As we prepare to say a fond farewell to the 2011-12 College Football season with the National Championship game getting underway tomorrow night in New Orleans between the #l LSU Tigers and the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide, the football action this weekend still remains strong into Sunday, starting with a pair of great NFL Playoff football contests, along with continued action in NCAA and NBA basketball, and some more NHL Hockey contests to boot. It’s a continuation of one of the better weekends for online sports betting, and after Wild Card delivered a pair of fantastic playoff games setting up next week’s exciting divisional playoff round, prepare for the next two cuts today with two great games on tap. To get things started right we’re heading to Oddsmaker Sportsbook) for the sports betting action this morning, being as it is one of the best online sportsbooks we’ve reviewed over the years, and as such gets a front and center nod of mention on our website. Offering every game available around the globe for sportsbook betting, as well as tons of options for side games in their casino and poker rooms, Oddsmaker Sportsbook has what sports fans want, and continues to get solid marks across the board after years of play at their website.
For the opening wager on the NFL Playoffs today, take a look at the first match-up today between the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Giants, which should make for an interesting match-up at MetLife Stadium, which is always one of the toughest places to play in league especially during winter. The Giants are rolling into the playoffs, confidence building after ousting division rival Dallas for the NFC East crown, but will have to find a way to continue to shore up their defense against a well-balanced Atlanta Falcons team. For Atlanta, there’s plenty of scrutiny heading into this game, as the team hasn’t won a playoff game since 2004, and QB Matt Ryan has yet to prove that he’s as good a quarterback on the road as he is at home under the Georgia Dome. In the first playoff meeting between these two teams who feature very strong passing attacks, it may come down to which side is able to be successful with the running game, which was the difference maker in both Wild Card games on Saturday. While the Giants rank last in the league in the run category, it’s an improving attack with tandem Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw who both have plenty of experience on the playoff stage to put in good performances , but they’ll get the biggest test this afternoon against the stout Atlanta defensive front that is allowing just 97 yards/game on the ground. For Atlanta, it’s critical they get out to a lead and keep it. The Giants are comfortable playing from behind, especially at home, where Eli Manning has been clutch in the 2nd half and can deliver scoring drives with ease via his talented crop of receivers led by Victor Cruz. While Atlanta should turn in a good effort tonight behind its starts like Michael Turner, Roddy White and Matt Ryan, the Giants’ pressuring defense and boosted confidence towards the end of the season should give them the momentum to carry them through to the next round, covering the points spread at -3 while the over/under 48.5 points gets busted through in a late shoot-out.
Heading to the second match-up of the NFL Playoff schedule, the Pittsburgh Steelers head to Denver to take on Tim Tebow and the Broncos, in what could possibly be the lowest scoring playoff game in history. These two teams have played outstanding defense all year (too little credit is given to LB Von Miller and the Broncos D, too much to Tebow in my not very humble opinion), and with both sides struggling to put up points down the stretch, expect even the lowly 34 points on the over/under to fall short as this game is ground out and few opportunities for TDs are realized. Though Denver has improved greatly over the season, I’ll stand by my words and say that Tebow won’t be the starter in Denver come the end of next year, and getting shut down by an elite defense like Pittsburgh should help to support that. While the Steelers are banged up heading in, missing Rashard Mendenhall due to injury and not having Ben Roethlisberger at 100 percent. It’s going to be their familiarity with playoff situations, and better preparation that pulls them through a tough Denver environment today. Denver can’t pass to victory, and won’t score enough points to stay in range of Pittsburgh, which should find at least enough room to be successful in both the running and passing games today as Denver likely can’t keep its offense on the field for most of the game. Denver’s Hall of Fame President says to Tebow, “Pull the trigger”, Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu-led secondary answers, “We’ll take 3-4 interceptions and beat you with them”. Pittsburgh won’t cover the lofty 9 points against the spread in this grinding game (if we even get to 9 points), so the best bet remains with the under 34 points, as Denver simply won’t be able to score enough to push past that mark.
One lone game for the College Football bowl series takes place on Sunday, which actually should be an enjoyable game for watching and wagering on with two very capable scoring offenses between Arkansas State and Northern Illinois, as the teams clash in the GoDaddy.com Bowl tonight. Though Arkansas State has a pretty good defense giving up just 19 points per game, this contest should feature lots of scoring with NIU putting up 38 points and Arkansas State chipping in 33 points per game. With a close call on the spread and money line (-1.5 points to Arkansas State, with the better D, -120 on the line), once again the over/under looks to be a good point to bet against, as we expect another shootout bowl game to surpass a big 67 points with defense going out the window. Arkansas State prevails as they tear up the Huskies defense without much issue.
Seeking out a few more bets on Sunday at the top online sportsbook at Oddsmaker, take note of 6 games lined up in NBA Basketball, with key contests including the San Antonio Spurs hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Lakers, and the Portland Trail Blazers at home against the improving Cleveland Cavaliers. For College Hoops action, catch a great Big Ten clash between #19 Wisconsin and #13 Michigan, with both teams looking to shed recent losses and return to form with a win. With Michigan’s lockdown defense playing on home court, look for the Wolverines to edge by with a victory as a slight +115 underdog at Oddsmaker. Rounding out the day with a pair of great NHL Hockey games, take a look over the betting lines for the Philadelphia Flyers at the surging Ottawa Senators, and get set for the featured hockey match-up of the day as the Detroit Red Wings travel to take on the Chicago Blackhawks in what should be an outstanding contest between these classic squads. No matter which direction your online sports betting takes you on Sunday, you can find the best wagers at one of the best online sportsbooks like the one at Oddsmaker, and hopefully you can come out a winner today to close out a fantastic weekend jam-packed with exciting sports across a number of leagues.