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!
NHL: Rangers (+120) at Penguins (-130) (7:00 p.m., NHLN)
The Penguins won 15 games in a row, then lost two in a row. The two losses were embarrassing (combined 10-1), so this means they’re in a slump by Penguins standards (and this is where I tell you there’s a 1982 Japanese video game called Dr. Slump Penguin Village). If this game were during the Penguins’ winning streak, it probably would’ve been priced at something like Penguins -175. The Rangers have the better goaltending and defense, but the Penguins are very good at both of those, and they have a massive offensive edge, as well as better special teams.
I think people are under the impression that the Rangers have turned things around, which is weird. They beat the Penguins 6-1 on Wednesday, but it was a classic winning-streak-let-down spot, and though the Rangers scored 4 goals in the game before that one, they still have been an anemic offensive team the past month. Their woes haven’t been cured. The Rangers offense is offensive to viewers, still.
There’s no reason to dislike the Penguins here. This price is a steal, for the better team, seeking revenge, at home. I’m not big on trends, but this doesn’t hurt, either.
Penguins are 5-0 when playing to avoid a 3-game losing streak since the middle of last season..outscoring opp. 26-17 in those situations
— Evan Abrams (@Betropolitan) April 5, 2013
And for the same reasons as Wednesday’s (failed) under bet, I again like the under.
Penguins ML (-130), $20 to win $15.38 AND UNDER 5 (+124), $5 to win $6.20
NBA: Thunder (+177) at Pacers (-3) (8:00 p.m., ESPN)
This opened at Pacers -1.5. The Thunder are coming off of an impressive win at home over the Spurs. Yet they’re still a half game out of the top spot in the West, so this game is important. The Thunder have only been Thunderdogs (LOL) of 3 points once. They covered and beat the Clippers outright. Still, they’re just 2-2-1 as Thunderdogs, in general.
I’ve been looking around to find some sort of edge, but I have come up empty. You know the Thunder are better, and you know the Pacers are incredibly tough to beat at home. I have to lean towards taking the points with the better team, but three points isn’t much. Definitely not enough to put my
hard-earned money on it.
Pass, like, lean, uh, Thunderdogs, I guess, but don’t bet
TV: A.N.T. Farm (8:00 p.m., Disney Channel)
Chyna learns that principal Skidmore is manipulating students with a frozen-yogurt machine; Lexi is disturbed by a recurring nightmare where she has a crush on Cameron.)
Sounds like things will get messy!
Chyna turns the tables on that evil principle
Skinner Skidmore AND Cameron REJECTS Lexi, PARLAY (+900), $15 to win $135
NCAA Tournament, Saturday (opening line): Michigan PK (-110), $20 to win $18.18
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 104-78 (+$46.86)
What else is on:
10:30 p.m. | ESPN
Houston at Portland
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
7:30 or 8 p.m. | MLB Network
Chicago Cubs at Atlanta or Oakland at Houston
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag