Tuley's Takes Today: Saturday recap, Contest Corner, NFL best bets (12/19)

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

December 19, 2021 03:00 AM

Saturday was another great day of sports betting action here in the Tuley’s Takes home office, and I’m sure it was the same wherever you were during the course of the day.

We started our day cheering home a 6-1 winner for our friend, Ed Sehon, in the “Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” column and I also won with my “A.I. Pick of the Week” (though it was just a 3-5 favorite, believe it or not). I also cheered home the Cavaliers to their 13th straight cover (I gave readers a heads-up on Thursday that they were playing next on Saturday, though I didn’t lay the points myself) as I know some readers were probably riding that streak and ending the day checking out some UFC and the Jake Paul (-270) boxing match, but the main focus of Saturday was the college football bowls.

I actually only went 1-1 ATS with my best bets from Point Spread Weekly and in this column with Western Kentucky and Eastern Michigan losing, but I went 6-1 ATS on the VSiN CFB Consensus page in PSW and I’m leading several of the pools I’m in. It’s early and there’s a long way to go, but I’d rather be out front and make everyone catch me if they can.

Now, as you’ll read below, underdogs went 4-2 ATS in Saturday’s bowl games with Western Kentucky-Appalachian State closing pick-’em. WKU was my best bet of the day and I bet the Hilltoppers as underdogs, so it would be easy enough to claim that dogs were 5-2 ATS on Saturday as most people would probably agree with me as they were dogs the past two weeks since the lines first came out. However, I don’t have a hidden agenda to make dogs look good when I grade the betting results across many sports all year-long – I try to be as objective as possible and grade accordingly. I’m just mentioning this because I’m sure we’ll see other people posting different betting records for the bowls. I wouldn’t be surprised if some say that dogs were 6-2 ATS Saturday and thus 8-2 ATS including Friday’s results while others will have 5-2 ATS like me while still others might have it at 5-3 ATS as a few books closed with Western Kentucky -1 and covering as the chalk.

The NFL didn’t treat us as well as we lost the front end of our top two-team, 6-point teaser play with the Patriots +8.5. After trailing 20-0 to the Colts, we actually rallied to get within 20-17 and within the teaser spread, but then Jonathan Taylor ran 67 yards for the clinching TD and to cover the teaser.

We’ll update our teaser strategy as well as the rest of our ATS plays, but first let’s recap all the major betting action from Saturday as well as take a peek in Contest Corner.

Saturday’s recaps

NFL: Colts beat Patriots 27-17, covering as 1.5-point home favorites as the game stayed just Under the closing betting total of 46.5 points. Including Thursday Night Football, faves are 2-0 SU and ATS to start NFL Week 15 while home/road teams are 1-1 SU and ATS for the week and Over/Unders are 1-1 (both in primetime).

More NFL: Faves are 126-80-1 SU on the season with 3 games closing pick-'em, but dogs still lead 109-97-1 ATS (52.9 percent). Road teams are 106-100-1 SU with 3 neutral-site games and also lead 117-89-1 ATS (56.8 percent). Unders lead 114-94-2 (54.8 percent) while primetime Unders improved to 23-20-1.

CFB: Faves/dogs split 3-3 SU Saturday with Western Kentucky-Appalachian State closing pick-'em in WKU's 59-38 win. Dogs went 4-2 ATS with 3 outright upsets by South Carolina State (+ 10.5 vs. Jackson State), UAB (+ 6 vs. BYU) and Utah State (+ 6.5 vs. Oregon State). The difference in the records was UTEP (+ 13) covering in a 31-24 loss to Fresno State.

More CFB: Dogs are 6-2 ATS so far with 1 PK. Overs went 5-2 Saturday (note: we graded the UTEP-Fresno total as closing at 54.5, though many pushed on 55) and are 7-2 so far including Friday's bowls.

NBA: Faves went 4-3 SU and ATS on Saturday, including the Cavaliers (-6) covering for the 14th straight game in a 119-90 win at the Bucks. Upsets were by the Magic (+ 5.5 in 100-93 win at Nets), Thunder (+ 4.5 in 104-103 win vs. Clippers) and Wizards (+ 10 in 109-103 win at Jazz). Unders went 4-3. Dogs still lead 67-57-2 ATS (54 percent) in December with 1 game closing pick-’em. Overs still lead 69-56-2 (55.2 percent) in December (Overs were a combined 11-1 on Thursday and Friday), cutting Unders' lead on the season to 234-206-6 (53.2 percent).

CBB: No. 1 Baylor rallied in the second half and pulled away to beat Oregon 78-70 late Saturday night and the Bears ended up covering as 7-point road underdogs. Hofstra (+ 12.5, + 550 money line) upset No. 24 Arkansas 89-81 as the Razorbacks were the only Top 25 team to lose outright on Saturday.

NHL: Faves went 5-0 Saturday while 5 games were postponed due to COVID outbreaks. The Flyers (-125 vs. Senators), Hurricanes (-168 vs. Kings), Stars (-190 vs. Blackhawks), Red Wings (-125 vs. Devils) and Oilers (-116 at Kraken) all won. Overs also went a perfect 5-0.

Contest Corner

Circa Survivor has 23 live entrants heading into #NFL Week 15 and 12 of them are using the Dolphins vs. the Jets on Sunday. There are 5 on the Cardinals at the Lions, 3 on the 49ers vs. the Falcons, 1 on Jaguars vs. Texans, 1 on Buccaneers vs. Saints on Sunday Night Football and 1 on Vikings at Bears on Monday Night Football.

Circa Sports Million Top 5 Most-Selected Teams (36-34 on the season entering Week 15) started the week at 1-0 with the Colts -2 covering vs. the Patriots on Saturday night. Other Top 5 plays are the Packers -5.5 at the Ravens, Vikings -3.5 at the Bears, Bills -10.5 vs. the Panthers and Steelers pick-’em vs. the Titans.

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. PT Saturdays.

Sunday’s Takes

Teaser portfolio: We lost our leadoff teaser on the Patriots Saturday night, so now our top two-team, 6-point teaser for Sunday is on the Bengals + 9 at the Broncos (we originally gave out this leg when the Bengals were + 1.5 at the Broncos and we were teasing it up to + 7.5) and the Titans from + 1.5 to + 7.5 (we originally preferred the Steelers when they were 1.5-point home dogs and we were teasing them to + 7.5). A lot of lines have been changing like crazy this week (we also originally like the Dolphins teased down from -8.5 to -2.5, but that line has gone too high to tease now), so the only other teasers we would recommend are the Packers teased down from -7 to -1 vs. the Ravens and the Rams teased down from -6.5 to -0.5 vs. the Seahawks on Tuesday.

Washington + 5 at Eagles: The other day, I advised to wait for more updates and this game has been moved to Tuesday. It’s now looking like we might get Kyle Allen back at QB, so I’m happy to take the Football team + 6.5, but still waiting to gather more updates.

Panthers + 10.5 at Bills: I wrote the other day that “some books have gone to 11, so we’ll also wait to bet this game” and then it went to 12 and now 13. BetMGM is actually at 13.5, so shop around for the best number you can.

Giants + 10.5 vs. Cowboys: The line is also steaming higher in this NFC East battle as it’s up to 11.5 at a few books. I would take less than 11 at this point.

Lions + 13.5 vs. Cardinals: I advised to grab %plusign% 13.5 or even 13 and I stand by that as it was down to 12.5 at several books on Friday. It looks like it’s settling at 13 now, so you should be able to still get that..

Saints + 11 at Buccaneers: I jumped the gun on Friday by advising to take + 11 as I feared we might be seeing the last of them, but several books have gone to 11.5, so grab the hook if you can.

Good luck today (and every day!).

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