Tuley: NCAA Sweet 16 Best Bet for Friday, plus NBA, NHL; Thursday recaps

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Friday Best Bets, Thursday Recaps

Thursday was pretty cruddy for the better part of the day in the Tuley’s Takes home office as I spent most of it fighting off a cold.
It started with some congestion I noticed on Wednesday night during the “Mean Girls” musical and I woke up Thursday with a runny nose and sore throat. I did my usual self-medication with DayQuil and Cloraseptic in between naps.
I was already feeling better by nightfall, and improved even more when I won my Best Bet on Kansas State +1 in its 98-83 OT win vs. Michigan State. I dozed on and off during the game but saw enough to know I made the right call in mentioning Markquis Nowell (20 points and an NCAA Tournament-record 19 assists) and using him as the thumbnail photo in yesterday’s column.
We also easily won our NHL First-Period Over parlay at +158 as the Senators needed just 11:37 to grab a 2-0 lead vs. the Lightning and then the Canucks (our favorite 1P Over team) needed just 8:17 for a 2-0 lead on the way to a 3-1 advantage after the first 20 minutes. It ended up being a pretty good day all things considered – I’ll take that trade-off any day!
Let’s get to Thursday’s (full-game) recaps and then look for more Best Bets on Friday with more Sweet 16 games (we’re 7-3 ATS with our CBB picks the past week and a half). Unfortunately, I don’t have an NHL 1P Over parlay (as we’ve been tracking, we’re 11-12 with those since the Super Bowl but ahead 7.21 units) as we don’t have multiple plays that qualify with the only one being Devils-Sabres 1P Over 1.5 for those willing to lay -175.

 

Thursday Recaps

NCAA Tournament: West No. 3 seed Gonzaga rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to beat No. 2 seed UCLA 79-76 late Thursday in Sweet 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to advance to Elite 8. The ViewFromVegas is the game closed consensus pick-’em (went Over the betting total of 146 points). East No. 9 Florida Atlantic upset No. 4 Tennessee 62-55 to advance to Elite 8 vs. No. 3 Kansas St., which beat No. 7 Michigan St. 98-98 in OT after closing as a 1-point favorite. West No. 4 UConn (-3.5) routed No. 8 Arkansas 88-65.

More NCAA Tournament: Favorites went 2-1 SU and ATS tonight with Gonzaga-UCLA closing pick-’em. Faves lead 36-15 SU with that 1 PK and also improved slim lead to 26-24-1 ATS; Overs 3-1 on Thursday, but Unders still lead 33-19 (63.5%), 36-20 (64.3%) if including the First Four.

NBA: Faves went 3-1 SU on Thursday but only 2-2 ATS as the Nets (+3) covered in 116-114 loss vs. the Cavaliers. The lone upset was by the Magic (+2.5 in 111-106 win vs. the Knicks). The Pelicans (-9 vs. Hornets) and Clippers (-5 vs. Thunder) covered as chalk. Home teams also went 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS. Over/Unders split 2-2.

More NBA: On the season, favorites improved to 711-369 SU with 16 games closing pick-’em, but underdogs still lead 532-524-24 ATS (50.4%). Home teams lead 638-458 SU and 552-522-22 ATS (51.4%). In totals wagering, Overs still hold slim lead at 549-531-16 (50.8%).

NHL: Underdogs went 7-5 with upsets by the Flyers (+130 at Wild), Rangers (+125 at Hurricanes), Maple Leafs (+120 at Panthers), Golden Knights (+120 at Flames), Predators (+115 vs. Kraken), Senators (+110 vs. Lightning) and Blues (+108 at Red Wings). Home teams went 7-5. Over/Unders split 6-6.

NCAA March Madness Sweet 16 Best Bet

Princeton +10 vs. Creighton: This is similar to the FAU-FDU game where there’s no way that 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.

Friday NBA Best Bet

Trail Blazers +2 vs. Bulls: This is a “swagger play” with the Blazers snapping their 6-game losing streak on Monday at Utah and now hosting the Bulls (though I hope I’m not being influenced by the Bulls letting me down in their blowout loss vs. the 76ers on Wednesday). Early injury reports have Damian Lillard probable for the Blazers and DeMar DeRozan questionable for the Bulls, so I hope those are accurate.

Friday NHL Best Bet

Coyotes +1.5 +145 at Avalanche: This is an “anti-swagger” play against Colorado, which just had its 6-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday vs. the Penguins. We like the plus-price on the puck line, especially as the Coyotes took the Avalanche to OT the last time they played on March 11 before falling 3-2. We won’t call this a Best Bet, but we’ll also add a little on the money line at around +370.