It was great to be betting football in the Tuley’s Takes home office on Thursday night.
We were happy to get the Steelers + 3.5 on Thursday, though the optimism took an early blow as the Vikings built a 23-0 lead. If you went to bed early, you missed a thrilling finish.
The Vikings have a knack of playing close games (and I’ve seen enough back-door covers all season long), so I didn’t lose faith even when the Steelers fell behind 29-0 with 6:15 left in the third quarter. They cut the lead to 29-7, then 29-14 and the 29-20 with 12:11 still to play. After missing the two-point conversion on that third TD, I actually considered the Steelers as favorites to cover the spread. The Vikings made it tougher as Kirk Cousins hit K.J. Osborn for a 62-yard TD pass to make it 36-20, but the Steelers kept rallying to pull within 36-28 and had a chance to pulled within a 2-point conversion on the game’s final play, but TE Pat Freiermuth was unable to hold onto a pinpoint pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the end zone as time expired.
I really thought we had it there but to no avail. We’ll try to rebound in the NFL on Sunday. I don’t have a best bet for any game on Friday, but I have some advice on betting the Army-Navy game ASAP on Friday. But let’s recap all of Thursday’s betting action, including an update on the season-long NFL betting stats.
NFL: Vikings held off the Steelers 36-28 on #TNF to kick off #NFL Week 14 after nearly squandering a 29-0 lead. The Vikes still covered after closing as 3.5-point home favorites, though it was in doubt until the final gun as Pittsburgh TE Pat Freiermuth dropped a TD pass on the last play of regulation. The game flew Over the betting total of 45 points in a wild 4th quarter.
More NFL: On the season, faves lead 113-78-1 SU with 3 games closing pick-’em, but dogs still lead 106-85-1 ATS (55.5 percent). Road teams lead 99-92-1 SU with 3 neutral-site games (Packers-Saints in Week 1, plus 2 London games) and 109-82-1 ATS (57.1 percent). Unders lead 109-84-2 (56.5 percent) while primetime Unders lead 22-17-1 after a 1-8 start.
CBB: Rutgers upset newly crowned No. 1 Purdue 70-68 on a buzzer-beater by Ron Harper Jr. from just inside half-court. Rutgers closed as a 13.5-point home dog and + 600 on the money line. No. 23 Seton Hall beat No. 7 Texas 64-60, but it was NOT an upset as Seton Hall was a 1.5-point home favorite.
NBA: Faves went 2-1 SU and ATS with the upset by the Grizzlies (+ 4, + 155 ML vs. the Lakers). The Jazz (-3 at 76ers) and Spurs (-2.5 vs. Nuggets) covered as chalk. Dogs still lead 39-23-1 ATS (62.9 percent) in December. Unders went 2-1 on the night and lead 203-174-5 (53.8 percent) on the season, but Overs still lead 37-25-1 (59.7 percent) this month.
NHL: Faves/dogs split 5-5 on Thursday with upsets by the Lightning (+ 125 at Maple Leafs), Predators (-105 at Islanders), Bruins (+ 110 at Oilers), Hurricanes (+ 115 at Flames) and Kings (+ 100 vs. Stars). Unders went 6-4.
Army-Navy Under 34.5: I don’t have a play on any Friday games, but I’d advise anyone thinking of betting the Army-Navy Under to bet it ASAP. You’re going to hear “Army-Navy has gone Under the total in 15 straight meetings” countless times in the next 24 or so hours until the 3 p.m. ET/noon PT kickoff on Saturday. The total is obviously low at 34.5, but I can’t imagine it getting bet higher, especially as more and more people hear about the incredible trend.
Here are the rest of our NFL Week 14 best bets from Point Spread Weekly. See this week’s issue for my reasoning behind liking each play; our main purpose here is checking the line movement to decide whether to bet ASAP or to wait until closer to kickoff.
Raiders + 9.5 at Chiefs: I originally posted that I didn’t think this would get to 10, but if you haven’t bet the Raiders yet you should probably wait as Circa and BetMGM have gone to 10 as well as some offshore books. If you can grab that, go for it, though I still like this if it gets bet down to + 8.5.
Ravens + 2.5 at Browns:
I wrote Thursday that Circa and some offshores have gone to 3, so we should wait to see if it becomes more widely available. Well, William Hill has also gone to + 3, though you may have to pay -120 to grab the added insurance. I also recommended the Ravens as a top two-team, 6-point teaser play as we move the Ravens to + 8.5 (or 9) just in case. My top recommendation in PSW was to use Ravens + 8.5 with the 49ers teased from + 1.5 to + 7.5 at the Bengals, but there’s been a change of favorite so the preferred side would now be the Bengals teased from + 1.5 to + 7.5 (though there’s a decent chance a two-team, 6-point teaser hits no matter how we play it if the game comes down to a FG. Other teaser options are the Seahawks teased down from -7.5 (or -8 or -8.5 at most books) to -1.5 (or -2 or -2,5) and the Rams teased up from + 2.5 to + 8.5 at the Cardinals on Monday night.
Washington + 4 vs. Cowboys:
Here in Vegas, the South Point went to Cowboys -5 and then settled back at -4.5, so I don’t think it’s going any higher so grab the Football Team + 4.5.
Lions + 8 at Broncos:
This line had also gone up to Broncos -8.5 on Wednesday, so I advised to wait. It’s now up to 10 at nearly every book. Grab the best number you can, but I don’t see it going any higher (but I’ve been wrong before!).
Good luck today (and every day!).