1. Guess which guy lost his starting job mid-season?
Hint: it’s also the one who got meme’d. [Getty Images]
At first glance, higher hopes for Survive and Advance, but both should be worth a watch. [Awful Announcing]
Or as you also might like to call it, hoops junkie porn. [Ball Don’t Lie]
And all it took was millions of dollars’ worth of payments to them and organizations wit ties to them, and rampant allegations of nepotism. [Bloomberg]
5. Not sports related, still important.
What’s on TV tonight, and how not to lose your money gamblin’.
Wisconsin (-5.5) at Ohio State (7:00 p.m., ESPN2)
This line opened at 6.5, but action on Wisconsin drove it down to 5.5. The thing is, this isn’t your ordinary 5.5-point line. Wisconsin plays at a slower pace than almost anyone, and Ohio State is in the bottom half of the NCAA, too. Since this game will have much fewer possessions than your average game, there will be less of a chance for Ohio State to cover a big number. 5.5 is normally a moderate number; here it’s pretty big.
The spread seems pretty fair here, so it’s probably not wise to bet. If you must, we’d lean towards the Buckeyes, who beat Michigan at home, by 3, in a game where they choked away a huge lead. The wisest bet here is probably the under 119 total points, but you already missed the best number of 120.5. Worth noting: Ohio State’s games have gone under the total in 8 of 10 games, and that streak is 6 of 7 for Wisconsin. But, obviously, oddsmakers have adjusted with a very low total.
North Carolina State at Virginia (-4) (7:00 p.m., ESPN2)
This is a classic public vs. wiseguy game. The average fan sees a ranked, highly-touted team as an underdog and wants to pounce. But this line opened at 2.5, meaning there’s a good chunk of money on Virginia.
Virginia is a sloooooooooooow team with a bad offense and a great defense. NC State is a fast, uber-talented team with a great offense and a bad defense. Contrasting styles. NC State is coming off an emotional win over rival UNC, so there could be a hangover here. Your best bet is probably Virginia -1.5 for the first half. Then, you could look to bet the better team, NC State, to wake up in the second half.
New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins (-200) (7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network)
The Penguins are a much better team than the Islanders, which is why you need to bet $2.00 to win $1.00. To profit on a -200 bet, long-term, you need to win around 70% of your bets. So if the Penguins have a 70% chance of winning, this is a good bet.
Last year, the Penguins went 4-2 (.666) against the Isles. Odds this steep are typically not worth it in the NHL. Stay away. If you must bet, take the Pens -1.5, where you’ll get +150 odds.
North Carolina (-4.5) at Boston College (9:00 p.m., ESPNU)
This is another matchup where the average fan looks and goes ZOMG UNC! and bets on them, even though they’re a mediocre team, on the road, in a conference game. Boston College is pretty bad, but they’ve been decent at home (L by 5 to NC State, L by 1 to Miami).
Still, UNC is the much better team, coming off an upsetting loss to NC State. They should come out firing. So, again, if you must bet these TV games (which are typically the toughest to figure out), take the Tar Heels. But close your eyes, because you don’t know what you’re gonna get.
Kentucky at Mississippi (-3.5) (9:00 p.m., ESPN)
See a recurring theme? Again, a team the public loves (due to past results) as an underdog on the road, in-conference. If you really have a read on a team in this spot, by all means go for it, but always look for reasons not to bet the obvious choice. You might not know it yet, but Mississippi is actually a very good team. These teams are pretty evenly matched. The way to go is probably the under 144. The number is high because both teams play fast. But both teams also play good defense, and Mississippi is not a good shooting team to begin with.
United States (-1.5, +101) vs. Canada (soccer) (9:00 p.m., ESPN2)
The U.S. is easily the better team (yes, we are better than people in soccer), playing against a young, disappointing Canada squad. But a 1.5-goal spread, especially for the historically-anemic American offense, is a steep price to pay in soccer. If you must bet this game, parlay the U.S. money-line with someone else, on the money-line. May we suggest Ohio State (-245)? Parlaying the two will give you a bet close to the standard, -110 odds.
“Chocolate fudge brownie cookie ice cream.”
So many buzz words.
Just a guy surfing a 100-foot wave, no big deal.