Friday Best Bets
Welcome to our “Tuley’s Takes” Best Bets column for Friday.
In case you missed it Wednesday, we’ve started splitting our daily column (that has been running for the past 19 months since September 2021) into two separate pieces: there’s a FREE article where I recap the betting action from the night before and update league-wide ATS stats in the various sports, and then this one where I look for the best betting opportunities on today’s wagering menu.
Links to both articles should be found on the VSiN.com home page, though I advise my regular readers to also bookmark my dedicated page at https://vsin.com/news/dave-tuley-columns/.
Tuley’s Thursday Best Bet Results
Thursday was a wild betting day (again, see my ATS Report piece filed earlier) with the Clippers announcing that Kawhi Leonard would be out in Game 3 vs. the Suns and the line going from -3 to -7.5.
This had a major impact on my posted Best Bet of the day in yesterday’s morning column on the Clippers +2.5, especially when the Suns ended up winning 129-124 as obviously my posted play was graded a loser on the VSiN PRO picks page.
Immediately after the game, one of my @ViewFromVegas Twitter followers and VSiN member, David Allison (@DavidAI61763893) Tweeted “I hope you’re not gonna say you got 7.5 with Clips.” I wanted to reply, but I know no one likes to hear when someone has a losing pick at one number and then claims to have bet another number, but that’s what happened in this case and I’m hoping we can have an open and frank conversation about it here with our regular readers (without it turning into a shouting match if it was posted on Twitter with the inevitable backlash).
Longtime readers obviously know I’m an underdog bettor and there are times like this that I try to remind everyone that more often than not they can expect to get the best lines with my dogs closer to gametime (this is especially true during football season when I post my official picks on Wednesdays for the upcoming weekend). I’ve estimated that followers should expect to hit 5% better than my posted record with prop line-shopping and waiting for the better numbers. It’s just the way it is. We try to give our readers fair warning of which lines are more likely to get better (and even update the line moves in my daily columns even though my “official” pick stands – a perfect example of this is the XFL this week as earlier in the week I gave out the Guardians and Vipers, but in this case haven’t locked in official plays as the lines have been rising all week).
So, even though I posted Clippers +2.5 yesterday morning, I was peronally hoping that the line would rise during the day though I was reasonably hoping for +3 or +3.5. I didn’t know Leonard would be out, but wasn’t surprised when the line went to Suns -7.5. Again, longtime readers should also know that there are countless times when I’ve “traded on bad news” as I always say the oddsmakers and the market overreacts to injury news with star players (especially QBs in pro and college football) and often gives value on the other side.
So, with all this in mind: yes, I did bet the Clippers +7.5 and cashed even though I had to take a loss on the posted play. I feel bad for those that only bet +2.5, but there was certainly plenty of time to add another bet during the day. I’m just mentioning this before it’s sure to happen again (especially with the troubling trend of NBA teams not being up-front with this news all the time – I’m actually surprised that we’re not having this discussion more often, but it’s obviously amplified by the Suns-Clippers game resulting in a “middle”).
As for the rest of Thursday plays, I’m confident even those followers that lost on the Clippers still had a winning day as we pushed on the Dodgers First 5 Innings +100 at the Cubs as the two teams tied 2-2 (Dodgers led 2-1 before the Cubs tied it in the bottom of the 4th, thanks to LA’s right fielder James Outman throwing out the tying run at the plate) and then Outman hitting a grand slam in the top of 9th for a 6-2 victory that cashed for those that bet the full game. And then we hit our second NHL First-Period Over parlay at +208 for the second time in three days with the Lightning-Maple Leafs 1P Over -130 and Kraken-Avalanche 1P Over -135 as the Lightning and Maple Leafs tied 1-1 and the Kraken led the Avalanche led 2-0 to get us the money again!
Let’s move on to Friday’s betting card. I’m passing in the NBA as Hawks +5 vs. the Celtics and Timberwolves +2.5 vs. the Nuggets are too short for my liking even though they’re heading home in the “zig-zag” role trailing 2-0 in their series while the Knicks are 1.5-point home faves, so I’m passing on them as well.
MLB Friday Best Bets
Rockies +1.5 +115 at Phillies: This is a “swagger play” on the Rockies as they just snapped an 8-game losing streak on Thursday. I might also play the Rockies First 5, but I’ve been pushing so many of those lately that I prefer the full-game run line as my Best Bet. This is also a bet against Philadelphia starter Aaron Nola (1-2, 5.91 ERA) as the Rockies’ lineup is full of players hitting better than .300 against him: Charlie Blackmon (.381 in 21 ABs), Kris Bryant (.308 in 13 ABs), C.J. Cron (.667 in 6 ABs) and a couple others in fewer at-bats. We’ll also have some on the Rockies +245 on the full-game money line. If looking for another play, even though it doesn’t raise to the level of a Best Bet for me (but I’ll probably play it anyway), I also like the Astros First 5 -105 and +105 full-game money line at the Braves as Atlanta is in an “anti-swagger” spot after having its 8-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday.
NHL Friday Best Bet
Panthers +135 vs. Bruins: I know it’s tough to fade Boston, which set an NHL record for wins this season, but they’re in an “anti-swagger” spot as they just had a 9-game winning streak snapped with the Panthers’ 6-3 win on Wednesday. It certainly didn’t look like a fluke and the Panthers now get them on home ice. I shouldn’t have to remind anyone that winning the Presidents’ Trophy for best record doesn’t guarantee a deep playoff run, so there’s no guarantee that the Bruins bounce back.
XFL Week 10 Best Bets
Orlando Guardians +9 at St. Louis Battlehawks and Vegas Vipers +8.5 at Seattle Sea Dragons: We gave these plays on “The Greg Peterson Experience” as both are fades of the Battlehawks, who need to win to clinch an XFL playoff spot, and the Sea Dragons, who need to win in case the Battlehawks fall. In both cases, I feel the lines are inflated too high due to those teams being in “must-win” situations, plus the Guardians and Vipers are much improved from earlier in the season and look like they enjoy playing spoiler down the stretch (Orlando had covered 3 straight before pushing as 2-point dogs in 25-23 loss at San Antonio on Saturday and the Vipers are also playing better since switching to Jalan McClendon at QB and took Houston to the final gun on Saturday). Note: I haven’t added these to the VSiN PRO Best Bets page yet as we’ve been waiting to see how high these lines go as Guardians has hit +9.5 at some books while Vipers seems to have peaked at +8.5.