we learned into action moving forward. The hope is that it’s informative and entertaining and keeps you coming back every day.

However, covering sports betting for the past 23 years, I’ve learned that no matter how funny my jokes are and how eloquently I write, the thing people remember is whether my picks won or lost.

Well, I hope you were following along as I gave out the Raiders as 4.5-point home underdogs against the Ravens on Monday Night Football and the Giants on the run line (as they opened as favorites and were as high as + 185 on the run line of -1.5 runs). The Raiders trailed 14-0 early, but rallied to force OT and then won 33-27 for the outright upset. The Giants’ bet was much easier as they jumped all over San Diego’s Yu Davish on the way to an easy 9-1 victory.

I guess the TTT debut was a success.

So, let’s try to do it again.

Monday’s betting recaps

NFL: Raiders rallied to beat the Ravens 33-27 in overtime on Monday Night Football to wrap up NFL Week 1 in the wild end of regulation and OT. The Raiders closed as 3-point home underdogs (after opening as high as 5.5-point dogs when the schedule was released in May) in their 1st game at Allegiant Stadium with fans. The game went Over the closing total of 50.5 on Justin Tucker’s go-ahead FG with 37 seconds left in regulation. Underdogs finished 12-4 ATS with nine outright upsets (Steelers, Texans, Cardinals, Chargers, Eagles, Bengals, Dolphins, Saints and Raiders. Road teams went 8-7 SU and 9-6 ATS in Week 1 (Packers-Saints not counted as it was played on a neutral field in Jacksonville, Fla.). Unders went 9-7 with all three prime-time games (Thursday, Sunday, Monday nights) going Over.

MLB: Favorites went 5-1 with the Cardinals-Mets and Padres-Giants games closing as consensus pick-’ems. The Giants (-105) routed the Padres 9-1 for their 8th straight win (cha-ching for those on the RL). Faves lead 1,238-845 (59.4%) with 51 games closing PK. Overs went 4-3-1 on the night, but Unders still have slim lead on the season at 1,022-1,014-92 (50.2%).

What were Tuley’s Takeaways?

1. The Ravens and Raiders were who we thought they were. Despite repeated injuries to the Baltimore running back room, the Ravens still relied on the run early with Ty’son Williams taking over, adding 65 yards to Lamar Jackson’s running contributions, including a 35-yard TD run to open the scoring. This supports my firm belief that if you have a good running team, they can always find someone to hit the holes, whether it’s an undrafted practice squad player like Williams or a free agent like Latavius Murray, who added a TD run in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the Raiders again showed they can play with anybody, but it pretty much has to be a shootout. Yes, the defense came through by forcing Jackson into two key fumbles, but it still allowed more than 400 yards. The Raiders played great in splitting with the Chiefs last year and will be entertaining to watch all season, but the defense needs to tighten up to make them a serious playoff contender.

2. Underdogs closed out Week 1 at 12-4 ATS obviously warms my heart (and fattened my wallet again after shelling out thousands of bucks in football contests the past week). People keep talking about the haves and have-nots, but there’s still plenty of parity in the NFL. On any given Sunday . . . or Thursday or Monday. I know every week isn’t going to be this great for dog bettors, but we should be able to find our fair share of live dogs on a weekly basis.

3. That road ATS stat was a little surprising. With the return of fans in the stands, we were led to believe that we would see the return of home-field advantage. Announcers in the Browns-Chiefs game made it sound like the Kansas City crowd caused Cleveland punter Jamie Gillan to mishandle a snap that led to the Chiefs go-ahead TD. However, no one says anything about the crowd when a road team succeeds. We’ll see if home teams fare better as the season progresses, but for now home-field advantage appears negligible.

4. I already gave my take on the early Under trend, though it is interesting that all three prime-time games went Over in Week 1. A lot of people love tracking the prime-time games separately as they do run in cycles. The narrative will probably be that Overs are the way to go because the offenses get up for these prime-time national TV games. Of course, there’s been times when the prime-time games have an Under run and everyone says it’s because they’re competitive games and (for Thursday games) that the short week makes for low-scoring games. Take it all with a grain of salt.

Contest Corner

Circa Sports Million Top 5 Most-Selected Teams finished 3-2 in NFL Week 1 with the Raiders (+ 4) on Monday Night Football to go with the Panthers -3,5 and 49ers -7.5 (contest lines don't change after being posted at 10 a.m. PT Thursday). The Washington Football Team lost as the No. 1 choice at Circa as did the Packers. 

Circa Survivor, which drew a field of 4,080 with a guaranteed $6 million prize, is down to 3,397 after Week 1. Three contestants used the Raiders on MNF while 19 were eliminated on the Ravens. None of the Top 4 picks lost, but these did: Jaguars (179), Falcons (163), Bills (101), Vikings (75), Patriots (62), Packers (29), Titans (22), Washington (19), Ravens (19), Giants (2), Jets (1), Lions (1) and Bears (1).

SuperContest Top 5 Most-Selected Teams went 2-3 in NFL Week 1 with Raiders (+ 4.5) upsetting BAL on MNF to join 49ers -7.5 as the winners (contest lines don't change after being posted Wednesday afternoon at the SuperBook NV. No. 1 pick Washington lost along with the Patriots and Packers.

A final count hasn't been announced for William Hill’s College Pick'em, which had a $1,000 entry fee with a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million, but there were only 452 entrants that made selections for last Saturday’s first week of games, so there’s an overlay in excess of half a million dollars for players in that contest. Only one contestant went a perfect 8-0 in Week 1.

Tuesday’s Takes

Giants -1.5 (+ 125) vs. Padres: The Giants made it look easy in winning their eight straight on Monday in the 9-1 rout of the Padres, so let’s keep riding the hot hand. Anthony DeSclafani (11-6, 3.33 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) starts for the Giants against a San Diego offense that is scuffling lately. Meanwhile, the Giants’ offense is on a roll and we’re certainly not afraid to go against the Padres’ Jake Arrieta (5-12, 7.04 ERA, 1.73 WHIP) even though we need the Giants to win by two or more runs to win the bet.

Washington -3/New York + 3.5: I made these plays Monday night here in Vegas for the Thursday night Week 2 opener, and I see other jurisdictions with different shops offering these different numbers. I’m basically just risking the vig and hoping that Washington wins by exactly a field goal so I win one bet and push the other. If you like one side better than the other (I actually think Washington is the right side), you can weigh my bets to give yourself a decision one way or the other.


Good luck today (and every day!).

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