With the NHL Playoffs first and foremost on my brain at this time of year, I once again find myself hoping against all odds that Hockey will become more present in the minds of sports fans around globe (especially in the Football and Basketball obsessed United States), though I concede and have to admit that the NBA Playoffs are always the inevitable go-to for wagering and watching on any given weekend or weekday, and Americans will always relate to basketball, baseball and football more than my beloved hockey (even Soccer has made the push towards becoming the 4th biggest sport in the US). However, even if NBA basketball is not my absolute #1 favorite professional sport, anyone and everyone has to be excited about this Saturday of sports featuring the start of the 2011 NBA playoffs, as the opening round games in the NBA playoffs will surely bring some exciting action to the sportsbooks and the TV, as well as some heavily mismatched series to take advantage of. Without any further babbling on this lovely Saturday morning, we leap into the action once again for opening wagers on today’s NBA playoff games courtesy of the Sportsbook.com sportsbook (read the review of Sportsbook.com), which happens to be one of the most frequented sites in our sportsbook betting arsenal to date. Let’s crack through all of the hoops in store for today, and hopefully come out looking good to start playoff wagering.
There are really only two reasonable chances for the under-seeded teams playing in today’s match-ups to reign supreme at the end of their opening series, and those teams happen to be the Portland Trail Blazers and the Atlanta Hawks, who open with the Dallas Mavericks and Orlando Magic respectively today. While Portland hasn’t played its best ball on the road, if they can secure one win at Dallas in the opening two games, they stand a great chance to pull an upset off with a younger, hungrier team lining up against a quickly ageing Mavericks squad. LaMarcus Aldridge will be key for the Blazers in this series, and with Portland matching up well in the paint look for the difference in the series to be on rebounding and points in the paint. This will likely be the hardest fought match-up available in the first round, and definitely one of the most exciting and physical showdowns, with an opening sports betting pick taking Portland to cover the +5 at Sportsbook.com. Next up, the Atlanta Hawks have some serious work cut out for them to bounce back from a horrible end to the season, as well as last season’s quick sweep out of the playoffs at the hands of the Magic. Not surprisingly, the over/under for this contest is a low 179.5, with Atlanta holding Orlando to just 82 points a game on the year, however in this first match-up with a revamped Orlando offense, I like the scoring to get going faster in this one, and push for a good shot at breaking over on points today. While not banking on an Atlanta win, as they are outmuscled and smaller across the match-up, the steep +8.5 points given to the Hawks brings in a tasty option for taking the underdog today as well. Looking quickly to the Bulls vs. Pacers and Heat vs. 76ers match-ups, it’s never a good sign for the opposing teams to be double-digit underdogs, and while the Pacers stand no chance in their series with Chicago, look for the 76ers to at least nab one game from Miami, though not tonight in South Florida as the Heat get the offense going and overwhelm the Sixers.
For the NHL playoff games in action tonight, check out a second flight of Game 2 action as the Bruins vs. Canadiens series resumes with Boston needing to secure a home win to even the series, while the Philadelphia Flyers look to bounce back at home as well against the stout defense of the Buffalo Sabres. In the Western Conference match-ups for online sports betting today, find the Detroit Red Wings looking to dominate at home once again over the Phoenix Coyotes, however as our underdog hockey pick of the day, we’ll side with a better performance from the Coyotes defense and goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to put this series back to even at 1-1. Round out the hockey options for betting on sports at Sportsbook.com as the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks square off in game two, and once again expect another tight game as the Kings bounce back on the road after a tough OT loss on Thursday night. For hockey fans, count on yet another fun and exciting day amongst what will be many in the next month of play! Lastly for our sports bets today at Sportsbook.com, find the best bets amongst 16 games slated for Major League Baseball, 5 games in English Premier League Football, 1 big FA Cup clash between Manchester City and Man Utd., as well 5 Major League Soccer games as well worth a browsing for potential wagers. Exciting times indeed. Enjoy your wagers, thanks for stopping in to Casinoreview.org for reviews and wagering updates on the best online sportsbooks, and enjoy the weekend!