Tuley: Monday Best Bets in NBA, MLB 5/8

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Sunday Best Bet Results

And on the seventh day I rested . . . not!
I usually spend the First Sunday in May recovering from a week-long immersion in the Kentucky Derby with all the extra handicapping, writing, TV and radio appearances, etc. that the race entails in addition to my usual sports writing and handicapping duties.
However, I had 4 Best Bets in the morning’s column and spent the day sweating my action, and of course ending the night and weekend with my regular Sunday night appearance on VSiN’s “The Greg Peterson Experience” (11:15 p.m. ET/8:15 p.m. PT, or 15 minutes into the archived version).
As for those Best Bets, I went 3-1 to wrap up a very successful first week of May at 12-5-2 (70.6%) for a profit of $830.06 based on $100 flat bets, according to the VSiN PRO Picks page.

 

I won my top play on Sunday with the 76ers +2.5 vs. the Celtics. I was almost sick to my stomach when the game was tied 107-107 at the end of regulation and instead of driving to the basket, Marcus Smart launched a 3-point attempt that would have dealt us a tough beat if he had made it. Fortunately, he didn’t, and the 76ers won 116-115 in OT. I didn’t have to worry about my +2.5 when the Celtics kicked the ball out to Smart again at the end of OT. He made the shot, but didn’t release it until after the buzzer, and I was extra happy as the game closed pick-’em and I was glad for any followers who might have taken the 76ers +1 or PK.
I also easily cashed my NHL play on the Kraken +125 (closed +135!) as they routed the Stars to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series. I was disappointed that I didn’t pick the Panthers again as they beat the Maple Leafs 3-2 at +140 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead, but I was just as happy – back in the NBA – that I resisted on the Nuggets vs. the Suns even though they were in the “zig-zag role” (aka “loser of the last”). I know my critics say “Tuley plays every underdog,” but we like to stress with our regular readers that we try to be selective and that the “pass” is a big part of the “dog-or-pass approach.”
We did split 1-1 with our MLB First 5 Inning plays (showing a slight profit) as we won with the Rangers F5 +105 as they fell behind the Angels 3-0 in the bottom of the 1st inning but responded with 3 runs of their own in the top of the 2nd and went to lead 11-7 for our purposes here and pulled away to easily win 16-8 for those followers who played our pick that way. The loss was on the Red Sox F5 +105 as they trailed the Phillies 2-1 after 5 (shoot, I knew I should have dropped that play, though we’ve also stressed with readers that I list my plays in order of preference each day, so I don’t feel so bad when my bottom play loses as I assume most followers are playing more on my top plays).
Anyway, let’s get to Monday’s sports betting menu. I’m a little leery as I again have 4 plays; I’m wondering if maybe I’m not being selective enough and need to beware of the risk of getting too overconfident and making too many plays. Hopefully the fact I’m acknowledging that possibility means that I’m being level-headed and these are strong picks. As always, it’s up to each bettor to decide if they’re worthy of a wager based on your own handicapping.

Monday NBA Best Bets

Knicks +4.5 at Heat: This is a “zig-zag” play (which is 6-4 ATS so far this round and 24-19-1 ATS overall) as the Knicks lost the last game. In fact, this series has already zigged and zagged in all three games as the Heat stole the Game 1 opener on the road in New York, then the Knicks rebounded to win Game 2 and then the Heat won Game 3 at home, so we’re just expecting the Knicks to bounce back again to even the series and send it back to New York. Even if they come up short, we can still cover in a loss, so that possibility (even though we know it’s been a rarity for the spread to come into play in the NBA playoffs), makes this a profitable pick.

Warriors +3 at Lakers: As Peterson hinted last night, this is the exact same as the Knicks play with the Warriors in the “zig-zag” role after losing Game 3 in L.A. and expecting them to do the same thing they did after losing Game 1. Even though the Lakers are better than they were earlier in the season and outplaying their seed, we don’t expect the defending champion Warriors to go quietly.

Monday MLB Best Bets

Cardinals First 5 +120 at Cubs: This is a “swagger play” as the Cardinals snapped an 8-game losing streak on Sunday with a 12-6 win vs. the Tigers behind Paul Goldschmidt’s three home runs. That’s the kind of a momentum swing we like to see with these swagger plays. We know we’re going to need to get better from St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas (1-1, 5.79 ERA), but as I also said on “The Greg Peterson Experience,” while I’m a die-hard Cubs fans from my youth and happy they’ve overachieved this season, they shouldn’t be favored by this much over the Cardinals.

Brewers First 5 -110 at Dodgers: Again, this is a similar play as the Brewers snapped a 6-game losing streak on Sunday with a 7-3 win at the Giants to get their swagger back. They obviously had to travel home from the West Coast, but the Dodgers have to make a similar trip after playing the Sunday Night Baseball Game. While the Dodgers have bounced back from a slow start to stand at 21-14 at the top of the NL West, they don’t always dominate their opponents such as last night when they had to rally with a Mookie Betts HR in the bottom of the 9th before beating the Padres in extra innings, so we like taking Freddy Peralta (3-2, 3.63 ERA) vs Tony Gonsolin (0-0, 3.38 ERA) in the first 5 innings.