With one game in the bag for the NBA Finals yesterday, and the Miami Heat showing their poise and defensive prowess at home with a 92-84 victory, we turn next to the NHL Stanley Cup Finals set to begin today for the main option in our online sportsbook betting endeavors for Wednesday. With a week of preparation and hype preceding today’s puck drop in Vancouver, naturally all the talk, analysis and discussion about the series between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins finally gets to make way for actual play, something that all hockey fans can no doubt rejoice in. Even if you aren’t among the hockey faithful, or haven’t taken the time to watch or engage in this fast-paced, heavy-hitting sport, with a relatively subdued sports schedule on tap for the coming weeks (aside from the NBA Finals and daily Major League Baseball offerings of course) look for the NHL Stanley Cup Finals to add something different to your sports repertoire. With Game 1 starting off the 7-game series for the Lord Stanley’s Cup featuring two of the best examples of modern hockey pitted against each other, not to mention a classic Canada vs. USA battle in the making, set your sights for watching and indeed wagering on this series starting with tonight’s opener. Today’s top sportsbook of choice is the Oddsmaker sportsbook (read the review of Oddsmaker.com), an online sports betting site frequented weekly by our staff at Casinoreview.org, simply because Oddsmaker provides one of the easiest experiences for sports betting fans, and maintains a tradition of great customer support, easy options for deposits and withdrawals, and good bonus incentives for extended play and repeat customers. For today’s Stanley Cup Final Game 1, as well as a host of wagering opportunities on Major League Baseball, choose Oddsmaker Sportsbook as the best online sports betting site of choice on Wednesday.
Reviewing the betting lines for the Vancouver Canucks vs. Boston Bruins clash tonight, as expected we find the home side Canucks as the favorite with a -200 on the money line at Oddsmaker Sportsbook. As has been the case with the previous three series beginning in Vancouver low scoring has been the trend, and considering the presence of the top two candidates for the Vezina Trophy (the top goaltender in the league), there’s certainly a reason why the under wager on 5.5 goals stands at a -140. Roberto Luongo for the Canucks has played perhaps the best in his playoff career since being sat for Game 6 of the series against Chicago, racking up a 9-4 record with a .935 save percentage. However, even with his hot streak, Luongo finds himself evenly matched against Thomas, with the two sporting identical 2.29 goals against for the playoffs, with the same 12-6 record through 18 games of play. Though Luongo has certainly been more consistent than Thomas in the Conference Finals, Thomas’ ability to singlehandedly keep his team in games was evident in Game 7 against Tampa Bay, where he held the powerful Lightning scoring attack to no goals on 24 shots. With the sides dead equal on goaltending prowess, the breakdown between the two teams extends to their defensive efforts, with the Canucks having the best penalty kill on the season, and sporting a wealth of quick, talented, and hard hitting players including Conn Smythe candidate Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, Alexander Edler and Christian Erhoff. If speed is the key for Vancouver, strength and positioning is the key for Boston. With the massive 6’9″ Zdeno Chara captaining Boston and leading the blue line with Dennis Seidenberg and Tomas Kaberle, they’ll need to be on top of the Sedin Twins and Kesler specifically in this series, and limit the scoring (and passing) options in front of Tim Thomas.
Perhaps the most important part of the series between these two teams however lies on the power play. While both sides all but offset each other on the defensive end, and each has a slew of attacking forwards that can score at will, Vancouver brings the league-best power play to the table, securing a 28% conversion rate in the playoffs, as opposed to Boston’s miserable 5.6% rate during the same span. Combine Vancouver’s top power play with the top penalty kill on the season, and Boston simply has to be better in this series, or become extremely stingy on giving up the man advantage. Boston has done right to put their big man, Zdeno Chara, right in front of net for the final couple of games against Tampa Bay, but they’ll need to step up their offensive zone passing game, and get some production from Tomas Kaberle, brought specifically to the team to bolster the power play. If Boston can’t convert better than it has in this year’s playoffs, look for this series to be cut short as Vancouver takes advantage on the man advantage often, and frequently finds goals in clutch circumstances. Bottom Line: Look for this to be the pinnacle of a great Stanley Cup playoffs, with two very well-matched teams battling back and forth until an eventual Game 7 forces a decision. With Vancouver on home ice for the final game, and getting 4 games in total at home, Vancouver wins in 7, and starts the series off strong taking Game 1 at home, 3-1.
Moving onward to online sports betting for Major League Baseball at the top sportsbook at Oddsmaker.com, we find a host of afternoon baseball games getting started in just a short while, including Texas at Tampa Bay, Philadelphia at Washington, and Boston vs. the Chicago White Sox. With these games all but underway, we’ll turn to the later options for betting on sports, including another tight ballgame likely between the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles, featuring Seattle’s young ace Michael Pineda against Brian Matusz, who gets his first start of the season. After a late-game 3-run home run from Justin Smoak gave the Mariners a 3-2 win to continue their hot streak of winning 11 of their last 13 games. Pitching has been the strong point, certainly not the bats, and with Baltimore still floundering to produce runs, expect a good chance of the game going under total runs at 6.5, and we’ll take Seattle to cover the 1.5-run spread at +130. Another solid option for betting on baseball finds the continually red-hot Arizona Diamondbacks seeking to bounce back from last night’s 5-2 loss to Florida, with a return to form aided by their ability to score on weaker pitching. With Dan Hudson and Javier Vasquez on the mound for Arizona and Florida respectively, look for plenty of scoring on both sides, with the victory going the Dbacks way as Hudson seeks his 5th straight win at home today.
Rounding out a couple more options for top sportsbook betting on baseball today, Ubaldo Jimenez simply HAS to win a ballgame, and help the slumping Rockies get back on track against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kevin Correia of the Pittsburgh Pirates has been showing great form, and is getting the support needed to take down the New York Mets at Citi Field today, Atlanta bounces back from a 3-2 yesterday to win behind Tommy Hanson, and St. Louis and San Francisco top options for great National League games as Tim Lincecum battles Jake Westbrook and looks to get the Giants back in the win column. In the American League, look for the Oakland A’s to run into continuing trouble against the New York Yankees, with A.J. Burnett improving for the pinstripes, Gio Gonzalez historically struggling against New York, and the Yankee bats heavily outweighing those of the Athletics. Toronto and Cleveland look to see subdued scoring for a change as the series wraps up with Josh Tomlin facing Kyle Drabek in a solid duel. Check out a couple other AL betting lines for the series between the Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City Royals, as well as the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins, and above all, have a great time wagering at Oddsmaker.com, one of the top online sports betting website reviewed right here!