Thursday was one of those days like we’ve been talking about lately where we lost our Best Bet of the day but still ended up having a profitable day because we did so well on our secondary plays.
We lost our supposed top play of the day with the Hurricanes + 110 at the Bruins as I really thought the Canes would close out their series but instead it’s heading to a decisive Game 7 on Saturday. That dropped our record to 52-36-1 ATS (59.1 percent) with our top play of the day the past 89 days (that’s coming up on 13 weeks since starting our run with the Bengals + 4.5 on Super Sunday).
But I can’t complain too much because we won with our No. 2 play (I knew I shoulda stuck with the NBA with our top pick!) with the Mavericks + 2 vs. the Suns as they forced a Game 7 in their series, plus the Yankees + 130 at the White Sox in a 15-7 slugfest and the Phillies + 130 at the Dodgers as they looked like they were going to coast to victory with a 7-1 lead in the top of the 6th inning and then had to hold on for a 9-7 victory.
The other big sports betting news on Thursday was the release of the NFL schedule along with books posting lines, led by VSiN’s parent company, DraftKings, posting lines for every game on the schedule. You can see them on the DK app, on the DraftKings.com website or on our popular “Betting Splits” page HERE https://www.vsin.com/betting-resources/daily-betting-insights-for-mlb-nba-nhl/
For years dating back to my days at the Daily Racing Form and ESPN and now here at VSiN, I would be one of the few people giving Week 1 picks right after the NFL schedule came out. This was before many of the people giving out football picks these days even knew these early odds even existed. I’ve had a ton of success over the years giving out winning Week 1 picks and, more importantly, predicting which lines were better than they would be on opening weekend (which is the only real reason to be making these bets now).
There would usually be 4 or 5 games that would jump off the page at me that should be bet ASAP as they weren’t likely to be around for long, but for some reason this year there are very few bettable games in my humble opinion. The sides I like are likely to still be available in September, so it’s not worth tying up any of my bankroll between now and then.
The one line I liked was the Cowboys + 3 vs. the Buccaneers in the Sunday night opener at William Hill books. Again, it may or may not cover on Sept. 11, but I thought that was the best line we were likely to see as several other books opened it between Buccaneers -1.5 and -2.5. However, before I could Tweet it or even bet it myself, it was bet down to 2.5. In other states, DraftKings opened the Bucs -3 but obviously anticipated this move as well as they made it Cowboys + 3 -120. It was also bet down to 2.5 there.
William Hill and DraftKings both opened with the Dolphins -2.5 -120 vs. the Patriots, but those were both bet to Dolphins -3. I guess I would recommend a play on the Dolphins if you find a book opening later at -2.5 (though I suspect most other books will now copy the -3 line).
The only other bettable game that I would recommend at this time would be the Jaguars + 4.5 at the Commanders (that’s the former Redskins aka Washington Football Team). It’s mostly offered at 3.5 or 4, but William Hill was still at 4.5 as of early Friday morning.
Let’s recap the rest of Thursday’s betting results and try to keep the overall winning going on the right track.
Mavericks (+ 2) upset Suns in 113-86 rout late Thursday night to force Game 7 in their 2nd-round series (games stayed Under betting total of 210.5 points). Earlier, the Heat (+ 2.5) upset the 76ers 99-90 to clinch their series 4-2 (stayed Under 206). Dogs went 2-0 SU and ATS on the night, home/road split 1-1 SU and ATS, zig-zag went 1-1 ATS, Unders swept 2-0.
Faves (0-4 SU and ATS last 2 days) dipped to 14-8 SU and 11-11 ATS this round, 44-21 SU and 37-28 ATS (56.9 percent) overall. Home teams are 17-5 SU and 16-6 ATS this round, 41-24 SU but just 34-31 ATS. The zig-zag is 12-6 ATS in this round and 28-25 ATS overall. Unders 13-9 in round, 40-25 (61.5 percent) overall.
Faves went 4-0 Thursday with the Blues (-115) beating Wild 5-1 to win their series 4-2 while Game 7s were forced by the Bruins (-125 in 5-2 win vs. Hurricanes), Lightning (-147 in 4-3 OT win vs. Maple Leafs) and Oilers (-140 in 4-2 win at Kings). Home teams went 3-1. Over/Unders split 2-2.
Faves (7-0 the last 2 nights) improved to 27-16 SU in the playoffs (also 22-21 on -1.5 puck line). Home teams also improved to 27-16. The zig-zag (usually not used as much in the hockey playoffs) went 3-1 Thursday to improve to 21-14 overall. Overs lead 27-15-1 (64.3 percent), 19-7-1 (73.1 percent) the last 7 days after a 8-8 start.
Dogs went 5-3 on Thursday with upsets by the Phillies (+ 130 in 9-7 win at Dodgers late Thursday night in L.A./early Friday back East), Yankees (+ 132 in 15-7 win at White Sox), Orioles (+ 177 in 3-2 win at Cards), Reds (+ 120 in 4-0 win at Pirates) and A's (+ 105 in 5-3 win at Tigers). Road teams went 7-1. Unders went 5-2-1 with the push in the A’s 5-3 win at the Tigers with a betting total of 8 runs.
Faves dipped to 282-179 SU (61.2 percent) on the season with 10 games closing pick-'em (faves usually win closer to 59 percent SU, so faves still ahead of that pace). Home teams dipped to 243-228. Unders improved to 243-206-22 (54.1 percent), though still down from being 60 percent just 17 days ago.
Grizzlies + 8.5 at Warriors:
Let’s return to the Association. After most people were expecting the Warriors to close out the series on Wednesday night with Ja Morant out, the Grizzlies came through for us as 4-point home dogs in a 134-95 rout. Now, everyone is expecting the Warriors to return home and close out the series, but I’m expecting the Grizzlies (now 21-6 SU without Morant) to step up again and put up a fight. Maybe they won’t win again and send this back to Memphis for a Game 7, but I love getting this many points in a series where the Grizzlies have only lost one by more than this many points (the other losses were by 1 and 2 points).
We have 3 home dogs on Friday night and all look playable. I’ll definitely be on the Penguins + 105 (or better) vs. the Rangers as they try to close out their series, but I’ll probably also have something on the Capitals + 16 vs. the Panthers and the Stars + 140 vs. the Flames as they try to force Game 7s.
I already hinted in Point Spread Weekly and these columns on Wednesday and Thursday about wanting to play the Padres this weekend in Atlanta, and we’re getting + 140 on Friday with Yu Darvish on the mound, so gimme that. My other lookahead leans were on the Blue Jays at the Rays and Giants at the Cardinals, but both are chalk on Friday. The Yankees, who we got a gift with as a dog on Thursday, are favored at the White Sox on Friday, so I’m passing, but I’ll fire back on the Phillies + 190 at the Dodgers after cashing with them late last night.
Panthers + 2.5 vs. Bandits:
In the lone USFL game on Friday, the Panthers are only 1-3, but I still have them as favorites over the 2-2 Bandits (and so does Steve Makinen’s USFL Power Rankings in Point Spread Weekly), so let’s start the weekend off with them.
NFL Week 1:
If you can find them, take Dolphins -2.5 vs. Patriots and Jaguars + 4.5 at Commanders.
Good luck today (and every day!).