Sunday was another great day in the Tuley’s Takes home office. Full disclosure: When I was composing this during Sunday Night Football, I originally concluded this paragraph with “at least it started that way!” as I didn’t expect the Steelers to cover as 6.5-point underdogs when trailing by 17 points, but Sunday ended great, too!
We went 3-1 ATS with our best bets from Point Spread Weekly (and repeated here as we update our plays during the week, so we time them right to get the best lines) as the Washington Football Team, Colts and Lions covered (with Football Team and Colts both putting outright upsets), plus I also won a personal bet on the Texans against the Titans (I hinted at it in PSW, but ended up not adding it as an official play).
Those were all in the early games. We lost with the Cowboys in the afternoon session (ironically, it was the dog I liked best of all my picks this weekend; strange how that works sometimes) and was worried about the Steelers on Sunday night (which I didn’t take in PSW, but added in this column on Sunday morning), but it all worked out for yours truly. However, my teaser portfolio didn’t come through like it usually does as the Saints, Cowboys, Raiders and Seahawks weren’t able to even cover the teaser spread.
But, all in all, we still had a winning day and are 3-1 on most of our contests entries at Circa and the Westgate heading into Monday Night Football (I did have a group ticket go 5-0 at Circa as fortunately we didn’t use the Cowboys). We hope our readers had a profitable day as well.
Before getting to Monday night’s “take,” let’s get to our nightly recaps of all the betting results from Sunday, including a look at the consensus plays in Contest Corner as well as a Circa Survivor update, and then I’ll give my top takeaways from watching Sunday’s action.
NFL: Chargers (6.5-point home favorites) outlasted Steelers 41-37 on Sunday Night Football, but did NOT cover. The game flew Over 47.5. Faves went 8-5 SU on Sunday, but dogs led 7-6 ATS (Steelers joined Lions as only teams to cover in SU losses. The upsets were by the Colts, Washington Football Team, Texans, Vikings and Cardinals. Road teams went 8-5 SU and 10-3 ATS on Sunday. Unders went 8-5.
More NFL: Faves now lead 95-65-1 SU on the season with 3 games closing pick-'em, but dogs still lead 92-68-1 ATS (57.5 percent). Road teams lead 85-75-1 SU with 3 neutral-site games and also lead 96-64-1 ATS (60 percent) as home-field advantage continues to be negligible. Unders lead 91-71-2 (56.2 percent).
Even more NFL: In Sunday’s early games, faves went 5-4 SU but dogs led 5-4 ATS as the Lions covered as 12.5-point road dogs in their 13-10 loss at the Browns. In another point-spread of note, the Ravens closed as 1.5-point road faves at the Bears and ended up covering in a 16-13 win (the Ravens didn't cover earlier numbers of around -4.5 to -6 – including in most contests – that were on the board before Lamar Jackson was declared out). Road teams went 6-3 SU and 7-2 ATS in the early games. Unders led 5-4. In the afternoon session of games (4:05 and 4:25 p.m. ET/ 1:05 and 1:25 p.m. PT kickoffs), faves went 2-1 SU and ATS with the Bengals (-2 in 32-13 win at Raiders) and Chiefs (-2.5 in 19-9 win vs. Cowboys) covering. The upset was by the Cardinals (closed + 4.5 in 23-13 win at Seahawks after being favored before Kyler Murray was declared out). Road teams were 2-1 SU and ATS in the afternoon session while Unders were a perfect 3-0.
NBA: Faves went 5-0 SU on Sunday and 4-1 ATS as the only dog to cover was the Pistons (+ 7 in 121-116 home loss vs. Lakers). Clippers (-5.5 vs. Mavericks), Suns (-11 vs. Nuggets), Bulls (-5.5 vs. Knicks) and Warriors (-8.5 vs. Raptors) all covered. Overs went 3-2, but Unders still lead 148-102-3 (59.2 percent) on the season.
CBB: Arizona routed No. 4 Michigan 80-62 Sunday night as 3.5-point dog and + 150 on ML at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in the Roman Main Event title game at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. title game.The game stayed Under 146.5. Earlier in the Hall of Fame Basketball Tip Off at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., No. 6 Purdue (-2) beat No. 5 Villanova 80-74, but it was NOT an upset, and No. 17 Tennessee (-2.5) beat No. 18 North Carolina 89-72.
Underdogs went 4-3 Sunday with upsets by the Flames (+ 149 in 4-0 win at Bruins), Blackhawks (+ 124 in 1-0 win at Canucks), Kraken (+ 102 in 5-2 win vs. Capitals) and Coyotes (+ 210 in 2-1 OT win at Kings); Unders also went 4-3.
Circa Survivor is down to 134 live entries after 38 were eliminated with the Titans' 22-13 loss to the Texans and 1 by the Panthers' 27-21 loss to Washington. On Sunday Night Football, 5 barely survived with the Chargers while 22 still need the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football to survive and advance.
Circa Sports Million Top 5 Most-Selected Teams went 3-2 in NFL Week 11 (32-23 on the season) as the Colts + 7 at Bills, Vikings + 1.5 vs. Packers and Dolphins -3 at Jets were winners. Ravens -4.5 at Bears (the contest line before anyone knew Lamar Jackson wouldn’t start) and Seahawks + 2 vs. Cardinals were the losers.
SuperContest Top 5 went 2-3 in NFL Week 11 (dropping to 27-27-1 on season) as Vikings + 2 (No. 1 choice) and Colts + 7 won. The losers were Seahawks + 2.5, Cowboys + 2.5 and BAL -5. SuperContestGold Top 5 went 2-4 (dropping to 30-26-2) as Browns and Cowboys both lost after tying for the No. 5 spot. Note: that’s also why there’s more games in the SC Gold Top 5 season record.
1. Parity is alive and well in the NFL. I’ve written it before and I’ll continue as long as the dogs are barking (and covering at a 57.5-percent clip). The Texans upset the Titans 22-13 on Sunday as 10-point dogs, the fifth such double-digit dog to win outright the last four weeks after we didn’t have any dog of more than a TD win outright the first eight weeks. The huge upsets obviously grab the headlines, but the real news is that dogs are covering at such a high rate. My dog-or-pass approach has certainly been paying off this NFL season, but I honestly believe it’s the best approach to win at sports betting. We all know that the vast majority of sports bettors lose and most bettors love to bet chalk – you do the math. In the long run, it pays to be on the side that the house needs, which is more often than not the dog side. I’ve had hundreds if not thousands of readers thank me over the years for getting them to bet more dogs. Maybe they’re not all winning bettors, but I’m sure they’re at least losing less. I’ve had my skeptics over the years saying you can’t just bet dogs and win because “favorites cover, too,” but I always try to stress that I don’t bet every dog. The key is still to be selective. Fave and dogs were 6-6 ATS during the NFL’s day games on Sunday, a fairly common split, but we were able to go 3-1 ATS by finding the right dogs. Even in weeks where faves go 9-5 or so ATS, there’s still enough dogs out there to be able to have a winning record if being selective. And for anyone saying “if you convert all bettors to dog bettors, there won’t be any more dogs to bet,” I just have to say that I’m only trying to convert our loyal readers . . . there’s plenty of chalk-eaters out there to keep overbetting the favorite and giving us points to take!
2. It also bears repeating that road teams are 9-5 SU and 11-3 ATS so far in Week 11 and still dominating on the season as home-field advantage is virtually non-existent (earlier, I wrote “home-field advantage is negligible,” but I think I was being too kind). I’m sure the Eagles, VIkings and Chiefs would say their fans carried them to victory on Sunday, but the fact is that every other home team failed to cover so far this weekend. And the Browns and Chargers were the only two other home teams to win straight-up (though they didn’t cover either). Fans are back in the stands this year, but it hasn’t shown up in any measurable way. It’s as if these games are being played in crowdless arenas like we saw last year.
3. We’ve been waiting all season for offenses to kick in and for Overs to catch up to Unders, but it just hasn’t happened. Unders are 9-5 heading into Monday Night Football and Week 5 (when Overs went 10-6) remains the only week so far this season that Overs have been above .500. Again, it’s interesting to note that the public usually prefers betting Overs rather than Unders.
4. QB news affected a couple of lines this past week, but again we saw the market overreact. Tim Boyle replaced Jared Goff for the Lions and a lot of people jumped on the Browns, who ended up beating the Lions 13-10 as 12.5-point favorites but failing to cover. Lamar Jackson was unable to start for the Ravens and was replaced by Tyler Huntley. The line dropped from Ravens -5 to Ravens -1, yet they ended up beating the Bears 16-13 and covering against the adjusted line. The Cardinals were favored over the Seahawks until Kyler Murray was declared out and the Seahawks became the betting favorites (and among the Top 5 consensus plays at CIrca and the Westgate), yet the Cardinals won 23-13 with Colt McCoy. More often than not, the point spread will be overadjusted, so don’t be on the side that the public is jumping on. Again, you want to be contrarian to public opinion.
Giants + 11 at Buccaneers: A few books have dipped to 10.5. I was holding out hope that the public would bet it higher over the weekend, but 11 is good enough for me. The advance line was actually Buccaneers -12.5 last week before they were upset 29-19 by Washington. Despite the downward adjustment, I’m still on the Giants as I have this line as closer to a touchdown. The Bucs (6-3) aren’t as dominant as everyone expected them to be in defense of their title and they’re actually a woeful 3-6 ATS as they failed to cover in wins over the Cowboys, Patriots and Eagles in addition to their upset losses to the Rams, Saints and Washington. The Giants, while only 3-6, have been competitive in most games, including losing just 30-29 to that same Football Team, beating the Saints (who beat the Bucs) and covering in a loss to the Chiefs. The Giants are also hoping to get RB Saquon Barkley back, which should provide a spark against a Tampa defense that is suddenly looking vulnerable after allowing 36 to the Saints and 29 to Washington. Gimme the points.
Good luck today (and every day!).