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!
Let’s try and make a few bucks so you can turn those bucks into more bucks, betting on March Madness.
NCAA Tournament First* Round: Liberty vs. NC A&T (-3) (6:30 p.m., truTV)
This is very simple. I have never seen either team play, but this appears to be a great matchup for awful Liberty against awful NC A&T. NC A&T plays decent defense overall, but they allow opponents to take 38.2% of their field goal attempts from 3-point land, meaning they don’t keep teams from shooting threes. Liberty is awful at everything except for 3-point shooting (36.7%, 55th). NC A&T can’t shoot.
I’ll take the points for a few items off the dollar menu.
Liberty +3 (-108), $5 to win $4.63 AND ML (+140), $0.75 to win $1.05
NCAA Tournament First* Round: Middle Tennessee vs, St. Mary’s (-3) (9:00 p.m., truTV)
Yes, this is the dumb first* round of the NCAA Tournament that isn’t really the first round and doesn’t count in your bracket pool, but you should still watch this, assuming you get truTV. This should be a really good game.
St. Mary’s has zero impressive wins and lost to Gonzaga three times. But Gonzaga is good, so that’s understandable. The Gaels shoot the lights out from threeville and twoland. Middle Tennesse hasn’t beaten anyone either, but is a good shooting team with a very good defense.
St. Mary’s hasn’t really shown me anything this year, and I think they’re overrated because of the style they play benefitting them in the numbers. MTSU forces a ton of turnovers, and I think this line should be a PK, not Gaels -3.
Middle Tennessee +3 (-106), $5 to win $4.72 AND ML (+145), $0.75 to win $1.09
NHL: Capitals (+185) at Penguins (-200) (7:30 p.m., NBCSN)
The Penguins are considerably better than the Capitals in every phase of the game. But before you bet this, know that Pittsburgh is missing both Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. But they’ve won their past five games without Malkin (and nine in a row, overall). This line opened at Pitt -231 and moved considerably. I’m not sure why.
There is no discernible reason to bet on the Capitals. They aren’t especially good. The only question is if this is a reasonable price for the Penguins, or if there is an alternate bet that has value.
These two teams have combined to play just six overtime games all year, total. So, I think there’s value in betting Pittsburgh to win in regulation. The price is 75 cents cheaper than the full game moneyline, so I think this makes sense.
Penguins win IN REGULATION (-125), $10 to win $8
TV: Urban Tarzan (10:30 p.m., SPIKE)
A wild-animal relocation specialist and his assistant capture critters running wild in Los Angeles. In the opener, the guys tangle with a gun-toting chimp and corral a bull terrorizing people in a corn maze. Later, they deal with a 300-pound alligator that’s been dumped in a woman’s pool by her estranged husband.
The guys DISARM the gun-toting chimp ML (-200), $12.50 to win $6.25
NHL: Hurricanes ML (-167), $10 to win $5.99
Bruins ML (-140), $10 to win $7.14
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 68-51 (+$186.90)
What else is on: NIT: Kentucky at Robert Morris (7:30 p.m., ESPN) and Washington at BYU (9:30 p.m., ESPN), NBA: Nuggets at Thunder (8:00 p.m., NBATV). Lots of other crappy NIT basketball: (Various Times, p.m., Various ESPN-Family Networks)
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag