Tuley’s Takes: Finally, some ‘real’ football


We’re excited about the last week of August here in the Tuley’s Takes home office as that means the start of the college football season with what has become known as Week 0 (before the opening of most teams’ seasons on Labor Day weekend).

There are no marquee games and not a single ranked team in action, but it’s still “real” football. I mean, we’ve enjoyed betting on the NFL preseason, but it’s nice to have games where you know the players and coaches are giving it the old college try and trying to win.


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We’ve been imploring everyone to get ready for the season with the VSiN CFB Betting Guide, and this is where we’re hoping it starts to pay off.

Wyoming %plussign% 10 at Illinois: Wyoming lost its top two QBs to the transfer portal as well as top RB Xazavian Valladay to Arizona State and top WR Isaiah Neyor to Texas. But the cupboard isn’t bare as Andrew Peasley comes in with a little experience (830 passing yards, 7 TDs, 5 INTs) from Utah State. The Cowboys usually rely on the running game (even when the Bills’ Josh Allen was there) and have averaged at least 212 rushing yards per game the last three seasons. Titus Swen (785 rushing yards, 7 TDs last year) is expected to carry the load. Illinois (5-7 last year, 4-5 in the Big Ten) showed improvement in coach Bret Bielema’s first season, including an upset of Penn State as a 24-point underdog, but I just don’t think the Illini are so much better than Wyoming to be double-digit favorites. %%offer%%

Vanderbilt-Hawaii Over 55: All right, we get a Saturday get-out game from Hawaii (though not as late as usual). It has long been fun to bet Overs in Warriors games and that should continue with former QB Timmy Chang taking over as head coach and Hawaii not known for playing tough defense. Vanderbilt is annually at the bottom of the SEC — records of 3-9, 0-9 and 2-10 the last three years — but the Commodores usually get their rare wins in nonconference games like this. They’re still an SEC team and should have success against Hawaii’s defense.

Tuley’s Takes on NFL preseason

Preseason Week 2 wasn’t as fun and profitable as the first weekend as we won with the Steelers %plussign% 3.5 at the Jaguars (closed pick-’em but still won) but lost on the Rams %plussign% 3 versus the Texans and Cardinals %plussign% 6.5 (bet down to 5 at some books) versus the Ravens, who won their 22nd straight preseason game (20-2 or 19-2-1 ATS depending on whose stats you see).

We also lost our two totals with the Bears-Seahawks Over 42.5 (closed 38.5 and still stayed Under at 27-11) and Broncos-Bills Under 42.5.

After Overs went 13-3 in Week 1 of the preseason (14-3 including Hall of Fame Game), we started to see a trend reversal as Unders were 3-1 through Friday and 8-4 through Saturday. However, when all the dust had settled, Over/Unders split 8-8 as the last four games of the weekend went Over their totals. Overs still lead 22-11 (66.7%) overall.

The oddsmakers did a good job of adjusting as Week 1 totals opened with an average of 33.5 with Week 2 at 41. This week, totals opened with an average of 38.5, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see another 8-8 record.

Favorites went 10-5 SU in Week 2 with the Steelers-Jaguars game closing pick-’em but only led 7-6-2 ATS. Overall, faves are 18-13 SU with two pick-’ems and dogs leading 15-14-2 ATS. As we’ve seen with most sports since the start of the pandemic, home-field advantage has been negligible as road teams actually lead 17-15 SU (neutral-site Hall of Fame Game not included) and home/road teams have split 15-15-2 ATS.

It used to be pretty much universal that NFL coaches would use Week 3 of the preseason as the “dress rehearsal” and then sit all of their starters in the fourth exhibition game — but now with the preseason reduced to three games, we’re seeing a mix of coaches who played more of their starters in Week 2 and those who will play more of their starters this weekend. I have just a few early plays (and I think I’m done guessing with these preseason Over/Unders) and I’ll update with any additional picks in the daily version of this column, “Tuley’s Takes Today,” at VSiN.com.

Bills %plussign% 6 at Panthers, Friday: I’m surprised this line is set so high. I could understand it if Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold were still in a battle, but it was announced that Mayfield will get the Week 1 start against the Browns. And didn’t anyone see what the Bills’ backups did versus the Broncos on Saturday? This looks like a bargain.

Seahawks -3 at Cowboys, Friday: I was really expecting to get the Seahawks plus some points here at the Cowboys, so we’ll see if I break my dog-or-pass rule and lay a few points as I believe Seattle will be the right side assuming Drew Lock (back from COVID-19) is given the chance to continue his QB battle with Geno Smith.

Tuley’s Takes on MLB

We’re still continuing with our MLB First 5 Innings wagers in the daily version of this column at VSiN.com.

As I wrote last week, we were 20-15-5 (profit of 11.59 units) since the last week of July, and then from last Tuesday through Monday, we were 7-6-1 for another 4.18 units of profit thanks to these plus-money dogs we’ve been taking. Highlights included the Tigers %plussign% 173 last Tuesday, the A’s %plussign% 150 last Wednesday, the A’s again at %plussign% 160 on Saturday and the Yankees %plussign% 150 versus the Mets on Monday.

Again, my MLB First 5 daily plays can be found each morning in the “Tuley’s Takes Today” column at VSiN.com.