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!
College Basketball: Iowa State at Baylor (-4.5) (9:00 p.m., ESPNU)
Baylor is the same, underperforming team virtually every year: talented, athletic, and abysmally coached. Scott Drew may have something to do with this.
These teams are pretty evenly matched: Iowa State has the better offense, but Baylor has the better defense. But here’s where the edge comes in: Iowa State has done nothing on the road, and Baylor has been really good at home. The Cyclones won the first game by nine, so this is a revenge game for Baylor. They’re also coming off a beating by Kansas State. They should be fired up. They’re worth a look.
But Baylor lost to Northwestern at home. Do not bet on poorly-coached teams that lose to Northwestern at home. Do not bet on Scott Drew. Lighting your money on fire is bad.
Pass, lean Baylor
College Basketball: Kansas at Oklahoma State (-1) (9:00 p.m., ESPN2)
This is an interesting game. The winner enters a tie with Kansas State at the top of the Big 12. Kansas was considered a national title contender, then they lost to this OSU team at home, TCU on the road(!) and Oklahoma on the road. They recovered to win two straight blowouts at home. They aren’t bad.
Oklahoma State has won seven in a row, and might be a bit overrated. Kansas’s stock is still lower than it should be. The Jayhawks hold opponents to a 38.2 2PT% (1st nationally), and are markedly better in virtually every area. The Cowboys don’t shoot well. Kansas has consistency issues, but they’re the better team, playing for revenge. They shouldn’t be underdogs.
Kansas ML (+105), $10 to win $10.50
NBA: Celtics at Lakers (-7) (10:30 p.m., ESPN)
The NBA is back and ready to screw with your sanity. Fading the Lakers has been just about the only sure thing in this ungodly league. They’re 21-32-1 ATS. But they’re actually 11-11-1 as a home favorite.
But clear out all the noise: you are getting seven points with the Celtics against the Lakers. The Celtics have only been a 7+ point underdog four times this year. They’re 2-2 ATS, but those were all against really good teams. The Lakers shouldn’t be seven point favorites against a good team.
Celtics +7 (-107), $10 to win $9.35 AND Celtics ML (+280) $1.50 to win $4.20
NHL: Flyers (+164) at Penguins (-174) (7:30 p.m., NBCSN)
The Penguins are arguably the best team in the NHL, and people know it. They’re typically hard to bet on, because prices are so high. But they’ve been -200 or so against decent teams, and Philadelphia has been awful. They just beat the Islanders 7-0, but one game doesn’t eradicate a season of awfulness. This is an overreaction to one game, and you’re getting some value on the Penguins for once.
Note: The Penguins have won by 2+ goals in 9 of their 11 wins. The puckline (-1.5) is typically the smart bet with them.
Penguins -1.5 (+170), $10 to win $17
TV: The Americans (10:00 p.m., FX)
An assassination attempt is made on President Reagan, and Stan tries to determine if the KGB was responsible.
Reagan TO LIVE (-200), $20 to win $10 AND Stan determines KGB IS responsible (-350), $35 to win $10
NHL: Blues (-117), $20 to win $17.39 and Kings ML (+105), $10 to win $10.50
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 37-25 (+$98.86)
What else is on: College Basketball: Providence at Syracuse (7:00 p.m., ESPN2), NBA: New Orleans at Cleveland (8:00 p.m., ESPN), Blues at Avalanche (10:00 p.m., NBCSN)
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag