Here in the Tuley’s Takes home office we believe that the Thursday of Championship Week should be a national holiday just like the Monday after the Super Bowl.
Wow, that was a lot of betting action with all the wall-to-wall college basketball tournament games (60 by our count), even with the NBA only having two games on its schedule as it stepped aside for the youngsters.
We were personally having a great day until our Best Bet of the Day, Virginia + 3.5 vs. North Carolina, failed to show up with only 13 points in the first half and lost 63-43 to drop our record with top plays to 18-7-1 ATS (72 percent) the past 26 days.
But at least we swept the rest of our plays with Virginia Tech (pick-’em, though some books had the Hokies at -1 or -1.5) in an 87-80 upset of Notre Dame in the ACC and Oklahoma (+ 8.5) in a 72-67 upset of Baylor. In addition, we also went 3-0 with our recommended NHL First-Period Over plays as Jets-Devils (which we stated as our preferred play), Flyers-Panthers and Coyotes-Maple Leafs all went Over 1.5 goals in the first period, so whether you played them straight or used in parlays or round-robins, those were all winners.
On Thursday, I replied to an email from regular TTT reader Martin E. of Tampa, Fla., about how I weigh my bets. After explaining that I’m mostly a “bet is a bet” guy who recommends betting 1 unit on most plays, I admitted that in the real world I do usually bet a little more on my “best bet” of the day. Regardless, we still had a profitable day on Thursday and hope our readers did as well.
Let’s get to the general recaps of Thursday’s action, and then try to keep the good times rolling on Friday and into the weekend.
NBA: Faves/dogs split 1-1 SU and ATS as the Nets (+ 4) upset the 76ers 129-100 while the Warriors (-1.5) covered in 113-102 win at Nuggets); both games on the short card stayed Under the betting total.
CBB: Thursday’s conference tournament action was highlighted by two upsets in the Big 12 with Oklahoma (+ 7.5, + 285 money line) upsetting No. 3 Baylor 72-67 and TCU (+ 5.5, + 195 ML) upsetting No. 22 Texas 65-50. Those were the only Top 25 teams to lose outright, though No. 7 Duke (-15 in 88-79 win vs. Syracuse), No. 11 Providence (-7.5 in 65-61 win vs. Butler), No. 2 Arizona (-15.5 in 84-80 win vs. Stanford), No. 8 Villanova (-7 in 66-65 win vs. St. John’s, No. 23 Colorado State (-4 in 53-51 win vs. Utah State) failed to cover the spread in their victories.
NHL: Faves went 6-2 Thursday with Lightning-Flames closing pick-’em; upsets were by the Jets (+ 110 in 2-1 win at the Devils) and Sharks (+ 170 in 4-3 OT win at the Kings). Overs went 5-3-1 with the push in the Islanders’ 6-0 win vs. the Blue Jackets with a betting total of 6 goals..
Note: all 4 of the games we projected for Friday in our weekly “Tuley’s Takes” column in Point Spread Weekly all came to pass, so here’s my order of preference:
Indiana + 5 vs. Illinois: ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi has Indiana as his “Last Team In” after Thursday's results, but that’s a tenuous spot and the Hoosiers probably still need another win or they’ll drop back to the wrong side of the bubble. They have to face Big Ten No. 1 seed Illinois, so this is a tough spot, but just like when we faded Baylor in the Big 12, I don’t have Illinois (which was just 13-17 ATS on the season) as strong as it was last year and I expect the Hoosiers put up a fight as they are still fighting for the tournament life.
Texas A/M + 9.5 vs. Auburn: The Aggies are even down Lunardi’s bubble in the “Next Four Out” so that they really need to make up ground. I’m less confident in them pulling the upset, but we believe they’ll keep it close enough getting nearly double digits. As we see in the above recaps, several Top 25 teams won Thursday but not by enough to cover their spreads.
Wyoming + 2.5 vs. Boise State: The Cowboys are in the “Last Four In,” according to Lunardi, and the top team on that list, so they have a little wiggle room as four spots above the cut. They probably still need another win or else they’ll be very nervous on Selection Sunday. Wyoming did split the season series with Boise State with each team winning on its home court. I’m encouraged by Wyoming beating UNLV on its home court in this tourney held at the Thomas and Mack Center here in Vegas.
Rutgers + 7 vs. Iowa: I’m not as confident in this play as I was earlier in the week as the Scarlet Knights are looking more solid to get into the Big Dance at a "Last Four bye" team by Lunardi (plus Iowa is a scoring machine right now). Personally, I might not even bet this one, so call it a lean.
Wild-Blue Jackets First-Period Over 1.5 -125: As for those looking for NHL First-Period Overs, there aren’t any Friday games with a game total of 6.5 goals, but we like this play as the Wild is the No. 1 team in the league at 39-17 (69.6 percent) with 1P Overs and on a 7-game streak and 18-5 in last 23 games (all betting stats via @PSUOtto on Twitter). In addition, the Blue Jackets are the No. 4 1P Over team at 38-20 (65.5 percent), so probably just playing this straight especially if other books follow suit with the -125 posted overnight at BetMGM (the only early line I’m seeing, but I would even feel OK laying around -150 or so).
Good luck today (and every day!).