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: Bulls at Nets (-5) (8:00 p.m., TNT)
The first game saw a -4.5 point spread and an easy Nets cover (they won by 17, and that was understating their dominance). It’s a bit strange that the line only moved a half point, but it tells you that you shouldn’t overreact to one game. Still, Chicago looked beat up and the Nets looked great. I’m not comfortable betting with the team the public will clearly back, but I don’t see how there’s any value on the shaky Bulls.
The total is 1.5 points higher than the first game that sailed over, and I think there might be value on the under. But NBA totals aren’t my thing.
Pass, lean Nets and under
NBA Playoffs: Grizzlies at Clippers (-6) (10:30 p.m., TNT)
Same deal as the Nets here — the Clippers covered in the first game easily (they won by 21). The spread only jumped by a half point, from -5.5. Again, I was hoping the market would overreact to a first-game blowout. They didn’t, so I don’t see value here, either. Sorry. This total jumped a point after the first game sailed over.
Gun to my head, I guess I lean Grizz? Don’t put a gun to my head re: NBA games.
Pass, lean Grizzlies and under
NHL: Coyotes (+135) at Red Wings (-142) (7:30 p.m., NBCSN)
Ah, this is more my speed. This is close to a must-win for the Red Wings, which has people declaring this a Red Wings win, because apparently teams always win must-win games when they’re on the verge of the playoffs. If you didn’t detect my sarcasm, that’s not true. The Red Wings are in ninth place because they aren’t especially good, and teams that aren’t especially good are never a lock, regardless of motivation and crowd intensity. The Coyotes are still mathematically alive, I believe. So they won’t give up.
The Wings have the goaltending edge — Jimmy Howard has been very good on a very mediocre team — but the Coyotes are a better offensive team, and maybe even a better team overall. Detroit is solid on defense and in net, but struggles to score. The Yotes are worse on D. Neither team boasts good special teams play.
Detroit is typically unbeatable at home, but they’re typically really good. They’re 10-7-4 this year. I certainly lean towards the Red Wings in front of a huge crowd at the Joe, but I don’t see any value against a team that might be better than them. The under is also worth a look in a playoff-type game, but it’s heavily juiced, and I’m not sure there’s value.
This is a game where you sit back and put a few stones on the YES OVERTIME prop, because there’s a greater than 25% chance this is tied after regulation, in my opinion.
Game GOES TO OT (+300), $5 to win $15… Lean UNDER 5
NHL: Penguins/Senators UNDER 5.5 (-142), $10 to win $7.04
Ducks ML (-116), $10 to win $8.62
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 128-91 (+$224.18)
What else is on:
10:30 p.m. | NHL Network
Chicago at Vancouver
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
7 p.m. | ESPN
New York Yankees at Tampa Bay
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag