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 Playoffs: Rockets at Thunder (-11.5) (7:00 p.m., TNT)
The Thunder won Game 1 by 29 points, easily covering the 10.5 point spread. The game went just under the 213.5 total. The spread jumped a point and the total dropped 1.5. I’m not sure either move is justified, but those aren’t significant enough moves to provide value by themselves.
The Rockets were thoroughly outplayed, but their uncharacteristic 8-for-36 (22.2%) performance on 3-pointers was a key factor. Shooting 36.3% overall wasn’t good, either.
Basically, I think Houston can’t stop the Thunder. But I think they’ll score considerably better than last game, and I think their worth a flier here, as well as the over.
Rockets +11.5 (-105), $5 to win $4.76. ML (+750), $1 to win $7.50… AND OVER 212, $10 to win $9.10
NHL: Kings (+127) at Red Wings (-137) (7:30 p.m., NBCSN)
I have detailed this before — Jonathan Quick is vastly overrated on the road, because he’s godawful on the road. Jimmy Howard has been impressive all year. The Kings have been the better team all year, and their special teams are a pretty big advantage, but the home/road splits and the fact that this a must-win home game for the Red Wings explains the inferior team being favored.
I don’t buy the motivation thing, though. The Kings are playing for home-ice in the first round, too. Motivation isn’t an edge, here. The Red Wings have been fighting for a playoff spot all year long, and they’re still sitting in ninth. They’re 4-5-3 in their last 12 games, the most important stretch of the year.
Are they going to magically transform into a good team for one game? Detroit is usually unbeatable at home, but not this year (11-7-4).
In his last 8 road games, Quick has given up 31 goals. He’s given up three or more goals in seven of those eight. People seem to either be betting on the Kings because they’re better, overall, or the Wings because this is a “must-win.” I think they’re all stupid. I don’t want to bet on the Kings or Wings. I will simply bet against Quick, because oddsmakers appear to also be stupid and assume he’s the same goalie at home and on the road. There is a high chance of the Wings scoring 3+ goals, even though their offense is not especially good. I am a bit worried because this is a playoff-type game where both teams will tighten up, though. So it’s just a normal bet.
Red Wings team total OVER 2.5 (-115), $10 to win $8.70
NHL: Lightning/Leafs OVER 6 (-105), $5 to win $4.76
Blackhawks ML (-160), $30 to win $18.75
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 132-95 (+$202.37)
What else is on:
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
12:30 or 1 p.m. | MLB Network
Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati or St. Louis at Washington
2 p.m. | WGN
Cleveland at Chicago White Sox
7 p.m. | ESPN
Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Mets
7:30 p.m. | NBATV
Atlanta at Indiana (1st round, Game 2)
9:30 p.m. | TNT
Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio (1st round, Game 2)
10 p.m. | NBCSN
San Jose at Phoenix
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag