After the appetizers of the First Four, we get a full menu of NCAA tournament games starting Thursday here in the Tuley’s Takes home office and in the sports books and in homes and bars across this great country.
We mentioned in yesterday’s column that we didn’t like any underdogs in the First Four games on Wednesday after not liking any on Tuesday. I actually did mention that I liked Notre Dame when it opened as a dog and then was passing as the Fightin’ Irish had been bet to favoritism. Notre Dame closed as the dog (despite the fact I see other websites saying faves went 4-0 ATS in the First Four games), so I hope some readers jumped in on the Irish.
Our Best Bet for Wednesday was much more clear and I really hope you all followed along as I wrote that all four games on the NHL card were plays on First-Period Overs. We wrote we were going to bet the Blue Jackets-Senators 1P Over 1.5 straight as our Best Bet of the day – improving our run to 23-8-1 ATS (74.2 percent) the past 32 days – and then round-robins with the other three games: Bruins-Wild, Devils-Flames and Lightning Kraken. All four went Over 1.5 goals in the opening period, so followers should have won every bet whether betting straight or in parlays or round-robins. It was a thing of beauty!
This was all after going 7-0 with our posted plays on Tuesday, so we sincerely hope we’ve helped our readers pad their bankroll heading into March Madness.
Let’s get to the general recaps of Wednesday’s betting action and then try to keep the good times rolling on Thursday.
CBB: Notre Dame (+ 1) outlasted Rutgers 89-87 in double OT of the First Four nightcap in Dayton, with the Fighting Irish’s winning basket coming just after midnight (St. Patrick’s Day). The game went Over 134 even before the extra sessions. Earlier, Wright State (-2.5) covered in a 93-82 win vs. Bryant as the game also went Over 155.5). Faves/dogs split 1-1 SU and ATS on Wednesday and led 3-1 SU and ATS in two days of the First Four. Overs went 2-0 on the night and 3-1 overall.
More CBB: For those looking for 2 more Friday NCAA tournament games to bet (or if you’re just checking out lines to help with filling out your brackets), No. 1 (South) Arizona is -21.5 vs. No. 16 Wright State and No. 6 (West) Alabama is -4 vs. No. 11 Notre Dame.
NBA: Faves went 10-1 SU on Wednesday with Hawks-Hornets closing pick-’em, but only 7-3-1 ATS as the Mavericks (-3) didn't cover in their 113-111 win at the Nets and neither did the Spurs (-11.5) in 122-120 win vs. Thunder. The lone outright upset of the night was by the Celtics (+ 2 at Warriors). The push was by the 76ers (-4) in their 118-114 win at the Cavaliers). Overs went 8-4.
NHL: Faves went 3-1 with the lone upset by the Blue Jackets (+ 113 in 4-1 win at Senators). The favored Wild, Flames and Lightning also all covered the -1.5 puck line. Unders went 2-1-1 with the push in the Wild's 4-2 win vs. Bruins as the betting total was 6 goals. First Period Overs swept 4-0 on the night.
(Note: for the reasons behind why I like each pick, check out the VSiN Daily Best Bets file at VSiN.com as our main purpose here is making sure we get the best line value. Another thing I want to mention is that there’s no real reason for this except just the random way the schedule is laid out, but I like my four Friday plays better than any of my plays on Thursday; hopefully we fare OK on both days. Having said all, that these are my top plays each day in order of preference):
Boise State + 2.5 vs. Memphis:
That was the line I went on the record with on “The Lookahead” show on Sunday night and in the Best Bet file, but most books have gone up to 3, so I’m liking it even more.
Colorado State + 2.5 vs. Michigan:
This was at 2.5 for a long time and I advised readers to grab it ASAP in Wednesday’s column. I hope you did as it’s down to 1.5 at most books as of early Thursday morning. I still like it as I’ve taken the Rams to advance in the majority of my brackets, so I obviously expect them to pull the minor upset..
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, though I’m still using them in the vast majority of my brackets.
NHL 1P Overs:
For those wanting some side action in the midst of the Madness, especially after we went 4-0 with these plays last night, the 1P Overs that I like best on Thursday are the Sabres-Oilers 1P Over -175 and Panthers-Golden Knights 1P Over -150 and will probably just parlay them together.
Colgate + 7.5 vs. Wisconsin: This line has bounced all over, but mostly settled at 7.5 early this week. Colgate has emerged as a popular underdog play, but I’m already pot-committed as I have Colgate advancing the farthest in my brackets among all lower seeds. There are some + 8s that have popped up..
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 + 1.5s.
Montana State + 15.5 vs. Texas Tech:
The 15.5s are now gone, but 15 should be more than enough in this matchup that should be in the high single digits..
Delaware + 15.5 vs. Villanova:
I added this play on Tuesday for the VSiN Best Bets file at VSiN.com and it’s looking solid at 15.5.
Good luck today (and every day!).