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!
NBA: Heat (-3.5) at Bulls (8:00 p.m., TNT)
It’s virtually impossible to bet the NBA, unless you are this man. I am not that man. But since I know many of you will watch this, let’s see if there’s any sort of edge. Your first instinct would probably be to bet on LeBron James, but calm down, dude. Let’s examine, first.
There’s talk about the Heat being an awful road team, but they’re 12-13 ATS. The Bulls are 7-20(!) ATS at home (but 2-3 as a home underdog).
The teams have only met once this year, and Chicago actually won as a 7.5-point underdog. The Bulls will certainly be pumped up to play the Heat, and the Heat don’t always come to play on the road. But this is revenge; they likely will.
But more importantly: the Bulls haven’t been that good lately. The only elite team they’ve played in the last couple of months was the Spurs, and they got annihilated at home. I’ll hold my nose because this is the NBA, and take the Heat moneyline. The line is -155, which means they have an implied 61% chance of winning. I think that’s low.
Heat ML (-155), $30 to win $19.35
College Basketball: Cincinnati (-1) at UConn (7:00 p.m., ESPN)
Cincinnati is an elite defensive team. They beat Pitt on the road. They nearly beat Syracuse on the road. But they’ve had a few stinkers (vs. Notre Dame and St. John’s and at Providence), because they’re not great on offense. UConn has had some nice games (W vs. ‘Cuse at home), but is clearly inferior.
This is a big game for both teams, and both teams are coming off a loss. Cincinnati would be a considerable favorite on a neutral court. This line makes sense.
I don’t really see any edge here, at all. Just watch this one.
PASS, YOU CRAZY DEGENERATE
NHL: Bruins (-122) at Lightning (+112) (7:30 p.m., NHLN)
This line is really interesting.
The Lightning have actually been one of the league’s best teams, 5-on-5. Advanced statistics all point in the way of the Lightning, except 4-on-5 stats, where the Bruins are otherworldly. They’re easily best in the league, and nobody else is close.
Lightning goalie Andres Lindback isn’t great by conventional stats, but he’s fine by advanced stats. Tuukka Rask is very good.
Then again, Tampa Bay started out dominating an easy schedule, and has come back down to earth, losing six of eight. The Bruins have been pretty good all year.
I haven’t really figured the Lightning out. They have potential, but I’m not sure I can trust them. It’s probably best to stay away, here.
PASS, YOU CRAZY DEGENERATE
TV: Ridiculousness (10:00 p.m., MTV)
Rapper Mac Miller helps break down outrageous viral videos.
Rapper Mac Miller needs help breaking down outrageous viral videos (-750), $2250 to win $30
NHL: Flyers -1.5 (+220), $10 to win $22
Sabres/Maple Leafs UNDER 5.5 (-116), $20 to win $17.24
Devils ML (-107), $30 to win $28.04
Red Wings -1.5 (+180), $10 to win $18
Rangers ML (-121), $10 to win $8.26
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 39-28 (+$78.36)
What else is on: NBA: Spurs at Clippers (10:30 p.m., TNT), College Basketball: Duke at Virginia Tech (9:00 p.m., ESPN), California at Oregon (9:00 p.m., ESPNU)
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag