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Tuley's Takes Today: Saturday recaps, Sunday NFL picks (10/31)

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 

October 31, 2021 05:06 AM

The Tuley’s Takes “reality show” rolled on Saturday with an event-filled day that included me juggling a day full of wall-to-wall college football and a World Series game with my side hustle as a proxy for the Circa and Westgate contests and then hosting our annual Halloween party at the Tuley Haunted Mansion (OK, it’s not a mansion, but that’s what we call it for these purposes, and the operative word is actually “haunted” as this is my wife’s pet project every year and certainly made-for-TV).

I was able to pay for all the decorations and the spooky spread by going 3-1-1 against the spread on college football Saturday to go with my Friday night win on Navy. The loss was on Iowa + 3.5 at Wisconsin with the wins on Indiana + 6 at Maryland, Virginia Tech + 4 at Georgia Tech and Penn State + 18.5 at Ohio State, but the game I’ll always remember is Florida State pushing on + 10 at Clemson .

Florida State was trailing Clemson 24-20 (but covering – and in fact covering the whole game) in the closing seconds and had the ball on its own 33-yard line. On the next-to-last play of the game, FSU QB Jordan Travis came up well short of the end zone on a Hail Mary pass, so it was clear the Seminoles would have to resort to a desperation lateral play. If you haven’t seen the highlight/lowlight by now, the Seminoles lateraled the ball and kept moving backward until the ball ended up inside its own 5-yard line and Clemson’s Barrett Carter scooped it up and lunged over the goal line for a 3-yard touchdown return and a 30-20 final score that pushed on my + 10 bet and lost on the William Hill College Pick’em contest line of + 9.5 (my best entry already had a foot in the grave, but that killed any chance of cashing).

Final note on that debacle: we always preach around here to shop around for the best number as every half-point counts, and we tried to tell readers to grab FSU + 10 because it was dropping. Hopefully, our followers were only crying over a Bad Push instead of a Bad Beat!

Let’s go over our betting recaps of Saturday’s action and then take a peek around Contest Corner before trying to get the best numbers currently available on Sunday’s NFL card.

Saturday’s recaps

MLB: Braves (short -101 home dogs) rallied to beat the Astros 3-2 Saturday night to take a 3-1 lead in the World Series as the game stayed Under the betting total of 8.5 runs. Home teams lead 3-1 in series while faves/dogs have split 2-2 and Unders are 3-0-1. Overall in the playoffs (not counting the wild-card games), home teams lead 22-11, faves are 20-13 and Overs dip to 18-14-1.

CFB: No. 8 Michigan State (4-point home underdog, + 165 ML) upset No. 6 Michigan 37-33. Other ranked teams to lose early: Wisconsin (3-point home fave) routing No. 9 Iowa 27-7, but it was NOT an upset, and Miami-Fla. (9.5-point road dog, + 295 ML) beat No. 17 Pittsburgh 38-34. Later, No. 5 Ohio State (-19) held off No. 20 Penn State 33-24, but did NOT cover. No. 12 Kentucky, No. 19 SMU, No. 21 San Diego State and No. 22 Iowa State also suffered losses against unranked teams. 

NBA: Faves went 6-5 SU on Saturday, but dogs led 7-4 ATS. Upsets were by the Raptors (+ 2.5 at Pacers), Bulls (+ 3.5 vs. Jazz), Spurs (+ 7 at Bucks), Heat (+ 3.5 at Grizzlies) and Nuggets (+ 1.5 at Timberwolves). Pelicans (+ 8 vs. Knicks) and Cavaliers (+ 10 at Suns) covered in SU losses. Unders 7-4.

NHL: Favorites went 7-3 Saturday with the only upsets by the Capitals (-103 vs. Islanders), Sharks (+ 110 vs. Jets) and Devils (+ 139 at Penguins). Home teams went 8-2. Unders went 7-2-1 with the push on Devils-Penguins (6).

Contest Corner

Circa Sports Million Top 5 Most-Selected Teams (23-12 on season) for NFL Week 8 are the Vikings + 1.5 (current line Vikings -3) vs. Cowboys, Bengals -10.5 at Jets, Lions + 3.5 vs. Eagles, Colts -2.5 vs. Titans and Patriots + 5 at Chargers.

Circa Survivor had 2,131 live entries after Week 7 and enters Sunday with 2,018 after 6 were eliminated by using the Cardinals on Thursday Night Football and another 7 didn’t get their pick submitted on Saturday. For the 2nd straight week, there isn’t an overwhelming No. 1 choice, but the Bengals top the list at 871 with the Chiefs at 734. The only other teams in triple digits are the Rams (208) and Bills (206).

The Westgate’s SuperContest consensus plays and picks from all players will be posted Sunday morning as the submission deadline isn’t until 11:59 p.m. PT on Saturdays.

Sunday’s Takes

Updated teaser approach: We lost our teasers starting with the Cardinals on TNF, but there’s been plenty of line movement this week that impact our teaser portfolio. We advised teasing the Colts from + 1 to + 7 in PSW, but now the line has flipped to the Colts being favored and the Titans being the preferred teaser side from + 2.5 to + 8.5. Likewise, with news on Friday coming out that Dak Prescott might not be ready to return Sunday night, if you used the Vikings + 8.5, that’s no longer available with the Vikes favored by 2.5, so the preferred teaser became is the Cowboys from + 2.5 to + 8.5. I advised readers on Friday to tease them with the Titans. Of course, the Vikings have gone to -3, which makes the Cowboys a less-attractive teaser play as it’s technically not a “Wong” or “advantage” teaser anymore as you’re paying a half-point you really don’t need. With an absence of any true premium teaser plays, I’m also considering combinations using the Panthers teased up from + 3 to + 9 at the Falcons, Lions from + 3.5 to + 9.5 vs. the Eagles and Steelers from + 3.5 (several books at Browns -4) to + 9.5 (or + 10).

Dolphins + 14 at Bills: We know the Bills routed the Dolphins 35-0 in their first meeting, but the Dolphins have been playing more competitive games since then (albeit against much worse competition), so I’ll take the two TDs.

Lions + 3.5 vs. Eagles: There are plenty of 3.5s still available, but this has gone to 3 at some books so make sure you have that hook.

Steelers + 3.5 at Browns: We were waiting to see if we could get Steelers + 4 – and we now can with the news that Baker Mayfield will probably start and, in fact, it’s + 4,5 at a lot of books. We’ll take that!

Patriots + 5.5 at Chargers: Here’s another one we warned about as this is down to 4.5 at all books, and even some movement to 4. As I wrote Thursday, I wouldn’t take any lower than + 4.5.

Giants + 10 at Chiefs (Monday): Some books dipped to 9.5 but many returned to 10 earlier this weekend. I advised to take the + 10 and stand by that. As popular of a team as the Chiefs remain, there’s certainly a lot of people turning on them now, so I’m less certain of this rising to 10.5 by Monday night.

Good luck today (and every day!).

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