Wednesday was a tough day in the Tuley’s Takes home office.
It started out promising with three bowl games, though it was also frustrating as it was the third straight day with a bowl game being canceled. It got more depressing when our best bet, Virginia Tech, couldn’t get anything going in its 54-10 loss to Maryland and then chalk went 3-0 SU and ATS on the day (yuck, though I did fortunately have Oklahoma in all my bowl pools, including as a high number in my confidence pools so I’m still leading a couple and in contention in half a dozen pools).
I also lost my top NHL First-Period Over parlay as the Rangers-Panthers games only had 1 goal scored in the opening period (even though 7 goals were scored in the game), The second leg, Oilers-Blues First-Period Over 1.5 came in as there were 3 goals scored in the first 7:31 of the game, so hopefully some of you bet that straight at around -145.
Lastly, I lost a little vig as I bet Over all 6 games on the NHL card but only went 3-3.
So, it was a losing night overall, but a lot of action and that’s what we lost about this sports betting life. We can’t win every night – though we try.
Before getting to Thursday’s best bet (and the rest of our CFB bowl plays through the holiday weekend), let’s recap all of Wednesday night’s betting action.
CFB: No. 16 Oklahoma (-7) beat No, 14 Oregon 47-32 in the Alamo Bowl (went Over 64); No. 19 Clemson (-2) beat Iowa State 20-13 in the Cheez-It Bowl (stayed Under 45); Maryland (-4.5) routed Virginia Tech 54-10 in the Pinstripe Bowl (went Over 55.5). Faves went 3-0 SU and ATS on the day while Overs went 2-1.
More CFB: Faves improved to 17-6 SU this bowl season with 1 pick-'em (Western Kentucky-Appalachian State) and faves also took 14-9 ATS (60.9 percent) lead with that 1 PK. Faves are 14-4 ATS (77.8 percent) since an 0-5 start. Overs improved to 15-9 (62.5 percent) overall.
CBB: There were 3 battles between ranked teams on Wednesday night. No. 11 Auburn (-4.5) beat No. 16 LSU 70-55; No. 21 Providence (-2.5) beat No. 15 Seton Hall 70-65 but it was not an upset; No. 19 Alabama (-7) beat No. 14 Tennessee 73-68, but it was not an upset. Home faves went 3-0 SU with only Bama not covering. Unders swept 3-0.
NBA: Faves went 5-3 SU but split 4-4 ATS as the Lakers (+ 6) covered in their 104-99 loss at the Grizzlies. Upsets were by the Hornets (+ 4 at Pacers), Clippers (+ 6 at Celtics) and Kings (+ 1 vs. Mavericks). Unders went 7-1.
NHL: Faves went 4-1 with the Canucks-Ducks game closing pick-'em (5-1 if grading Canucks as the shortest of faves as they were at some books). The lone upset of the night was by the Flyers (+ 115 in 3-2 win at Kraken). Overs/Unders split 3-3.
Thursday’s Takes (and the weekend)
Purdue + 6 vs. Tennessee: Purdue wasn’t among my best bets when the bowl matchups were announced and opening lines were posted as the Boilermakers opened as short favorites at some books, but then with Purdue losing WR David Bell and DE George Karlaftis as they declared for the draft, the line flipped to Tennessee -3 and has continued to get bet higher. Purdue lost to Ohio State and Wisconsin, but also upset Iowa (ranked No. 2 at the time) and Michigan State (No. 5 at the time). QB Aidan O’Connell will miss Bell, but I trust him and coach Jeff Brohm to keep this close if not pull the upset. The line was up to 6.5 at most books late Wednesday night, and up to 7 at Circa Sports in Las Vegas and DraftKings in other states, so shop around for the best price.
Cincinnati + 13.5 vs. Alabama: I actually bet Alabama -13 when this matchup was first announced as I fully expected the public to bet it over two TDs and give us a shot at the middle as I expect to bet twice as much on Cincinnati plus as many points as I can get. Even if I don’t get 14 or higher, I’ll bet back on the Bearcats + 13.5 as I really feel they showed they can play with the big boys from their 24-21 loss to Georgia in last season’s Peach Bowl.
Oklahoma State + 2.5 vs. Notre Dame: This also wasn’t among my original best bets, but I’ll still be betting it on Saturday to kick off the New Year.
Baylor + 1.5 vs. Mississippi: This is another marginal best bet (I only added it to my plays on the VSiN CFB Best Bets page in Point Spread Weekly this week because some of my other best bets (Washington State and Central Michigan) had their games canceled, but it’s another short dog that has a great chance at the upset.
We’ll add our NFL plays for the weekend on Friday.