Here in the Tuley’s Takes home office, we always believe in being honest with our readers.
For starters, I still consider myself a journalist first and a handicapper second even though I do try to bet like a professional.
And I try to be honest with my betting results, for better or worse, as I believe a truthful and objective assessment of your results helps to make smarter bets in the future.
We won with my best bet on Thursday night, which was a 6-point teaser with the Saints + 10.5 vs. the Cowboys with Over 41.5. That was due to the TNF lines being Cowboys -4.5 with an Over/Under of 47.5 when I filed yesterday’s column early Thursday morning. If you followed along during the day, you probably got even better numbers as they got bet to Cowboys -6.5 (or Saints + 12.5 on a 6-point teaser) and Over/Under down to 45.5 (or Over 39.5 on a 6-point teaser).
No matter how you bet it, we were looking dead in the water as the Cowboys led 20-10 as the clock was ticking away in the fourth quarter. We were covering the + 10.5 portion of our bet, but needed two TDs to somehow get the Over portion.
But then the Cowboys’ Carlos Watson intercepted Taysom Hill and returned it for a pick-six with 2:52 left and then Hill, who had been struggling all night throwing the ball, completed a short pass to Deonte Harris, who turned it into a 70-yard TD to make the final score 27-17 and give us the improbably teaser win.
We certainly didn’t deserve that as I believe we had the game handicapping wrong, but we’ll take it to make up for some bad beats we feel we suffered (again, we try to honestly assess those, too).
Hopefully our recommended plays the rest of the weekend are right-side winners we can be proud to brag about. We’ll start with a play on Friday night, but first let’s recap the rest of Thursday night’s betting results, including an update of the season-long NFL betting stats and a wild night in the NBA.
NFL: Cowboys beat the Saints 27-17 on Thursday Night Football to kick off NFL Week 13. The Cowboys covered after closing as 6.5-point road favorites while the game stayed just Under the closing betting total of 45.5 points. This was the 5th straight primetime game to stay Under the total as primetime Unders improved to 20-16-1 on the season, though it’s more impressive to say they’re 19-8-1 (70.4 percent) since starting 1-8.
More NFL: On the season, faves improved to 105-72-1 SU with 3 games closing pick-'em, but dogs still lead 100-77-1 ATS (56.5 percent). Road teams also improved to 92-85-1 SU with 3 neutral-site games (Packers-Saints in Week 1, plus 2 London games) and 102-75-1 ATS (57.6 percent). Unders lead 101-78-2 (56.4 percent) overall.
NBA: Suns beat Pistons 114-103 for their 18th straight win, but did NOT cover as 12-point home favorites. The Grizzlies (-11) did cover in their 152-79 home win vs. the Thunder and, in fact, set an NBA record with the 73-point margin of victory (note: I’m trying to find out if the 62-point cover is a record...anyone?). Faves went 4-1 SU on Thursday with the lone upset by the Spurs (+ 5 in 114-83 rout at Blazers), but just 3-2 ATS with the Pistons (+ 12) covering in a their SU loss at the Suns. The Bulls (-2 at Knicks), Raptors (-1 vs. Bucks) and Grizzlies (-11 vs. Thunder) covered. Overs went 3-2 on the night, but Unders still lead 182-148-3 (55.2 percent) on the season.
CBB: There were no Top 25 teams in action on Thursday night after No. 11 Arizona’s Pac-12 opener vs. Washington was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols in the Washington program.
NHL: Faves went 7-3 with upsets by the Senators (+ 275 at Hurricanes), Blackhawks (+ 170 at Capitals) and Sharks (+ 120 at Islanders). Unders went 6-4.
Western Kentucky -1.5 vs. Texas-San Antonio: No, that wasn’t a typo in PSW as the line was pick-’em when I sent in my selections on Tuesday morning and the Hilltoppers were bet to favoritism during the day before we went to press and the line was updated. I hope you got the lower numbers on Wednesday or even on Thursday morning when it was still available at -3. Now, as I’m writing this late Thursday night, the line is up to -3.5 as the whole world (inlcuding Mitch and Pauly on VSiN’s “Follow the Money”) seems to be on Western Kentucky and I can’t recommend it in good conscience. In fact, with the line moving past the key number of 3 (though it’s not as key as it is in the NFL), I’m considering betting back a little on Texas-San Antonio + 3.5 and hoping to catch a middle. Now, I still believe Western Kentucky is the right side and I don’t want to give away too much of my edge, so I’m just talking about betting back around 10 percent of my original wager (whereas a lot of times I’m bet back 25 to 50 percent depending on my confidence level in the original wager). So, if you followed me earlier, that’s the advice I would give. If you haven’t bet the Conference USA title game yet, you could still bet WKU if you feel it’s still the more likely winner, but I’d say the best bet is to take Texas-San Antonio plus the hook. Good luck with however you decide to play it – hopefully we all cash..
And here’s the rest of my best bets from PSW. For our purposes here, we’re just concerned with how the lines are moving and if we should bet ASAP or wait until the weekend to place our bets at the best number.
Wake Forest + 3 vs. Pittsburgh: This line is pretty solid. I was thinking it could get bet higher and we might get + 3.5 or better, but it looks like it’s best to grab the + 3 in case the line dips to 2.5.
Iowa + 11 vs. Michigan:
Iowa plays defense and I think this should be a low-scoring game (total is 43.5), so points could be at a premium. Michigan, which obviously has the motivation of playing for a CFB Playoff berth, could also have a letdown after finally beating Ohio State. Some books at 10.5, so I’d grab the + 11 ASAP.
Lions + 7 vs. Vikings: We’re now seeing some books going to Vikings -7 -120 and even some at 7.5, so even though I already grabbed a little at + 7, I’m now waiting to see if we get + 7.5 or better.
Falcons + 11.5 vs. Buccaneers:
Most books are down to 11, so grab the best line you can.
Giants + 5 at Dolphins:
This line was only available on Tuesday when we were putting together PSW. It’s now down to + 4 (or a few 4.5s), so bet that ASAP.
Steelers + 4.5 vs. Ravens:
Public might bet higher, but some books are at 4 so I’d bet now. If waiting to see if it goes higher, be ready to bet quick if you see it starting to drop.
Broncos + 10 at Chiefs:
As I advised in yesterday’s column, if you can grab + 10, do it. Most books have dipped to 9.5. I would still play the Broncos down to 8.5.
Good luck today (and every day