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!
If you aren’t watching college basketball tonight, you are silly. Watch college basketball; get $.
College Basketball, Big East Semifinals:. Georgetown (-1) vs. Syracuse (7:00 p.m., ESPN)
Georgetown has been great the second half of the year. Syracuse has struggled the second half (though their struggles are a bit overstated). KenPom has this spread at G’Town -1, but that’s using the full-season numbers. I’d adjust it a couple of points to quantify recent play.
The Hoyas have beaten the Orange twice, and they seem to be a tough matchup. Georgetown has big turnover problems, but they haven’t turned the ball over much against ‘Cuse. I think the whole “it’s tough to beat a team three times” factor is being factored in too much here, so there’s a little value. Georgetown should be favored, and this is basically priced as a tossup.
Georgetown -1 (-108) $5 to win $4.63
College Basketball, Big Ten Quarterfinals:. Michigan State (-5.5) vs. Iowa (8:30 p.m., BTN)
This game is important for both teams, but much more important for Iowa. Iowa is fighting for its NCAA Tourney lives; MSU is fighting for a 2-seed, but they’re almost certainly going to play the first two rounds near home in Auburn Hills, even if they lose. Advantage, Iowa. This is also revenge for the Hawkeyes, who lost, at home, by three to MSU.
KenPom has this game at MSU -4, so factoring in motivation, this merits a small play. But be warned: Iowa is a bad shooting team.
Iowa +5.5 (-105), $5 to win $4.76 AND Iowa ML (+210), $0.75 to win $1.58
College Basketball, SEC Quarterfinals: Ole Miss vs. MIssouri (-5) (10:00 p.m., SEC Network)
Missouri is an under-the-radar contender. They’ve been awful on the road, but very good at home and on neutral courts. This is on a neutral court, in Nashville.
The Tigers are better in virtually every category. Except turnovers. Missouri coughs it up a bit. Ole Miss forces some turnovers. Mississipi, despite playing faster than virtually any major team, virtually never turns it over (8th nationally in TO%). And Missouri is awful at forcing turnovers (290th in opponent TO%).
Missouri lost to Ole Miss by 15 on the road. They went 2-for-18 on threes. Missouri beat Ole Miss by 19 at home. They went 12-for-23 on threes. It’s a fair bet they’ll make somewhere in between those numbers. But since Missouri is a great offensive rebounding team, a few misses won’t be deadly.
Also, this will be a high-scoring game with a lot of possessions, and Missouri is a very good free-throw shooting team. If they win (which I think they will), they have a very good chance of covering the spread.
Missouri -5 (-102), $5 to win $4.90
NHL: Devils (+141) at Flyers (-151) (7:00 p.m., NHLN)
I just… don’t get it. The Devils were -105 against the Flyers, two days ago, at home. That was a bad line, and I told you guys to bet it. This is a big, 46-cent swing due to the Flyers being home and being out for revenge. In a vacuum, that might be fair, but the original line was way off. The Devils were -105, at home. Now the Flyers are -151, at home. The Devils are massively better. The Devils have beaten the Flyers seven times in a row. I don’t love the revenge situation, but why is one of the worst teams in the NHL, a team that isn’t playing well, a team that just got annihilated by its opponent, a heavy favorite? The reason is revenge, but that’s being vastly over-factored into the line of a rivalry game. Also, the Devils need wins, badly.
I don’t get oddsmakers’ fascination with the Flyers. They have shown virtually nothing this year.
Oh, and the reverse puckline (the underdog, -1.5) is +360. That means the Devils have just a 22% chance of winning by more than one goal. The Flyers often lose, and when they do, they often lose by more than one goal. These lines are dumb.
Devils ML (+141), $20 to win $28.20 AND Devils -1.5 (+360), $30 to win $108
NHL: Red Wings ML (+100), $20 to win $20
NCAAB: St. Joe’s +8 (-108), $20 to win $18.52 AND St. Joe’s ML (+318), $3 to win $9.54
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 61-47 (+$135.54)
What else is on: Pac-12 Tourney: UCLA vs. Arizona (9:00 p.m., Pac-12 Network) and Utah vs. Oregon (11:30 p.m., ESPN)
Big East Tourney: Louisville vs. Notre Dame (9:00 p.m., ESPN)
SEC Tourney: Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt (7:30 p.m., SEC Network)
ACC Tourney: Duke vs. Maryland (7:00 p.m., ESPN2) and UNC vs. FSU (9:00 p.m., ESPN2)
Big Ten Tourney: Ohio State vs. Nebraska (6:30 p.m., BTN)
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag