Wednesday was another active day in and out of the Tuley’s Takes home office as I had to pick up my kids on their last day of school, pick up Krispy Kreme donuts for our “Class of 2022” graduate, etc.
It’s crazy how we go through the motions of our day-to-day lives while waiting for the NBA playoff games at night (late afternoon here in Vegas), but time and time again we’ve been treated to blowouts. It’s been a crazy run as I’m sure you’ve heard from plenty of others at VSiN, but the fact is the Celtics’ 93-80 win over the Heat on Wednesday night was one of the most competitive games we’ve seen the past two-and-a-half weeks. In fact, May 9 was the last NBA playoff game in which the underdog covered in a straight-up loss. Since then, it’s been 19 straight games in which either the favorite has won and covered the spread or the dog has won outright.
We lost our Best Bet on the Heat, but I’m amazed at how many people I’ve already heard that are jumping to the conclusion that the Celtics are now going to win Game 6 at home on Friday and are putting them in the NBA Finals. I’m not drinking the kool-aid and still believe this is going the full 7 games (and if the Heat don’t win Friday night, I’m at least expecting them to cover – but passing for now to see if the line of Celtics -9 goes any higher with everyone jumping on the bandwagon). More about the NBA playoffs in my “takes” at the end of this column.
As for my MLB dogs on Wednesday, I lost on the Rockies at the Pirates and Phillies at the Braves, but won with the Brewers + 110 at the Padres and A’s + 150 at the Mariners to show a profit and cut my overall losses on the day.
Let’s recap the rest of Wednesday’s betting results and try to do better on Thursday as we head toward the holiday weekend.
Celtics rallied in 2nd half and pulled away to beat Heat 93-80 to take 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. The ViewFromVegas is the Celtics also covered after closing as 3.5-point road favorites (games stayed waaaaay Under the betting total of 204 points).
Faves improved to 6-3 SU and ATS this round and 52-26 SU and 45-33 ATS (57.7 percent) overall. Home teams dipped to 5-4 SU and ATS, 48-30 SU but just 41-37 ATS (52.6 percent) overall. The zig-zag dipped to 4-3 ATS this round with the Heat in that role, 34-30 ATS overall. Overs dipped to 5-4 this round, while Unders improved to 47-31 (60.3 percent) overall.
Blues rallied from 3-0 deficit to tie Avalanche 4-4 late in regulation and then won 5-4 in OT to avoid elimination and pull within 3-2 in their 2nd-round series. The ViewFromVegas is the Blues did it as + 214 road underdogs (game went Over the betting total of 6.5 goals).
Faves dipped to 11-5 this round and lead 44-24 overall. Home teams dipped to 10-7 in the round, 42-26 overall. The zig-zag won with the Blues, improving to 3-6 SU this round and 29-27 overall. Unders dipped to 11-6 this round, while Overs improved to 37-29-2 (56.1 percent) overall.
Faves went 8-5 with upsets by the Nationals (+ 180 in 1-0 win at Dodgers), Tigers (+ 175 in 4-2 win at Twins), A's (+ 155 in 4-2 win at Mariners), Rangers (+ 155 in 7-2 win at Angels) and Brewers (+ 125 in 2-1 win at Padres). Home teams went 9-4. Unders went 8-4-1 with the push in the Rangers’ 7-2 win at the Angels with a betting total of 9 runs.
Faves lead 391-248 SU (61.2 percent) on season with 14 games closing pick-’em (faves usually win about 59 percent, so faves still ahead of that pace). Home teams lead just 336-317 (51.5 percent, usually closer to 54 percent). Unders improved to 332-287-34 (53.6 percent) but still way down from when they were 60 percent just 30 days ago.
Mavericks + 7 at Warriors:
I wrote the other day that I was hoping the series would head back to San Francisco and I could bet the Mavs plus the points in Game 5. Hopefully some of you grabbed the Mavericks + 7.5 as that’s where most books opened this line Sharp bettors grabbed that as we mostly see + 7, which I think is still playable. The conventional wisdom out there is that the Warriors didn’t really try in Game 4 and will close out the series at home in blowout fashion. However, I’m not sure the Warriors can just “flip the switch” and automatically win in a rout and I expect the Mavs to put up a fight and try to send this series back to Dallas. They showed pride in avoiding the sweep and we should see the same effort here. A lot of people are predicting a blowout (and why not since that’s all we’ve seen lately?), but I say it’s just as likely that the Mavericks win in a blowout. What you’re not likely to hear anywhere else is that even though we’ve had these 19 straight games with either the favorites winning in a rout or the dogs winning outright, the faves are just 10-9 straight-up so it tells me right there that the underdog Mavs are just a likely to win by a lopsided margin. Or at least cover. Now, a lot of people are saying “the points don’t matter” since they haven’t for so long, but I’ll say right now that at least one dog will cover in a loss in the next 2 nights (Mavericks + 7 at Warriors and Heat + 9 at Celtics) – and hopefully both, or maybe even one pulling an outright upset.
Two teams had 6-game winning streaks snapped on Wednesday – the Red Sox and Twins – so normally I would fade them both as “anti-swagger” plays. I’m having a hard time making the bets, but I’m sure I’ll play both as White Sox are short -110 favorites at the Red Sox and the Royals + 160 at the Twins. The reason for my trepidation is that I don’t like laying any kind of juice with faves like the White Sox, while the Royals are on a 6-game losing streak so I don’t trust them much even though this would be more of a bet against the Twins. Still, as I said, I’ll probably play both. Note: if the Royals win, I would then look to bet them again, this time as a “swagger play,” on Friday again against the Twins. We’ll see how that works out. The other dogs I’m planning to play Thursday are the Brewers (listing Eric Lauer if you can) + 108 at the Cardinals and Rangers (listing Martin Perez) + 110 at the A’s.
I missed out on the Blues on Wednesday, and also passing on the underdog Rangers and Oilers on Thursday as I expect the Hurricanes (-155) to take a 3-2 lead in their series with the Rangers as the home teams have dominated and the Flames (-150) to defend home ice and pull within 3-2 of the Oilers.
Good luck today (and every day!).