Tuley's Takes Today: Sunday recap, Contest Corner, Monday best bet (12/20)

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

December 20, 2021 12:33 AM

Sunday was another roller-coaster ride of a day in the Tuley’s Takes home office. That’s to be expected as favorites went 6-4 SU on Sunday but underdogs led 6-4 (and dogs lead 8-4 SU but are only 6-6 ATS if including the games from Thursday and Saturday).

With dogs 6-4 ATS on Sunday, I would normally expect that I would go 3-2 ATS with my best bets, but instead I went a disappointing 2-3 ATS on the VSiN NFL Best Bets page in Point Spread Weekly and in Circa Sports Million and the Westgate SuperContest. Every week, my top two best bets are published on Fridays in the New York Post Bettor’s Guide, and I went 2-0 ATS with the Lions + 13 vs. the Cardinals and the Saints + 11 at the Buccaneers – both of which pulled outright upsets – to improve to 18-12 ATS (60 percent) on the season, but then I lost my other three best bets as I’m below .500 on the season with picks 3 through 5.

If you’ve been following our columns every week in PSW and in these Tuley’s Takes Today editions, you can probably guess what’s coming next (and if you’ve been tailing our plays, you absolutely know) as our two-team, 6-point teasers again bailed us out and gave us a winning weekend (at least so far as it’s strange that we’re heading to Monday and still have four games left in Week 15).

The NFL point spreads were all over the map this week with adjustments constantly being made for playing going in and out of COVID-19 protocols, but any which way we bet our teasers we came out on the winning end. After losing with the Patriots + 8.5 on Saturday night (I originally tied them with the Bengals as my top teaser play of the week), we reposted the Bengals + 9 with the Titans + 7.5 as our top teaser. We’re also still live to a teaser on the Rams -0.5 vs. the Seahawks on Tuesday.

Before we get to Monday night’s best bet, let’s recap Sunday’s betting action across the major sports, including a peek into Contest Corner as Circa Survivor is down to 16 live contestants playing for $6 million and the results of the Top 5 consensus plays in Circa Sports Million and the SuperContest.

Sunday’s recaps

NFL: Saints shut out the Buccaneers 9-0 on Sunday Night Football after closing as 11.5-point road underdogs and + 450 on the money line. The game stayed waaaaay Under the betting total of 46 points as there were no touchdowns scored (200-1 odds on “no TDs” at the Westgate SuperBook). Faves went 6-4 SU on Sunday, but dogs actually led 6-4 ATS with the Jets and Ravens covering in SU losses. Home/road teams split 5-5 SU and ATS on the day while Unders led 7-3.

More NFL: Faves are 132-84-1 SU on the season with 3 games closing pick-'em, but dogs still lead 115-101-1 ATS (53.2 percent). Road teams are 111-105-1 SU with 3 neutral-site games and also lead 122-94-1 ATS (56.5 percent). Unders lead 121-97-2 (55.5 percent) while primetime Unders improved to 24-20-1.

Even more NFL: In Sunday’s early games, the Lions (+ 13 and + 540 money line) shocked the Cardinals 30-12, but the bigger surprise is probably that the result was never really in doubt as it was a beat-down from start to finish. Faves went 4-2 SU in the early games, but 3-3 ATS as the Jets (+ 10) covered in a 31-24 loss at the Dolphins. The Texans (+ 6, + 220 money line at Jaguars) was the other outright upset in addition to the Lions. Home teams also went 4-2 SU and 3-3 ATS. Unders went 4-2. In the “afternoon” games, faves were 2-1 SU but dogs led 2-1 ATS as the Ravens (+ 9) covered in a 31-30 loss vs. the Packers as they failed again on a late 2-point conversion going for the win. Road teams led 2-1 SU but home teams led 2-1 ATS (again, the difference being the Ravens covering as home dogs) while Unders led 2-1. In the other afternoon games, the Bengals (+ 3) upset the Broncos 15-10 and the 49ers (-8.5) covered in a 31-13 win vs. the Falcons.

NBA: Faves/dogs split 3-3 SU on Sunday, but underdogs led 4-2 ATS as the Lakers (+ 7) covered in a 105-100 loss at the Bulls. The outright upsets were by the Kings (+ 4.5 vs. Spurs), Blazers (+ 4.5 at Grizzlies) and Pistons (+ 6.5 vs. Heat). Overs went 4-2. Dogs lead 71-59-2 ATS (54.6 percent) so far in December with 1 game closing pick-’em. Overs improved to 73-58-2 (55.7 percent) in December, cutting Unders' lead on the season to 236-210-6 (52.9 percent).

CBB: No. 11 Iowa State beat Southeastern Louisiana 77-54 and also covered as a 22-point home favorite. The game stayed Under the betting total of 135.5. No. 17 Texas beat Stanford 60-53 but did NOT cover as a 10.5-point fave. This game also stayed Under the total of 129.

NHL: Faves went 3-1 Sunday with 4 more games postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. The lone upset was pulled by the Kings (+ 200 in 3-2 win at the Capitals). The Jets were the only fave to cover the -1.5 puck line. Over/Unders split 2-2.

Contest Corner

CircaSurvivor is down to 16 live entries after 1 was eliminated with the Buccaneers' loss on Sunday Night Football. That was actually the contestant using the alias "Roll the Iron Dice," who was the last contestant with 2 live entries. They used 49ers earlier on Sunday and are still alive among the 16 solo entrants remaining that are playing for the $6 million prize. Early Sunday, 5 were eliminated on the Cardinals and 1 on the Jaguars. Twelve of the 23 Survivors entering the weekend used the Dolphins and had to sweat as the Dolphins needed to rally to beat the Jets 31-24. One sole Survivor still needs to advance with the Vikings on Monday Night Football. The remaining contestants will have to pick a winner in a special “Christmas Week” that includes the Thursday night game this week and the 2 games on Christmas Day. Then, the Survivors will need to pick a winner on the Sunday/Monday slate of Week 16.

Circa Sports Million Top 5 Most-Selected Teams are 3-1 so far in Week 15 (39-35 on the season) with Vikings -3.5 pending on Monday Night Football. Wins were on the Colts -2 vs. the Patriots, Bills -10.5 vs. the Panthers and Steelers pick-'em vs. the Titans. The only loss so far was on the No. 1 choice, Packers -5.5 at Ravens in 31-30 victory

SuperContest Top 5 Most-Selected Teams went 3-2 in Week 15 (34-40-1 on season). The wins were on the Steelers + 1.5 vs. Titans, Bills -10.5 vs. Panthers and Bengals + 2.5 at Broncos. Losses were on the Packers -5.5 at the Ravens and Patriots + 2.5 at the Colts. SuperContest Gold Top 5 is 2-1 (40-34-2 on the season) with the Browns + 1.5 vs. the Raiders and the Vikings -4 at the Bears both on Monday

Monday’s Take

Two-team, 6 point teaser with Raiders + 9 and Vikings -0.5: This wasn’t included in our original teaser strategy portfolio as the Raiders-Browns game was supposed to take place on Saturday (and the Raiders were favored at one point with so many Browns in the COVID protocol) and the Vikings were only favored by 3.5 to 4.5 points earlier in the week when I was making my plays. Now, the Raiders are 3-point underdogs at the Browns and I feel that oddsmakers have adjusted too much in the other direction. The Raiders are in disarray, so I don’t trust them enough to take + 3, but I can tease them up over a touchdown. The Vikings are now up to 6.5-point road faves at the Bears, so we can tease them down to -0.5 and just need them to win straight-up. (Monday afternoon update: with the line flipping back to the Raiders being favored, I would now recommend Browns + 8.5 or + 9 as the first leg of the teaser, but truth be told there's a good chance it cashes either way).

Good luck today (and every day!).


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