Welcome to SportsGrid’s new, daily feature, where we tell you what sports are on TV tonight. Then, I do my best to help you win some money while watching. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing, and gambling is legal in your jurisdiction. Feel free to tweet hateful things at me if my advice moves you to do so. TV games are often the toughest games to find an edge on, so don’t go crazy, people. If I do recommend a bet, I’ll keep track of it, so you can tell me how awful (or wonderful?) I am. For record-keeping, we’ll assume a standard bet is $10. Occasionally, there will be 2x or 3x bets, maybe 4 or 5 if I’m feeling spunky. Good luck, America!
So, we basically doubled our entire winnings last night. That was nice. Let’s do it again.
NHL: Predators (+240) at Blackhawks (-260) (8:30 p.m., NBCSN)
This line opened at -290, the biggest line I’ve seen all season. The Blackhawks lead the season series 4-0 (though one win was in a shootout, and one was a 1-0 win). Chicago is playing well, on a six-game winning streak. The Predators have lost seven straight and 10 of 11. The line is probably inflated a tiny bit — the Predators haven’t been that awful during their losing streak and it came against a brutal schedule — but you’d have to have some massive balls to back the Predators. Most of you haven’t seen my balls, but they aren’t horse balls; they’re human balls.
Motivation seems to be in favor of the Blackhawks, too. Chicago has already clinched the Western Conference, but they haven’t technically clinched the President’s Trophy. They have a comfortable lead, but at home, you’d have to assume they’ll be going all out. The Predators are reeling, with no chance of making the playoffs.
If you’re taking a flier, you do have a beacon of hope. Nashville’s Pekka Rinne is good enough to steal a game, and that’s why there’s no value on Chicago and if you have horse balls, you wouldn’t be crazy for taking a shot here. As I said, I have human balls.
Pass, non-horse-balled folk
NHL: Rangers (-125) at Sabres (+115) (7:00 p.m., NHLN)
Both teams are fighting for the last playoff spot in the East. The Rangers were preseason Cup favorites, started the season haplessly, and now have recovered. Henrik Lundqvist, as always, keeps them in almost every game, even though his supporting cast has more holes than a roomful of Swiss cheese (ZING!!!!!). The Sabres were expected to be good, but their ex-Vezina-winning goalie, Ryan Miller, was holding them back by being strangely awful. He (and the rest of the team) have found their form, and the Sabres are one of the hottest teams in the NHL. This is a huge game for the Rangers, but it’s almost a must-win for the Sabres.
The teams have played twice this year. The Rangers won at home, 3-2, in a shootout, and the Sabres won, 3-1, at home.
There’s probably a tiny bit of value on the Sabres, since they’re clearly a better team than the season stats suggest. I probably would’ve made them slight favorites. But there’s not a huge edge here, and I’m not comfortable backing Ryan Miller against Henrik Lundqvist. I am happy backing the under in a game that features a pathetic offense (NYR), two pathetic power plays (both teams, duh), an otherworldly goalie (NYR) and a goalie in good form (BUF). Especially in a playoff-type atmosphere. Under looks good. Very good.
Sabres/Rangers UNDER 5 (+110), $20 to win $22
None. Relax, doods.
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 128-90 (+$244.18)
What else is on:
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
7 p.m. | MLB Network
Regional coverage, Kansas City at Boston or Atlanta at Pittsburgh
7 p.m. | NHL Network
Pittsburgh at Boston
10:30 p.m. | ESPN2
Javier Fortuna vs. Miguel Zamudio, for WBA interim featherweight title, in Atlantic City
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag