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!
Things have been grim. NBA Finals, stop this.
Important note: Money you make in the playoffs isn’t worth more than money you make in the regular season. Stay disciplined.
NBA Finals, Game 3: Heat at Spurs (-2.5) (9:00 p.m., ABC)
Game 1: close, but the Spurs dominated late. Game 2: close, until the Heat DOMINATED late (The Block, etc.). In Game 1, the Spurs turned the ball over just four times. In Game 2, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan were very bad. Neither of those things will likely happen again. So, where’s the edge?
The last two games saw spreads of Miami -5 and -6, or somewhere around there, depending on where and when you bought it. Clearly, oddsmakers think the Heat are the better team. This is fair. The only conceivable edge I could feign is that home court advantage hasn’t meant a ton to either team. The Spurs have just three losses this postseason(!). One was at home. The Heat have just four. Three were at home. If I had to pick, I’d lean towards the slightly better team, getting points. But that is an insignificant sample size, and I’m not sure my conclusion is valid. I am picking straws.
I don’t see a point of betting this, pre-game. If a team gets down early, consider betting them live, if you get a nicely adjusted spread. Basketball is a game of runs, where men run. Run your town, tonight.
But we want to bet, don’t we? Because this is my column, I will mess around. The Heat won 66 games this regular season. 58 of those wins (87.9%) came by 4+ points. The Heat have won 13 games in the postseason. 11 of them (84.6%) were by 4+ points. Yes, this is a small sample size, and, no, it doesn’t account for strength of opponent or home/road setting, or other things. But I still like this, and it’s worth a small bet. I think that if the Heat win, they will win by 4+. The odds are solid.
Heat -3.5 (+175), $10 to win $17.50
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 180-124 (+$246.82)
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag