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Today’s online sports betting might be a little light, especially with the NHL season reaching the halfway point and no games scheduled until Sunday’s All-Star game, however with a little bit of digging at the Oddsmaker sportsbook (read the review of Oddsmaker.com) this afternoon, sports fans should be able to conjure up a couple of solid online sports betting possibilities, in the hopes to make Thursday yet another profitable day in the making. At Oddsmaker, you can always find quick and easy access to the most competitive betting lines available online, as well as betting trends, fun proposition wagers, and a host of other games in their casino and poker rooms. Being a fan of simplicity, we find Oddsmaker to be one of the easiest website in which to sign-up, make initial deposits, and get a hold of your winnings whenever you need them; something many competitors struggle with, especially when dealing with U.S.-based sports bettors. Thus, with a relatively simple day of online sports betting on tap, we’ll dive into some basketball action in the NBA and NCAA, and sprinkle in some soccer wagers just to make things interesting this afternoon.

As is typical for NBA hoops on Thursday, only a few select games are available for betting on sports at the top sportsbook at Oddsmaker.com. However, as is also the case, the games offered usually add more excitement to sportsbook betting, as each of the two or three match-ups slated feature playoff-worthy teams, or at the least have good rivalries put together to make for a fine night of watching and wagering on basketball. Checking out the first pairing of the day, the Miami Heat head into Madison Square Garden looking for their 8th consecutive win over the New York Knicks, however in today’s battle they’ll find the going a little tougher sans post-up man Chris Bosh out with a high-ankle sprain. Giving a more open lane for New York’s Amare Stoudamire, the Knicks will no doubt look to take advantage of the lacking inside presence for Miami, as the Heat will try to work with a smaller lineup cashing in on the long ball from 3-point land. With Dwayne Wade iffy coming off migraine issues over the past few days, LeBron James may be the focal point for this contest, but one cannot discount Wade’s hot performance against the Knicks, averaging just over 35 points per game in the last 8 they’ve won straight. Going out on a limb for the first wager today, the odds look good for the home team Knicks to stop their losing streak against Miami dating back to 2008, so we’ll take the +140 to net some decent earnings if New York can shut down two-thirds of the Big Three today.

On to the two other match-ups slated for NBA action on Thursday and available for sportsbook betting at Oddsmaker, check out the in-state match-up between the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks, with Dallas looking to rebound at home after struggling on their last road venture. Scoring at will against the LA Clippers on Tuesday, and facing a Houston team that likes to run (and also has struggled to keep opponent’s scoring in check), the nod on the betting lines goes to the over/under for this match-up, posted at 204.5. With Houston averaging 105 points, plus giving up 104, look to Dallas for the win behind Dirk Nowtizki (Dallas is 23-26 against the Rockets when Nowitzki scores 20 or more), with a tight finish as Houston undoubtedly will be playing all-out against their neighboring rivals. This is the first of a string of tough games for the Rockets on the road, so the importance will be on trying to steal a victory before heading to face the Spurs, Lakers and Jazz all on the road in the next three games. Yikes. With the late NBA game of the day taking place on the West Coast between the Portland Trail Blazers and the visiting Boston Celtics, this likely could be the toughest call for betting on sports today. Portland always holds it down at the Rose Garden, however still without Brandon Roy and Marcus Camby, and with a less-than-100% LaMarcus Aldridge, it could be tough going for the Blazers in this match-up, especially as Boston regains the presence of Kendrick Perkins down low for the game. While Boston has struggled a bit recently on the road losing 4 of 6, they’ve been one of the few teams to have success at Portland, winning 7 of 10, and as such get the 5 point favorite for the game tonight. Once again, the Over/Under looks enticing at 183.5, as does Boston to cover the 5 points given at the Oddsmaker.com sportsbook.

Checking in to the action in the NCAA today, #3 Duke is in action at Cameron Indoor against ACC foe Boston College, with Duke getting a whopping 17 point advantage in the match-up. Though seemingly high, it’s nothing compared with the 24 point average victory the Blue Devils are putting up at home, and with Boston coming off some miserable shooting performances against other ACC competitors, expect more of the same, and another resounding win at home for Duke to push them to 53 straight wins at home. In other match-ups, Michigan State is out of the Top 25, and will be facing Michigan in an in-state challenge that Tom Izzo’s squad must win just to stay relevant in the Big Ten this year. Out west, Gonzaga tries to do something similar, against #24-ranked Saint Mary’s who comes in undefeated in WCC play so far this season. Gonzaga gets the favored wager today, with a 3.5 point advantage, however this really isn’t the Bulldogs team that we’re used to seeing, and they could struggle even at home against a Saint Mary’s team that always plays them tough. In a close contest, I’ll go with the gut and take the money at +145 for a Gael’s win and firm control of their destiny in their conference this season. With a few other match-ups scheduled early on for Soccer, find one exciting match-up in Coppa Italia play as AS Roma hosts Juventus, as well as another fun match as Ajax takes on NAC Breda in Dutch Cup play. It’s always an exciting learning experience to take stab at the top-tier teams playing in European Soccer leagues, especially when there’s a light day of online sportsbook betting otherwise, so jump into these games and more at Oddsmaker.com, and have a great Thursday with hopefully good profits made by the end of the day!

Aaron G.