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!
Today is a slow day. All of these games are projected double-digit wins. Save your money and buy yourself something nice. You deserve it.
College Basketball: Notre Dame at Pittsburgh (-10) (7:00 p.m., ESPN)
Pitt is No. 20 in the (useless) AP poll. Notre Dame is 25th. This shows how unbelievably dumb the AP poll is, since the Panthers are 10-point favorites. KenPom ranks the Panthers fourth in the country, and published an ESPN article today calling them the most underrated team in the country. His rankings give Pitt a 90% chance of winning this game and put the point-spread at 14.
Notre Dame has dropped off significantly, as their awful defense has been exposed. They just lost at Providence by 17. But they still have a very good offense. It makes sense that KenPom’s number of 14 was too high. 10 seems to make sense.
There probably isn’t an edge here. I don’t see a point in taking Pitt to blow Notre Dame out, because the Irish aren’t as bad as they’ve looked recently. But expecting a joke of a defense to cover vs. the fourth-most-efficient team in the country isn’t appealing, either.
If you must bet, take the points, I suppose. But don’t do it, people.
Pass, lean Notre Dame
College Basketball: West Virginia at Kansas State (-10.5) (9:00 p.m., ESP)
K-State is playing really well (excluding an expected loss at Kansas), and blowing teams out at home. They’re 7-2 ATS as a home favorite. West Virginia is a bad team, and has been bad in this spot (2-4 ATS as a road underdog). KenPom has the spread at -12. There’s absolutely nothing working in favor of the Mountaineers. Everything points to a blowout.
But remember, if KSU wins by 10, you lose. They should cover, but I’m not willing to lay 10.5 points with a team that knows it should win easily.
Note: WVU lost the first meeting, at home, by just one.
Pass, lean KSU
College Basketball: Rutgers at Villanova (-10) (9:00 p.m., ESPNU)
Rutgers guard Eli Carter is out. It’s a huge loss. Rutgers has been really bad this season, even against the spread (9-12). Villanova has been a pleasant surprise (15-7 ATS). They beat Louisville and Syracuse, back-to-back, at home.
But Villanova is a pretty awful shooting team (209th nationally in EFG%). I can’t count on a mediocre team to cover a double-digit spread. There might be a bit of value here with Carter out, but not enough to pull the trigger. Gotta be disciplined.
Pass, lean Villanova
TV: The Bachelor (8:00 p.m., ABC)
Awfulness ML (-1000), $1000 to win $10
NHL: Hurricanes ML +117, $20 to win $23.40, Maple Leafs ML -105, $10 to win $9.55, Coyotes to win in regulation (-110), $10 to win $9.09
Record in games actually worth risking money on: 32-23 (+$93.48)
What else is on: College Basketball: Hofstra at Drexel (7:00 p.m., NBCSN); Women’s College Basketball: Kentucky at Texas A&M (7:00 p.m., ESPN2) and Baylor at Connecticut (9:00 p.m., ESPN2)
Lines taken from 5dimes.eu (with reduced juice) and betonline.ag