Second round action of the NCAA Tournament is finally upon us this morning, and after an early morning trip to the pub in celebration of St. Patrick’s day, there’s no better way to spend today’s work day than sneaking in a live stream online of one of the many great match-ups taking place throughout the entire morning and afternoon! To add to that, squeezing in a little online sports betting will no doubt add to the excitement on this huge day of College Basketball, and for the first huge day of tournament action we’ve chosen the Players Only sportsbook (read the review of Playersonly.com) as our online sportsbook betting destination, where you can find every game featured this afternoon, and jump into the betting fun quickly and easily on one of the most well-built, secure websites for betting on sports we’ve ever reviewed. Though a few games are already under action this morning including a big 8 vs. 9-seed match-up between Butler and Old Dominion, as well as a great contest between Clemson and West Virginia, plenty of games lie in wait for your sportsbook bets this morning, afternoon and evening, so make sure to hit up one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed here to put your mark on one or more of the games today!
In the second set up games up for grabs today, #4 seed Louisville takes on an upset challenge from 13th seeded Morehead State, with both teams good picks for a win today. Having played well in the Big East tournament and just getting bumped out by UConn, Louisville comes into the tournament with a chip on their shoulder, and many bets on them to proceed past the Sweet 16 and possibly as far as the Final Four should their cards fall correctly. For this pick, we’re going with the underdog Morehead State to cover though, considering the tight play between distant-seeded teams already this morning indicating some early round jitters, and also because we’re excited to watch Kenneth Faried of Morehead State on a national stage in his senior year, before he heads off to the big leagues. Next up, find another close battle in the making as defensive-minded Penn State looks to improve on their Big Ten tournament run to hold a good Temple team out of the A10 conference in check. While the Nittany Lions have played through a tough conference, and are helmed by one of the nation’s leading scores in Talor Battle (averaging 20 points per game), Temple has the more balanced attack with depth on the bench. For our second pick at the online sports betting site at Players Only, We’re leaning Temple in a close one.
For the 3 PM Eastern games up next, find underdog Princeton out of the Ivy League set up in a clash with 4th seeded Kentucky, in what should be an interesting clash between a veteran Tigers squad and a young, run-and-gun Wildcats squad under the outstanding tutelage of head coach John Calipari. Princeton comes in a huge underdog at 13 points, and a whopping +900 on the money line, however with veteran experience and a desire to prove something today, we’re betting on a much closer affair than 13, and with any tournament game being played, always the chance of an upset. However, moving along to the second 3 PM game scheduled between First Four victors UNC-Asheville and one of our Final Four picks in #1 seed Pittsburgh, we may not see the same level of competition between the two squads here as UNC-Asheville is lucky simply to be included in the 68 team tournament, and you can pretty much expect Jamie Dixon’s Panthers to make quick work of the dreaming Bulldogs. If we’re taking a stab on this affair however, we’ll count on a little bit of rust for the rested Panthers to keep the scoring down early, and enough to make the under wager on 136.5 points a worthwhile venture for small bet.
Setting up to the more interesting showdowns of the evening, our big upset pick today features the 12th seeded Richmond Spiders vs. 5 seed Vanderbilt, with the +2.5 underdog for the Spiders showing just how much closer this match-up is compared to the two teams’ seeds. Justin Harper and Kevin Anderson will be the key to the Richmond upset today, if you can call it that, as we’re banking on Vandy’s inability to close in big match-ups to be their downfall today. With that said, you can’t discount the John Jenkins-led Commodores attack, as the leading scorer in the SEC could be one of those destiny-defining players that helps his team make a run. However, the bracket looks all the more fun with Richmond advancing here as a relative underdog, and also for taking the Spiders at +125 for a win this afternoon for an exciting match-up to come against Louisville, should they squeeze by Morehead State right now. Next up, find a tournament favorite of ours, San Diego State, getting their first draw in a relatively easy game against North Colorado, who comes in as a 14.5 point underdog, and likely for very good reason. SDSU, though a #2 seed in the tournament may be the most underrated group compared to the likes of the Dukes, Pitts, OSUs and Kansas’, however we have them pushing through to a final four bid, and in the first match-up we’ll expect them to shut down N. Colorado to keep the points under 130.
Checking into key match-ups for the next level of evening games, the excitement builds with games like 10-seed Michigan State against 7th seed UCLA, in a great match-up between two teams with storied history in this tournament. Though both squads have underperformed this year, the more experienced team that played the toughest schedule this season is Tom Izzo’s Spartans, who proved they belong amongst the best after ousting Purdue easily in the conference championships last week. Michigan State is one of the few teams that is a lower seed but favored to win today, and we’re banking on the experience of Kalin Lucas, Korie Lucious, Draymond Green and a cast of players that have been on the big stage to upend the hopes of UCLA coming up into the spotlight this year. Michigan State shouldn’t have too much trouble cover the -1.5 today, and earning a great match-up against Florida, who shouldn’t suffer too much of a scare from their 15th seeded opponent in UC-Santa Barbara. We’re also picking Jimmer Fredette and the BYU Cougars to pass through Wofford today, and while this game shouldn’t be close, it’s worth watching solely to see BYU’s all-time leading scorer do his thing, and should cover the 8.5 advantage given to the Cougars on the spread. In the last of the run-through games for higher seeded teams today, find a surging #3 UConn behind Kemba Walker to easily make short work of 14th seeded Bucknell, on their way up the ladder where they shouldn’t run into too much trouble until the Sweet 16 (where we have them facing that SDSU team mentioned above).
Closing out the online sports betting options for the NCAA Tournament today, we’ll include one more upset as #12 Utah State takes on #5 Kansas State, as this tight match-up favors KSU and the Jacob Pullen-led squad by 2.5 points. Utah State is another seasoned team with something to prove in the tournament after losing six straight games in the tournament mostly due to tough seeding. Today is their day to make a change to that poor record, and against a KSU team that has been doing better, but shows that it’s prone to defeat on any given night to any squad, we like the Aggies chances to pick up a 12-5 upset today. Look to further big match-ups as Belmont, a trendy upset pick as well, takes on the Wisconsin Badgers in a 13 versus 4 seed showdown, #11 Missouri gets a tough draw against the improved side of 6th seeded Cincinnati, and St. John’s and Gonzaga clash in another tough pick for any amateur bracketologist to mull over. On one of the biggest and most exciting days of the NCAA College Basketball season, online sportsbook betting at one of the top sportsbooks reviewed here at Players Only has never been better, and you won’t want to miss out on this once-yearly opportunity for placing your bets on a wild and crazy tournament with excitement and upsets bound to be around every corner.
Though the 2011 NCAA Tournament will likely consume all of our online sports betting endeavors for Thursday, should you be looking for more great sportsbook betting options for your betting ticket at Players Only Sportsbook, turn to the NBA which features a threesome of games including Chicago visiting the improving New Jersey Nets, Memphis heading to Madison Square Garden to try their luck against the high-scoring New York Knicks, and the Portland Trail Blazers looking to add an easy win at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers as they move up the ranks of the Western Conference Playoff picture. In the NHL today, the Los Angeles Kings try to keep winning to stay paced with the all-too-tight Western Conference playoff picture, and take on St. Louis at home in their first game back since a very successful undefeated road trip. Check out big match-ups including Montreal hosting Tampa Bay, Columbus hosting Detroit, Chicago vs. Dallas in potential playoff preview, and a number of other games worth perusing for online sports bets today. Whew! Now that’s a full plate of sports betting action for you if I’ve ever seen one! Join us today down at one of the best online sports betting sites reviewed here, good luck in your brackets and bets throughout the tournament, and check in with us again tomorrow for updates on the 2011 NCAA Tournament, and each and every one of the match-ups slated for betting on sports ahead.