Thursday Night Football was must-see TV in the Tuley’s Takes home office.
The Chargers and Chiefs put on a thrilling show that we would love to see again in the playoffs. We could go on and on about L.A. coach Brandon’s Staley’s fourth-down decisions (and Andy Reid, too), but suffice it to say we were disappointed that our best bet on the Chargers + 3 didn’t cash as the Chiefs scored a TD on the first drive of overtime to win 34-28 and take control of the AFC West.
We also lost overall on our NHL First-Period plays. My top play was the Avalanche-Predators Over 1.5 -125/Blue Jackets-Oilers Over 1.5, but we lost as the Predators only led the Avalanche 1-0 after their First Period to kill the parlay. We also split our secondary plays on the Golden Knights-Devils and Sabres-Wild, but if you were parlaying (and round-robining them like me), you don’t have money by splitting games.
Fortunately, as i wrote yesterday, the Blue Jackets-Oilers game was the last game on our list – and I did write that it was the play I liked most if making a straight bet – so I was able to recoup some of my losses with a straight bet on the Blue Jackets-Oilers Over 1.5.
But now we turn our focus back to football with the bowls starting Friday, plus I’ll update my NFL best bets for Sunday. However, let’s first recap the overall Thursday betting action.
NFL: Chiefs rallied to beat the Chargers 34-28 in OT on Thursday Night Football to kick off Week 15. The Chiefs also ended up covering as 3-point road favorites thanks to the Patrick Mahomes-to-Travis Kelce TD in overtime. The game went Over the betting total of 54 points on the Chiefs' TD that tied it 28-28 late in regulation.
More NFL: Faves are 125-80-1 SU on the season with 3 games closing pick-'em, but dogs still lead 109-96-1 ATS (53.2 percent). Road teams are 106-99-1 SU with 3 neutral-site games and also lead 117-88-1 ATS (57.1 percent). Unders still lead 113-94-2 (54.6 percent) while primetime Unders dipped to 22-20-1.
NBA: Faves went 3-1 SU on Thursday but 2-2 ATS as the Pistons (+ 10.5) covered in a 122-113 loss at the Pacers. The lone upset was by the Nets (+ 3 vs. 76ers). The Knicks (-5.5 at Rockets) and Suns (-8.5 vs. Wizards) covered as chalk. Dogs lead 61-49-1 ATS (55.5 percent) in December with 1 game closing pick-’em. Overs went a perfect 4-0 Thursday and increased lead back to 59-51-2 (53.6 percent) in December, cutting Unders' lead on the season to 229-196-6 (53.9 percent).
CBB: No. 2 Duke (-22.5) was the only Top 25 team in action on Thursday night and covered in its 92-67 rout of Appalachian State. The game went Over the betting total of 138 points.
NHL: Faves/dogs split 5-5 Thursday with upsets by the Canadiens (+ 143 vs. Flyers with no fans in the stands by request of Quebec health officials), Kings (+ 135 at Panthers), Sabres (+ 255 at Wild), Predators (+ 135 vs. Avalanche) and Canucks (-102 at Sharks). Over/Unders also split 5-5.
Northern Illinois + 10.5 vs. Coastal Carolina: Now, this didn’t make my Top 10 best bets in the VSIN College Bowl Betting Guide, so accuse me of “homer” pick on my alma mater, Northern Illinois. However, the Huskies have been exceeding expectations all year in winning the MAC title – they’re also 8-4-1 ATS – led by QB Rocky Lombardi and should be able to run the ball and control the clock. This line looks just a little too high as it appears to me the oddsmakers (and bettors) are still rating CC like it was playing last year.
Saturday bowl picks
Western Kentucky + 3 vs. Appalachian State: Give me WKU QB Bailey Zappe and the points. This line is down to 2.5 at Circa and some books are charging extra juice on the + 3, so grab it while you can.
Eastern Michigan + 9.5 vs. Liberty:
This dog is also getting support, so shop around for the best number.
Teaser portfolio: We’ve written a lot about 2-team, 6-point NFL teasers all season, including them leading to a winning weekend in Week 14 even though faves went 11-3 ATS and we went 1-4 ATS with our best straight bets. Now, in Point Spread Weekly, I wrote that my top teaser of the week was Patriots + 8.5 with the Bengals + 7.5 (though now available to tease from + 2.5 to + 8.5). I’m sticking with that, but when the Raiders moved to 1.5-point favoritism over the Browns in Saturday’s first game due to Cleveland’s mounting COVID woes, including QB Baker Mayfield. I went ahead and teased the Browns to + 7.5. However, the line is now up to 3.5 and even 4 with backup QB Case Keenum also testing positive, but I’m still confident in third-stringer Nick Mullens and wouldn’t talk anyone out of teasing the Browns. The Dolphins have been bet up to -10 vs. the Jets, so that removes them from our preferred teaser plays, but we still have the Steelers teased up from + 1.5 to + 7.5.
Washington + 5 at Eagles:
More COVID impact here with the line up to 10. I’m probably still going to take the Football Team plus the points, but I’m still waiting to get the latest updates.
Panthers + 10.5 at Bills:
Some books have gone to 11, so we’ll also wait to bet this game.
Giants + 10.5 vs. Cowboys:
This is also up to 11 and even 11.5 at some books, so wait and grab the best number you can.
Lions + 13.5 vs. Cardinals:
I advised to grab %plusign% 13.5 or even 13 and I stand by that as it’s down to 12.5 at several books as of early Friday morning.
Saints + 11 at Buccaneers:
A few books at 10.5, so probably grab the 11 now before they’re gone.
Good luck today (and every day!).