NBA, NHL wind down towards playoffs, top sportsbook …

As the NBA Basketball and NHL Hockey season wind down to the last few remaining games of the regular season, sports fans will be treated to yet another exciting weekend of online sports betting opportunities, and with a multitude of offerings on the betting lines at one of the top sports betting sites reviewed here, there’s no doubt that plenty of excitement will be had by all sports fans when wagering today. While online sports betting is an exciting addition to any game on any day, for this Friday it’s always nice to be able to place some early wagers, head to work, and then out for an evening, all while keeping tabs on those potential money-making entries levied at a top online sportsbook. Today, we’re keeping it quick and simple, and there is just about no easier way to get into today’s sports betting choices than over at the Players Only sportsbook (read the review of Yet another clean, simple and easy-to-use destination for betting on sports, check out the Players Only sportsbook today and find out exactly why it stands among the best of the best in online sports betting on the internet. Between 10 games in NHL Hockey with two or less games remaining for each team, 12 games in the NBA with less than four games remaining, as well as a 15 game cornucopia of options for Major League baseball, rarely do we ever see a Friday this busy…all the more reason to jump into the online sports betting action right now!

For starters in sports betting today, we’ll kick off the wagering possibilities with a look to the NBA, which features a handful of games with playoff implications. The New York Knicks continue to improve down the home stretch, just in time for the playoffs to begin, yet they’ll need to be on point tonight and secure a road win at New Jersey to hold on to the 6th seed in the East, with 7th seed Philadelphia hosting Toronto tonight and likely scoring a home win. The 76ers will be looking to right their ship after dropping three straight, while the Knicks sit on a possible 6th win in a row, their largest stretch since early December. Look for the Knicks to cover the 5.5 points on the line even without Amare Stoudamire in the line-up, as the Nets will be without Deron Williams, and likely also without starters Anthony Morrow and Kris Humphries (though Morrow has a chance at playing, he’ll not be at 100%). As for Philly, injuries also give them a big advantage over Toronto, hence the 11 point favorite handed to the 76ers, so look for this to be a bounce-back game as they dismantle the down and out Raptors tonight at home. In other interesting games to check out on the betting lines, Miami is a huge 14 point favorite at home against Charlotte, but for good reason as Dwayne Wade comes back in the lineup, and the Bobcats continue to suffer without their leading scorer, Stephen Jackson. The route gets going in South Florida tonight, as Miami needs a valuable win tonight as their currently tied with Boston at 54-24, and play the Celtics this Sunday in a huge Eastern Conference showdown. Check out a playoff preview as Oklahoma City hosts Denver in a 4th/5th seed clash, as well as another one with the 2nd seeded Los Angeles Lakers heading to Portland to face the 6th seed Trail Blazers (who could slip to 7th with a loss and a New Orleans win over Phoenix tonight).

As the Major League Baseball season cranks up, find all the great options for online sports betting on baseball each and every day, including a stellar offering of games listed at the Players Only sportsbook today. The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals get their first series together underway with Jonathan Sanchez looking to keep the Cardinals bats cold after a slow season start, catch an excellent pitching duel as Tim Hudson and Cliff Lee duke it out with Atlanta hosting Philadelphia in the first game of their series, and a couple of veterans in Carlos Zambrano and Randy Wolf clash as Milwaukee tries to continue their home winning ways against the visiting Chicago Cubs. Out in the West today, the Tampa Bay Rays try once again to score their first win, with James Shields up against John Danks for the Chicago White Sox, but might be in for another disappointment as the Rays bats have been silent, while the Sox bats continue to impress. Again with only 8 runs in their first six games, we’ll continue to hedge against Tampa until they get their first win, and tonight likely won’t be the starting point either. Look for a great match-up as the bombing Toronto Blue Jays come into meet the LA Angels, with 12-year Jays’ veteran Vernon Wells sitting opposite his former team for the first time. With the Jays’ Kyle Drabek posting an impressive first win on the 2nd (7 innings, 1 earned run, only 2 fly ball outs in 21), and with no familiarity, Angels pitcher Ervin Santana has his work cut out for him. The long ball rules this game, and our money sits on the bombers from the great white north who are averaging over 7 runs a game in their four wins. With two other highly sought after games on tap, the upstart Baltimore Orioles face off against the undefeated Texas Rangers today, with youngster Zach Britton for the O’s and Colby Lewis on the mound for the Rangers, and the New York Yankees head to Fenway Park for a classic series with the 0-6 starting Boston Red Sox. Between John Lackey and Phil Hughes on the mound tonight, you better bet there’s going to be some scoring going on as Lackey got simply shelled in his first outing against Texas, and Phil Hughes is, well, Phil Hughes. We’re backing Boston to take the first game (with a good +140 on -1.5 runs), simply because Lackey will rebound better than Hughes will, but for safety sake here tonight, go over on 10 runs total if you’re not into backing questionable pitching.

Wrapping up the week of online sports betting at the top sportsbooks reviewed, Players Only hosts the betting lines for the 10 NHL Hockey games slated for tonight, and plenty is on the line with a number of teams still looking to clinch playoff spots. The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks meet in the first game of the home-and-home series to end the year, and with a Ducks win, they can secure at least the 8th seed in the playoffs and bump Dallas off the board. However, if the Kings can win out the last two games, they’ll clinch home ice for the first round, so plenty is at stake on both sides even with LA already secured a playoff berth. Look for the Kings to try to hold down the red-hot scoring attack of Corey Perry, and defense looking to be the key to this game once again. Though a Kings fan at heart, the Ducks are the tighter team coming in, and look primed to pull out a 2 goal victory at home tonight. In another crucial game tonight, Chicago and Detroit face off, with the Blackhawks also in charge of Dallas’ destiny, knocking the Stars out of contention with a road win against the Red Wings. Detroit tries to move up to second seed in the West (currently occupied by the San Jose Sharks) with a win, but will have to do it without leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg, and as Detroit seems more vulnerable at home than it does away, Chicago nets a win in the first of this home-and-home series to finish the year between two Original Six teams. Speaking of the Sharks, they head to Phoenix for a tough clash with the Coyotes, who can clinch tonight with a win. San Jose has owned Phoenix, but after 3 straight shootouts and two tough losses, Phoenix finally gets it done behind Ilya Bryzgalov in net for the win. Look further to two more Eastern Conference clashes with plenty on the line as Philadelphia and Buffalo square up, and Atlanta looking to play spoiler on back-to-back nights if they can beat Carolina. No matter what your taste in sports, or what your style of online sportsbook betting happens to be, enjoy a full Friday of betting on sports, and as always thanks for stopping by and good luck!

Aaron G.