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, Big East Quarterfinals:. Louisville (-9.5) vs. Villanova (7:00 p.m., ESPN)
Louisville is a national title contender because of their defense. They have weaknesses on offense, though — they’re an awful 3-point-shooting team and they’re mediocre shooters, at best, on twos. But they protect the ball pretty well and get a ton of offensive rebounds, so they can get away with all that. They rely on forcing turnovers to generate offense. I think they might be a bit overrated come tournament time, but that’s not important now. Is a 9.5-point spread accurate?
Villanova won their only matchup with the Cardinals by 9, at home, but it took a late surge. The Wildcats are dangerous, but they’ve got a lot more holes than Louisville. Villanova was awful in non-conference play, but turned things around once they beat Louisville. ‘Nova is a very bad shooting team. Their offense manages to be mediocre because they get to the free-throw line at a higher rate than anyone in the country and are decent free-throw shooters. The Cardinals aren’t especially good at keeping teams off the line, and they didn’t succeed in the loss against the Wildcats.
As for motivation, Villianova might have the slight edge. Louisville is probably slated for a No. 1 seed, but a loss might change that. Villanova doesn’t need a win to get in, but it would probably solidify their spot. This isn’t a huge factor, but it doesn’t hurt.
I just think this is a solid matchup, and all Villanova needs to do is keep this game within double-digits. They’re going to turn the ball over, and it will probably be ugly. But if they get to the line, and I think Louisville will let them, they should be able to hang, somewhat. Nothing crazy here, though.
Villanova +9.5 (-105), $5 to win $4.76 AND Villanova ML (+435), $0.75 to win $3.26
NHL: Capitals (+150) at Hurricanes (-160) (7:00 p.m., NHLN)
This is Dan Ellis (Hurricanes) vs. Michael Neuvirth (Capitals). The Canes have the slight edge, but Neuvirth hasn’t been awful.
This is a really interesting matchup. Carolina is one of the best 5-on-5 teams in the league, but they’re awful on both the penalty kill and power play. Washington is mediocre 5-on-5 and bad on the PK, but they’re lethal on the power play. Though those numbers are a bit misleading, because Carolina doesn’t take a ton of penalties and Washington doesn’t draw a ton.
The teams are 1-1 against each other this year. Carolina just won 4-0 on the road, two days ago.
I’m just not sure I see a reason to bet this. Carolina should be favored, but this is a revenge game and the Caps’ power play vs. the ‘Canes’ PK worries me. No need to force anything, here.
PASS, YOU CRAZY DEGENERATE
NCAAB: Texas +7.5 (-109), $10 to win $9.17 AND Texas ML (+295), $1.50 to win $4.43
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 61-45 (+$152.79)
What else is on: World Baseball Classic: Dominican Republic vs. USA (7:00 p.m., MLBN), College Basketball, Pac-12 Tournament: Oregon vs. Washington (11:30 p.m., ESPNU), NBA: Mavs at Spurs (8:00 p.m., TNT) and Knicks at Trail Blazers (10:30 p.m., TNT)
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag