Monday Best Bet, Sunday Recaps
Sunday was another day tooling around Tempe and Mesa, Arizona, as I took in another spring training game with my nephew Craig and the NCAA Elite 8 games at some local bars.
The day actually started as I met some old friends (VSiN colleague Lou Finochiarro and another longtime reader of mine named JW) at my favorite fast-food restaurant Portillo’s (also No. 1 in Matt Youmans’ VSiN rankings last year), which is right down the street from the Cubs’ spring training facility.
We had a great lunch – I had an Italian beef sandwich (dipped, of course), hot dog, fries and chocolate shake – and I also cheered in my first Best Bet of the day on the San Diego State-Creighton game to stay Under 62.5 in the first half as Creighton led 33-28 (that’s only 61 points!). San Diego State then rallied to win 57-56 as a 2-point dog for my second winner of the day.
We were then joined by another longtime friend, Keith Stockman, as we went to the Cubs-Royals game at Sloan Park. It was the fastest MLB game (albeit an exhibition) I’ve ever attended as the Cubs won 5-0 in just 1 hour, 57 minutes thanks to the new pitch clock! Meanwhile, the XFL’s San Antonio Brahmas upset the Arlington Renegades 15-9 as 4-point dogs to complete our 3-0 ATS sweep on the day.
Winning bets, good friends, good times.
Let’s recap the rest of Sunday’s betting action (highlighted by underdogs going 2-0 SU and ATS in the NCAA’s two Elite 8 games with Miami-Fla. upsetting Texas; I didn’t have that dog, but I have no regrets). And then I’ll share an XFL Best Bet for Monday and my favorite early play in the Final Four that I gave out on my weekly appearance on “The Greg Peterson Experience” (11:15 p.m. EDT/8:15 p.m. PDT Sunday nights, or 15 minutes into the archived version).
NCAA Tournament: Midwest No. 5 seed Miami-Fla. rallied to upset No. 2 Texas 88-81 to advance to the Final Four as a 3.5-point underdog and +160 on the money line (game went Over betting total of 147.5 points). Earlier, South No. 5 San Diego St. upset No. 6 Creighton 57-56 as a 2.5-point dog and +125 on the money line (stayed Under 135).
More NCAA Tournament: Dogs went 2-0 SU and ATS Sunday to finish 3-1 SU and ATS in the Elite 8 round. Overall, faves still lead 39-20 SU in the tournament but tied 29-29-1 ATS with 1 pick-’em (Gonzaga-UCLA in Sweet 16). Over/Unders split 1-1 on Sunday and 2-2 in Elite 8, but Unders still lead 36-24 (60%).
NBA: Faves went 6-3 SU but dogs led 5-4 ATS as the Wizards (+10.5) covered in 114-104 loss at the Raptors and the Blazers (+10.5) covered in 118-112 loss vs. the Thunder. The upsets were by the Hornets (+12.5 in 110-104 win vs. Mavericks), Bulls (+5 in 118-108 win at Lakers) and TImberwolves (+5.5 in 99-96 win at Warriors). Home teams went 5-4 SU & ATS. Unders dominated at 8-1
More NBA: On the season, favorites improved to 730-375 SU with 16 games closing pick-’em, but underdogs retook the lead at 541-540-24 ATS. Home teams lead 656-465 SU and 569-530-22 ATS (51.8%). In totals wagering, Overs’ slim lead was cut to 559-545-17 (50.6%).
NHL: Faves went 4-1 on Sunday (15-5 last two days after dogs actually led 19-11 the previous four days) with the lone upset by the Bruins (+130 in 4-3 win at the Hurricanes). Canucks were the only winning faves to also cover the -1.5 puck line in 4-2 win at the Blackhawks. Road teams went 4-1. Overs led 3-2.
XFL: San Antonio Brahmas upset Arlington Renegades 15-9 on Sunday after closing as 4-point road underdogs (stayed Under low betting total of 33 points). On the season, faves still lead 17-5 SU and 13-8-1 ATS. Home teams lead 12-11 SU but now tied 11-11-1 ATS. Unders took 12-11 lead.
Monday XFL Best Bet
Houston Roughnecks +3 at DC Defenders: We have a Monday night football game as the XFL’s top two teams meet in prime time. They were the last two undefeated teams at 4-0 before Houston lost last week in Seattle. The Defenders have the top record now at 5-0, but the Roughnecks have been regarded as the best team since the start of the season. DC does rely on defense and the running game, but Houston has the league’s top D allowing just 15.2 points per game and should keep this close with the better offense led by QB Brandon Silvers. Even if you don’t think the wrong team is favored, the line shouldn’t be above pick-’em, at least in my opinion. As mentioned above in the recaps, home and road teams at 11-11-1 ATS so DC shouldn’t really be getting anything for home-field advantage (despite its impressive beer snakes).
NCAA March Madness Final Four Best Bet
San Diego State-Florida Atlantic 1H Under 61: We’re going back to the well with the First-Half Under. The handicap is similar to Sunday’s San Diego State-Creighton game as the Aztecs are ranked No. 4 in defensive efficiency, according to kenpom.com, with FAU rated No. 29. There should be plenty of contested shots and the teams feeling each other out in the opening 20 minutes (and you don’t have to worry about a potential foul-fest spoiling the Under like you do in a full-game wager). I’m still handicapping the sides in next Saturday’s Final Four with an early lean to Miami-Fla. +5.5 vs. UConn, but basically wanting to figure out what I missed with my last losing bet on Gonzaga vs. UConn on Saturday night.