Tuley's Takes Today: Saturday recap, Circa Survivor, NFL best bets/teasers (12/26)

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

December 26, 2021 01:40 AM

We hope you had a great holiday on Saturday no matter how you spent it. We had a great one in the Tuley’s Takes home office with family, food and football.

It was made even better with our best-bet winner on the Browns + 7.5 at the Packers. We also started some teasers with the Colts teased up to + 8 at the Cardinals, though we didn’t need the added points this time as they pulled the outright upset. In our “teaser portfolio” updates the past two days, I also wrote “I wouldn’t talk anyone out of teasing the Packers down to -1.5 on Saturday,” so I trust some of you also cashed with a Packers/Colts same-day teaser.

Regardless, it shows that teasers have continued to be gold for us.

Let’s recap all of Saturday’s betting action and then give a further update on the rest of my best bets on Sunday and Monday’s NFL action.

Saturday’s recaps

NFL: The Colts, a 3-point road underdog and + 143 on the money line, beat the Cardinals 22-16 in the NFL’s Christmas nightcap as the game stayed Under the betting total of 48 points. The Packers (-7.5) beat the Browns 24-22 but did NOT cover. The game stayed just Under the total of 47. Faves and dogs split 1-1 SU, but dogs swept 2-0 ATS on the day. Home and road teams also split 1-1 SU, but road teams went 2-0 ATS. Unders swept 2-0.

More NFL: Faves are 137-86-1 SU on the season w/ 3 games closing pick-'em, but dogs improved to 119-103-2 ATS (53.6 percent). Road teams are 114-100-1 SU with 3 neutral-site games and 125-97-2 ATS (56.3 percent). Unders improved to 127-98-2 (56.4 percent) while primetime Unders also improved to 27-20-1 after a 1-8 start, so primetime Unders 26-12-1 (68.4 percent) since then.

NBA: Faves went 3-2 SU on its traditional Christmas Day showcase, but dogs led 4-1 ATS as the Celtics (+ 7.5 at Bucks) and Mavericks (+ 13.5 at Jazz) covered in SU losses. The lone upset was by the Warriors (+ 6, + 200 money line at Suns). Knicks (-6 vs. Hawks) were the only fave to cover. Overs went 4-1.

CFB: Georgia State routed Ball State 51-20 in Camellia Bowl, easily covering as 6.5-point fave as it went Over 53. Faves are 10-5 SU in bowls with 1 game closing pick-'em (Western Kentucky-Appalachian State), but dogs lead 8-7 ATS. Overs improved to 10-6, snapping a 3-game Under streak.

CBB: There were no Top 25 teams in action on Christmas and the only major college games on the betting board were BYU (-6.5) failing to cover in a 80-75 win vs Liberty and Wyoming (-7.5) covering in 77-57 win vs. South Florida in the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. Both games went Over.

Contest Corner

Circa Survivor, which started the season with 4,080 entrants shooting for the $6 million guaranteed prize, is down to just 9 live entries after 4 were eliminated with the Cardinals on Saturday. Three also lost on the 49ers in "Christmas Week" on Thursday Night Football. All 8 of the contestants who had the Packers available entering the week used them, so they advance along with the 1 who used the Titans on TNF. Contestants must now make a pick on the rest of the NFL Week 16 slate on Sunday/Monday by 9 a.m. PT.

Crazy but true!!! IF the Packers and Cardinals had both lost on Saturday, RETURN OF SURVIVOR-5 (who used the Titans on #TNF) would have been the lone winner in "Christmas Week" and winner of the $6 million guaranteed prize. But it didn’t work that way, so we move on.

Circa Sports Million Top 5 Most-Selected Teams (40-35 entering Week 16) are off to an 0-2 start with losses by the Cardinals + 1 vs. the Colts and the Packers -7 vs. the Browns. Pending plays are Bengals -3 (No. 1 choice) vs. Ravens, Dolphins pick-'em at Saints and Bills + 2 at Patriots

The Westgate SuperContest will release its Top 5 consensus plays and selections from all contestants on Sunday morning as their submission deadline isn’t until 11:59 p.m. Saturdays.

Sunday’s Takes

Per usual, our main focus in these daily editions of Tuley’s Takes is to track the line movements of my picks from Point Spread Weekly (or to add new ones). For the reasons behind why I like the plays, check out PSW or the NFL Best Bets file on VSiN.com.

Teaser portfolio: Regular readers know that two-team, 6-point teasers have been gold for yours truly this season In PSW, I mentioned that my favorite teaser this week was the Ravens teased from + 2.5 to + 8.5 at the Bengals with the Bills also teased from + 2.5 to + 8.5 at the Patriots. I still love that, though the line on the Ravens-Bengals game has now gone up to Bengals -7 with the Ravens needing to go with third-string QB Josh Johnson with Lamar Jackson still not able to return and Tyler Huntley added to the reverse/COVID list. If you were with us early, I’m letting my teaser ride. But if you’re starting fresh on Sunday, the preferred way to approach that would be teasing the Bengals down to -1 with the Bills + 7.5 or better (and, again, like we’ve hit several times recently such as the Packers-Browns game, there’s a decent chance both sides cover the teaser. We were previously recommending the Chiefs teased down from -8.5 to -2.5 vs the Steelers (again, I like the dog ATS and was looking for a middle), but that line is back up to -10 and out of teaser territory. The only other teaser leg I like with the Bengals or Bills would be the Saints teased from + 2.5 to + 8.5 on Monday night vs. the Dolphins.

Panthers + 10 vs. Buccaneers: I was recommending to see if this line went up to 10.5, but that’s looking less likely. If you do wait, prepare to act quickly if you see the market dropping).

Chargers-Texans Under 46: I didn’t give this out in PSW, but added it to the NFL Best Bets file on VSiN.com after I wrote it up for the L.A. Times as part of a partnership we have with that newspaper.

Lions + 5.5 at Falcons: We advised to wait on this line and now it’s up to 6.5 as of early Saturday morning with the expectation that Tim Boyle will start with Jared Goff yet to pass COVID testing protocols. We’ll continue to wait for the best line regardless of who starts and we’ve seen some books go to 7 (though with added juice on the Lions).

Vikings + 3 vs. Rams: This line has already hit 3.5 at a few books, so I would definitely buy at that number (preferably no more than -110 juice), but I still like it at 3.

Bears + 7 at Seahawks: This line is down to 6.5 at most books and I don’t like it nearly as much; however, I advised to wait to see if we could get 7 again and a few books have gone there and we might see more as Nick Foles is supposedly getting the start.

Steelers + 8.5 at Chiefs: I originally gave this out at + 8.5 in PSW. The line dropped as low as 7 with the Chiefs’ putting several key players on the reserve/COVID list, but now it appears many will be able to play and the line is up to 10. I’m fine with that as Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin keep coming up with key wins after everyone writes them off. I see this as a battle and all we need is the Steelers to stay within one score.


CFB (Monday)

Nevada + 7 vs. Western Michigan: We know Nevada QB Carson Strong is sitting out the Quick Lane Bowl and that’s why the Wolf Pack is an underdog here, but Nevada is still the better overall team so I’ll take the points.

East Carolina + 3 vs. Boston College: ECU has been very good to us this season. There are some indications that this line is more likely to go down than up, so I would grab the + 3 ASAP.

Happy holidays to all of our readers

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