Tuley: Wednesday Best Bets in NIT, NHL; NCAA March Madness first-round picks

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Wednesday Best Bets, Tuesday Recaps

Tuesday was mostly spent taking care of some housekeeping chores in the Tuley’s Takes home office (and some work housecleaning chores as well) to clear my schedule for this weekend’s wall-to-wall college basketball schedule.
I lost my Best Bet of the day on the Pistons +11.5 at the Wizards (we loved that it went up to +13.5 with both teams having key players out). We didn’t feel so good when the Wizards jumped out to more than a 20-point lead in the first half, but the Wizards did get back within the number in single digits before the Wizards took over and won 117-97.
Fortunately, I salvaged the day again with an NHL 1P Over parlay at +175 (note: I’m sure most followers only got +150 to +160 as that’s what I saw during the day, but I trust that was acceptable!) as the Senators and Oilers needed just 6:48 to trade goals on the way to a 2-2 tie after the first 20 minutes and then the Canucks needed just 6 minutes to grab a 2-0 lead to put that 1P Over 1.5 by themselves.

 

Let’s recap the rest of Tuesday’s (full-game) action and look for Best Bets on Wednesday. I also added a third Best Bet for the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Tuesday Recaps

NCAA Tournament: Pittsburgh (+2.5) upset Mississippi State 60-59 in Tuesday’s First Four nightcap (stayed Under betting total of 133 points). Earlier, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (-3) beat Southeast Missouri State 75-71 and covered vs. closing line (stayed Under 158).

NIT: Faves went 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS in Tuesday’s first-round games with Seton Hall (+4) covering in a 65-64 loss at Colorado in the last game of the night. The upsets were by Hofstra (+5.5 in 88-86 OT win at Rutgers) and Eastern Washington (+8.5 in 81-74 win at Washington State). Home teams also 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS. Over/Unders split 4-4.

NBA: Favorites went 5-3 SU and ATS on Tuesday with the upsets by the Spurs (+7 in 132-114 win vs. the Magic), Raptors (+1.5 in 125-110 vs. Nuggets, who lost the 4th straight game) and Lakers (+1.5 in 123-108 win at Pelicans). Home road teams split 4-4 SU and ATS. Overs led 5-3.

More NBA: On the season, favorites lead 667-351 SU with 16 games closing pick-’em, but underdogs still lead 505-490-23 ATS (50.8%). Home teams lead 606-428 SU and 524-489-21 ATS (51.7%). In totals wagering, Overs improved still lead to 520-499-15 (51%).

NHL: Faves/dogs split 6-6 with the upsets by the Blackhawks (+355 vs. Bruins), Canadiens (+300 at Penguins), Coyotes (+210 vs. Flames in OT), Lightning (+125 at Devils), Blue Jackets (+125 at Sharks in OT) and Canucks (+115 vs. Stars). Home teams went 8-4. Overs dominated 10-2.

Wednesday NIT Best Bet

Sam Houston State +4.5 vs. Santa Clara: I almost mentioned this in Tuesday’s column, but I was really hoping Rutgers, North Texas and Sam Houston State would make the NCAA Tournament as I was hoping to get them as underdogs in the first round. I didn’t mention it yesterday because Rutgers was a 6-point favorite vs. Hofstra, so fortunately I passed due to my “dog-or-pass philosophy.” On Wednesday, North Texas is a 17-point home favorite vs. Alcorn State, so I’m passing on that game as well, but I was pleasantly surprised to see Sam Houston State getting points as the higher-seeded team (it’s being played at the Leavey Center in Santa Clara due to a scheduling conflict). The offenses are pretty comparable, but Sam Houston State has a significant edge on the defensive end, ranking No. 5 in the nation at 58.5 points per game and also No. 5 in field-goal percentage at 38.5%.

Wednesday NHL Best Bet

Wild-Blues 1P Under 1.5 +105: None of the good 1P Over teams are playing each other on Wednesday, but we have this plus-money play as the Wild is still the best 1P Under team at 41-27 (60.3%) and these two teams combine for 73-63 (53.7%). That equates to a true line of -116, yet we’re getting +105.

NCAA March Madness first-round Best Bets

College of Charleston +5.5 vs. San Diego State: It’s a cliche to take a No. 12 seed vs. a No. 5, so I really had to convince myself that I wasn’t just playing College of Charleston just because of the seedings. You don’t go 31-3 in any conference without being sound on both ends of the floor and Charleston plays defense and has five players that average in double figures, so they fit the bill. San Diego State was the class of the Mountain West, which sent four teams to the Big Dance, but the conference has struggled in the NCAAs in recent years and the Aztecs – who I don’t feel are as good as some of their recent teams – are a vulnerable favorite. Charleston’s defense gives it a chance against SDSU’s methodical offense, especially as the Aztecs can have scoreless stretches if their mid-range jumpers aren’t falling. But as is the case with most March Madness upset bids, this probably comes down to whether Charleston hits its 3-pointers.

Missouri +2 vs. Utah State: I actually had my eye on Utah State as a potential first-round upset candidate, but obviously oddsmakers were high on the Aggies as well as they opened them as short favorites despite being a No. 10 seed vs. a No. 7 They’re certainly going to be a popular bracket pick, but I don’t like the matchup here and feel Missouri should be favored, so I’ll take the points with the higher-seeded team. Utah State has a balanced attack – and supporters love that the coach is Ryan Odom, who led Maryland-Baltimore County to the only No, 16 upset of a No. 1 seed (Virginia) in 2018 but Missouri will have the best player on the floor with emerging star Kobe Brown (15.9 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game, 45.3% on 3-pointers). He also has a strong supporting cast as they took care of Tennessee in the SEC Conference Tournament before running into Alabama. This should be a shootout with neither team excelling on the defensive end, though oddsmakers have protected themselves from Over bettors by setting this as one of the highest totals of the first round at 154.5 points.

Kent State +4 vs. Indiana: With the way the Hoosiers swept Purdue, they’re certainly capable of being a Sweet 16 team; however, they also have the look of a possible one-and-done team when you consider their home-road dichotomy as they’re only 7-9 away from Assembly Hall and all their shooting percentages were all down. The Mid-American Conference has been a one-bid league the past 20 years, but MAC champs have shown they can be dangerous as they’re 11-3 ATS (78.6%) in their last 14 tries as NCAA Tournament dogs of 6.5 points or more (hat tip to VSiN colleague Steve Makinen for that stat). Indiana probably has the best player on the floor in Trayce Jackson-Davis, but Kent State can answer with Sincere Carry, who scored 21 and 26 points in the MAC semifinals and title game. In addition, Kent State lost by only 5 at Houston and by only 7 at Gonzaga despite holding late leads in both games, so we’re expecting the Golden Flashes to take this to the final horn and possibly pull the upset.

VSiN College Basketball Links

Previews of all First-Round Games

Greg Peterson’s Daily Lines

College Basketball Betting Splits

College Basketball Odds

Peterson’s Daily CBB Podcast

VSiN College Basketball Betting Podcast