With the beginning of another new month comes the beginning of a new season of sports as the 2011 Major League Baseball campaign picks up steam after yesterday’s opening day festivities, and today another 11 games are in store for betting on baseball, including 9 opening day games starting off bright and early as the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros begin play at 1 pm ET this afternoon. Once again a great opportunity for getting involved with a great sport presents itself to sports fans looking to find some exciting bets at a top online sportsbook, and no doubt this Friday has plenty in store for you, from MLB Baseball to NBA Basketball, as well as NCAA Final Four Basketball betting for tomorrow’s exciting games and even a grip of 4 NHL Hockey games all with playoff implications built in. For you soccer fans as well, play finally resumes in the English Premier League tomorrow with 7 matches and a number of exciting match-ups available for betting on soccer, and you can even find some action state-side as the start of Major League Soccer continues onward with plenty of matches featured on Saturday. With all this great competition available for online sportsbook betting, check out one of the top-flight sports betting websites reviewed here at the Oddsmaker sportsbook (read the review of Oddsmaker.com), which continues to be a favorite for sports betting on a weekly or even daily basis.
Since Major League Baseball starts off early in the afternoon today, check out the betting lines for the 11 games on tap across the U.S., with plenty of exciting pitching match-ups in store and more excitement to be had as the games progress on through the day. First up, find a clash between two Phillies’ pitchers, one current and one former as Roy Halladay and Brett Myers clash in Philly for the opening day game between Houston and Philadelphia. No doubt both pitchers have something to prove today, with Halladay looking to get off to a solid start, and Myers looking to show Phillies’ fans why he shouldn’t have been traded away (notable already in his 14-8, 3.14 ERA campaign last year for a sub-par Astros team). Expect another tight opening day game ala the Giants vs. Dodgers 2-1 affair last night, but with more power between these lineups, we’re expecting to see some runs in later innings, but staying underneath the over/under posted at Oddsmaker. Check out another exciting pitching duel to start off the year between the New York Mets and Florida Marlins, as staff aces Mike Pelfrey and Josh Johnson battle in the last opening day game at the decrepit Sun Life Stadium, considering next year’s move to a new, baseball-specific ballpark. Playing in a pitcher-friendly park, and with neither team having much in the way of big hitters, defense and pitching will be keys to victory, and a good bet for taking under 7 runs total for the game. Make note the Mets have won 5 straight opening day games leading up to this year, which could be a good example of what to expect tonight in this match-up.
Always exciting for baseball fans is an outing from Ubaldo Jimenez, ace of the Colorado rotation, who is at home today paired against Ian Kennedy and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Given the long ball susceptibility of Kennedy in years past (26 HR given up last year alone), and playing at long ball-friendly Coors Field with bats held by the likes of Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton, Kennedy better be sharp to avoid getting lit up early and often. However, looking for a dominant presence from Jimenez to open the season, even 8 runs at Coors is a lot of cushion to play with for two determined pitchers, and with an anemic Arizona line-up already showing their lack of power throughout spring, I simply can’t project more than 2-3 runs tops for the Dbacks to open the season. Moving on to other key match-ups worth a look at for online sports betting, check out an exciting young pitching duel between AL Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez and Trevor Cahill as Seattle and Oakland kick off the season, Jon Lester and C.J. Wilson tango as Texas vs. Boston should make for an exciting opener, and in a match-up between two teams I’m excited to follow this year, Baltimore and Tampa Bay show off their new line-ups (admittedly improved for the Orioles, simply altered for the Rays) in a battle of underdogs who will certainly be playing with something to prove this season. With betting lines conservative for opening day games, and with plenty of leniency on the over/unders posted for most games, now is a great time to get your feet wet for betting on baseball, and start off another great season of sports for online sportsbook betting!
Moving onwards towards further action slated for Friday, NBA Basketball features a full slate of games with many match-ups affecting playoff races in some form or another tonight. After a dominant victory last night against the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers look like the team to beat in the West, winning 8 straight games and headed into another mismatch at Utah. LA has lost only once since the All-Star break, and against an injury-plagued Jazz team in disrepair, 8.5 points on the spread should be coverable for the Lakers, even playing on back-to-back nights. Next up, check out a key match-up in the West as Portland and Oklahoma City square off, with Portland needing a win to add some distance between them and 8th seed Memphis, grab a game up on 6th seed New Orleans if the Hornets lose to the Grizzlies tonight (Hornets own the tie-breaker with Portland currently) as well as getting to save some face in a season series dominated by OKC. Portland has won 6 straight at home, and gets 5 of their last 7 there which could bode well for them jumping up a seed before the season ends, but tonight Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook show why their young squad will be a tough playoff contender getting a gritty road win favoring a take on the +135 money line for an OKC victory. Check out a handful of other interesting match-ups for sportsbook betting on basketball including Boston vs. Atlanta, Memphis at New Orleans, San Antonio vs. Houston and Charlotte at Orlando to make for a number of great sports betting possibilities at Oddsmaker Sportsbook today.
Featuring a short list of NHL games on tap as the season quickly winds down towards the exciting Stanley Cup playoffs, check out the 4 games available for betting on sports as Philadelphia tries to bounce back against New Jersey after a tough 1-0 loss to the Thrashers last night, Chicago badly needs a road win at Columbus to stay in the Western Conference playoff hunt, Calgary faces a must-win on the road at St. Louis as they sit on 78 games and 3 points back of Chicago for the 8th seed (Chicago has a two-game advantage as well), and the Phoenix Coyotes try to give their undeserving fans another home victory against the ailing Colorado Avalanche as they look to clinch a second consecutive playoff berth in front of the league’s 3rd worst attending audience. Hockey doesn’t belong in the desert, send them back to Winnipeg. There’s my one sentence rant for the day. Check out further options for online sports betting today with tomorrow’s English Premier League games adding some great action, and certainly don’t forget to plant your wagers on the Final Four games for the 2011 NCAA Tournament as the great underdog showdown between the Butler Bulldogs and VCU Rams will no doubt be exciting, as will be the fast-paced clash between Kentucky and UConn in a double dose of great College Basketball action tomorrow. Get those bets in order today at Oddsmaker.com, or any one of the best online sportsbooks we’ve reviewed and tested for you right here on our website, and have a great weekend and new month packed with sports ahead!