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!

Oh, man. Double playoffs. I’m giddy. I am shaking my moneymaker as I type.

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

NHL Playoffs: Capitals (+135) at Rangers (-145) (7:30 p.m., NBCSN)

The Capitals are up 2-0 in the series, but both games could have gone either way. Both went under the total, pretty easily.

I’m surprised the Rangers are favorites of this magnitude. I think they’re overrated, but they were much better at home than on the road during the season. I mostly ignore home-ice advantage in the playoffs, but the Rags’ home-road differential was pretty steep. There isn’t value on the Rangers moneyline. But, I can see why they’re favorites.

It’s hard not to like the under. I liked unders going into the series, and there have only been five goals in two games, one coming in overtime, and three coming in one period (all for the Caps). Not counting those two periods, there has been one goal in five periods. I have more faith in the Rangers’ offense at home, but I still have faith in the under. It hasn’t been juiced nearly as much as it should (just -120!). The teams have played five times this year, and zero games have gone over five goals.

I think there might be value on the Caps to win in regulation (+160) or -1 (+265). But I’m going to lay off, because my gut says the Rangers win.

UNDER 5 (-120), $10 to win $8.33

NHL Playoffs: Ducks (+114) at Red Wings (-124) (8:00 p.m., CNBC)

I liked the Ducks and unders before this series, and that hasn’t changed. Those bets have been 4-for-6 so far. In the one game the Ducks lost, they mounted an impressive late comeback and fell in overtime.

I still like the under due to the goalies, but there have been 31 penalties in the three games, and I’m not sure I’m comfortable backing the under if that trend continues. I still think the Ducks are the better team, and I think, at +220, Ducks -1 is great value.

Ducks -1 (+220), $10 to win $22, lean UNDER

NHL Playoffs: Blues (+130) at Kings (-133) (10:00 p.m., NBCSN)

I liked the over in this series coming in, but then Jonathan Quick decided to be good again, so that was shot. The under has been money so far. The home team has won all three games, but the Blues have probably been the better team, overall. The Kings haven’t lost at home since March 23, though most games have been one-goal wins. They’ve also only given up more than two goals, at home, once since March 8. Seriously. The Blues team total is heavily juiced at -185, but that implies just a 65% chance of covering. I think it should be around 75%.

Blues team total UNDER 2.5 (-185), $10 to win $5.41 AND Game UNDER 5 (-200), $10 to win $5

NBA Playoffs: Bulls at Heat (-12) (7:00 p.m., TNT)

The Bulls have beaten the Heat twice as underdogs this year. But they lost the other two matchups and didn’t cover in either. And Luol Deng is out. I just don’t see an edge here.

Pass, bros

NBA Playoffs: Warriors at Spurs (-9) (9:30 p.m., TNT)

These teams met four times in the regular season, with the home team winning all four. Golden State covered three of four, though. This is the same situation as the Miami game, for me. The home team is better and should win. But the spread seems accurate, and I don’t see a reason to bet. If you are a degenerate and must bet, the only thing I can conceive is a teaser of Heat -7.5 and Spurs -4.5, paying out at -110. But I don’t think there’s any value in that, and you probably should just buy yourself dinner instead.

Pass, bros

Bonus Bets!

None, enjoy the playoffs.

Record in games actually worth risking money on: 152-104 (+$264.84)

Good luck!

What else is on:


7 p.m. | ESPN
Atlanta at Cincinnati

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

Heat photo via; Kings photo via