Tuesday was spent in the Tuley’s Takes home office getting an early jump on our Super Bowl handicapping and writing our regular “Tuley’s Takes” column for Point Spread Weekly.
We had to wait until 6 p.m. Vegas time for our best bet of the day, but it was worth it as Providence – which we picked and bet at + 3.5 and went off at + 2.5 – beat St. John’s 86-82. Longtime readers will recognize that as a “Tuley Cover,” which is when an underdog not only wins outright but also covers the spread by winning by more points than they were getting. It’s more impressive when the point spread is higher, but we’ll take it. I really need to find a sportsbook to offer a “Tuley Cover” prop where you can get big plus-odds on a dog covering in this way. Maybe by football season.
For those still betting NHL First-Period Overs, the Maple Leafs-Devils was the obvious best bet at Over 1.5 -180 as the Maple Leafs jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first 20 minutes, also easily going Over at books that offered Over 2 + 125. If you’re up early Wednesday and tune into VSiN’s “Follow the Money,” you’re sure to also hear Pauly Howard going bonkers about the Devils cashing for the 16th straight game on the “Will there be a score in the first 10 minutes?” wager. These bets are costing around -200, but they’re the gift that keeps on giving. Howard is also a lock to say “you don’t pay juice if you win.”
Anyway, we’ll add an NHL First-Period Over for Wednesday along with another college basketball best bet, but first let’s recap the rest of Tuesday’s betting action, including our daily update on the Super Bowl odds.
NBA: Favorites went 6-1 SU and ATS on Tuesday night with the lone upset by the Curry/Thompson/Green-less Warriors (+ 6.5, + 220 on the money line in 124-120 win at the Spurs). All other faves won and covered, including Suns (-7 in 121-111 win vs. Nets). Overs went 5-2.
CBB: No. 10 Kansas (-1.5) covered in 70-61 win at No. 20 Iowa State. No. 14 Texas Tech (-4.5) covered in 77-64 win vs. No. 23 Texas. No. 15 Providence (+ 2.5) upset St. John's 86-82 despite being ranked higher. Creighton (+ 10.5) upset No. 17 UConn 59-55. Mississippi (+ 12.5) upset No. 25 LSU 76-72.
NHL: Coyotes beat Avalanche 3-2 as whopping 445 road underdogs on Tuesday night. Faves went 7-4 overall on the night with the other upsets by the Capitals (+ 140 in 4-3 win at Penguins), Rangers (+ 140 in 5-2 win vs. Panthers) and Flyers (+ 145 in 3-1 win vs. Jets). Overs went 6-5.
Super Bowl odds update (10 p.m. PT Tuesday): Rams have settled in as 4.5-point favorites vs. the Bengals. The only Las Vegas book with a different line as of late Tuesday was Treasure Island at Rams -4 -130 (up from -3.5 -120 at the end of Monday’s wagering). The Over/Under has also settled at 48.5 at all Vegas books.
Wisconsin + 7 at Illinois: For starters, there are some + 7.5s out there, so shop around for the best number, but + 7 is the most widely available as this is written late Tuesday night. Just like with Providence, Wisconsin is the higher ranked team but getting points on the road. Like I wrote yesterday, I don’t rely on rankings as the only comparative tool, but in this case I believe we’re getting a bargain again. Illinois was my darkhorse pick last year before the NCAAs and came up short, but this year’s team isn’t as strong beyond Kofi Cockburn. Wisconsin counters with Johnny Davis and his backcourt-mate Brad Davidson. As long as both of them don’t go cold, they should be able to outshoot the Illini, or at least take this to the final gun and cover the generous points.
Wild-Blackhawks First-Period Over 1.5 -145: This is the clear-but best 1P Over of the night as the Wild have gone Over in the opening frame of their last seven games, are 9-1 in their last 10 and 28-12 (70 percent) on the season. The Blackhawks are 23-21, so they combine for 51-33 (65 percent) while you just need 59.2 percent to make a profit at -145 (and I like our chances better thanks to the Wild’s current form). If you’re looking to parlay that play with another 1P Over, my preference would be the Flames-Coyotes 1P Over 1.5 -145.
Good luck today (and every day!).