Thursday was a loooooong day in and out of the Tuley’s Takes home office.
I posted yesterday’s edition of this column around 1:42 a.m. PT, and then tried to go to sleep but my wife woke me up at 2:15 a.m. PT to load our van with our daughter Peyton’s stuff to take them to the airport so they could fly to Reno and move her into her dorm at UNR (University of Nevada-Reno).
I got back home around 3:30 a.m. PT and caught a little shut-eye before taking my son Maddux to the bus stop for middle school. I had a work meeting at 8 a.m. and got back to working on some articles for our VSiN NFL Betting Guide (due out soon, so hope you’re finishing up with the College Football Betting Guide).
I also followed some day baseball games as we won our Best Bet of the day on the Diamondbacks 1st 5 + 130 as Zac Gallen came through for us again as the D-backs led the Giants 5-0 after 5 innings and held on for a 5-0 full-game victory.
I was glad that I used that as my Best Bet after losing some confidence in my Bears-Seahawks Over 42.5 play (given out in Point Spread Weekly at that number, though we bet it at Over 38.5 on Thursday). The reason we didn’t like it as much was because Drew Lock was supposed to get the start for Seattle but tested positive for COVID. I was hoping he would continue his battle with Geno Smith for the starting QB job. At least my call on the Bears having more success against the Seahawks’ defense worked well, though the game mostly stayed on pace for an Under with the Bears only leading 17-0 at halftime because of a fumble-recovery TD on a Seattle muffed punt. We were mostly on the wrong side, but got new life late as the Bears won 27-11. The Bears’ also had a drive end inside the Seattle 1, plus the Seahawks had a TD overturned by review and several other shots at a late TD that would have put it Over.
Let’s recap the rest of Thursday’s (full-game) betting results and then look for more 1st 5 plays on Friday along with NFL Preseason Week 2 picks for the rest of the weekend.
NFL: Bears beat Seahawks 27-11 Thursday night to kick off Preseason Week 2. The Bears did it as 3.5-point road dogs. That was determined early, the Over/Under went down to the final minute but it stayed just Under the closing total of 38.5 points. Note: the tota opened 41 before Drew Lock tested positive for COVID and then was adjusted and bet lower.
More NFL: Underdogs took a 9-8 SU lead in preseason and also lead 10-7 ATS with 1 pick-'em (Dolphins-Buccaneers). Road teams also took a 9-8 SU lead while home teams dipped to 9-8 ATS (note: home/road stats don't include neutral-site Hall of Fame Game). Overs dipped to 14-4.
MLB: Underdogs went 6-5 Thursday with the biggest upsets by the Nationals (+ 310 in 3-1 win at Padres), Blue Jays (+ 146 in 9-2 win at Yankees), Cubs (+ 144 in 3-2 win at Orioles) and Pirates (+ 135 in 8-2 win vs. Red Sox as they snapped 6-game losing streak). Home teams went 6-5. Overs went 7-4.
More MLB: Faves lead 1,051-686 SU (60.5 percent) on the season with 26 pick-'ems (faves usually win around 59 percent; still ahead of pace; gap had been narrowing but now well over 60 percent). Home teams lead 932-830 (52.9 percent, usually closer to 54 percent but on the rise). Unders lead 864-803-93 (51.8 percent).
Pirates 1st 5 + 100 vs. Reds: This is a swagger play on the Pirates as they snapped a 6-game losing streak on Thursday and I’m hoping they carry that momentum into Friday’s game in Cincinnati in this otherwise meaningless battle to stay out of the cellar in the NL Central. I’m also jumping back on the Rangers 1st 5 + 115 with Martin Perez (9-3, 2.79 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) at the Twins/Bundy.
Here are the rest of my NFL Preseason Week 2 plays. My reasoning for these plays are in my column in Point Spread Weekly, though we post updates here with the more current lines:
Friday: Rams + 3 vs. Texans: I hope PSW readers or those who saw these NFL preseason picks in this column on Tuesday morning were able to grab the 3 with the Rams as it’s down to 2 at most books. I still believe the Rams are the right side, but I have a problem with now calling it a Best Bet as we’re getting the worst of the line move. I’d rather take the money line now at + 115 to + 120.
Saturday: Broncos-Bills Under 42.5:
This has also been bet down to 41.5 at some books (though Under 42s are still available) as the market obviously agrees that we won’t see much from these two offenses.
Sunday: Cardinals + 6.5 or higher vs. Ravens:
This line was as high as 7 earlier this week as oddsmakers were trying to make bandwagon jumpers pay a premium on the Ravens, who have won a preseason record 21 straight games and are 19-2 or 18-2-1 ATS depending on whose betting stats you follow. However, early bettors have agreed with us that the line was set way too high for an exhibition game (even with the Ravens’ streak) and it’s mostly at + 5 or + 5.5 now. I’m still hoping we see a better line by Sunday.
Good luck today (and every day!).