Thursday was another day of errands as we got out of the Tuley’s Takes home office to get my car an oil change and then hit the road for Flagstaff, Ariz.
For those who don’t know, my 3 kids are named after Chicago sports legends: Jordyn for Michael Jordan, Peyton for Walter Payton and Maddux for Greg Maddux. Peyton is a senior at Valley High School (ironically, where Greg Maddux attended) and has the lead in the school play this weekend, so I’m in Flagstaff to bring Jordyn (who is attending Northern Arizona University on an oboe scholarship) home so we can all watch Peyton perform. Despite what I do for a living, none of my kids have an interest in sports, but I’m still proud of them for making the most of their God-given talents. And let me predict for the record that one day Peyton will win a Tony, Oscar, Emmy or Grammy (hopefully she’ll remember this in her acceptance speech and thank me!).
Anyway, thank modern technology for the March Madness Live app so I could (safely) follow all the NCAA Tournament action despite being on the highway for most of the wins by Arkansas and Duke. And then, thank the gambling gods as I won my Best Bet of the day on Houston + 1.5 over Arizona to improve to 27-12-1 ATS (69.2 percent) the past 40 days.
We did lose our secondary play on Texas Tech (closed pick-’em, so luckily we bet more of the kids’ college funds on Houston as our true best underdog bet of the day), though we did score for our NHL First-Period Over 1.5 players with the Panthers and Canadiens both scoring a goal on their first shot of the game in the first 36 seconds! I don’t recall ever winning a 1P Over in less time.
Let’s get to the general recaps of Thursday’s betting action and then try to keep the good times rolling with our plays for Friday.
CBB: Arkansas upset Gonzaga 74-68 in the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 as a 9.5-point underdog and + 400 on the money line. The game stayed Under 155. In the other early Thursday night game, Villanova beat Michigan 63-55 to cover after closing as a 4.5-point favorite. The game stayed Under 136.5. In the late games, Houston upset Arizona 72-60 as a 1.5-point underdog and + 105 on the money line (stayed Under 146.5). In the other later matchup, Duke beat Texas Tech 78-73 in a game that closed pick-'em (went Over 137).
Dogs went 2-1 ATS Thursday w/ Duke-Texas Tech closing PK. The outright upsets were by Arkansas and Houston. For the tournament, dogs improved to 29-22 ATS (56.9 percent) with 1 PK while faves still lead 34-17 (66.7 percent) with 1 PK. Unders went 3-1 Thursday and now Over/Unders are back to .500 overall at 26-26.
NBA: Faves went 4-1 SU and ATS with the lone upset by the Suns (+ 1 in 140-130 win at Nuggets). The Raptors (-5.5 vs. Cavaliers), Bucks (-9 vs. Wizards), Pelicans (-3.5 vs. Bulls) and Grizzlies (-11.5 vs. Pacers) covered as chalk in their wins. Overs 3-1-1 with the push in the Pacers-Grizzlies game with a total of 236 points.
NHL: Dogs went 6-4 with the upsets by the Flyers (+ 215 at Blues), Senators (+ 203 at Jets), Stars (+ 185 at Hurricanes), Blackhawks (+ 174 at Kings), Golden Knights (+ 102 vs. Predators) and Bruins (-105 vs. Lightning). Overs went 8-2.
Note: For the reasoning behind my Sweet 16 plays, see the regular weely version of this column in Point Spread Weekly or in the March Madness Best Bets file at VSiN.com as we mostly focus on how to time our wagers in this daily column.
St. Peter’s + 12.5 vs. Purdue: The Peacocks of St. Peter’s are looking like a public underdog as this year’s biggest Cinderella story, so I grabbed this line before leaving Vegas on Thursday. It’s looking pretty solid at 12.5.
Providence + 7.5 vs. Kansas: This has been a pretty solid 7.5 all week, though Treasure Island in Las Vegas dipped to 7 as did Bovada offshore on Wednesday, so we advised readers yesterday to grab + 7.5 in case it disappeared. Several books went to 7 on Thursday, but some 7.5s are still available but maybe not for long so grab Friday morning if you’re with me.
Flyers-Avalanche First-Period Over 1.5 -160: I’ve been trying to include at last one NHL 1P Over play each day for my faithful readers who have been enjoying playing these. Now, just be warned that this is a very lukewarm play. We do have a game total of 6.5 goals, so I like the Over 1.5 just on the math alone, but while the Avalanche are 37-27 with 1P Overs, the Flyers are just 31-33 for a combined 68-60 (53.1 percent), well short of the 60 percent we have for many of our stronger plays.
Good luck today (and every day!).