What’s On TV Tonight, And How Not To Lose Your Money Gamblin’
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!
Sorry for my absence Monday and Tuesday, I was busy paying money to be sad. Let's make some of my tear-money back.
NHL: Penguins (-127) at Lightning (+118) (8:00 p.m., NBCSN)
The Penguins have clinched the Atlantic Division, but they still need to play hard to clinch the first seed in the East. They’re a bit banged up (Sidney Crosby is out indefinitely, for one), but they’re getting healthier. Kris Letang will be back tonight. They won 15 games in a row, lost a couple, badly, and have rebounded with two wins. They are still an elite team.
The Lightning have underachieved, massively. They fired their coach and traded for a goalie, Ben Bishop. But they’re still 4-6 in their last 10, so that hasn’t cured everything.
This line seems really low, since the Penguins are significantly better than the Lightning. Tampa Bay is solid at home (11-7-2), but I’m still not really understanding this. Looking through the Lightning’s schedule, I can’t find a single impressive win. Beating the Penguins would qualify. They beat the Leafs at home, early on. That’s nice. That’s about all I’ve got.
Pittsburgh played badly against Carolina, beating that awful excuse of a team, likely because of a lack of motivation after clinching a playoff spot. If they do that again, sure, they could be in trouble. But this team is way too good to only be a -127 favorite against a team that has proved nothing all year.
Tampa Bay is better than their record suggests, and could make a late-season run. But they shouldn't be only +118 against the Penguins.
Note: The Pens are starting Tomas Vokoun, who is pretty bad, but his opponent, Ben Bishop, isn't great, either. It's close to a wash.
Penguins ML (-127), $40 to win $31.26
NHL: Avalanche (+255) at Kings (-235) (10:30 p.m., NHLN)
The goalie matchup is reigning Vezina runner-up and Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Quick vs. 20-year-old Finn Sami Aittokallio, in his first NHL start. But, it's not as big of a mismatch as it seems. Quick was unstoppable this year, this year he's bad. He's been unquestionably bad. There's no way to tell how good Aittokallio will be. He was OK in the AHL, and he's not a top prospect.
It's tempting to put a flier on the Avs, but they're 3-15-3 on the road, and the Kings are 14-4-1 at home. Don't get cute.
In such a weird matchup, though — a pathetic road team with an unknown first-time goalie vs. an elite home team with an overrated goalie, I feel like there has to be value, somewhere, if you look hard enough. Let's look hard. Colorado is awful at everything, sans the penalty kill, where they're mediocre. LA is good at everything, though their defense is worse than perceived, especially with Quick's poor goaltending. They're a better offensive team than given credit, and with Quick in goal, they're a bit shaky giving up goals.
But... look at Quick's splits. He's 13-12-3, with a 2.58 GAA, overall. But he's actually 8-4-1 with a 1.81 GAA at home. The Kings are really, really good at home, and the Avs are really, really bad on the road. In Quick's last six home games, the Kings have allowed two or fewer goals. He's only allowed more than two goals three times in 13 home starts this season. If we went strictly by that percentage (a small, but somewhat useful sample size), that would suggest that the price on the under 2.5 goals for Colorado should be close to -335. When you factor in that the Avs have scored 2 or more goals just 8 of 21 times (38%) of the time, it would make sense to fire away on their team total under. The line is -160, which is incredibly steep by normal standards. But it still seems way too low. The Avs' total on the road should be two vs. virtually any team, especially the Kings, at home. You can't go too crazy on a volatile bet like this, but damn, it looks good. You also would have to assume the Avs will play extra tight to protect their virgin goalie. Damn, damn, damn, I want to fire away.
Avalanche team total UNDER 2.5 (-160), $50 to win $31.25
TV: Anger Management (9:29 p.m., FX)
"Charlie Gets Lindsay Lohan Into Trouble"
Charlie (Sheen) treats Lindsay Lohan with therapy.
Cocaine everywhere (-1000000), $100,000 to win $10
NHL: Capitals ML (-175), $10 to win $5.71
Capitals/Hurricanes OVER 5.5 (+100), $20 to win $20 AND Capitals team total OVER 3.5 (+135), $20 to win 27
PARLAY: Capitals/Canes OVER 5, Capitals ML AND Avalanche team total UNDER 2.5 (+274). $10 to win $27.40
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 108-79 (+$61.38)
What else is on:
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
7 p.m. | MLB Network
Baltimore at Boston or New York Yankees at Cleveland
8 p.m. | TNT
New York at Chicago
10:30 p.m. | TNT
Oklahoma City at Golden State
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag
Be the first to know
Want FREE Fantasy and Gaming Advice and Savings Delivered to your Inbox? Sign up for our Newsletter.