Welcome to SportsGrid’s daily feature, where we tell you what sports are on TV tonight and how, where and when to watch them. 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 did not think it made sense to bet on either team at a 2-point spread in last night’s NBA Finals game. I thought it made more sense to bet on a relatively easy win. Sadly, I picked the Heat. I was slightly wrong. Let’s get things right, tonight.
Important note: Money you make in the playoffs isn’t worth more than money you make in the regular season. Stay disciplined.
NHL Stanley Cup Finals, Game 1: Bruins (+143) at Blackhawks (-143) (8:00 p.m., NBC)
Entering the playoffs, the Bruins were the floundering team that would probably win Round 1 and then get killed by the Penguins. They barely escaped the Leafs, so that assessment seemed accurate as they entered Round 2. Then, they embarrassed the Penguins. Now people think very highly of them.
As for the Blackhawks, they entered Round 1 as heavy favorites. They beat the Wild fairly easily. Then, they struggled with the Red Wings, but escaped. It was because they’re “not physical.” Then, they dismantled the probably-more-physical Kings. The Bruins are similar to the Kings, but probably better overall, despite a worse goalie. Yet that goalie, Tuukka Rask, played at an inhuman level last round.
The point is, this is a tough series to call. Chicago is more skilled. Boston is probably tougher. The Bruins definitely have the goalie edge, but Corey Crawford has been solid, and Rask has been known to get cold. (Though he’s currently scorching.) The only legitimate argument I could make is that the Western Conference is tougher than the East, and the Blackahwks have had a tougher road to the Cup (including the regular season).
I see this as a very even series. I don’t see a point in taking a side, Game 1. Wait and feel it out. I definitely lean towards the Blackhawks tonight and in the series, but I’d rather feel it out.
And speaking of feeling things out, that brings me to my only play. The teams haven’t played each other this season. They haven’t even played common opponents (there was no interconference play in the shortened-season). Both goalies are playing well. I am a big fan of the “neither team scores in the first 10:00 prop” in feeling-out periods with solid defenses/goalies, and this fits the bill. The price isn’t too high.
No goals in the first 10:00 (-140), $20 to win $14.29
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 180-125 (+$236.82)
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag