Tuley's Takes Today: Sunday recaps, Contest Corner, Monday pick (10/18)

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

October 18, 2021 04:54 AM

NFL Sundays never fail to disappoint here in the Tuley’s Takes home office, even for a dog-or-pass bettor like me when favorites went 9-3 SU and 8-4 ATS.

Thanks to all my friends and longtime readers who make wellness calls to me when favorites went 7-0 SU and ATS in the early window of games. I had already started the day earlier with the Jaguars in the London game, so even though we lost with the Texans, Bears, Chargers and Giants, we were still doing great with our teasers carried over from Thursday Night Football (the Buccaneers didn’t cover the 7-point spread in their 28-22 win over the Eagles, but they did cash in 6-point teasers) as the Jaguars and Chiefs continued those winning ways. While my tickets using the Chargers crashed-and-burned, the afternoon games was even better with the Cardinals and Raiders winning outright and carried over into the nightcap with the Seahawks covering against the Steelers. I’m pretty sure chalk bettors had a winning Sunday, but I’m hoping our followers here did nearly as well thanks to teasers.

Let’s get to the general betting recaps from Sunday, then I give my Takeaways from the weekend action as well as a peak in Contest Corner before trying to find a winner for Monday.

Sunday’s recaps

NFL: Steelers beat Seahawks 23-20 in OT on Sunday Night Football, but did NOT cover as 5.5-point home favorites. The game pushed on the closing total of 43 points. Favorites went 9-3 SU on Sunday, but 8-4 ATS with the Steelers' non-cover. Unders went 6-4-2 on the day with the other push on Rams-Giants (49). Including Buccaneers' non-covering win on Thursday Night Football as road favorites (and it stayed Under), faves are 10-3 SU so far in Week 6 heading into Monday Night Football, but just 8-5 ATS. On the season, faves are 57-34 with 2 pick-'ems, but dogs still lead 49-42 ATS (53.8 percent). Road teams are 9-3 SU and ATS so far in Week 6 (London game not counted) and improved to 50-40 SU (55.6 percent) and 53-37 (58.9 percent). Unders are 7-4-2 so far in Week 6 and lead 50-41-2 (54.9 percent). 

More NFL: Sunday started with the Jaguars beating the Dolphins 23-20 to snap a 20-game losing streak after closing as 2-point neutral-site underdogs in London. The game stayed Under 47.5. Then, favorites went 7-0 SU and ATS in the 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT kickoffs (yep, not a single dog even covered). Five were road faves (Packers, Chiefs, Vikings, Bengals and Rams). In the “afternoon session” (4 p.m. hour ET/1 p.m. hour PT), Cowboys beat Patriots 35-29 in OT on Dak Prescott-to-CeeDee Lamb TD pass. The Cowboys also ended up covering as 4-point road favorites with the TD instead of a FG. That also improved the Cowboys to 6-0 ATS as the only NFL team to cover the spread every week so far.

MLB: Braves (+ 157 home dogs) beat Dodgers 5-4 to take a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series. The game went Over 7.5 runs. Faves and dogs are tied 2-2 in this round, home teams lead 3-1, Overs lead 3-1. In LDS & LCS rounds, faves still lead 14-7 in playoffs, home teams lead 14-7 and Overs improved to 12-9. If you want to include the two wild-card games, faves are 15-8 overall, home teams are 16-7 and Overs lead 12-10-1.

NHL: Senators beat the Stars 3-2 in the lone NHL game (after a 14-game card on Saturday). The Senators did it as + 120 home underdogs as the game stayed Under the betting total of 5.5 goals.

Contest Corner

Circa Sports Million Top 5 Most-Selected Teams went 4-1 in NFL Week 6 (19-11 on season) with Browns -3 (the No. 1 choice) losing, but Packers -4.5, Cowboys -3.5 (on TD in overtime), Chiefs -6.5 and Vikings -1 all covering as favorites. 

Circa Survivor has lost only 42 this week (including 10 "no picks"); 2,226 are alive, including 1,185 (more than half) that used the Colts. A total of 2,224 have moved on to Week 7 with 2 using the Bills on Monday Night Football. The eliminations were: Broncos (19), Dolphins (7), Browns (4) and Lions (2).

SuperContest Top 5 Most-Selected Teams went 3-2 in NFL Week 6 (15-14-1 on season) with CLE -3 (the No. 1 choice) losing along with Chargers + 3. Wins were by the Packers -4.5, Cowboys -3.5 and Chiefs -6.5. SuperContest Gold Top 5 went 3-2 (15-14-2 on season) with wins on Jaguars + 3.5, Packers -4.5 and Vikings -1.5 while the losses were on the Browns -3 and Patriots + 3.5.

Tuley’s NFL Takeaways

1. The public, which tends to load up on favorites, had a big day Sunday as detailed above, especially those who combined their plays in parlays and teasers. This was bound to happen at some point as underdogs had been dominated so far this season, with favorites going 9-7 ATS in Week 5 the only other week where the chalk came out ahead. Even in years that have been dubbed “the Year of the Dog,” they only hit in the upper 50s. You never see dogs (or faves) hitting at 60 or 70 percent over the long run, so there’s going to be “market corrections along the way. Though the short-term results aren’t pleasant (and this time we were able to weather the storm by diversifying our portfolio with teasers, which this week included the favored Bucs, Chiefs and we even added the Rams when their line against the Giants dropped to -8.5 and even -7.5, so we could tease them under a touchdown), we see weeks like this as necessary so that the public keeps betting the way it does. If dogs cashed all the time, our opportunities would dry up as books would have to reduce the points on dogs to the point of making them unbeatable.

2. All that being said, the road team trend (aka the lack of home-field advantage) continues as they are 50-40 SU (55.6 percent) and 53-37 (58.9 percent) so far on the season. Of course, a lot of those were road favorites in Week 6 as they went 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS with the Bucs the only road fave not to cover. 

3. It bears repeating that teasers have been the way to go. But it should be stated that all teasers are not created equal. When you take a 6-point teaser and adjust the spread 6 points in your favor, you’re basically buying those 6 points, so that’s why we always say to take teasers that capture the key numbers of 3 and 7 as those are the most common margins of victory in the NFL. You don’t want to tease through dead numbers that aren’t as likely to land since you’re overpaying for those numbers. A common error – and I’ve been guilty of this, but I try to avoid it and I mostly do it when a 2.5-point underdog like the Cardinals (a prime teaser spot) drifts up to + 3 or + 3.5 and I decide to do it anyway). There’s a big difference between a 2.5- and 3.5-point underdog. If a line is just 2.5, the oddsmaker is telling you there’s not that much difference between these two teams and not enough to move the line to 3. While a 3.5-point favorite is a much stronger fave as the bookmaker has deemed it so by making chalk bettors lay more than a field goal, so we shouldn’t be fading those as much. Case in point was the Lions + 3.5, who we avoided in our teaser and felt vindicated with the Bengals’ 34-11 rout. 

Monday’s Take

Astros (+ 108) at Red Sox: I don’t have any bets on Monday Night Football (I don’t feel the Titans are getting enough points to make them worth fading the Bills). I wrote last week how I like the Astros in the series, and I believe the time to jump in on them is as road underdogs in Game 3 on Monday night. The Red Sox evened the series with a 9-5 win on Saturday thanks to two grand slams, but while grannies are great, I still regard the Astros as having the better offense that will prevail over the seven-game series. We get Jose Urquidy (8-3, 3.62 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) facing off against Eduardo Rodriguez (13-9,, 4.79 ERA, 1.38 WHIP), so we’re expecting the Astros’ bats to come alive and be pelting the Green Monsters with line drives all night long. The Astros are 6-3 overall against the Red Sox this year, and they’re 2-1 in the games at Fenway with runs scored of 8, 8 and 7. 

Good luck today (and every day!).

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