Tuley’s Takes: Friday Best Bets in MLB, plus updates on USFL playoff picks this weekend


Thursday Best Bet Results

Thursday was quite the diverse day in the Tuley’s Takes home office with several day baseball games, the start of another PGA Tour event with the Travelers, and the NBA Draft.
Personally, I took my 14-year-son Maddux to open his first checking account. He’s been hoarding a ton of cash over the years from birthday and Christmas gifts, etc. (and sometimes we’ve bought gift cards off him, so he had this stash and we felt it was time to get him his own account and debit card – if he ever spends any of it). These are the kinds of things a dad does during the summer while waiting for football season.


Unfortunately, I lost money on my lone bet of the day on the Nationals First 5 Innings +120 vs. the Diamondbacks. I kinda felt it was a bad beat as an error led to the D-backs’ first run in the top of the 1st inning and their only other run was aided by a misplayed popup that I guess was ruled a hit because the second baseman played it so bad that he didn’t get a glove on it. But I’ll own the 2-1 loss as something that happens when you bet on bad teams as I thought their odds were better than their true chances in that spot (mini-swagger spot after snapping 5-game losing streak, D-backs on a one-game trip to make up the game that was postponed on June 7, etc.).
I felt bad that I passed on the Braves First 5 and full-game money line in yesterday’s column as they were favored when I was writing late Wednesday/early Thursday, but I hope some readers jumped on them when the Phillies were bet to favoritism and the Braves pushed on First 5 +110 but won 5-1 in 10 innings to cash on the full-game money line of +106 to +110.
I also mentioned yesterday that there was an “anti-swagger” play against the Red Sox after their 6-game winning streak was snapped Wednesday, I passed on the Twins -140 but I trust some of our chalk-betting followers cashed in on that game as well. We hope that all of our regular readers agree that there’s value in these daily columns beyond my posted plays.
Anyway, the 0-1 posted day drops me back below .500 in June at 20-21-7, but since several of my wins have been at plus-money (and I don’t need to hit 52.38% to make a profit), I’m still ahead $102.28, according to the VSiN Pro Picks page, after finishing at +15.6 units in May.
Let’s look for some Best Bets on Friday (including a very obvious play for regular readers, plus we’re playing it 2 ways), as well as our USFL picks/leans for this weekend (though nothing has changed in the last 48 hours since updating our “takes” early Wednesday).

MLB Friday Best Bets

Diamondbacks First 5 Innings +0.5 EVEN and First 5 +160 at Giants: My longtime reader-turned-friend from the Bay Area, Roger Dorn (if that sounds familiar, yes, that’s the same name of the fictional third baseman in the classic baseball movie “Major League”), was at Thursday’s 10-0 loss to the Padres that snapped the Giants’ 10-game winning. Right after the game, he texted me: “D-backs First 5 tomorrow?” I’m sure he wasn’t our only regular reader to immediately think that as the Giants are an obvious “anti-swagger” play. We’re not too thrilled with Arizona’s Zach Davies (1-3, 7.11 ERA) vs. San Fran’s Logan Webb (6-6, 3.11 ERA), but the Diamondbacks have been the more consistent team all season and still lead the Giants by 3.5 games, so we’re willing to fade them in this letdown spot. I’m also taking the F5 run line of D-backs +0.5 +100 in case they play to a tie. Since my “non-Best-Bets” have been faring well lately, I’ll also mention that the only other Friday plays I considered were the 11-game-winning-streak Reds First +130 vs. the equally hot 8-game-winning-streak Braves and Astros First 5 +130 at Dodgers.

USFL playoff Best Bet for Saturday

Pittsburgh Maulers-Michigan Panthers Under 39: We locked in this play in Tuesday’s edition of this column. As we previously discussed on “The Greg Peterson Experience” on Sunday night (and again on Monday night), my handicap of this game has the Maulers -2 and an Over/Under of 37 points. I certainly didn’t expect the books to set it any higher with the Maulers averaging just 17.7 points per game and the Panthers at 17.1, but they did. While I was able to bet it myself at Under 42.5, there’s still value at the 39 as of Tuesday morning. Wednesday update: Over/Under is down to 38.5 at a lot of books, so shop around. With the point spread flipping to the Maulers being the underdog, I might also bet that but waiting to see where the line goes. Wednesday update: the line has flipped back to the Maulers being favored, so I’m passing on the side. I’m also waiting to decide on the New Orleans Breakers-Birmingham Stallions game (I have it at Stallions -2 and Over/Under 45, which is right where the lines are as of early Tuesday). Wednesday update: the line is now back up to 3 at some books, but I’m waiting to see if I can get more points with the Breakers as I’m hoping the public drives up the line on the defending champion Stallions and we can get more than a field goal.