Tuley’s Takes: Monday Best Bets in MLB, NBA, NHL; plus early XFL playoff pick

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Monday Best Bets

Welcome to our “Tuley’s Takes” Best Bets column for Sunday.
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/.

 

Sunday Best Bet Results

Sunday was another successful day overall in the Tuley’s Takes home office.
First of all, we enjoyed hearing from more people about the horse racing contest I won on Saturday to win a $10,000 berth in the National Horseplayers Championship to be held next March 15-17 at the Horseshoe (formerly Bally’s) here in Las Vegas. I used to be Daily Racing Form’s lead reporter for the NHC from 2000-2015 and wasn’t eligible to qualify as an employee of the title sponsor, so I keep hearing from a lot of people I covered and who I worked with, which has been fun. You can’t buy an entry in the NHC as you have to win or finish high enough (this contest had bids for the Top 3 finishers) in a qualifying tournament or earn enough points on the NHC Tour series of contests during the year to be among the Top 75 non-qualifiers, which is how I got in the back door during the 2020 pandemic the only other time I’ve made the finals.
As for Sunday’s Best Bets, my sports plays fare as well as my horse picks on Saturday as I won my top play of the day on  the Kings +7.5 in their 126-125 loss at the Warriors (see my ATS Report at VSiN.com for the explanation of how it was the first time a dog covered all numbers in a straight-up loss during this year’s playoffs).
I also made the right call with the Royals +1.5 -110 at the Angels. I wasn’t that crazy about the First 5 Inning wager (since we’ve pushed so many of those, though I did recommend looking for +0.5 in the First 5 even though I didn’t make it an official play, so that cashed with the 1-1 tie after 5). The Royals did grab a 2-1 lead before the Angels hit back-to-back-to-back HRs in the bottom of the 6th, but fortunately they were all solo homers and the Royals scored again to lose just 4-3 and cover the +1.5 run line.
We did lose on the Vegas Vipers +8.5 at the Seattle Sea Dragons, which won 28-9  in the XFL regular-season, but we weren’t too upset since it was our No. 3 play of the day and we assume most followers aren’t wagering as much on XFL plays as they are on other sports.
Anyway, let’s get to our plays for Monday, most of which we gave out Sunday night on our weekly appearance on “The Greg Peterson Experience” (11:15 p.m. ET/8:15 p.m. PT, or 15 minutes into the archived version), plus an early XFL playoff pick for the semifinals next weekend.

MLB Monday Best Bet

Rangers First 5 Innings -110 at Reds: I was surprised that most books opened the Reds as home faves with the First 5 line around pick’em at -110 both sides. The Rangers (14-7) are visiting the Reds (7-15). Pick-’em? Thank you! Granted, the pitching matchup is pretty even with Nathan Eovaldi (2-2, 5.40 ERA) vs. Nick Lodolo (2-1, 4.98 ERA), though the Rangers have the much better offense.

NBA Monday Best Bet

Grizzlies +4.5 at Lakers: The “zig-zag theory” (aka “loser of the last” as it says to bet the SU loser against the spread in the next game) is 12-9-1 ATS so far in the NBA playoffs and this is the poster child with the results being Lakers-Grizzlies-Lakers heading into Game 4. We might see these teams alternate the whole 7 games. A lot of people have been getting on the Lakers’ bandwagon with the way they finished the regular season and then winning their play-in game and Games 1 and 3 here, but the Grizzlies are their equal (especially with Jo Morant back in the lineup; note: they won without him in Game 2), so we’ll trust them to rebound here to even the series or at least get the cover.

NHL Monday Best Bet

Maple Leafs-Lightning 1P Over 1.5 -145 / Avalanche-Kraken 1P Over 1.5 -130 (parlay pays +199): We’ve nailed it so far in the NHL playoffs as we said on “The Greg Peterson Experience” a week ago Sunday and in these columns last week that the schedule set up with alternating days of the 1P Under teams on one day and then these 2 1P Over matchups on the other, then we hit for +208, +208 and +209 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday last week for a 3-0 record and net profit of 6.25 units. We see no reason to stop yet as the matchups had 4 and 3 goals, respectively, scored in Saturday’s Game 3s and the defenses haven’t tightened up yet like we often see in playoff hockey.

XFL playoffs Best Bet

Seattle Sea Dragons +5 at DC Defenders: We don’t like the Arlington Renegades vs. the Houston Roughnecks in Saturday’s XFL semifinal game, but we’ll take Seattle in this matchup on Sunday. DC (9-1 SU, 7-3 ATS) was the top team during the regular season, but Seattle lost its first 2 games of the season, including 22-18 at DC, and then went 6-1 the rest of the way with the only other loss to DC, though that was another close game at 34-33. I have this at pick’em, even with DC at home as XFL hosts are just 19-19-2 ATS overall, so home-field advantage is negligible. I believe this has been set too high and we have to take the Sea Dragons at anything more than a field goal.