Tuley: early NCAA Sweet 16 picks; Monday NHL Best Bet; Sunday recaps


Monday Best Bet, Sunday Recaps

Sunday was another great day following all the sports betting action, especially March Madness as the NCAA Tournament as the Sweet 16 was set.
The day got off to a disappointing start (after sleeping in after being out late Saturday night as detailed in yesterday’s version of this column) as I lost my early Best Bet on Pittsburgh +5 vs. Xavier in an 84-73 loss. At least I salvaged my day with Creighton +1 (closed -1.5) beat Baylor in the late afternoon.
I didn’t have a dog in the fight, but the craziest ending was in the late TCU-Gonzaga game. I had finished my weekly appearance on “The Greg Peterson Experience” and was working on my daily recaps in the Galaxy ballroom on the third floor at Circa. Most of the remaining March Madness fans were needing TCU +4.5. One bettor was going out of his mind when TCU fouled Gonzaga with 0.7 seconds left as he was yelling for the player to just toss the ball in the air to run out the clock. He was literally in tears as the two free throws were made to put Gonzaga up over the spread at 84-78 as he was calling it the worst beat ever (a bit of an exaggeration, but we get it). Then TCU rolled the ball up the floor and Damion Baugh scooped up the ball in one motion and launched a 3-pointer for the miracle back-door cover at 84-81.
It was a remarkable turn of events, but in a way it wasn’t shocking as this is what March Madness is all about.
Underdogs and Overs bounced back on Sunday. We always try to remind readers that while we know a lot of people follow our daily betting trends looking for plays, the fact is that we should always be aware that these things tend to reverse once everyone gets on the bandwagon (especially as oddsmakers certainly know these trends as well and are adjusting to protect their bottom lines). As we’ll detail below, Unders were 24-8 in the first round and continued that 75% run by going 6-2 on Saturday, but Overs rebounded by going 6-2 on Sunday.
Favorites were also leading at 18-14 ATS in the first round, but dogs went 4-3-1 ATS on Saturday and 5-3 ATS on Sunday.


Let’s recap the rest of Sunday’s action and then look for a Best Bet on Monday as well as giving our early takes on the Sweet 16 that we first gave out on “The Greg Peterson Experience” on Sunday night (my regular appearance at 11:15 p.m. ET/8:15 p.m. PT, or 15 minutes into the archived version).

Saturday Recaps

NCAA Tournament: Gonzaga beat TCU 84-81 to wrap up the round of 32 and set the Sweet16. The ViewFromVegas is Gonzaga looked like it was going to cover as a 4.5-point favorite on 2 free throws with 0.7 left, but then TCU hit a “meaningless” 3-pointer at buzzer for the cover. Faves finished 5-3 SU on Sunday, but dogs led 5-3 ATS with Fairleigh Dickinson (+15.5) covering in a 78-70 loss to Florida Atlantic in addition to the TCU cover. Upsets were by Kansas State (+3, +140 money line) in 75-69 win vs. Kentucky), Michigan State (+3.5, +155 ML in 69-60 win vs. Marquette) and Miami-Fla. (+1.5 in 85-69 win vs. Indiana). Overs bounce back at 6-2 on Sunday.

More NCAA Tournament: Unders dominated at 24-8 (75%) in the first round and continued that pace at 6-2 on Saturday before Overs went 6-2 on Sunday to finish 8-8 in the second round, so Unders are now 32-16 (66.7%) overall. Faves were 24-8 SU and 18-14 ATS in the first round. Faves went 10-6 SU in the second round but dogs led 9-6-1 ATS. Faves now 34-14 SU and 24-23-1 ATS so far since the start of Thursday’s games.

NBA: Faves went 7-1 SU and 5-2-1 ATS on Sunday with the push in the Bucks (-7) 118-111 win vs. the Raptors. The Magic (+6.5) covered in 111-105 loss at the Lakers. The upsets were by the Spurs (+10 in 126-118 win vs. the Hawks). Home/road teams split 4-4 SU while road teams led 5-2-1 ATS. Unders led 7-1.

More NBA: On the season, favorites improved to 693-361 SU with 16 games closing pick-’em, but underdogs still lead 519-511-24 ATS (50.4%). Home teams still lead 624-446 SU and 541-507-22 ATS (51.6%). In totals wagering, Overs’ slim lead dipped to 536-519-15 (50.8%).

NHL: Faves went 5-2 Sunday with upsets by the Blues (+120 in 3-0 win at the Jets) and Devils (+100 in 5-2 win at the Lightning). Home teams went 4-3. Overs led 5-2.

XFL: Arlington Renegades beat San Antonio Brahmas 12-10, covering as 1-point road favorites (stayed Under betting total of 35 points). Faves went 2-1 SU and ATS in Week 5 with DC Defenders-St. Louis Battlehawks closing pick-’em on Saturday. Home/road teams split 2-2 SU and ATS white Over/Unders also split 2-2. On the season, faves lead 15-4 SU and 11-7-1 ATS with 1 game closing pick-’em. Home teams dipped to 12-8 SU and 10-9-1 ATS. Overs back to .500 on season at 10-10.

Monday NHL Best Bet

Senators-Penguins 1P Over 1.5 -165 / Sharks-Oilers 1P Over 1.5 -180 (parlay pays +150): The Senators and Penguins are both among the top 8 1P Over teams and combine to go 81-57 (58.7%), but the Oilers and Connor McDavid are even hotter with 7 straight and 13-3 in their last 16 games (all NHL betting stats via “Follow the Monday” Army member @PSUOtto on Twitter). The Sharks are also a good supporting team at 6-4 in their last 10 games and the two teams combine to hit at 80-60 (57.%).

NCAA March Madness Sweet 16 Best Bets

Kansas State +1 vs. Michigan State (Thursday): The No. 3-seeded Kansas State Wildcats were disrespected as 3-point underdogs vs. No. 6 Kentucky in Sunday’s round of 32, but point guard Markquis Nowell led the way along with the KSU defense (No. 19 in defensive efficiency by kenpom.com). Some books opened K-State as the favorite here or at pick-’em, but early money has pushed Michigan State to favoritism. I get that Tom Izzo gets his teams to peak in March, but I still have the Wildcats as the better overall team and will take any points (or point) we can get.

Princeton +10 vs. Creighton (Friday): This is similar to the FAU-FDU game where there’s no way there the fledgling Florida Atlantic program should have been favored by 15.5 points against Fairleigh Dickinson after its upset of Purdue. Princeton’s run to the Sweet 16 as a No. 15 seed seems to be overshadowed by FDU’s performance, but we don’t believe the Tigers should be 10-point dogs after going toe-to-toe with and beating No. 2 seed Arizona and No 7 Missouri. Creighton came through for yours truly on Sunday, but the Bluejays are more likely to just try to grind out the win here to earn a trip to the Elite Eight.