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Tuley's Takes Today: Wednesday recaps, Thursday best bets (10/21)

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 


Wednesday was a pretty good day for dog-or-pass bettors – like us in the Tuley’s Takes home office – as there were upsets in both MLB playoff games, dogs won both games in the NHL and there was an upset of a ranked team in the only major college football game. The only way a dog bettor could have been hurt was the NBA as favorites went 7-4 SU and ATS, though even there the four dogs that covered also won outright. My friend Roger lost with the Celtics (a bad beat as they lost the point-spread cover in double-OT) but made up for it with the Nuggets + 6 and on the money line.

As for our best bet on the day, we won with the Astros + 110 in their 9-1 rout of the Red Sox. However, I was even prouder of my other suggested play as I advised readers to grab the Broncos + 3.5 or at least + 3 as we were seeing those disappear in Thursday night’s game against the Browns.

In this week’s Point Spread Weekly (which is put together on Tuesday and published on Wednesday; hint: you can usually see several stories on on Tuesday night), we gave out the Broncos + 3.5 as that was the most widely available line at the time we were making our picks. However, when I was putting together my “Tuley’s Takes Today” column for Wednesday late Tuesday night, I saw the market moving and that’s why I included that note to bet the Broncos ASAP.

This is one of the reasons why we decided this daily version of “Tuley’s Takes” would be most helpful for readers as it gave me the chance to reach readers in a more timely fashion than a weekly online magazine (as great as it is). Each week, we try to help readers time their bets (whether they’re with me on the dogs or betting the chalk) by predicting how the lines are moving so we can time our bets for the maximum value.

I hope I was able to help at least some readers get the best number available (and would love to hear from those that did). The Broncos + 3.5 is a great bet as you have a lot of inherent value with the line currently sitting at 2. You either have the best of it and can let it ride – or you can bet the Browns -2 and shoot for a middle if the Browns win by exactly a field goal.

This also brings up another point about the importance of timing the market and getting the best number on each bet. It’s my belief that if you consistently do that, you can add 5 percentage points to my record (if you’re following my picks) or your own picks over the course of an NFL season. If you make around 100 bets a season (a little more than 5 a week), you can turn 5 losses into wins (that’s just one every three or four weeks). and there can also be times where you turn a loss into a push or a push into a win by getting the best number.

Without further ado, let’s get to the general recaps for Wednesday and try to find more winners for Thursday.

Wednesday’s recaps

MLB: Braves routed the Dodgers 9-2 to take a 3-1 lead in the National League Championship Series. The Braves did it as + 200 road underdogs and the game went Over the betting total of 8.5 runs. Earlier, Astros routed the Red Sox 9-1 to take a 3-2 lead in the ALCS as + 110 road underdogs as the game also went Over 9.5 runs. Underdogs (both on road) went 2-0 on Wednesday while Overs went 2-0. Dogs took a 5-4 lead in this round, home teams still lead 5-4 and Overs improved to 8-1. In the LDS and LCS rounds, faves lead 16-10, home teams also lead 16-10 and Overs lead 17-9.

CFB: Appalachian State upset No. 14 Coastal Carolina 30-27 Wednesday night on a 24-yard FG as time expired. The Mountaineers did it as 4.5-point home underdogs and + 170 on the money line. The game stayed Under the betting total of 61 points.

NBA: Knicks ended up covering as 2.5-point home favorites in their 138-134 win over the Celtics in 2OT. Favorites went 7-4 SU and ATS on the night with upsets by Hornets (+ 1.5 vs. Pacers), Wizards (+ 2.5 at Raptors), Kings (+ 6.5 at Blazers) and Nuggets (+ 6 at Suns). Unders went 6-5. 

NHL: Underdogs went 2-0 as the Blues beat the Golden Knights 3-1 late Wednesday as + 105 road underdogs as it stayed Under the betting total of 5.5 goals) and, earlier, the Flyers (+ 120) beat the Bruins 6-3 as home dogs. Overs/Unders split 1-1. 

Thursday’s Takes

Broncos + 8 in teasers: As detailed avoid, this number has dropped below a field goal and underdog bettors have lost a lot of value, however, it still qualifies as a teaser as we can still get the key numbers of 3 and 7 in case the Broncos lose by one score. For more reasons on why I like the Broncos in this game (though a lot of it has to do with Denver QB Teddy Bridgewater being 38-13 ATS in his career as a starter as well as 18-2 ATS as a road underdog), see Point Spread Weekly or the best bets file at There aren’t as many advantage teasers this compared to recent weeks, but the top candidates to use with Broncos + 8 would be the Packers teased down from -8.5 to -2.5 and/or the Dolphins teased up from + 2.5 to + 8.5 vs. the Falcons.

Dodgers (-1.5 + 135) vs. Braves: The Braves have taken it to the Dodgers and lead the NLCS as the Dodgers try to avoid elimination on Thursday night and send the series back to Atlanta. They’re going with a bullpen game, which has worked well for them all season as well as Game 5 in the NLDS and Game 1 of this series (though they lost 3-2). I believe the Dodgers will come out swinging with their backs against the wall and get a comfortable win, so we’ll turn a favorite into a dog by using the run line to make the Dodgers win by at least 2 runs.

Good luck today (and every day!).

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