Sunday Best Bets, Saturday Recaps
Saturday was a very fun sports betting day with wall-to-wall college basketball, plus our regular NBA and NHL Saturday cards this time of year and an XFL game for good measure.
It was especially good for us in the Tuley’s Takes home office as we won our Best Bet of the day on the DC Defenders +4 at the hometown Vegas Vipers as they rallied to win 18-6 to make us 2-0 ATS in XFL Week 2 as we also had St. Louis +4 at Seattle on Thursday night.
As I joked on “Sunday Bet Prep” with my VSiN colleague Matt Youmans, it was a “stormy” day at Cashman Field in downtown Las Vegas for that game, but VSiN’ very own Stormy Buonantony was the sideline reporter and resident sports betting expert on the broadcast.
I also made the point that a lot of people knock the XFL and say they don’t want to bet on “minor-league football,” but a lot of those same people love to bet college football, which if you think about it is the minor league for the NFL. Besides, I stressed that college football experts should have an edge as they’ve seen a lot of these players in high-profile CFB games in recent years (granted, as a developmental league, there’s quite a few Division I-AA and lower-level players that never got a shot at the NFL, but there’s plenty of players that played major roles in major college football that are trying for their second chance at the NFL).
However, the highlight of my day was actually winning my top NHL play as I passed on 1P Over/Unders and instead went with a “swagger play” on the Ducks after they snapped a 6-game losing streak on Thursday, I gave out the Ducks on the puck line at +1.5 +150 (and got it at +160 in Vegas) and cashed as the Ducks held on for a 3-2 victory. I also mentioned taking +360 on the money line to pull the outright upset (and got it at +400) after missing a similar play on the Blackhawks earlier in the week. I didn’t list that as a play in the VSiN Best Bets file, but our followers know we had it and hope you all bet on it as well.
I did lose a play in the NBA on the Nuggets, but it was clearly my least favorite play of the day. I also blanked with my horse racing bets (though I did finish 8th in an National Horseplayers Championship qualifying tournament after being in 2nd place with three races to go), but it was still a winning day.
Let’s recap the rest of the Saturday action in the major team sports and then look for more winners on Sunday.
CBB: No. 12 Gonzaga beat No. 15 Saint Mary’s 77-68 late Saturday, covering as a 6.5-point home favorite. In other games between #CBB Top 25 teams, No. 17 Indiana upset No. 5 Purdue 79-71 as 6.5-point road dog & No. 9 Baylor beat No. 8 Texas 81-72 and covered as 4-point home fave.
More CBB: Ranked teams continued to struggle vs. unranked teams as Arizona State (+12.5) upset No. 7 Arizona, Florida State (+13.5) upset No. 13 Miami-Fla., Villanova (+2.5) upset No. 19 Creighton and Oklahoma (+7) upset No. 23 Iowa State. North Carolina (-4.5) also beat No. 6 Virginia and Mississippi State (-1.5) beat No. 25 Texas A&M, but those weren’t upsets as the unranked team was favored. In addition to those outright wins, Arkansas covered as an 8-point road underdog in its 86-83 loss at No. 2 Alabama and West Virginia covered as a 9.5-point road dog in its 76-74 loss at No. 3 Kansas.
NBA: Faves went 4-2 SU Saturday with Celtics-76ers closing pick-’em, but only 3-3 ATS as Pistons (+7.5) covered in 95-91 loss vs. Raptors. The upsets were by the Hornets (+6.5 at Heat) and Pacers (+3 at Magic). Home teams went 4-3 SU, but road teams led 4-3 ATS. Unders dominated 6-1.
More NBA: Faves lead 585-308 SU on the season with 15 games closing pick-’em, but dogs still hold a slim lead at 444-428-21 ATS (50.9%). Home teams lead 542-366 SU and 468-421-19 ATS (52.6%). In totals wagering, Overs’ lead dipped to 454-440-14 (50.8%).
NHL: Faves led just 6-5 on Saturday with the upsets by the Ducks (+385 in 3-2 win at Hurricanes), Blue Jackets (+205 in 6-5 win vs. Oilers), Blackhawks (+180 in 4-3 shootout win at Sharks), Capitals (+124 in 6-3 win vs. Rangers) and Stars (+100 in 3-2 shootout win at Golden Knight). Road teams went 7-4. Unders led 6-5.
XFL: DC Defenders rallied in the 2nd half to run over the Vegas Vipers 18-6 in the 2nd game of Week 2. The Defenders won as 4-point underdogs and +160 on money line (easily stayed Under low betting total of 34 points in the rain at Cashman Field here in Vegas).
More XFL: Underdogs (both on road) are 2-0 SU and ATS so far in Week 2 with St. Louis also winning as a 4-point dog on Thursday. Unders 2-0. On the season, faves/dogs are tied 3-3 SU, but dogs lead 4-2 ATS. Home/road teams also 3-3 SU, but road teams lead 4-2 ATS. Over/Unders are back to .500 at 3-3.
Sunday NHL Best Bets
Blue Jackets-Wild 1P Under 1.5 +110: I’m returning to our 1P Under plays with no strong 1P Over teams in action on Sunday. The Wild are still 19-4 with the 1P Under in their last 23 games despite letting us down on Friday night and the No. 1 1P Under team at 36-23 (61%) on the season. The Blue Jackets are also an Under team and these two teams combine for 67-50 (57.3%) on the season but we’re getting +110 when it should be closer to -130 in our opinion.
Islanders-Jets 1P Under 1.5 +105: This is a similar play as the Jets are the No. 2 1P Under team and the Islanders rank No. 3 and they combine to hit at 70-51 (57.9%), yet it’s also plus-money at +105 overnight at DraftKings, though -105 at William Hill.
Sunday XFL Best Bet
San Antonio Brahmas-Orlando Guardians Under 39: We gave this out early in the VSiN newsletter and the Thursday edition of this column and now there’s only 38 and 38.5 out there (note: some books even down to 37.5). I still think it’s playable at those numbers as we haven’t seen enough with these 1-, 2-, 3-point conversion options to make “key numbers” for Over/Under wagers. As we saw in Thursday night’s game, it was pretty much a coin-flip, so you need to shop around for the best number as every point (or 2 points or 3) counts. Note: I’m not calling this No. 1 Best Bet of the day since the best number is gone. We’re not high on either XFL underdog on Sunday, though it’s getting more tempting to take Arlington as the public has bet Houston up to -5 off of their 33-12 rout of Orlando in Week 1 (the only real rout of the young season), so I would take Arlington if it continues to steam to +6.