Tuesday, per usual, was spent here in the Tuley’s Takes home office working on my regular “Point Spread Weekly” column.
It was an excruciatingly long day as we were waiting for 5 p.m. PT for the tipoff of the Villanova-UConn game as Nova + was our best bet of the day and we were going for our 10th straight win with those plays in this column. It was a close, back-and-forth game as one would expect with a 2-point home favorite.
We thought we had yet another winner when Villanova grabbed a 69-65 lead with 46 seconds left as we were pretty much just cheering for no overtime. However, a wild series of unlikely events led to us pushing and nearly losing the cover in regulation.
Villanova’s Caleb Daniels had a chance to pretty much ice the victory with 31 seconds left and missed the front end of a 1-and-1. We were still in good shape until UConn’s Tyler Polley hit a 3-pointer with 21 seconds to play to cut the lead to 69-68. We still felt confident that Villanova could win the game at the free-throw line, but they never got the chance. UConn tied up Villanova star Collin Gillespie with a held ball (and had the possession arrow) to get the ball back with 17 seconds in regulation.
UConn’s R.J. Cole drove in for a layup to put the Huskies up 70-69 with 5 seconds left. We were still in great shape as we just needed Villanova to take the last shot and either win or lose by 1 point (and still allow us to cover). Instead, Gillespie was called for charging. UConn inbounded the ball and Andrew Jackson was fouled with :00.2 remaining. If he would have made both free throws, we would have somehow lost our best bet with a 3-point loss. However, Jackson made the first to put it on the number at 71-69 and then intentionally missed his second attempt to run out the clock.
There were some + 2.5s out there on Monday afternoon, but I have to grade it as a push on + 2 as that was what was posted here overnight and the line most followers would have gotten on Monday.
So, the 9-day best-bet winning streak is over, though I guess I can take some consolation in having a 10-day best-bet loss-less streak! I also suffered my first losing day overall since Friday, Feb. 11, as my second plays on NHL 1P Overs split 2-2 (which loses money if you bet a round-robin like I did; they also lost money if you bet them straight as the losses were Maple Leafs-Blue Jackets 1P Over 1.5 -160 and Blues-Flyers 1P Over 1.5 -140 and a 1-unit loss).
Let’s recap the overall betting results for Tuesday and try to get back on the winning track on Wednesday.
CBB: No. 21 UConn rallied late to beat No. 8 Villanova 71-69, pushing on the consensus closing line of -2. Top 25 faves went 7-0 SU on Tuesday and 5-1-1 ATS with the only other fave to not cover being No. 24 Alabama (-4.5) in a 74-72 win at Vanderbilt. No. 5 Kansas (-12 in 102-83 win vs. Kansas State), No. 9 Texas Tech (-9.5 in 66-42 rout vs. Oklahoma), No. 17 Tennessee (-10.5 in 80-61 win at Missouri), No. 18 Arkansas (-1.5 in 82-74 win at Florida) and No. 25 Iowa (-5.5 in 86-60 rout vs. Michigan State) covered in their wins.
NHL: Faves/dogs split 3-3 Tuesday with the upsets by the 3 biggest dogs: Predators (+ 220 in 6-4 win at the Panthers), Blue Jackets (+ 215 in 4-3 win vs. the Maple Leafs) and Senators (+ 200 in 4-3 win vs. the Wild). Blues, Islanders and Ducks won as chalk. Overs 4-1-1 with the push in the Maple Leafs-Blue Jackets game with a closing total of 7 goals.
Mississippi + 16 at Auburn: This is simply a case of a line being set too high, obviously inflated with Auburn being the much better team. I usually like to bet underdogs when I believe they have a decent chance at pulling the outright upsets and the points being added insurance, but I’m not expecting Auburn to lose this game even though they’ve lost two of their last four games to Arkansas and Florida. Auburn only beat Mississippi 80-71 in their first meeting and the Tigers should be content with another comfortable (but non-covering) win. Hopefully leading scorer Jarkel Joiner, who recently came back from a back injury, is able to return after missing Saturday’s game with the flu. The short-handed Rebels did beat Georgia to show they’re not throwing in the towel.
If that sounds like a lukewarm best bet, it probably is, but there’s nothing I like better in the NHL. None of the hot First-Period Over teams are in action on Wednesday. There are only two games that come close to my parameters and I’ll probably just parlay them in case they both come in, but not betting either straight: Oilers-Lightning 1P Over 1.5 -165 and Sabres-Canadiens 1P Over 1.5 -135. The Oilers are 32-19 with 1P Overs (tied for No. 5 in the league) while the Lighting are just 25-24. The Sabres are 28-23 and Canadiens are 27-23, so I kind of like that matchup better at the shorter price.
Good luck today (and every day!).