Tuesday was again spent writing the regular weekly version of this column for “Point Spread Weekly” in the Tuley’s Takes home office, and then sweating out our action later in the day.
We lost our Best Bet of the day on the St. Bonaventure-Xavier Under 140.5. We felt we were on the right side as the total closed at a consensus 138.5 and even lower at some books. Both teams shot better than we expected, but we were still on pace to stay Under most of the game, including staying Under the first-half total of 65.5. Xavier was in command throughout, and when it built a double-digit lead and led by as many as 19 points, we felt good because it looked like there might not be a lot of fouling late in the game (which is what usually causes games to go Over). However, St. Bonaventure went on a 10-2 run midway through the second half and was able to get within 6 points and both teams shot well to send it flying Over with 1:30 to play in Xavier’s ultimate 84-77 victory.
That dropped our Best Bet record to 30-14-1 with our top play of the day the past 45 days.
We should have stuck with hockey as we won our top NHL First-Period Over play on the Canadiens-Panthers 1P Over 1.5 as the Canadiens drew first blood and then the Panthers added 2 goals for a 2-1 lead to even go Over 2 goals. We also hit our secondary play on the Flyers-Wild 1P Over 1.5 (Wild led 2-0) for a nice parlay. Let’s do our regular duty of recapping the rest of Tuesday’s betting action across the major team sports and look for more winners on Wednesday.
CBB: Texas A&M routed Washington State 72-56 in an NIT semifinal Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Aggies easily covered as 2-point favorites as the game stayed just Under the betting total of 132 points. Earlier in the other semifinal, Xavier (+ 2, + 115 money line) upset St. Bonaventure 84-77. The game went Over the closing total of 138.5.
NBA: Faves went 3-1 SU but split 2-2 ATS with the Bucks beating the 76ers 118-116 in a game that closed pick-'em. The lone upset was by the Clippers (+ 2 in 121-115 win vs. the Jazz as the Clippers,who overcame a 25-point deficit, snapped 5-game losing streak and the Jazz lost its 5th straight). The Pistons (+ 14) covered in their 130-123 loss at Nets. Overs went 4-1.
NHL: Faves went 6-3 with the upsets by the Rangers (+ 150 in 3-2 win at the Penguins), Maple Leafs (+ 130 in 6-4 win at the Bruins) and the Avalanche (+ 130 in 2-1 win at the Flames). Unders went 5-4.
Heat + 4.5 at Celtics: This is actually an anti-swagger play against the Celtics, who had a six-game winning streak snapped on Monday night in Toronto. Robert Williams III is out and the Celtics were without three other starters, but a streak-ender is a streak-ender and we’re fading them in this spot. Note: when I was on “The Lookahead” with Scott Seidenberg on Sunday night, he proposed that the Heat could be a potential swagger play if they snapped their four-game losing streak (though we usually set the criteria of six games for a meaningful enough streak) against the Kings and then were a dog in this spot against the Celtics. I gave my lukewarm approval at the time, but with the Celtics and being an anti-swagger play, we’re on the same page.
Kings-Oilers First-Period Over 1.5 (-165 at DraftKings); This is the only game on Wednesday with a game total of 6.5 and none of the very top 1P Over teams are in action, but the Oilers have been good to us and they are the No. 5 1P Over team at 42-25 (62.7 percent). Also beware that a lot of books have gone to Over 2 goals on this play, so shop around.
Good luck today (and every day!).