Thursday was a pretty interesting day in the Tuley’s Takes home office. My initial feeling when I woke up was disappointment as we had lost with our best bet on the Auburn-Mississippi State Under 141,5 the night before to end our 15-1-1 ATS run the prior 17 days since the Super Bowl. I mean, 15-2-1 ATS is still pretty good, but it was nice to just have that one loss.
However, the more texts and emails I received, the more it seemed like I was getting more praise and respect from losing that bet on a bad beat (the game stayed more than 20 points Under the total in regulation before going Over in overtime and losing our wager) than I had after most of the prior wins.
After waiting most of the day, we finally were able to watch Thursday’s Best Bet – TCU + 11 at Kansas as given out in yesterday’s column, while most people should have been able to get TCU + 12. The Horned Frogs, who had just beaten the Jayhawks on Monday, mostly stuck around, though Kansas did lead by as many as 9 points in the first half. But TCU fought back and actually led early in the second half before holding on for the cover in the 72-68 loss.
That improved us to 16-2-1 ATS the past 19 days. We did split our secondary plays on Iowa and Michigan State as well as splitting our two NHL First-Period Overs, but at least we won our Best Bet.
For those wondering why I haven’t jumped in on the college basketball conference tournaments yet, I wrote in Point Spread Weekly that I’ve had a lot of success over the years by betting teams that are on the bubble (or trying to steal automatic bids), especially when facing teams that are sure to get at-large bids even if they don’t win their conference title. So far this week, we’ve been mostly seeing the dregs of the smaller conferences and not facing their top teams yet. I’ve got my eyes on some plays coming this weekend if certain matchups happen, so keep checking these columns each morning at VSiN.com
Let’s recap the rest of Thursday night’s betting action and then try to continue our winning ways on Friday with a return to the NBA and some more NHL 1P Overs for those following those plays as well.
NBA: Faves went 4-3 SU and ATS Thursday with the upsets by the Heat (+ 3 in a 113-107 win at the Nets in Kevin Durant's return and without Jimmy Butler), Kings (+ 6.5 in 115-112 win at the Spurs) and Pistons (+ 8 in 108-106 win at the Raptors). The Hawks (-2 vs. Bulls), Celtics (-2.5 vs. Grizzlies), Mavericks (-1.5 vs. Warriors) and Clippers (-2 vs. Lakers) covered in their wins. Overs also 4-3.
CBB: No. 24 Iowa (+ 2) upset Michigan 82-71 as ranked teams went 6-0 SU (Iowa was the only dog) but only went 3-3 ATS as No. 2 Arizona (-18.5 in 81-69 win vs. Stanford), No. 6 Kansas (-12 in 72-68 win vs. TCU) and No. 20 Illinois (-12.5 in 60-55 win vs. Penn State) failed to cover in their wins.
NHL: Dogs went 6-3 with upsets by the Canadiens (+ 330 at Flames), Coyotes (+ 320 vs. Avalanche), Penguins (+ 150 at Lightning), Blackhawks (+ 125 vs. Oilers), Capitals (+ 110 vs. Hurricanes) and Canucks (-105 at Islanders). Overs went 5-3-1 with the push in the Penguins-Lightning game with an Over/Under of 6 goals.
Rockets + 13.5 at Nuggets: This is an “anti-swagger” play against the Nuggets as we’re fading them after having their 6-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night. The problem is we have to push our faith in the Rockets, who are on an 11-game losing streak of their own. But I’ve always had to tell readers who’ve questioned the “swagger” and “anti-swagger” that it often feels counter-intuitive as we’re usually either fading teams that have been hot or backing teams that have been dreadful – this just is a double-whammy, but we have to trust the process. Besides, the Rockets – despite losing all those games straight-up – are actually 3-3 ATS in their last 6 games, including covering as 16.5-point dogs at the Suns on Feb. 16 and then taking the Jazz to OT on Tuesday before falling 132-127, but covering as 15.5-point dogs. In addition, they lost by less than this number when the Nuggets beat them 124-111 in Houston, and their previous meeting in Denver was just a 95-94 win by the Nuggets. So, we’re going to trust the process.
Wild-Sabres First-Period Over 1.5 -155 (BetMGM and DraftKings): This is my clear-cut favorite 1P Crack play on Friday. The Wild as the No. 2 1P Over team at 35-17 on the season (67.3 percent) while the Sabres are a solid 30-25 (54.3 percent) for a very appealing 65-42 combined (60.7 percent). As my VSiN colleague Pauly Howard says, the Devils are the gift that keeps on giving with their 1P Overs (No. 3 in the league at 36-18 behind the Panthers and Wild); however, the Devils are facing the Rangers, who are the worst 1P Over team (or the best 1P Under team at 34-20), so they cancel each other out, so I’m passing on the Devils on all those bets for Friday. The other potential 1P Over plays are facing Under teams as well, so I’m just playing this straight.
Good luck today (and every day!).