We heard several people saying things like “the NFL divisional playoffs is the best weekend of the year” – or at least the best football weekend. We were a little skeptical here in the Tuley’s Takes home office as we could think of several other contenders, but consider us converts!
We hit our two best bets on Saturday with the Bengals and 49ers not only covering but also winning outright as 3.5- and 6-point road underdogs. On Sunday, we weren’t as confident with the underdog Rams and Bills, so made our best bet a two-team, 6-point teaser with the Rams + 9 and the Bills + 7.5 and won that, too. The Rams pulled an upset and the Bills had one in their grasp with a TD with 13 seconds to play only to allow the Chiefs to get in position to kick a FG to force OT and then win it with a TD on the opening drive in one of the best all-time games.
We can’t wait for next weekend! However, we have too, so let’s recap all of Sunday’s betting action in the major team sports and then try to find another best-bet winner for Monday.
NFL: Chiefs beat the Bills 42-36 on a Patrick Mahomes-to-Travis Kelce TD pass in OT of their AFC divisional playoff game after rallying for a game-tying FG in the final :13 of regulation. The Chiefs also ended up covering as 2-point home favorites. The game went Over the betting total of 54.5 points on the Bills' 2-point conversion to take a 29-26 lead just after the two-minute warning. Earlier, the Rams beat the Buccaneers 30-27 in their NFC divisional playoff game on Matt Gay's 30-yard FG as time expired after squandering a 27-3 lead. The Rams did it as 3-point road underdogs and + 122 on the money line. The game went Over 48 points on the Bucs' tying TD.
More NFL: Faves/dogs split 1-1 SU and ATS on Sunday with Overs going 2-0. In the divisional playoffs, dogs went 3-1 SU and ATS with Over/Unders splitting 2-2. Overall in the playoffs, faves lead 6-4 SU and ATS with Unders leading 6-4.
Even more NFL: Chiefs opened between -6.5 (Circa Sports and William Hill) and -7.5 (BetMGM) vs. the Bengals in next Sunday's AFC Championship Game and quickly settled at -7 at all Vegas books. The Over/Under opened as low as 50.5 (Westgate SuperBook) and high of 54 (Wynn Las Vegas) but has settled at 53.5 late Sunday. Earlier Sunday afternoon, the Rams opened -4 vs. 49ers in next Sunday's NFC Championship Game at the SuperBook and Station Casinos, but others opened Rams -3.5 and it was bet down to Rams -3 -120 at most books. After several hours of betting, the line was back up to Rams -3.5 (though EVEN money as 49ers were mostly offered at + 3.5 -120) with William Hill offering the Rams -3 but with -125 juice. The Over/Under, which wavered between 46.5 and 47 earlier, also settled at 46.5.
NBA: Faves went 8-3 SU on Sunday but just 6-4-1 ATS with the push on the Warriors (-2) in their 94-92 win vs. the Jazz and Pistons (+ 12) covering as dogs in their 117-111 loss at Nuggets. Upsets were by the Blazers (+ 8 at Raptors), Magic (+ 3.5 vs. Bulls) and Hawks (+ 1.5 at Hornets). Overs went 6-5.
CBB: Marquette upset No. 20 Xavier 75-64 as a short 2-point home underdog and + 110 on the money line. No. 4 Purdue (-12.5 vs. Northwestern) and No. 3 Arizona (-14 at California) covered in their wins, but No. 21 Providence (-9) did NOT cover in 69-62 win vs Butler.
NHL: Faves went 3-2 Sunday with upsets by the Senators (+ 115 in 2-1 win at Blue Jackets) and Kraken (+ 220 in 5-3 win vs. Panthers). Unders went 4-1 with the lone Over in the Kraken's 5-3 win vs. the Panthers as the betting total was 6 goals.
Ducks-Bruins First-Period Over 1.5 -125: Let’s return to the ice for Monday’s best bet. The Bruins are on a 9-game 1P Over 1.5 streak and 9-1 in their last 10 (stats courtesy of @PSUOtto on Twitter). The Bruins are 20-18 on the season while the Ducks are a 1P Under team at 25-17, but that’s why we’re getting such a cheap price as we try to ride the Bruins’ hot streak.
Good luck today (and every day!).