Tuley: Thursday college basketball, NHL Best Bets; ‘takes’ on Super Bowl odds, props


Thursday CBB, NHL Best Bets; Wednesday Recaps

Wednesday of Super Bowl Week was spent again following the non-existent line moves on the Super Bowl, but entering several prop contests to diversify our overall action on the game.
The Super Bowl point spread remained a consensus of Eagles -1.5 over the Chiefs with the South Point, Treasure Island and Station Casinos here in Vegas staying at Eagles -2. The Over/Under also remained at 51 at the majority of Vegas sportsbooks with BetMGM joining the rest at 51, leaving Resorts World the only book at 50.5 (note: Treasure Island has the highest total at 51.5 as of early Thursday morning).
For more on how the Super Bowl odds have been moving so far, check out South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews’ “Inside the betting action” column at VSiN.com as that’s part of our comprehensive coverage of Super Bowl LVII on the website along with Brent Musburger’s interview with legendary sports bettor Billy Walters. Also check out the VSiN Help Desk or submit your own question in addition to listening/watching to our broadcasts, including those coming from “Radio Row” at the Super Bowl.


Top NFL Resources:

As for my own action on Wednesday, I got back on the winning track with my Best Bet on the Canucks-Rangers 1P Over 1.5 -160/Wild-Stars 1P Under -1.5 +110 for a juicy parlay payoff of +241 to make up for the losses on Monday and Tuesday. The Rangers scored in the first 10 minutes (note: Canucks are 26-1 in road games with “goal in first 10 minutes,” according to our VSiN colleague Pauly Howard) on the way to a 2-1 lead after the first period, and we made the right call to go with our first 1P Under as Wild-Stars went scoreless in the first 20 minutes.
Let’s recap the rest of Wednesday’s (full-game) action, and look for some more Best Bets on Thursday. Then, as has been our custom here, we’ll rerun our NFL “takes” column from last Wednesday with our early Super Bowl bets including some related props.

Wednesday Recaps

CBB: Vanderbilt upset No. 6 Tennessee 66-65 as 10-point home underdog and +415 on the money line. West Virginia beat No. 11 Iowa State 76-71, but it wasn’t an upset as the Mountaineers were 4.5-point home favorites (and barely covered).

NBA: Faves went 7-2 SU, but only 4-4-1 ATS with Blazers (-3) pushing in 125-122 win vs. Warriors plus Pacers (+7) and Rockets (+8.5) covering in SU losses vs. Heat and Kings. The upsets were by the Timberwolves (+9 in 143-118 rout at Jazz) and Mavericks (+8 in 110-104 win at Clippers). Home teams went 6-3 SU and 5-3-1 ATS. Unders led 5-4.

More NBA: On the season, favorites lead 531-287 SU with 11 games closing pick-’em, but underdogs still lead 413-384-21 ATS (51.8%). Home teams lead 493-336 SU and 425-385-19 ATS (52.5%). In totals wagering, Overs still lead 418-397-14 (51.3%).

NHL: Faves swept 2-0 on Wednesday with Rangers (-240 in 4-3 win vs. Canucks) and Stars (-155 in 4-1 win vs. Wild). Home teams also went 2-0.. Over/Unders split 1-1.

Thursday CBB, NHL Best Bets

Iowa +7.5 at Purdue: This is an anti-swagger play against Purdue, which had its 9-game winning streak snapped last Saturday at Indiana. This would be more of a letdown spot if they had played right away, but I still like fading the Boilermakers as they didn’t even lose their No. 1 ranking with the loss. They did cover in the anti-swagger role after their only other loss this season, but they won just 71-69 as 1.5-point dogs at Ohio State in a coin-flip game.

Golden Knights +105 at Wild: This is a mini-swagger play on the Golden Knights, who snapped a 4-game losing streak (from before the All-Star Break) on Tuesday at Nashville. The Golden Knights have been inconsistent, especially lately, so this isn’t my strongest opinion, though I do like it better than the best NHL 1P Over option on Thursday, which is . . .

Oilers-Flyers 1P Over -1.5 -165/Flames-Red Wings 1P Over -145 (parlay payoff +171): We don’t have a clear-cut 1P parlay for Thursday as our No. 1 1P Over team Vancouver is playing the No. 1 1P Under team in the New York Islanders (note: as mentioned in the intro, the Canucks are 26-1 with a “score in the 1st 10 minutes” on the road, so chalk bettors might look for that prop). This combo is the most likely, though Oilers-Flyers are barely over a combined 60% at 60-99 (60.6%) while Flames-Red Wings is well under at 58-45 (56.3%) and would normally constitute a play (and why it’s not my Best Bet of the day), so take that for what it’s worth.

Here’s the rerun of Wednesday’s column, with an update on our early Super Bowl Best Bet and more props:
Tuesday was mostly spent doing some chores around the Tuley’s Takes home office (including vacuuming out our pool after some recent inclement weather – though we didn’t have snow in our part of the Las Vegas valley) and following the Super Bowl line movement.
As we tweeted out Tuesday afternoon, the Wynn was the last Vegas sportsbook at Eagles -2 as they dropped into line with the rest of the books at -1.5 [Monday update: see my note below about the South Point moving back to Eagles -2 early Sunday] while the Over/Under remained at a consensus 49.5 points with Circa Sports and Resorts World the only books to go up to 50.
If you’ve been a regular reader of my columns this season (or the prior six years in our digital magazine “Point Spread Weekly”), you know that Wednesday is when I give my weekly NFL “takes” on the full schedule. I was planning to wait until next week to post our official Super Bowl Best Bet since we’re more than 11 days until Super Sunday, but I figure there’s no time like the present.
Besides, this is looking like it’s going to be the biggest betting game to this date in sports gambling history with such a great matchup, plus being the first Super Bowl in a U.S. state with legalized betting (Arizona) as well as being the first Super Bowl with legal betting in Ohio, Massachusetts and Kansas.
It’s also going to be the most over-analyzed game ever. I would rather go on record with my reasoning for my Super Bowl wagers or else I fear that if I wait until next week that it’ll sound like I’m copying other people’s analysis.
Frankly, there are only so many different ways you can handicap this game. The people on favored (at least for now) Philadelphia are going to say the Eagles have the better defense and best all-around team at this point, plus they’ll point out the injuries on the Kansas City side. After the opening Super Bowl LVII line settled at Eagles -2.5 on Sunday night, I made my regular weekly appearance on VSiN’s “The Greg Peterson Experience” and gave Chiefs +8.5/Over 43.5 (2-team, 6-point teaser) as my early Super Bowl Best Bet. We repeated that in our Monday and Tuesday columns as well as in the VSiN daily email updates and on the website. With the line coming down, we also want to lock in our teaser play in case the line moves any lower or the Chiefs get bet to favoritism. I’ll also list some prop bets that are in line with my prediction of a close game. We’ll add more of our reasons for these plays, plus add others, as the prop market settles down, but I’m listing them in case readers want to shop around early.

Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5, 49.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Tuley’s Take: Before Sunday’s NFC and AFC championship games, most sportsbooks with advance Super Bowl lines had this matchup at pick-’em or the Chiefs -1. I’ve also had the Chiefs power-rated a few points ahead of the Eagles all season, so even though I understand the reasons for the Eagles being bet to favoritism on Sunday night, I side with those oddsmakers that opened the Chiefs as the chalk.
Now, I’m picking the Chiefs to win the game (leaning toward a predicted score of Chiefs 27, Eagles 24), but I’m very respectful of the Eagles on both sides of the ball and see this as a coin-flip game that could go either way. That’s why I feel the Best Bet is to make a 2-team, 6-point teaser on Chiefs +7.5/Over 43.5 as I fully expect this to be a one-score game either way.
Kansas City coach Andy Reid has a well-earned reputation (dating back to when he coached Philadelphia) of winning off a bye week, so we’re counting on that as well as the two-week gap to help the Chiefs get healthier (note: this didn’t work two years ago when the Chiefs were dominated 31-9 by the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV after two weeks to prepare).
A lot is being made of the Eagles having a big edge on defense as they ranked No. 2 in the NFL in yards allowed per game while the Chiefs ranked No. 11. The Eagles also allowed 20.2 points per game, but their supporters point out that since giving up 33 points to the Packers in Week 12, they’ve allowed an average of fewer than 16 points in their last eight games and gave up just seven points in each of their NFC playoff routs of the Giants and 49ers.
But these aren’t the 1985-86 Bears (who posted back-to-back playoff shutouts of the Giants and Rams). The Eagles’ defensive stats have received a lot of luck from the schedule-makers and their playoff draw as they’ve faced a relatively weak schedule and weaker QBs down the stretch. Let’s look at the list: Titans with Ryan Tannehill, Giants with Daniel Jones, Bears with Justin Fields, Cowboys with Dak Prescott, Saints with Andy Dalton. Giants with Davis Webb, Giants again with Jones and 49ers with Brock Purdy/Josh Johnson/Christian McCaffrey.
Seriously, the only top offense they faced in that stretch with a healthy QB was the Cowboys in Week 16 and lost 40-34 while allowing 419 yards. They’re taking a big step up in class now as they face Patrick Mahomes and the league’s No. 1 offense.
As I said above, I’ve made my biggest bet on the teaser as I expect a close game. I’m going with the Over 43.5 as the second leg of the teaser as we also expect a shootout. Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ No. 3 offense will also have their share of success. It also helps with the indoor fast track in Glendale, Ariz., plus the long TV timeouts to get in all those Super Bowl commercials helps the offenses set up big plays.

Best Bet: Chiefs +7.5/Over 43.5 (2-team, 6-point teaser), plus Chiefs +1.5 and +105 on the moneyline.
Thursday update: Bet teaser ASAP as Over/Under has continued to rise, so get Chiefs +7.5, Over 44.5 if you still can.
Monday update: South Point went to Eagles -2 on Sunday morning, so it might be a sign that Chiefs teasers might go a little higher.
Tuesday update: Treasure Island joined South Point at Eagles -2 to add more value if you can tease Chiefs to +8, though Over also rising to 51 at most books to take away some value there.

Prop bets tied to my prediction of a close game

Game tied after 0-0 (following PATs) -110: In the recent era with Super Bowl points spreads relatively close to pick-’em, we love this prop as we just need to get tied during the whole game. It hasn’t cashed the last two years, but before that, it hit four Super Bowls in a row (LI through LIV) and is a still-profitable 5-3 the last eight years. It can happen as early as 3-3 in the 2019 game between the Patriots and Rams or as late as 28-28 in 2017 when the Patriots famously rallied to catch up with the Falcons with 57 seconds left in regulation. The Eagles and Chiefs are pretty evenly matched as the low point spread indicates (and some books opened the Chiefs as small faves, so this is the definition of a coin-flip game) and we expect this to be a close, back-and-forth game with Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts both fully capable of matching scores at some point.

Largest lead Under 14.5 points -140: This is another prop tied to our prediction of a close, back-and-forth game. Since joining VSiN, I’ve gone 4-1 with this prop (and 6-2 the last eight years with the only losses being the Buccaneers’ 31-9 rout of the Chiefs two years ago and the Falcons’ infamous 28-3 lead vs. the Patriots six years ago). Again, we’re counting on Mahomes or Hurts to rally his team if falling behind by two scores. We’re not crazy about the increased juice, but we’re actually relieved as we feared that oddsmakers might lower the number to 13.5 with the spread so close to pick-’em.

Halftime Tie/Eagles Win 16-1 and Halftime Tie/Chiefs Win 18-1: This is basically a bet on there being a tie at halftime, again based on our prediction of this being a close, back-and-forth Super Bowl. Since we don’t see “Will the game be tied at halftime?” prop offered anywhere, we play this “Double Result” at the Westgate SuperBook and bet both the “Halftime Tie/Eagles Win” at 16-1 and “Halftime Tie/Chiefs Win” at 18-1 options. If the game is tied at intermission, we know we’re going to end up with a net profit of +750 if the Eagles win or +850 if the Chiefs win. This has been a long-term profitable play as we cashed three years ago when the Chiefs-49ers Super Bowl LIV was tied at 10-10 and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl XLIX that was tied 14-14.

Shortest TD Under 1.5 -160: We used to get a nice, juicy plus price on this each year, but this has cashed for us eight of the last nine years and the oddsmakers have slowly made it a favorite. But it’s still worth playing as -160 is still cheap considering how often it comes in (plus we’re playing with house money). This can cash multiple ways: organically with a team moving the ball to the 1-yard line and punching it in or having a defensive pass interference call in the end zone place the ball at the 1-yard line. Note: it’s much more rare, but it also would cash if an offensive player falls on a fumble in the end zone for a 0-yard fumble recovery or if a defensive player were to score on a fumble recovery or interception in the opposing team’s end zone for a 0-yard score.