Regular readers know that Tuesdays are spent in the Tuley’s Takes home office writing the original weekly version of this column for Point Spread Weekly.
I usually write about the biggest current topic in that column, but this week my bosses asked me to keep all our March Madness content in our bracket and betting guides and on the VSiN.com website while devoting PSW to everything else. So, that’s what I did as I gave my “takes” on the NBA and NHL bets we’ve been doing here, plus my takes on the recent news in the NFL and MLB, plus horse racing. They even used my suggested headline: "Tuley’s Takes on Everything But the Elephant in the Room”
After finishing that, it was time to enjoy our Best Bets posted in yesterday’s column here. I was convinced that it was going to be an extremely chalky day and that’s exactly what it was. Now, regular readers know I’m allergic to betting favorites, so my Best Bet of the day was combining Texas Southern and Indiana in a two-team, money-line parlay in the NCAA tournament play-in games and turned that into a + 150 dog. Texas Southern didn’t win as easily as expected, but came through and then Indiana was in control throughout to improve our top Best Bet to 22-8-1 ATS (73.3 percent) the past 31 days.
I also mentioned yesterday that I didn’t like any of the dogs on the NBA’s four-game card and considered making a four-team ML chalk parlay my top best bet of the night. Well, I went ahead and bet it anyway (and hope my readers did as well) and it scored at + 174 at the book I used as all four faves won SU. I originally thought all four had covered and was kicking myself for not betting a straight four-team parlay at 10-1 or 11-1, but then realized they went just 3-1 ATS with the Heat failing to cover, so it all worked out perfect.
In addition, I hit my top NHL 1P Over in the Devils-Canucks game as the Canucks led 2-1 after the first 20 minutes.
For those keeping count, that makes 7-0 with my chalky picks on the day. Not bad for an underdog bettor! Now, I've had a lot of readers for a long time who say they follow me because they feel when I can’t make a case for an underdog, they say they see it as a tacit endorsement to bet the chalk. Usually when I try to do that, those types of plays lose (that’s how I developed my “dog-or-pass” philosophy), so just don’t expect me to make a habit of betting that way.
Let’s get to the general recaps of Tuesday’s betting action and then try to keep the good times rolling on Wednesday, though I don’t like either dog in the NCAA play-in games again (so we might do another chalk ML parlay). Note: when the lines first came out, Notre Dame was around + 1 or + 1.5 and I planned to make that a best bet, but the Irish has been bet to favoritism and I’m going to pass (unless I do another chalk ML parlay). In addition, we’re listing our Best Bets for the NCAA tournament first-round games on Thursday and Friday.
CBB: Texas Southern (-3.5) beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 76-67 to tip off the NCAA tournament in the First Four/No. 16 play-in game in Dayton, Ohio. The game went Over the betting total of 136.5. In the nightcap, Indiana (-4.5) beat Wyoming 66-58 in the No. 12 play-in as the game stayed Under 132). Faves went 2-0 SU and ATS. Over/Unders split 1-1.
More CBB: For those looking for two more Thursday NCAA tournament games to bet (or if you’re just checking out lines to help with filling out your brackets), No. 1 (MIdwest) Kansas is -22 vs. No. 16 Texas Southern while No. 5 (East) Saint Mary's is -2.5 vs. No. 12 Indiana.
NBA: Faves went 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS on Tuesday as the Heat (-13.5 in 105-98 win vs. Pistons) didn't cover. Nets (-10 in 150-108 rout at Magic), Grizzlies (-6.5 in 135-102 rout at Pacers) and Suns (-4.5 in 131-115 win at Pelicans) did cover their spreads. Overs went 3-1.
NHL: Faves went 9-1 on Monday with the Penguins-Predators game closing pick-'em. The lone upset of the night was by the Coyotes (+ 140 in 6-3 win at the Canadiens). Overs went 6-5.
Blue Jackets-Senators First-Period Over 1.5 -145 (DraftKings): Here’s something I’ve never seen before. This is the highest-priced 1P Over of the day and to break even at -145 you need to hit 59.2 percent of your bets, yet we have four 1P Overs on Wednesday with the two teams’ combined 1P Over record exceeding that percent. This matchup is the tops as the Blue Jackets are 40-20 on the season (all NHL betting stats from @PSUOtto on Twitter) with the Senators at 34-24 for a combined 64-44 (62.7 percent)! The others are Bruins-Wild (61 percent), Devils-Flames (59.3 percent) and Lightning-Kraken (59.5 percent). So, what I’ll do is bet the Blue Jackets-Senators straight and also start a round-robin by 3’s with the four games. If I happen to go 0-2 with the first two games that are scheduled for 7:35 p.m. ET/4:35 p.m. PT, I’ll add a later two-team parlay on the two 10:05 p.m. ET/7:05 p.m. PT games.
And here’s the upcoming NCAA first-round Best Bets (listed in order of preference by day):
Boise State + 2.5 vs. Memphis: There are some books that have gone up to 3 on this game, so shop around for the best number..
Colorado State + 2.5 vs. Michigan:
This is pretty solid at 2.5, but some books have dipped to 2 so grab 2.5 ASAP.
Murray State + 1.5 vs. San Francisco:
I gave this out on “The Lookahead” show on VSiN on late Sunday night, but then Murray State moved to -1.5 favoritism as of late Monday. I didn’t get Murray State as a dog, so I’m passing now that the Racers are chalk (see Jazz example from Monday night) though I’m still using them in the vast majority of my brackets.
Colgate + 7.5 vs. Wisconsin: This line has bounced all over, but has mostly settled at 7.5. However, I’d advise to bet ASAP as Colgate is emerging as a popular underdog play.
Virginia Tech + 1 vs. Texas:
This was the first bet I made on Sunday night when I saw some books going to pick-’em, though plenty of 1’s still available and even some + 1.5.
Montana State + 15.5 vs. Texas Tech:
Some 15.5s still exist, but 15 is more common and there are some indications that this could drop so I’d bet it ASAP.
Delaware + 15.5 vs. Villanova:
I added this play on Tuesday for the VSiN Best Bets file at VSiN.com.
Good luck today (and every day!).