Saturday was a great day of sports betting here in the Tuley’s Takes home office, especially with all the drama surrounding the CFB Playoff.
The day started good enough for yours truly, Dave Tuley, as my alma mater, Northern Illinois, ran over Kent State for the MAC title and I also had a 3-1 wire-to-wire winner in Gulfstream’s 11th race that I gave out in my horse racing column, “Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes,” here at VSiN.com (hopefully our regular readers were on-board with us with that pick as well).
I didn’t make Alabama a best bet in Point Spread Weekly or in this column, but I actually bet the Crimson Tide + 3.5 a few weeks ago when I was sure the line would dip below a field goal. I was wrong with that prediction, but made the right call to let that bet ride as Alabama beat Georgia for the SEC title.
But that’s when it all went wrong. I lost my two best (and biggest) bets of the day on Wake Forest in the ACC title game and Iowa in the Big Ten title game.
Easy come, easy go. Such is the life of a sports bettor, right?
I’ve written several times this season (and past seasons) about how hard it is to win both Saturdays and Sunday during football season, so hopefully Saturday’s losing CFB day will be followed by a profitable NFL Sunday.
Let’s get to the full betting recaps from Saturday and then update our NFL best bets from PSW, paying particular attention to how the lines are moving and whether we should bet ASAP or wait until closer to kickoff.
CFB: No. 3 Alabama upset No. 1 Georgia 41-24 to win the SEC Championship Game as a 6.5-point underdog and + 200 on the money line. The game flew Over the betting total of 49. In other key game regarding the CFB Playoff, No. 3 Cincinnati beat No. 21 Houston 35-20 in the AAC Championship Game, covering as a 10.5-point favorite as the game went just Over the total of 52.5. No. 2 Michigan routed No. 13 Iowa 42-3 to win the Big Ten Championship Game after closing as a 12.5-point favorite while that game went just Over 44).
More CFB: No. 15 Pittsburgh (-3.5) routed No. 16 Wake Forest 45-21 in the ACC Championship Game with that game staying Under the high total of 73.5. No. 9 Baylor held off No. 5 Oklahoma State 21-16 with a late goal-line stand to win the Big 12 Championship Game as a 7-point underdog and + 225 on the money line while staying Under the total of 45.5 points. Northern Illinois routed Kent State 41-23 to win the MAC Championship Game as a 4-point dog and + 155 on the money line while the game stayed Under 75.5.
CBB: No. 16 Alabama upset No. 3 Gonzaga 91-82 as a 9.5-point road underdog and + 370 on the money line. Mississippi beat No. 18 Memphis 67-63 as a 1-point home dog.
NBA: Underdogs went 5-1 SU and ATS Saturday with the Grizzlies-Mavericks game closing pick-’em. The 5 upsets were by the Spurs (+ 9 at Warriors), Nuggets (+ 2 at Knicks), Bulls (+ 2.5 at Nets), Celtics (+ 1 at Blazers) and Kings (+ 1.5 vs. Clippers). Over/Unders split 3-3-1 with the push on Spurs-Warriors (219), but Unders still lead 189-156-4 (54.8 percent) on the season.
NHL: Faves went 7-2 Saturday with the Maple Leafs-Wild closing pick-'em. The only upsets were by the Senators (big + 180 dogs in 6-5 OT win vs. the Avalanche) and Red Wings (small -105 dog in 4-3 OT win vs. the Islanders). Overs went 6-4.
Circa Survivor has 28 entries still alive for the $6 million prize and 10 of those took the Eagles in NFL Week 13 (the 14th week of Survivor if you count “Thanksgiving Week”), followed by the Vikings (5) at Lions, Chiefs (4) vs. Broncos, Dolphins (3) vs. Giants, Buccaneers (3) at Falcons, Cardinals (2) at Bears and Colts (1) at Texans.
Circa Sports Million Top 5 Most-Selected Teams (33-27 on the season) for NFL Week 13 are the Dolphins -4 vs. Giants (current line -6.5), Bills -2.5 vs. Patriots, Broncos + .5 at Chiefs, Washington Football Team + 2.5 at Raiders and Bengals -3 vs. Chargers.
The Westgate SuperContest will post its consensus plays and selections of all contestants on Sunday morning as their submission deadline isn’t until 11:59 p.m. PT Saturday.
Lions + 7 vs. Vikings: As we mentioned in Friday’s update, we saw some books going to Vikings -7 -120 and even some at 7.5, so we’re waiting to see how high the public bets this. If you can get + 7.5, grab it.
Falcons + 11.5 vs. Buccaneers:
I’ve been advising the past few days to grab + 11 if you can as most books are down to 10.5. That advice still holds true as of late Saturday night.
Giants + 5 at Dolphins:
This line was available on Tuesday when we were putting together PSW, then it got bet down to 4.5 and some books at 4. However, it was announced that Daniel Jones was out and Mike Glennon would get the start, so the line is now up to Dolphins -6.5 at most books (and caused Dolphins -4 to be the No. 1 choice of contestants in Circa Sports Million and expected to be No. 1 in the morning in the Westgate SuperContest). However, I’m fading the move as I love the Giants even more. Glennon is a journeyman QB, but he’s not several points worse than Jones, so every half-point we’re getting is more value.
Steelers + 4.5 vs. Ravens:
Public might bet higher, but some books are at 4 so I’d bet now. If waiting to see if it goes higher, be ready to bet quick if you see it starting to drop.
Broncos + 10 at Chiefs: As I advised in Thursday’s column, if you can grab + 10, do it. Most books have dipped to 9.5. I would still play the Broncos down to 8.5.
In my regular column in Point Spread Weekly, my top two-team, 6-point teaser was on the Cardinals -1.5/Colts -2.5. However, the Colts were bet up to -10 at the Texans to take it out of teaser territory, When we updated our best bets for our online story at VSiN.com, I updated my top recommendation to the Cardinals -1.5 with the Washington Football Team + 8.5 (you should still be able to teased them up to + 7.5) with a secondary recommendation to use the Patriots teased up to + 8.5 or + 9 at the Bills on Monday Night Football.
Good luck today (and every day!).