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!
College Basketball: UNC (-3.5) at Clemson (7:00 p.m., ESPN)
UNC is seen as awful because they aren’t playing like UNC, but they’re a decent team. They have one good win (vs. Virginia) and one bad loss (at Texas). They beat teams they should beat, if you concede that they’re merely decent. They’re 14-5 ATS as a favorite. The trends suggest taking the Tar Heels.
But Clemson has been solid at home, recently — they also beat Virginia and lost to Miami and NC State by a combined three points.
The Tar Heels should win, but they haven’t proven much on the road, and there’s no reason to think they’ll cover the 3.5 points easily. I don’t see a reason to take Clemson, but there’s not much value on UNC.
Pass, lean UNC
College Basketball: Duke at Virginia (-1) (9:00 p.m., ESPN)
Duke fans, bet away. Your team is an underdog? Oh, the underdog Blue Devils! No respect for da best team ever!
For us more rational folk, realize that Duke actually opened as 2-point favorites. That means people — smart people with money — really like Virginia. Duke is 2-5 ATS on the road. Virginia is 12-1-1 ATS at home. It’s easy to see why the line moved.
Duke has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on the road. The only decent teams they’ve played away from home are NC State (L by 8), Miami (L by 27) and Maryland (L by 2). You are insane if you back them, here. Nothing should give you confidence in them, beyond dumb people’s inexplicable Duke/Coach K instant bonergasm.
Virginia has played two tough games. They beat Wisconsin on the road(!) and lost to Miami on the road, by four. There are plenty of reasons to pick the Hoos. There are zero (rational) reasons to pick Dook.
Virginia -1 (-103), $10 to win $9.90
NHL: Penguins (-135) at Hurricanes (+125) (7:00 p.m., NHLN)
People are quick to call the Penguins the best team in the NHL, or second-best behind the Blackhawks. That might be true eventually, but they’re a bit worse than that, so far. Carolina has been mediocre. They may break out soon, but they haven’t yet. Hurricanes Cam Ward is discussed as one of the league’s best goalies, but he’s been just OK. Penguins goalie Marc-André Fleury has been very good. Carolina’s special teams have been awful; Pittsburgh has one of the league’s best power plays. The Hurricanes have lost four of their last five.
Everything points in Pittsburgh’s direction. They have a 57.4% implied chance of winning. That’s too low, even on the road. And given that 11 of the Penguins’ 13 wins have been by 2+ goals, the puckline (-1.5) is the bigger play. They’re also coming off of a loss, and will be fired up.
Penguins ML (-135), $10 to win $7.41 AND Penguins -1.5 (+225), $20 to win $45
TV: Anger Management (9:29 p.m., FX)
“Charlie and Cee Lo”
Cee Lo Green is taken on as a patient.
Cee Lo is on Charlie Sheen’s television show.
OVER four lines of cocaine snorted while taping (-240), $48 to win $20
NHL: Devils ML (+110), $10 to win $11
Blackhawks ML (+100), $10 to win $10
Lightning ML (+135), $10 to win $13.50
Sabres ML (+104), $10 to win $10.40
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 52-37 (+$137.66)
What else is on: NBA: 76ers at Bulls (8:00 p.m., ESPN), Timberwolves at Lakers (10:30 p.m., TNT) ; College Basketball: Gonzaga at BYU (11:00 p.m., ESPN2)
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag