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: Celtics at Knicks (-7) (8:00 p.m., TNT)
I’ve seen a lot of people betting on the Celtics; I haven’t seen anyone take the Knicks. The first game closed at 7.5 and Boston barely covered (L by 7). The game was close. I just don’t really see how you can back either side. I don’t see an edge. If you made me pick, I’d have to take the points with Boston.
The first game went way under the total of 189.5 (163), thanks mostly to the eight-point Celtics fourth quarter. This game’s total has shrunk to 185.5. I think that’s an overreaction to one game (and, mostly, one quarter). But I don’t really do NBA totals, because I’m kind of clueless about them.
Pass, lean OVER
NHL: Bruins (-137) at Flyers (+127) (7:30 p.m., NBCSN)
This line opened at -157, so this is a pretty steep move. The expected goalies are Anton Khudobin and Steve Mason. Mason has been pretty awful this year, and Khudobin has been decent. Based on full-season stats, the Bruins are better on offense, defense and in net. The only area where Philly is better is 5-on-4, and considering that the Bruins are the best 4-on-5 team in the league, this is a good matchup for them.
But the Bruins are struggling, and the Flyers are playing decently at home. They beat the Bruins 3-1 less than a month ago, at home. The line move can be explained, even though I don’t agree with it.
Also important: the Bruins are fighting for their division title, and the Flyers have been eliminated from the playoff race. This is the kicker for me. I don’t think this line should have moved, as Boston is significantly better than Philly. Their recent play worries me a bit, but I’ll take an elite team vs. a mediocre-at-best team with a bad goalie any day of the week.
Bruins ML (-137), $10 to win $7.28
NHL: Stars (+165) at Sharks (-175) (10:00 p.m., NBCSN)
The Stars still have an outside shot at the playoffs, but this is a near must-win game for them. The Sharks are battling for seed position. Both will be motivated. The obvious stat to mention here is San Jose’s 16-2-5 home record. That means they’ve won about 70% of their home games. 10 of their 23 home games have gone to overtime, though (43%). They play tight games. The last matchup between these two, April 7 in San Jose, went to overtime (Dallas won, 5-4). Since the Sharks are always heavy favorites at home, people underestimate the potential of overtime. There’s a lot of value on the overtime prop. At +320, there’s an implied 23.9% chance of OT, which is very low. Dallas is playing very well, and this is a matchup of two solid teams. The Stars might even be better on neutral ice. The Sharks home-ice advantage is giving us tons of value here, and I’m loving it. The chances are that the Sharks win, still, but I’ll take this value any day.
There’s also value on the over, because this total should be 5.5, but oddsmakers are afraid to set that total in the Shark Tank. They shouldn’t be.
OVER 5 (-140), $10 to win $7.14, Stars ML (+165), $10 to win $16.50 AND Game GOES TO OT (+325), $20 to win $65
NHL: Islanders (-125), $30 to win $24 AND OVER 5.5 (-121), $20 to win $16.53
Panthers ML (+210), $5 to win $10.50
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 130-91 (+$234.84)
What else is on:
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
7 p.m. | MLB Network
St. Louis at Washington or New York Yankees at Tampa Bay
7 p.m. | WGN
Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati
7:30 p.m. | NBATV
Milwaukee at Miami (1st round, Game 2)
10:30 p.m. | TNT
Golden State at Denver (1st round, Game 2)
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag