It was another topsy-turvy Saturday in the Tuley’s Takes home office.
As you’ll see in the recaps below, there was plenty of chalk covering at the top of college football, but there were plenty of upsets to go around. Our personal best bets split 3-3 ATS with wins on East Carolina, Arkansas State and Utah State and losses on Colorado, Stanford and Central Florida. The good news is that winning dogs didn’t just cover but also won outright.
Hopefully the dogs are barking even more on Sunday. But before getting to the update of our best bets on the NFL card, let’s recap all of Saturday’s betting action in the major team sports and then take a look in Contest Corner, where Saturday’s late news that Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was put on the COVID list cause shockwaves throughout a lot of contests in addition to dropping the point spread from Steelers -8 to -6.5.
CFB: Top-ranked teams covered big spreads as No. 1 Georgia (-20) beat Tennessee 41-17, No. Alabama (-50.5) routed New Mexico State 59-3, No. 3 Oregon (-13.5) beat Washington State 38-24 (though some pushed on -14) and No. 4 Ohio State (-19.5) beat No. 19 Purdue 59-31. (Note: don’t forget No. 5 Cincinnati, which many people believe needs to get “style points” by routing its weaker schedule, only beat South Florida 45-28 Friday night and did NOT cover as a 24-point road favorite.) While No. 6 Michigan (-2.5) beat Penn State 21-17 and No. 7 Michigan State (-11.5) beat Maryland 40-21), the biggest upset in the chase for the CFB Playoff was No. 13 Baylor (+ 4) upsetting previously undefeated No. 8 Oklahoma 27-14. However, even though Texas is no longer ranked, the biggest upset of the day was Kansas shocking Texas 57-56 as a 31-point road underdog and + 2500 on the money line (odds of 25-1) at the South Point as most books didn’t even offer a ML.
CBB: No. 1 Gonzaga beat No. 5 Texas 86-74 late Saturday and also covered as a 7-point home favorite as the game went Over the closing total of 148 points. No other CBB Top 25 team lost SU on Saturday, though No. 9 Duke did fail to cover as a 22.5-point home fave in a 67-56 win vs. Campbell.
NBA: Favorites went 4-3 SU Saturday, including the Cavaliers closing as a -1.5 home fave in a 91-89 win vs. the Celtics. The upsets were by the Heat (+ 8.5 at Jazz), Pelicans (+ 3 vs. Grizzlies) and Pistons (+ 8 at Raptors). Overs went 4-3 Saturday, but Unders still lead 115-76-1 (60.2 percent) on the young season.
NHL: Faves went 12-1 on Saturday with the lone upset by the Senators (+ 125 in a 6-3 win vs. Penguins). Faves also went 7-6 on the -1.5 puck line. Overs went 8-5 on the day.
Circa Survivor’s top play for Week 10 is the Steelers as they were selected by 248 of the 499 live entrants. Of course, the announcement of Ben Roethlisberger being OUT with COVID wasn't made until after the 3 p.m. PT submission deadline, so we’ll see if those have been dealt a bad beat or if they can still survive as they are facing the winless Lions. We’re down below 500 as 187 were eliminated with the Ravens on Thursday Night Football. There weren’t any live entrants that failed to get a pick in this week. The rest of the teams used in Circa Survivor for Week 10: Colts (65), Cowboys (60), Bills (46), Cardinals (40), Buccaneers (31), Chargers (5), Saints (1), Titans (1), Packers (1) and Rams (1).
The @CircaSports Twitter account sent out its list of the Most-Selected teams in Circa Sports Million as Titans -3 vs. the Saints, Rams -4 at the 49ers, Browns + 2.5 at the Patriots, Packers -3 vs. the Seahawks and Saints + 3, even though the Saints are playing the Titans. However, since there were 981 that took the Saints and also 981 that took the Eagles + 3, I Tweeted “I would actually call this PHI + 3 as the No. 5 most-selected team as they were picked by same number as the Saints, who were out-picked by their opponent; so my Circa Sports Million Top 5: Titans -3, Rams -4, Browns + 2.5, Packers -3 and Eagles + 3.”
It’ll be interesting to see how high the Lions + 8.5 rank when the SuperContest consensus picks are released on Sunday morning. The SC deadline isn’t until 11:59 p.m. PT Saturday, so more contestants had access to the Roethlisberger news.
Lastly, the SuperContest Reboot drew 178 entries at $500 apiece for its Week 10-18 contest. First place is worth 40 percent of the pool at $35,600, with $17,800 for second, $13,350 for third and pays down to 10th place ($890). The Reboot is meant for contest players that might already be out of the running for the season-long prizes, though the regular SuperContest has a “second chance” of its own as Week 10 also starts the fourth in-season 3-week mini-contest on NFL Weeks 10-12 while Circa Sports Million aso starts its “3rd Quarter” on Weeks 10-13.
Teaser strategy update: After losing our teasers with the Ravens, we turn our attention to Sunday’s other advantage teasers (aka Wong Teasers or teasers that capture the key number of 3 and 7). Use these in whatever combinations you prefer: Browns from + 2.5 to + 8.5 at the Patriots, Vikings from + 3 to + 9 at Chargers, Eagles from + 2.5 to + 8.5 at the Broncos and Raiders + 2.5 to + 8.5 vs. the Chiefs.
Falcons + 9.5 at Cowboys:
We were hoping this would get to 10, but it’s now down to 8.5 and even 8 at some books, so grab the best line you can.
Jets + 13 vs. Bills:
In Saturday’s column, I advised grabbing 13 if you could still get it, but the line has gone back to 13 at most books and now I’d advise to wait to see if we can get 13.5 or even 14 by kickoff if the public goes crazy.
Lions + 9 at Steelers:
I also advised grabbing the best number available on the Lions as it was down to 8 at a lot of books late Friday night. Now, with Big Ben out, the line has gone through the key number of 7 down to 6.5. I wouldn’t take the Lions at that number, and fortunately I don’t have to..
Panthers + 10 at Cardinals:
This number rose to 10.5, so I hope you took that as it’s heading back down to 9.5 at a lot of books.
Seahawks + 4 at Packers:
This line had dropped as low as 3 at some books on speculation that Aaron Rodgers might not be ready to return, but with the announcement Saturday that he was cleared to play, the line has mostly settled at 3.5.
Good luck today (and every day!).