Tuley: Tuesday Best Bets in NIT, NHL; Monday recaps; NCAA Sweet 16 picks


Tuesday Best Bet, Monday Recaps

Monday was spent recovering from a non-stop weekend highlighted by the first two rounds of March Madness, though Monday wasn’t lacking for action of its own with a dog-filled slate in the NBA and even in the CBI tournament, plus the World Baseball Classic for good measure.
I lost my Best Bet (and lone personal bet) of the day on an NHL First-Period Over parlay as the Senators and Penguins had their shots but the Senators only led 1-0 after the opening 20 minutes. The Sharks-Oilers did go Over at 1-1, but still a loser for our purposes.
Let’s get right to the (full-game) recaps and then look for Best Bets for Tuesday as I’ll jump back on the hardwood while also having two plays on the ice.


Monday Recaps

NBA: Bulls upset 76ers 109-105 in 2OT as 8-point road underdogs to snap 76ers’ 8-game winning streak. Underdogs went 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS with the Mavericks (+4.5) covering in a 112-108 loss at the Grizzlies. The other upsets were by the Timberwolves (+8 in 140-134 win at Knicks), Hornets (+2.5 in 115-109 win vs. Pacers) and Jazz (+7 in 128-120 win vs. Kings). Only chalk to cover was the Warriors (-11.5 in 121-108 win at Rockets). Home/road teams split 3-3 SU with road teams leading 4-2 ATS. Unders led 4-2.

More NBA: On the season, favorites dipped to 695-365 SU with 16 games closing pick-’em while underdogs improved to 524-512-24 ATS (50.6%). Home teams still lead 627-449 SU and 543-511-22 ATS (51.5%). In totals wagering, Overs’ slim lead dipped to 538-523-15 (50.7%).

NHL: Faves went 3-1 Monday with Flames-Kings closing pick-’em (Kings won 8-2). The upset was by the Senators (+150 in 2-1 win at the Penguins). The Panthers (-250 in 5-2 win at Red Wings), Avalanche (-400 in 5-0 shutout vs. Blackhawks) and Oilers (-300 in 5-4 OT win vs. Sharks) won as chalk. Home teams went 3-2. Overs also led 3-2.

NIT: For those who didn’t get enough CBB over the weekend, the CBI Tournament in Daytona Beach, Fla., had favorites/underdogs split 2-2 SU on Monday with dogs leading 3-1 ATS with Rice (+4.5) covering in 81-79 loss vs. Southern Utah. The upsets were by Eastern Kentucky (+6.5 in 89-88 OT win at Indiana State) and Radford (+6.5 in 67-57 win vs. San Jose State). Overs 3-1.

NCAA Tournament (ICYMI): 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 heading into the Sweet 16.

Tuesday NIT Best Bet

North Texas +4.5 vs. Oklahoma State: Regular readers will remember last week when I mentioned that I had been hoping that Rutgers, Sam Houston State and North Texas had made the NCAA field since I was looking at them as live underdogs. Instead, they made the NIT with Rutgers and North Texas being favored in their first-round games (my dog-or-pass philosophy saved me as Rutgers lost outright and North Texas failed to cover), though we did win with Sam Houston State +4.5 in its upset of Santa Clara. We then caught a bad break as Sam Houston State and North Texas met in the second round, but now we get North Texas in the underdog role vs. Oklahoma State. The Cowboys were a bubble team, but it really looks like the only reason they’re favored is because they play in the Big 12 compared to North Texas in Conference USA (kenpom.com has North Texas rated ahead of OSU in offensive and defensive efficiency).

Tuesday NHL Best Bets

Senators +1.5 +105 at Bruins: Ottawa is a mini-swagger play after snapping a 5-game losing streak on Monday night. Granted, the Senators are playing the NHL’s top team in Boston, so we’ll go with the puck line just in case we lose a close game. I think it’s also worth a play on the money line at +230.

Flames-Ducks 1P Over 1.5 -140 / Golden Knights-Canucks 1P Over 1.5 -160 (parlay pays +179): I know these plays have cooled off, but I can’t resist using the Ducks and Canucks combo again as these are still the two best 1P Over teams: Canucks 50-18 overall, including 16-5 in their last 21, with Ducks at 45-24. The Ducks are also playing the No. 3 team in the Flames.

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.
(Update: line up to Michigan State -2 as of early Tuesday morning.)

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.