What’s On TV Tonight, And How Not To Lose Your Money Gamblin’

  • 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!

College Basketball: Indiana at Michigan State (-1.5) (7:00 p.m., ESPN)

The winner of this takes sole control of the B1G. This is as B1G as it gets (see what I did there?). KenPom has this game as Indiana -2. But his numbers are season-long, and MSU has unquestionably improved as the season has progressed. Indiana beat MSU by 5 at home earlier this year. The line is reasonable.

But don’t overreact to MSU’s beating of Michigan. The Spartans played over their heads, and Michigan was pathetic. One game is meaningless. MSU hasn’t lost at home, but Indiana is arguably the best team in the country.

By making MSU a 1.5-point favorite, that means Indiana would be about a 3-point favorite on a neutral court. I’m not sure that’s fair, since I think Indiana’s the best team in the country. I’ll take Indiana as an underdog, even on the road, against anyone. This is far from a lock, but I think it’s decent value.

Indiana +1.5 (-102), $10 to win $9.80

NHL: Sharks (+110) at Blues (-120) (8:00 p.m., NBCSN)

This is what sucks about waiting to bet games. When this opened, the Sharks were +138. That’s a lot of value lost, and that really adds up over time. But you need to evaluate each bet individually. So if this is still good value, it’s still worth a bet.

The Sharks got off to a ridiculous start, so they became overvalued. But now they’ve lost seven in a row. They’re not elite, but they’re good. The Blues, on the other hand, have elite talent but have been struggling. They had plane troubles, which probably was what made the line drop so steeply.

Much of the value is gone here, but with the plane troubles and the goalie troubles, St. Louis still scares me. The Sharks haven’t played horribly even on the losing streak, and they have an elite goalie. Elite goalie as underdog vs. team in murky waters = play.

Sharks ML +110, $10 to win $11.10

College Basketball: Florida (-5) at Missouri (9:00 p.m., ESPN)

Ah, now this is a classic trap game. KenPom has this game at -11! Florida is his No. 1 team. Florida beat Missouri by 30 at home.

Florida has a commanding lead in the SEC, so they could be sluggish on the road. Missouri needs this win. But Florida is playing for a number one seed, and I’m not buying the motivation angle enough to back an unreliable team at a small number. Florida has been annihilating teams, and this is as good of a number as you’re going to get. They haven’t proven much on the road, but they’re 7-2 ATS. Come on. They’re significantly better, and they’ve been trustworthy. Missouri has been bad.

If I lose, I’m sorry. I fell for the trap.

Florida -5 (-102), $20 to win $19.60

TV: Snooki and JWoww (10:00 p.m., MTV)

Snooki and Jionni try to repair their relationship; JWoww considers introducing Roger to her mother

Eyes gouged out by viewers, OVER 500 (-500), $1000 to win $2

Bonus Bets!

NHL: Blackhawks ML -118, $20 to win $16.94 AND Blackhawks -1.5 (+255), $10 to win $25.55

Record in games actually worth risking money on: 34-24 (+$92.12)

What else is on: College Basketball: Florida State at NC State (7:00 p.m., ESPN2), LSU at Tennessee (7:00 p.m., ESPNU) and Virginia at Miami (9:00 p.m., ESPNU)

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