My poor wife thought she was done being a “football widow” with the end of the NFL regular season, but with this three-day wild-card weekend, I’m away from the Tuley’s Takes home office even more than usual!
Sunday was another fun day with the NFL tripleheader, though the middle game – the 49ers’ upset of the Cowboys – provided the only real drama. I’ve been receiving quite a few comments from friends and readers having pity on me because favorites have dominated at 4-1 ATS, but this is where I feel the “dog-or-pass” approach shows its worth as I’ve made money in three of the five games. I didn’t like the Raiders against the Bengals, so I just bet Under 49. Speaking of 49, obviously I won with the 49ers’ upset on Sunday. I also obviously lost with the Patriots on Saturday and the Steelers on Sunday, but I didn’t like the Eagles against the Buccaneers on Sunday and went with my top recommended two-team, 6-point teaser with the Buccaneers -2.5 (eventually got an even strong Bucs -1.5 on Sunday) to the 49ers + 9 to easily win both sides.
So, you see it comes down to making the right decisions. I’m sure chalk bettors are doing better overall, but I’m actually quite proud to be ahead in the face of the faves’ 4-1 ATS mark.
We’ll see if we can get another dog to come through in Monday night’s finale, but first let’s recap the rest of Sunday’s betting action.
NFL: Buccaneers routed the Eagles 31-15 as the game was not as close as the final score indicated). The Bucs easily covered after closing as 7.5-point home favorites and the game stayed just Under closing total of 47.5 points. 49ers beat the Cowboys 23-17 after closing as 3.5-point road dogs and + 160 on the money line for the 1st upset of these playoffs. This game stayed Under 51.5). In the nightcap, the Chiefs routed the Steelers 42-21 as they comfortably covered after closing as 12-point home faves with the game flying Over 46.5).
More NFL: Faves went 2-1 SU and ATS on the day. Unders went 2-1. Faves are 4-1 SU and ATS so far heading into Monday night's finale with the only upset so far being by the 49ers. Unders lead 3-2.
Even more NFL: After the 49ers’ upset, the first divisional playoff matchup was set and the Packers opened as 4.5-point home favorites over the 49ers at William Hill at 6:36 p.m. PT. The Westgate SuperBook opened four minutes later at Packers -5.5 and WIlliam Hill quickly went to Packers -5. Most other books were at 5 or 5.5 overnight with the Over/Under at a consensus 47.5.
During the fourth quarter of the Chiefs’ win, Westgate opened the Chiefs as 2.5-point home favorites vs. the Bills (in less than 2 minutes, it was lowered to Chiefs -2) with an Over/Under of 53.5 while the Titans opened as 2.5-point home faves vs. the Bengals with O/U at 46 (quickly bet up to 46.5 and then 47 at most books overnight) and then the Titans were bet across the key number of 3 to -3.5 at just about every book overnight. Outside Nevada, DraftKings has gone to Titans -4.
NBA: Faves went 3-1 SU and ATS on Sunday with the Suns (-11.5) routing the Pistons 135-108, the Jazz (-5.5) routing the Nuggets 125-10 and the Timberwolves (-5) routing the Warriors 119-99. The lone upset was by the Rockets (+ 4.5) in their 118-112 win at the Kings. Overs also went 3-1.
NHL: The Canucks beat the Capitals 4-2 in the only NHL game on Sunday and they did it as + 150 road underdogs. The game went Over the consensus closing total of 5.5 goals, though some bettors pushed at books that dealt 6.
CBB: No. 16 Ohio State beat Penn State 61-56, but did NOT cover as a 10.5-point home favorite. No. 14 Villanova routed Butler 82-42, easily covering as a 15.5-point home fave.
Note: for reasons on why I like these plays, check out the regular “Tuley’s Takes” in PSW or the NFL Best Bets column at VSiN.com as we’re mostly concerned here with timing when to make our bets.
Cardinals + 4 at Rams:
I advised in Saturday’s column to take the 4 ASAP. We hope everyone following us did as it’s pretty much 3.5 now. Obviously (or at least I hope it’s obvious), I would still take the Cardinals + 3.5 early Monday morning as I give the road-warrior Cardinals (8-1 SU and ATS on the road) a great shot to win the game or at least stay within a field goal.