Tuley’s Takes Today: Thursday recap, updated NFL Week 16 best bets (12/24-25)


This column was originally posted Friday and meant to cover both Friday (with no major sporting events after the cancellation of the Hawai’i Bowl) and Saturday. We’re updating it with the latest line moves for our best bets for the rest of the NFL weekend as well as the Circa Survivor update for this special “Christmas Week” that includes the Thursday and Saturday games of Week 16.
Friday was a day spent away from the Tuley’s Takes home office, mostly doing my last-minute shopping, taking the family to Christmas Eve church service and out for dinner. It was a relaxing time but felt surreal as I wasn’t constantly checking my phone for score updates because there were none!!!
Now, it’s on to Saturday (and Merry Christmas for those who celebrate), which will be another day spent with family opening presents and eating very well (prime rib and spiral ham on the menu), but with plenty of sports action with the NFL, CFB and NBA.
We usually recap the prior day’s results next in this column, but let’s just repeat the Thursday Night Football (where we had the Titans as our best bet, plus we updated the season-long NFL betting stats) and then run down where Circa Survivor stands before updating our NFL plays as well as some upcoming bowl games.

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Thursday’s recaps (reprise)

NFL: Titans rallied to beat 49ers 20-17 on Randy Bullock's 44-yard FG with :04 left on Thursday Night Football to kick off NFL Week 16. The Titans did it after closing as 3-point home underdogs and %plussign% 155 on the money line. The game stayed Under the betting total of 45.5.

More NFL: Faves dropped to 136-85-1 SU on the season with 3 games closing pick-'em, but dogs improved to 117-103-2 ATS (53.2 percent). Road teams dipped to 113-108-1 SU with 3 neutral-site games and 123-97-2 ATS (55.9 percent). Unders improved to 125-98-2 (56.1 percent) while primetime Unders now lead 26-20-1 after 1-8 start.

Contest Corner

CircaSurvivor (with a $6 million guaranteed prize pool) had 16 live entries entering “Christmas Week” that only includes the Thursday and Saturday games of NFL Week 16, but 3 have already been eliminated with the 49ers on Thursday Night Football so only 13 remain. One entrant has already advanced to regular Week 16 with Titans. All 8 who had the Packers available used them vs. the Browns with the other 4 entrants on the Cardinals vs. the Colts. The remaining Survivors after Saturday’s games will then have to submit a play by 9 a.m. PT Sunday for the remaining Week 16 games on Sunday and Monday.  

Saturday’s Takes (actually for NFL over weekend)

Per usual, our main focus in these daily editions of Tuley’s Takes is to track the line movements of my picks from Point Spread Weekly (or to add new ones). For the reasons behind why I like the plays, check out PSW or the NFL Best Bets file on VSiN.com.

Teaser portfolio: Regular readers know that two-team, 6-point teasers have been gold for yours truly this season In PSW, I mentioned that my favorite teaser this week was the Ravens teased from %plussign% 2.5 to %plussign% 8.5 at the Bengals with the Bills also teased from %plussign% 2.5 to %plussign% 8.5 at the Patriots. I still love that, though the point spread has been on the move (%plussign% 3 on Friday and now up to %plussign% 4.5), so decide if you’re still willing to tease the Ravens as you’re getting more points but dogs priced this high don’t perform as well. In addition, even though I like the Browns plus the points at the Packers, I wouldn’t talk anyone out of teasing the Packers downt to -1.5 on Saturday. Other possible teaser legs to mix and match as you see fit would be the Colts %plussign% 8 at the Cardinals in the Saturday nightcap, the Chiefs teased down to -2.5 vs. the Steelers (again, I like the dog in that game but maybe we can middle it) and a late addition of the Saints %plussign% 8.5 on Monday night vs, the Dolphins as there’s been a change of favorites in that game with the Saints’ top two QB being on the reserve/COVID list, but I trust Sean Payton to put Ian Book in a position to at least succeed enough keep the Saints within one score.

Browns %plussign% 7.5 at Packers:
I advised betting this ASAP in Friday’s update and now we’re seeing some 7.5s disappear so I hope you grabbed it. If not, shop around for the best price.

Panthers %plussign% 10 vs. Buccaneers:
 I would still wait to see if this goes up to 10.5, but be quick to act if you see the market dropping (William Hill/Caesars and DraftKings are notable books that have dipped to 9.5).
Chargers-Texans Under 46: I didn’t give this out in PSW, but added it to the NFL Best Bets file on VSiN.com after I wrote it up for the L.A. Times as part of a partnership we have with that newspaper.
Lions %plussign% 5.5 at Falcons: We advised to wait on this line and now it’s up to 6.5 as of early Saturday morning with the expectation that Tim Boyle will start with Jared Goff yet to pass COVID testing protocols. We’ll continue to wait for the best line regardless of who starts..
Vikings %plussign% 3 vs. Rams: This line has already hit 3.5, so I would definitely buy at that number (preferably no more than -110 juice).
Bears %plussign% 7 at Seahawks: This line is down to 6.5 at most books and I don’t like it nearly as much; however, I advised to wait to see if we can get 7 again and as of early Saturday morning a few 7’s have popped up so let’s keep waiting.

CFB (Monday)
Nevada %plussign% 7 vs. Western Michigan:
We know Nevada QB Carson Strong is sitting out the Quick Lane Bowl and that’s why the Wolf Pack is an underdog here, but Nevada is still the better overall team so I’ll take the points.
East Carolina %plussign% 3 vs. Boston College: ECU has been very good to us this season. There are some indications that this line is more likely to go down than up, so I would grab the %plussign% 3 ASAP.

Happy holidays to all of our readers