Tuesday Best Bets, Monday Recaps
Monday was a hectic day in the Tuley’s Takes home office as we contributed some write-ups to the two VSiN March Madness guides. As Bill Adee wrote in this morning’s newsletter: “As I hope we make clear in both guides, picking the bracket and betting the tournament are completely different handicapping exercises. That’s why we have two.” And that’s why I have a bracket advice piece in that guide and first-round ATS picks in the other.
When I was done with that part of my workday, I took my wife to Benihana for our anniversary dinner (because I knew I’d be busy on our actual anniversary on Friday). I made the mistake of agreeing to get married on St. Patrick’s Day in 2001 thinking that would be a cool anniversary and easy to remember, but failing to foresee that I’d be having to work around it every time it fell during the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament (though we did have TVs set up at the reception for the round of 32).
As for my lone bet on Monday, I lost my NHL First-Period Over parlay as the Sabres and Maple Leafs played a scoreless first 20 minutes. That was frustrating as they scored seven goals in the next two periods, plus it took the Stars less than six minutes to score two goals in the second leg of our parlay.
Anyway, let’s recap the rest of Monday’s (full-game) action on a light betting schedule and look for Best Bets on Tuesday. I also update my early first-round Best Bets in the NCAA Tournament.
NBA: Favorites went 4-3 SU but underdogs led 4-3 ATS as the Jazz (+8.5) covered in 119-115 loss at the Heat. The upsets were by the Pistons (+4 in 111-97 win vs. the Pacers as they snapped their 11-game losing streak), Rockets (+13 in 111-108 win vs. the Celtics) and Timberwolves (+5 in 136-115 rout at the Hawks). Home teams went 4-3 SU but road teams led 4-3 ATS. Overs led 4-3
More NBA: On the season, favorites lead 662-348 SU with 16 games closing pick-’em, but underdogs lead 502-485-23 ATS (50.9%). Home teams lead 602-424 SU and 520-485-21 ATS (51.7%). In totals wagering, Overs improved still lead to 515-496-15 (50.9%).
NHL: Favorites went 2-1 on Monday with the upset by the Sabres (+200 in 4-3 win at Maple Leafs). The Avalanche (-250 in 8-4 win at the Canadiens) and Stars (-120 in 5-2 win at the Kraken) both won as chalk and both also covered the -1.5 puck line. Road teams swept 3-0 while Overs led 2-0-1 with the push in the Sabres-Maple Leafs game with a betting total of 7 goals.
Tuesday NBA Best Bet
Pistons +11.5 at Wizards: This is a big “swagger play” as the Pistons snapped their 11-game losing streak last night and get to turn around and receive double digits at Washington tonight. We know the Pistons still have the worst record in the Association, but the Wizards are below .500 at 31-37 and shouldn’t be -11.5 vs. anyone. In fact, these two teams met just a week ago on March 7 in Detroit with the Wizards favored by 11 (the only game this season that they were laying more than 10 points) and only winning 119-117.
Tuesday NHL Best Bets
Senators-Oilers 1P Over -190 / Stars-Canucks 1P Over 1.5 -125 (parlay pays +175): We’ll come back with a 1P Over parlay as the Senators and Oilers combine for 77-56 (57.9%) while the Canucks are still the No 1 team at 47-17 and combine with the Stars (who went Over last night) to go 82-49 (62.6%).
NCAA March Madness first-round Best Bets
College of Charleston +5.5 vs. San Diego State: It’s a cliche to take a No. 12 seed vs. a No. 5, so I really had to convince myself that I wasn’t just playing College of Charleston just because of the seedings. You don’t go 31-3 in any conference without being sound on both ends of the floor and Charleston plays defense and has five players that average in double figures, so they fit the bill. San Diego State was the class of the Mountain West, which sent four teams to the Big Dance, but the conference has struggled in the NCAAs in recent years and the Aztecs – who I don’t feel are as good as some of their recent teams – are a vulnerable favorite. Charleston’s defense gives it a chance against SDSU’s methodical offense, especially as the Aztecs can have scoreless stretches if their mid-range jumpers aren’t falling. But as is the case with most March Madness upset bids, this probably comes down to whether Charleston hits its 3-pointers.
Missouri +2 vs. Utah State: I actually had my eye on Utah State as a potential first-round upset candidate, but obviously oddsmakers were high on the Aggies as well as they opened them as short favorites despite being a No. 10 seed vs. a No. 7 They’re certainly going to be a popular bracket pick, but I don’t like the matchup here and feel Missouri should be favored, so I’ll take the points with the higher-seeded team. Utah State has a balanced attack – and supporters love that the coach is Ryan Odom, who led Maryland-Baltimore County to the only No, 16 upset of a No. 1 seed (Virginia) in 2018 but Missouri will have the best player on the floor with emerging star Kobe Brown (15.9 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game, 45.3% on 3-pointers). He also has a strong supporting cast as they took care of Tennessee in the SEC Conference Tournament before running into Alabama. This should be a shootout with neither team excelling on the defensive end, though oddsmakers have protected themselves from Over bettors by setting this as one of the highest totals of the first round at 154.5 points.