What’s On TV Tonight, And How Not To Lose Your Money Gamblin’ On The NBA And NHL Playoffs

  • Matt Rudnitsky

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!

One bet, one push last night. A thrilling way to net zero dollars.

Important note: Money you make in the playoffs isn’t worth more than money you make in the regular season. Stay disciplined.

NHL Playoffs: Rangers (+110) at Bruins (-120) (7:30 p.m., NBCSN)

I didn’t like either team going into the playoffs, but both escaped in seven games (well, the Bruins really escaped). The Rangers went 2-1 against the Bruins this year, with two games going to overtime. The two OT games went over the total, the other went under.

Both goalies were incredible during the regular season, but while Tuukka Rask has been good in the playoffs, Lundqvist has been unstoppable (.955 even strength SV%!).

I definitely like the Rangers a bit, but +110 isn’t a juicy-enough price. I’ll probably take the under all series long, especially with the Rangers on the road, where their offense struggles. (I’ll have to think about it longer in New York.) Take it as soon as you can, because the line is dropping.

UNDER 5 (-120), $20 to win $16.67

NHL Playoffs: Sharks (+135) at Kings (-145) (10:00 p.m., NBCSN)

The Kings won the first game 2-0, but the Sharks actually played really well. They deserved better. The issues is, against Jonathan Quick, that might not matter. He wasn’t great in the regular season (especially on the road), but he’s been the best goalie in the playoffs so far, with a .961(!) even-strength SV%.

Since we already have the Kings to win the series, there’s no need to make a play on a side. I’ve got a simple bet that I like. Quick has given up 2 or fewer goals in five of six games in this year’s playoffs. Last year, that number was 12 of 14. One of them was the first game of the playoffs. So, 17 of his last 19 games (89.5%). At -165, you need to win just about 62% of your bets to break even. San Jose is a low-scoring team. So, yeah.

San Jose team total UNDER 2.5 (-165), $40 to win $24.24

NBA Playoffs: Pacers at Knicks (-5) (8:00 p.m., ESPN)

Indiana hasn’t had much trouble with the Knicks, except for the one game New York won, a 26-point home win (and obviously, a cover). Yet the spread hasn’t adjusted. I don’t see a reason to bet, not sure there’s any value. Though I suppose I lean Knicks, slightly.

The only play I’m considering is the Knicks team total over. The perception of the Knicks offense is way down, because they’ve struggled. But they scored 95 and 105 points in their two home games, and that came without lights-out shooting. No guarantees here, but 93 seems a tad low.

Knicks team total OVER 93, $5 to win $4.55

NBA Playoffs: Spurs (-2) at Warriors (10:30 p.m., ESPN)

I’ve liked the Spurs all series, despite their struggles. I think they’re markedly better than Golden State, and that they’re undervalued, while the Warriors are overvalued. There’s too much Warriors hype, so there’s value. Also, the Spurs’ scoring has been uncharacteristically low, and I think, for that reason, their team total is set too low.

Spurs ML (-120), $10 to win $8.33 AND Spurs team total OVER 98, $5 to win $4.55

Bonus Bets!

None, enjoy the playoffs!

Record in games actually worth risking money on: 170-113 (+$367.97)

Good luck!

What else is on:


8 or 8:30 p.m. | MLB Network
Detroit at Texas or San Francisco at Colorado

Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag

Heat photo via; Kings photo via