We’ve had some good NFL Sundays in the Tuley’s Takes home office with dogs barking all season-long, but this Sunday might have topped them all.
We went 4-1 ATS on the VSiN NFL Best Bets page in Point Spread Weekly and 3-0 ATS with our top plays posted in these “Tuley’s Takes Today’s” columns on the Broncos, VIkings and Titans (the Chiefs was the fourth “winner” in PSW, though that was posted at pick-’em before Aaron Rodgers was declared out after testing positive for COVID). In addition, our teaser portfolio continued to pay dividends as we won with every combination we listed with the Chiefs (teasing down to -1.5 after the line went to -7.5), Browns, Giants, Eagles and Cardinals. Even if you didn’t follow along with all of our recommendations on Sunday, hopefully you used enough of them to make it a profitable day for you as well.
As for the contests, fortunately I subbed in the Falcons for the Chiefs (which were adjusted to -7 and -7.5 in the SuperContest and Circa Sports Million, respectively) and went 4-1 in all my major contest entries (the loss was on the Jets on Thursday Night Football).
So, let’s recap Sunday’s betting action in football, basketball and hockey. I’ll then update the Las Vegas football contests, including Circa Survivor, which saw a ton of eliminations for the second week in a row, followed by my “Takeaways” on Week 9 and then a best best for Monday Night Football.
NFL: Titans upset Rams 28-16 on Sunday Night Football as 7-point road underdogs and + 290 on the money line (the game stayed Under the betting total of 53.5). Dogs went 9-3 ATS on Sunday with 7 outright upsets (Jaguars, Broncos, Falcons, Giants, Browns, Cardinals and Titans). There's still a lack of home-field advantage as road teams went 7-5 SU and 9-3 ATS on Sunday. Unders went 7-5 on Sunday. Including Thursday Night Football, dogs are 9-4 ATS in Week 9 heading into Monday Night Football, road teams are also 9-4 ATS while Overs lead 7-6.
More NFL: On the season, faves are 78-54 SU with 3 games closing pick-’em, but dogs lead 75-56-1 ATS (57.3 percent). Road teams are 71-61 SU with 3 neutral-site games and also lead 76-55-1 ATS (58 percent). Unders lead 73-60-2 (54.9 percent) while primetime Overs are now just 13-12-1 (after 6-0 start)
NBA: Underdogs went 5-3 SU on Sunday with upsets by the Magic (+ 11 vs. Jazz), Cavaliers (+ 7.5 at Knicks), Thunder (+ 3.5 vs. Spurs), Pacers (+ 2.5 at Kings) and Wizards (+ 1 vs. Bucks), plus 5-2-1 ATS as Rockets (+ 13) pushed in their 120-107 loss at the Warriors. Over/Unders split 4-4 on Sunday, but Unders still lead 91-54-1 (62.8 percent).
NHL: Underdogs went 3-0 with the Predators-Blackhawks and Islanders-Wild both closing consensus pick-'em. The upsets were by Ducks (+ 134 vs. Blues), Red Wings (-105 vs. Golden Knights) and Canucks (-105 vs. Stars), so you can see 2 other games closed close to PK; Overs went 3-2.
CircaSurvivor is down to 686 live entries after Sunday's eliminations: Bills (249), Saints (122), Cowboys (111), Rams (11), Raiders (5), 49ers (2) and Bengals (1) for a total of 501 (plus 1 "no pick"). There are still 151 who need to through Week 9 with the Steelers on Monday Night Football.
CIrca Sports Million Top 5 Most-Selected Teams went 3-2 in Week 9 (27-18 on season) with wins on the Chargers -1.5, Patriots -3.5 and Packers + 7.5. Losses were on the 49ers + 1, which was the No. 1 choice of the week as the market was 49ers -3 by Saturday’s submission deadline and closed -5.5) and Bengals -2.5.
SuperContest Top 5 Most-Selected Teams went 2-3 in Week 9 (23-21-1 on season) with wins on the Chargers -1.5 and Patriots-3.5 but losses on the 49ers + 1.5 (was 49ers -3 when most picks were submitted and closed -5.5), Bengals -2.5 and Texans + 6.5. SuperContest Gold Top 5 also went 2-3 (24-20-2 on season) with wins on the Browns + 2.5 and Vikings + 6 but losses on the 49ers + 1.5, Texans + 6.5 and Rams -7.5.
I’m going to keep these short-and-sweet as I’m pretty exhausted after two full days of football, which also overlapped with two full days of horse racing action with the Breeders’ Cup. I feel like I’ve run a marathon. Besides, I’m kind of repeating myself with some of these observations, but they keep ringing true so I’m going to keep sharing them with our readers. The general public keeps doing what it almost always does: bet favorites and Overs, but hopefully we’ve been showing you how it pays to go contrarian.
1. We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it: parity is alive and well in the NFL. Every week, we hear the so-called experts lauding how great the top teams are (Chiefs, Bills, Rams, Cowboys, Packers as well as other teams that they jump on the bandwagon with) and making fun of the Jaguars, Jets, Texans, Lions and even the Falcons at times. However, on Sunday, the lowly Jaguars were beating the mighty Bills. I mean, we’ve seen the Lions nearly beat the Ravens, the Jets beat the Titans and the Bengals and many close calls, yet most people continue to bet the same way with these big favorites. But, hey, we’re not complaining. It’s what makes our dog-or-pass approach so successful over the long haul.
2. We continue to point out that home-field advantage is negligible at best. Sure, there are times even I will say I like a team because it’s at home (usually a home dog) and you’ll hear players credit its hometown fans with willing them to a big win, but the numbers show that road teams have had very little trouble winning in even the most hostile environments, so don’t make the mistake of giving teams too many points for being at home. In fact, since oddsmakers and the public still feel they have to upgrade a team at home, that’s usually a few points we’re getting on road underdogs.
3. The public also loves to bet Overs (it’s more fun to cheer for scoring), especially with the high-scoring popular teams. but Unders have been the way to go. Oddsmakers continue to shade these totals a few points higher as they know that’s the way the public is going to bet, so that gives us value when we find an Under to bet … as is the case on MNF!
Bears-Steelers Under 39: I didn’t have a play in this game when we were putting Point Spread Weekly together last week and haven’t made a pick on it anywhere, but the more I’ve thought about it over the weekend, the more I love the Under.
We missed the Under 40 that was available last week, but that’s OK. This is the lowest total of Week 9, but sometimes oddsmakers can’t make a total low enough. Justin Fields is improving for the Bears, but they’re still No. 32 in total offense, last in the league at just 264 yards per game, and average just 15.4 points per game. Now, they face the Steelers’ tough defense. When they’ve faced other top defenses, they’ve scored 6 points vs. the Browns and 3 points vs. the Buccaneers, so I’m not expecting Fields to have his breakout game on Monday night.
Meanwhile, the Steelers’ offense isn’t any great shakes either at No. 24 in yards per game and averaging just 18.9 points per game.
I have this as around a 17-13 or 20-16 victory for Pittsburgh. I wouldn’t talk anyone out of taking the Bears + 7 in a relatively low-scoring, defensive battle (by today’s NFL standards), but I see the Under as the stronger play.
Good luck today (and every day!).