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!

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

I’m not sure I can back either team. Books obviously know that most people want to bet the Heat. This line is pretty steep, justifiably, and you should probably stay away. But I’m not sure the Bucks have shown enough to be worth backing. Against the spread, that is.

The -335 moneyline on the Heat means that you must (accurately) think they have a greater than 80% or so chance of victory. The Heat were 29-12 on the road this year (70.7%). The Bucks were 21-20 at home this year (51.2%).

But… the Heat haven’t had a bad road loss since January 27, an OT thriller in Boston. I think their few bad losses were just a lack of effort, and they understand that this is the playoffs. Like they turned it on during their winning streak, I think they turn it on here, and that their chances are even greater than 80%. The Bucks, really?

I think this is a fairly juicy price to include in a parlay. I will include it in a parlay. This is a strange bet that I wouldn’t typically recommend, but I like it. I try things I think I like, even if they’re strange.

PARLAY (+222.1): Heat ML/Senators UNDER 6/Flyers team total OVER 2.5, $10 to win $22.21

NBA Playoffs: Nets at Bulls (-3.5) (8:30 p.m., NBATV)

Brooklyn dominates Game 1, gets dominated Game 2. Line makes sense, not sure what to do here. Put your wallets away.

Pass, you crazy degenerate

NBA Playoffs: Clippers at Grizzlies (-4.5) (9:30 p.m., TNT)

I have a pretty simple play, here. 27 of the Grizzlies’ 41 home games have gone under the total, as opposed to just 21 of their away games. 27 of the Clippers 41 home games have gone over the total, but just 20 road games. Memphis plays lower-scoring games at home. The Clippers play lower-scoring games on the road. This game is in Memphis.

Yet this total is higher than the first two games of this series (likely because both games went over the total). That’s an overadjustment, and that provides value.

Clippers/Grizzlies UNDER 180.5, $10 to win $9.09

NHL: Pegnuins (-124) at Devils (+114) (7:30 p.m., NBCSN)

Pittsburgh has nothing to play for; they clinched the Eastern conference but can’t win the President’s trophy. The Devils have been eliminated from the playoffs and are starting their backup goalie. The Penguins are the much better team, but this game is priced to reflect their apathy here. The Devils will probably play hard in their last home game. No value here, too much uncertainty.

It will probably go under the total, though, which should be set at 5. I think this is an overadjustment for Johan Hedberg playing for NJ. He has played a lot this year, initially great, then a rough stretch lowered his value. He was simply overplayed because Martin Brodeur was hurt, I think. He should be fine with tons of rest against a team that doesn’t care. Still, too much uncertainty to make it a normal-sized bet. Half, for me.

UNDER 5.5 (-126), $5 to win $3.97

NHL: Ducks (+127) at Canucks (-137) (10:00 p.m., NHLN)

The Ducks have only gone over the total twice since March 27, a span of 14 games. The Canucks are a low-scoring team. Roberto Luongo is playing, but that’s not a bad thing, in my opinion. The Ducks are resting starters, but not their goalie.

UNDER 5 (+101), $10 to win $10.10

Bonus Bets!

NHL: Islanders/Flyers OVER 5.5 (-126), $20 to win $15.88
Lightning ML (+209), $5 to win $10.45
Senators/Capitals UNDER 5.5 (-142), 30 to win $20.69

Record in games actually worth risking money on: 136-96 (+$228.34)

Good luck!

What else is on:


8 p.m. | ESPN and NFL Network
Draft, Round 1, in New York


7 p.m. | MLB Network
Toronto at New York Yankees or Cincinnati at Washington

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

Photo via