Welcome to SportsGrid’s daily feature, where we tell you what sports are on TV tonight and how, where and when to watch them. 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!
Miami won us a coupla bucks. That was nice. Care to join Miami, hockey teams?
Important note: Money you make in the playoffs isn’t worth more than money you make in the regular season. Stay disciplined.
NHL Stanley Cup Finals, Game 1: Blackhawks (+115) at Bruins (-124) (8:00 p.m., NBC)
I previewed this series before it started, and not much has changed:
This is a tough series to call. Chicago is more skilled. Boston is probably tougher. The Bruins definitely have the goalie edge, but Corey Crawford has been solid, and Rask has been known to get cold. (Though he’s currently scorching.) The only legitimate argument I could make is that the Western Conference is tougher than the East, and the Blackahwks have had a tougher road to the Cup (including the regular season).
I see this as a very even series. I don’t see a point in taking a side, Game 1. Wait and feel it out. I definitely lean towards the Blackhawks tonight and in the series, but I’d rather feel it out.
The only thing I’d add is that Tuukka Rask is still scorching, and will not be put out. The goals he has given up have almost all been incredibly difficult. He’s been great. Crawford has been very good for much of the series, but is still vulnerable, as he was in Game 4 before recovering for Game 5.
So, anything to bet on?
Honestly, I don’t think there’s much value on either side at this price. This should be a close game. But I’m writing a preview of one game, and it’s a cop-out to not recommend a bet. And I do have a gut feeling. I don’t love this bet. But I think that the line is pretty fair, and when you take the situation — the desperate team, playing at home — it’s hard not to like the Bruins to a degree. I think this will be their best game of the series, and while I’m not saying to empty your wallet, I am saying to find some loose change and take a shot here.
The bet I like a bit more, though, is the Bruins team total over 2.5 goals, at plus-money. I explained why I made that bet for Game 4, and it lost. That was sad, but it looked fairly good all game, and my reasoning hasn’t changed. Here it is:
In their 11 playoff home games, the Hawks have given up 3+ goals just three out of 12 times (25%). On the road, four out of seven times (57%). And they have played teams much worse at road scoring than the Bruins — the Wild, Red Wings and Kings were all pretty awful at that. The trend isn’t worth a bet on its own, but combining it with Boston’s style of play, home stats, the good ol’ eye test and a lack of faith in Corey Crawford, and we’ve got ourselves a bet.
Bruins ML (-124), $20 to win $16.13 AND Bruins team total OVER 2.5 (+100), $30 to win $30
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 181-126 (+$246.11)
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag