Thursday was another day spent handicapping the Friday and Saturday horse racing cards at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby days, and we posted our “Team Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” column at VSiN.com, so please check that out along with the rest of the coverage and picks from 1/ST BET at VSiN.com/horses.
Unlike Wednesday, our bets fared better on Thursday as we won our top play of the day on the Brewers -1.5 -120 vs. the Reds. We were a little worried as the Reds jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but our fears were short-lived as the Brewers tied the game 3-3 before even registering an out in the bottom half of the inning and then coasted to a 10-5 win. That improved our record to 50-31-1 ATS (61.7 percent) the past 82 days as we’re trying to stay above 60 percent with our top play of the day.
That felt good to land on that as our Best Bet as our secondary pick on the Capitals + 1.5 -120 at the Panthers lost. We hope followers heeded our advice that we didn’t like that play as much and had a profitable night.
Let’s recap the rest of Thursday’s action and hopefully we make the right calls again on Friday as we head into the weekend.
There were no NBA playoff games on Thursday, but here’s an update of how the betting stats have been faring this round and overall: Faves are 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS so far in this round and lead 36-15 SU and 30-21 ATS (58.8 percent) overall. Home teams are 6-2 SU and 7-1 ATS this round. Home teams lead 30-21 SU overall, but road teams actually still lead 26-25 ATS. The zig-zag theory went 0-2 ATS (76ers and Mavericks) on Wednesday night, dropping back to .500 this round at 2-2 ATS and 18-21 ATS overall. Over/Unders are 4-4 in this round as Unders dipped to 31-20 (60.9 percent) overall.
Faves went 3-1 with the lone upset by the Stars (+ 200 in 2-0 win at Flames to even their series at 1-1). The Rangers (-166 vs. Penguins) and Panthers (-270 vs. Capitals) won as faves to even their series at 1-1, while the Avalanche (-350) beat the Predators 2-1 in OT to take a 2-0 lead. Unders went 3-1.
Faves and home teams (same in all 1st-round games so far with higher-seeded teams at home) both went 3-1 to improve to 10-6 after Game 2s in all series. The zig-zag (not usually used in the NHL) is 6-2. Unders went 3-1, so Over/Unders are back to .500 at 8-8.
Faves/dogs split 5-5 Thursday with the upsets by the Orioles (+ 139 vs. Twins); Indians (+ 138 vs. Blue Jays), Mets (+ 132 at Phillies), Padres (+ 100 vs. Marlins) and Cardinals (+ 100 at Giants). Home teams went 6-4 while Overs went 5-3-2 with pushes in LAA-BOS (8) and TAM-SEA (7).
Faves still lead 232-142 SU (62 percent) on the season with 7 games closing pick-’em (faves usually win closer to 59 percent SU). Home teams lead 197-184. Overs went 5-3-2 to further cut into Unders' lead at 199-164-18 (54.8 percent) after Unders were at 60 percent just 10 days ago after the games of Monday, April 25.
Hurricanes + 110 at Bruins:
The Hurricanes are on a 9-game winning streak and I don’t expect that to end even with the series heading to Boston for Friday night’s Game 3. The Hurricanes have dominated the first two games of the series (5-1 and 5-2) and, in fact, have won the last 5 meetings between these 2 teams, including wins of 7-0 and 6-1 in Boston.
Rangers + 1.5 -115 at Yankees:
I almost made this my Best Bet as the Yankees are in an anti-swagger role after having their 11-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday (and, hey, the Rangers are on a 4-game winning streak of their own). However, a couple of things kept me from making this my top play: for one, the Yankees have had a day off to get over losing some swagger (and part of the reason I like anti-swagger plays is that teams will often give star players the day off after the pressure of maintaining a long winning streak is over – and that is removed with having an off-day in between). And another reason is there’s a 95 percent chance of rain in the forecast, so there’s a chance this game won’t get played. If it does get played, I’ll probably also make a small play on the + 200 money line, especially if some NY starters sit out. I’ll pass on fading the Reds as they’re home vs the Pirates. The only other dog I’m considering on Friday is the Rockies + 135 at the Diamondbacks.
Stars-Panthers Under 36.5:
This was originally going to be my Best Bet for Friday when I gave it out in Point Spread Weekly and then in this column on Thursday with the note: “we’re seeing the market move a little and think followers should lock in bets now.” We hope followers were able to get Under 37 or even at worst Under 36.5 as it’s now down between 33 and 34 at most books after the league announced it would continue to run the clock after incomplete passes in the first and third quarters in order to keep games under 3 hours. This should lead to even lower scoring in the low-scoring league. This reminds me of the XFL during its original run in 2001 when Lorne Michaels was upset that a game ran long and forced him to delay the start of “Saturday Night Live” and forced the league to have similar running-clock rules. We cashed a bunch of Unders (wish we had bet more!!!) as the books didn’t adjust as quickly as they have this time.
Note: for those wondering, I’m passing on both the 76ers + 3 vs. the Heat and Mavericks pick-em vs. the Suns as the lines are too short for my liking.
Good luck today (and every day!).