Thanksgiving Week is always a strange one in the Tuley’s Takes home office. All of my weekly deadlines are condensed into the first couple days of the week as my editors want to get all the weekend plays posted by Wednesday so everyone can have the day off on Thursday to spend Thanksgiving with their families or however they spend the holiday.
It disrupts my weekly routine, but it’s also kind of nice as I was done with most of my writing and finished helping proof this week’s issue of Point Spread Weekly before settling in to watch a bunch of college football and basketball on Tuesday night.
We had No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 2 UCLA down the road at T-Mobile Arena as well as the Maui Invitational being held at Mandalay Bay (hey, you can’t make this stuff up).
As for college football, I lost my best bet on Buffalo + 6.5 as the Bulls were unable to get in the end zone in a 20-3 loss at Ball State. I didn’t get any congratulatory emails for that pick – and I always appreciate hearing from readers when I help them bet a live underdog – but I did get a couple from people who thanked me for putting them on Western Michigan against Northern Illinois. I didn’t make a pick on WMU, but what I did was write that I couldn’t bet my alma mater NIU as dogs as the Huskies had already clinched the MAC West and a berth in the conference title game, so they didn’t have anything to play for. I guess that was enough for some readers to see that as a tacit endorsement to be the chalk. Obviously a lot of people out there either followed my advice or thought the same way as the line was steamed from Western Michigan -3.5 when I wrote my column to Western Michigan -7 at kickoff. The Broncos rolled to a 42-21 victory.
I’ve always maintained that even though I’m a dog-or-pass bettor, there’s plenty of info shared in my columns that can be used by bettors of all kinds. Sometimes you have to read between the lines, but we’re all in this together in trying to beat this game.
Let’s get to the nightly recaps of another busy night on Tuesday, and then I have a pick for Wednesday. We’ll add all our football picks for the weekend in Thursday’s edition of “Tuley’s Takes Today.”
CBB: No. 1 Gonzaga routed No. 2 UCLA 83-63 Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, easily covering as a 7-point favorite as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 33-10 lead and never looked back. The game stayed Under the betting total of 156 points. Earlier in the Maui Invitational in Las Vegas (yes, that’s right), Wisconsin upset No. 12 Houston 65-63 as an 8-point dog and + 290 on the money line. Game went Over 122.5.
CFB: Favorites went 2-0 SU and ATS in MACtion as Ball State (-6.5) beat Buffalo 20-3 and Western Michigan (-7) beat Northern Illinois 42-21. Over/Unders split 1-1. Mid-week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) MAC Overs still lead 11-7 this year and 59-26-2 (69.4 percent) the last 5 years.
NBA: Faves went 3-1 SU but split 2-2 ATS on Tuesday. The upset was by the Mavericks (+ 2.5) in 112-104 OT win at the Clippers late Tuesday. The Pistons (+ 10.5) covered in their 100-92 loss vs. the Heat. Over/Unders split 2-2 (Mavs-Clippers went Over the betting total of 213 thanks to OT), but Unders still lead 156-108-3 (59.1 percent) on the season.
NHL: Faves went 2-0 Tuesday with Oilers-Stars closing pick-'em (though argument could be made that Stars were slightest of favorites as most books had Stars favored on puck line and Circa and Westgate both had them -110 with Oilers + 100 on 10-cent line). Unders went 2-1.
Cavaliers + 6.5 (or higher) vs. Suns: We suffered a bit of a bad beat on the Cavaliers last Thursday as we had them + 8 against the Warriors and lost after they squandered a 13-point halftime lead and still failed to cover. However, I’m willing to give them another chance, this time against the Suns, who are riding a 13-game winning streak. However, we’ve seen the oddsmakers catch up to the Suns as they’ve failed to cover in four of their last five wins. This is another case where the line has been inflated enough (the Suns were -10 last month when hosting the Cavs in Phoenix, a game in which the Cavs covered in a 101-92 loss) for the Cavaliers to cover at home behind Darius Garland (leading scorer t 17.8 points per game, plus 6.5 assists) and Ricky Rubio (15 points per game). The overnight line was Suns -6.5, but keep an eye on this as it’s likely that the public could continue to bet the streaking Suns and drive this line higher.
Good luck today (and every day!).