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, Patriot League Championship:. Lafayette at Bucknell (-10.5) (7:30 p.m., CBSSN)
You can’t even bet Patriot League basketball during the regular season, because it’s so obscure and books would get killed by its seven fans. But you can bet on this. KenPom has the spread at -12. Bucknell is decent — they tore through the Patriot league but have just one decent win (La Salle) and lost to Penn State.
The teams actually split their season series. Lafayette beat Bucknell by one, at home, recently.
Bucknell is 2-3 against the spread this season, in those few precious games you could’ve bet. Lafayette is 3-0. Those numbers are interesting, but meaningless.
I haven’t watched these teams, so take my opinion with a roomful of salt. Here’s what it boils down to: Lafayette is 33rd nationally in effective FG%. 18th in 3PT%. They shoot a ton of threes. They are a very good shooting team, but bad at virtually everything else.
In their first matchup, Bucknell won by 15, even with Lafayette going 1-for-13 on 3-pointers. Lafayette shot better, though still not great, in the second game, and won.
I don’t know much about the Patriot League, but I am a patriot and will bet on this sporting match.
Lafayette +10.5 (-105), $10 to win $9.52 AND Lafayette ML (+500), $1.50 to win $7.50
NHL: Flyers (-105) at Devils (-105) (7:30 p.m., NBCSN)
I am a massive Devils fan. I am usually very good at forecasting Devils games, but I must tell you this anyway.
The Devils have been absolutely awful, lately. They’re missing Martin Brodeur and Dainius Zubrus and they’ve been as bad as I can ever remember, sans their pathetic first half of the 2009-2010 season. I do not want to bet on them until they turn things around.
But… they’re desperate. They’re at home. The fans are great this year. They’ve been bad, but I didn’t like their matchups with any of the opponents they struggled against.
I don’t want to bet on the Devils, but this price just doesn’t make sense. The Devils have beaten the Flyers six times in a row. They match up well. The Flyers are a bad hockey team. People don’t seem to want to accept this, but they are bad. Unequivocally bad. They’ve had decent goaltending and a good power play, but Johan Hedberg’s numbers (though slipping fast) are virtually the same as Ilya Bryzgalov’s. And the Devils have an elite penalty kill to balance out the Flyers one strength.
I don’t want to do it, but I will do it. I am an enigma.
Devils ML (-105), $20 to win $19.05 AND Devils -1.5 (+280), $10 to win $28
NHL: Red Wings ML (-105), $20 to win $19.05
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 59-44 (+$117.24)
What else is on: World Baseball Classic: Italy vs. Puerto Rico (7:00 p.m., MLBN), College Basketball, Big East Tournament: Rutgers vs. Notre Dame (9:00 p.m., ESPN2), NBA: Knicks at Nuggets (10:30 p.m., ESPN)
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag