Saturday was an exciting sports betting (and horse racing) day in the Tuley’s Takes home office, especially with the Broncos giving the Chiefs all they could handle and the implications for the $6 million Circa Survivor (and $1 million bonus) as well as the Circa Sports Million, though those picks were known until late in the game.
Also during the 4 p.m. PT hour, we took a short break from the football game to check in on our best bet of the day – a parlay on Devils-Blue Jackets 1st-Period Over 1.5 -155 and Maple Leafs-Avalanche 1st-Period Over 1.5 -150, paying around + 174 depending on the prices you were able to get – easily winning as both games had 4 goals scored in the first period. That was a great bonus!
I don’t like any of Sunday’s NHL 1st Period bets, but I do have updates on our NFL best bets from Point Spread Weekly. But, first, let’s recap all of Saturday’s betting action, including updates on Circa Survivor and Circa Sports Million.
NFL: Cowboys routed the Eagles 51-26 on Saturday night, easily covering as 6-point road favorites as the game flew Over the betting total of 46 points. Earlier, the Chiefs rallied to beat the Broncos 28-24, but did NOT cover as 11.5-point road faves as the game also went Over 44.5. Faves went 2-0 SU and 1-1 ATS to start NFL Week 18. Overs start 2-0 with primetime Overs 1-0.
NBA: Faves went 4-2 SU and ATS on Saturday with the upsets by the Heat (+ 10 in 123-100 win at the Suns) and Pacers (+ 4.5 in 123-115 win vs. the Jazz). The Grizzlies (-2), Pistons (-1), Hornets (-1.5) and Celtics (-8) covered in wins. Over/Unders split 3-3.
CBB: Miami-Fla. upset No. 2 Duke 76-74 Saturday night as a 15-point road underdog and + 875 on the money line. Earlier, No. 25 Texas Tech upset No. 6 Kansas 75-67 as a 7-point home dog and + 240 on ML. No. 11 Iowa State, No. 14 Texas, No. 15 Alabama and No. 20 Colorado State also lost.
NHL: Faves went 6-5 Saturday with upsets by the Blackhawks (+ 210 at the Golden Knights), Bruins (+ 160 at Lightning), Wild (+ 100 vs. Capitals), Rangers (-105 at Ducks) and Stars (-105 vs. Penguins). Unders went 6-5, but Overs still lead 24-14-2 (63.2 percent) since the start of year.
There were 5 live Circa Survivor entries coming into NFL Week 18 with a shot at the guaranteed $6 million prize pool. MY COOL and On Top 247 won with the Chiefs on Saturday (after a major sweat!) to guarantee their share of the pool (at least 1.2M if the other 3 Survivors win on Sunday). They also clinched at least a $333,333.33 bonus by using either the Chiefs or Buccaneers in Week 18. RETURN OF SURVIVOR needs the Bucs to win on Sunday to share that with them (otherwise, MY COOL and On Top 247 would win $500,000 apiece on top of their main-pool winnings). The other remaining Survivors, CHRIS PIPER and SYRACUSE HAWKEYES, have the Washington Football Team and the Titans, respectively.
Circa Sports Million has tightened up at the top of the leaderboard as longtime leader HANNIBAL BARCA started Week 18 at 0-2 with the Chiefs and Eagles on both his top entries (he was 1st and 3rd entering the week) as he used the same plays on both of them. Meanwhile DURBIFY went opposite with his five plays and lost with the Eagles on his 2nd-place pick, but won with the Cowboys on his 4th-place ticket to jump HANNIBAL BARCA into a tie for 2nd place with himself. DURBIFY’s two entries are half a game back and each have 4 picks remaining compared to 3 for HANNIBAL BARCA. If DURBIFY-1 goes 4-0 with the Lions + 3.5, Bears + 5.5, Saints -4.5 and Seahawks + 6.5 (or they all lose for DURBIFY-2 to go 4-0), he would win the title, the $1 million first-place prize and the blue blazer. If one of DURBIFY’s entries goes 3-1, HANNIBAL BARCA-1 could still win the title by going 3-0 with Patriots -6, Bills -16 and 49ers + 4 as long as DISMAL doesn’t go 5-0. The worst-case scenario for DURBIFY is to split 2-2 with his final 4 picks on each ticket as HANNIBAL BARCA could possibly win the title by going 2-1, though that also opens the doors for others in the Top 17.
More Circa Sports Million: After the $1 million payout to the champion, the dropoff is to $325,000 for 2nd place, $275,000 for 3rd, $225,000 for 4th and $175,000 for 5th. The contest pays through 50th place (plus ties). There is also a $100,000 "Booby Prize" for worst record and Quarter prizes (best and Booby) to be decided on Sunday.
Circa Sports Million Top 5 Most-Selected Teams (47-38, 55.3 percent, entering NFL Week 18) are the Steelers + 6 at the Ravens, 49ers + 4 at the Rams, Chiefs -10 at Broncos (LOSS on Saturday), Falcons + 4.5 vs. Saints and Raiders + 3 vs. Chargers
The SuperContest Top 5 Consensus and leaders' selections (and everyone's picks in SC Classic, SuperContest Gold and SuperContest Reboot) will be posted on Sunday morning as their submission deadline isn't until 11:59 p.m. PT Saturdays.
(Note: We post our best bets in VSiN’s digital online magazine, Point Spread Weekly, that comes out on Wednesday. But oftentimes the lines move between then and when the games are played, so we like to post updates in these daily “Tuley’s Takes Today” columns to help bettors get the best value. If you’re looking for the reasons why I like each pick, check out PSW or the NFL Best Bets file at VSiN.com as here we’re most interested in whether to bet the games early or wait until closer to kickoff to get the best number.)
Lions + 4 vs. Packers: Actually, this wasn’t among my best bets in PSW as the line was bouncing all over with speculation about whether or not Aaron Rodgers and other Green Bay starters would play since they’re locked up the NFC No. 1 seed. I didn’t like the Lions at -2 as they were earlier in the week or even at + 2, but I advised in Friday’s column to jump in at + 4. Hopefully many of you did as it was down to 3.5 at most books later that day and now mostly down to 3 as of late Saturday night.
Jaguars + 16 vs. Colts: We gave this out at + 16 but those have mostly disappeared. It’s probably best to grab the best number you can ASAP, though I’d still feel comfortable at + 14.5.
Texans + 10 vs. Titans: This number was looking pretty solid the other day, but there were some indications that it could drop so I advised grabbing the 10. However, a few 10.5s popped up Friday so I said to wait and now with the Chiefs win (and the Titans needing to win to secure the AFC’s No. 1 seed and a bye week), it’s up to 11 at some books so get the best line you can.
Falcons + 4 vs. Saints: On Friday, I advised to grab + 4 if you could as it was clearly moving to 3.5, which it has. Still playable at that number, though you always want the best number possible.
Steelers + 5 at Ravens: This dropped to 3.5 on Friday, so hopefully you grabbed at least + 4.5 as this line has been bouncing all over the place. The last dip was due to Lamar Jackson officially being declared out and replaced by Tyler Huntley.
49ers + 4.5 at Rams: This was looking pretty solid, but Circa Sports went to 4 on Friday, so I advised to grab the 4.5 ASAP. It’s now down to 3.5, which I still makes the 49ers as the right side, but not as strong as my other plays.
Raiders + 3 vs. Chargers: This was also looking pretty solid, but a few books were starting to add vig to the Chargers -3 on Friday, so we were hoping to get the hook at + 3.5 but that was looking a little less likely as we entered the weekend as bettors have really been split on this game.