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!
I seriously can’t believe we lost like this last night. Let’s not do that again.
College Basketball Big East Tournament:. Seton Hall vs. South Florida (-6) (7:00 p.m., ESPNU)
You are better off watching the small conference teams than this. Neither team is particularly good or exciting. Which should make you immediately ask: what about the under?
Well, the total opened at 116.5 and has only moved down half a point. This is a very low total, so is the under worth a bet? Did they overadjust, making the over worth a bet in a low-scoring game?
KenPom has the total at 118, so this isn’t far off. Their first matchup produced just 102 points. I’ll spare you the details and leave you with this: Seton Hall is good at one thing on offense: 3-point shooting. They shoot a lot of threes; they make a lot of threes. They’re 56th in 3PT%, which is solid. But South Florida’s strength happens to be stopping 3-pointers; they’re 23rd in opponent’s 3PT%. And, of course, they’ll game-plan to stop the three.
Everything points towards the under. Both teams play slow. South Florida doesn’t turn the ball over. The only worry is the Pirates getting hot from 3-point land, or turning the ball over themselves, which they do often. But the Bulls don’t force many turnovers. The only threat to the under is balanced out by a force pointing towards the under. I like the under.
UNDER 116 (-103), $10 to win $9.70
NHL: Bruins (+122) at Penguins (-132) (7:30 p.m., NBCSN)
If you’re not into small-major conference championships, this is the sporting event to watch. The preseason Cup favorite (Pens) vs. the current Cup co-favorite (the B’s, along with the Blackhawks). The Penguins are reeling, relatively speaking, despite winning five straight games. They’ve been giving up a ton of goals and have needed tons of late-game heroics.
The Bruins are more solid defensively and a bit better in net. The Penguins are much more explosive, but they’re vulnerable on the penalty kill, and their excellent power play is balanced out by Boston’s otherworldly penalty kill.
Boston has been the slightly better team, but they’re on a back-to-back. They’re good on back-to-backs, but that’s why this price makes sense. The only reason to bet Boston would be if you think they match up well with Pittsburgh, because by the numbers, this price seems fair on both sides.
I do think they match up well. If Pittsburgh has trouble scoring, they’re in trouble. Everyone has trouble scoring vs. Boston.
Bruins ML (+122), $10 to win $12.20
NHL: Lightning ML (-110), $30 to win $27.27
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 57-44 (+$90.27)
What else is on: NBA: Hawks at Heat (8:00 p.m., NBATV), College Basketball: Northeast Conference championship, Mount St. Mary’s at LIU Brooklyn; Big East Tournament, Rutgers vs. DePaul (9:00 p.m., ESPNU) and Horizon League Championship, Wright State at Valparaiso (9:00 p.m., ESPN)
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag