Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament games lined up ahead, NBA, NHL …

And then there were only 16. After the wildest weekend in College Basketball concluded with an exciting and surprising Sunday of play, the 2011 NCAA Tournament sheds another grouping of top teams including #2 seed Notre Dame, falling late last night to the strong defensive play of #7 seed Florida State, #3 Purdue getting embarrassed by #11 VCU 94-76, and #11 Marquette pulling off rare back-to-back wins in Big East play as they disposed of Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse Orangemen. Though we’ll have to wait another 3 days until the Sweet 16 contests get underway this Thursday, there’s plenty of other sporting action available this week for betting on sports at one or a few of the best online sportsbooks reviewed here, and there’s no better time to get a preview of the betting lines for the Sweet 16 games in the hopes of nabbing some better odds before more analysis changes things closer to game time. Checking in to one of the top sportsbooks gracing our front page today, the Superbook.com sportsbook (read the review of Superbook.com) gets today’s picks for the couple of NHL Hockey games on tap, as well as a slew of NBA games set up in late season action, and even a couple of preliminary picks for the NCAA Tournament games ahead.

Kicking the day off with the shortest selection of games available for betting on sports, we turn to the NHL, which this week charges down the home stretch towards the always exciting Stanley Cup Playoffs, and features numerous teams still in contention for securing a final playoff spot, as well as plenty of jockeying for better seeds as the season winds down. Up for online sportsbook betting today, two great match-ups between the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings as well as the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins should make for exciting contests, and fun challenges for betting on sports. In the first match-up of the night, Detroit and Pittsburgh face off in a meeting of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals contenders, with a number of notable absences highlighting this showdown tonight in Hockeytown USA. With Detroit not looking likely to overtake Vancouver for #1 seed in the Western Conference, and a host of potential unavailable players for tonight’s match-up including Johan Franzen, Ruslan Salei, Jiri Hudler and Pavel Datsyuk, Pittsburgh will try to improve on its 4th seed standing and second place in the Atlantic Division behind Philadelphia with a road win tonight. Not surprisingly though, at home Detroit gets a -145 favorite, even if they’ve played their best this year on the road. However, with so many key players likely out tonight, and with the Pens badly needing the win, we’ll side with the +145 Moneyline taking Pittsburgh to irk out a close win tonight.

For the Los Angeles Kings vs. Calgary Flames showdown at Staples Center in Los Angeles, a crucial 2 points is up for grabs in the Western Conference playoff race, as Calgary sits in 10th position, though only 2 points back of a three-way tie for fifth (which includes Los Angeles) tonight. Los Angeles will try to hand Calgary goaltender a 3rd straight loss, and with both teams coming off recent losses to Anaheim, this should be a tightly contested finish, and we’ll take Los Angeles to net a late goal in desperation time to win by 2 goals (setting up the +180 on the line at -1.5 goals). With under 10 games left for each team remaining in the season, NHL Hockey action is primed for online sports betting, as teams fall out of playoff contention, others heat up towards a playoff run, and match-ups get plenty of history in which to judge potential wagers on. If you aren’t the biggest hockey fan, or haven’t tried your hand at betting on the fastest professional game around, give hockey a try today at the Superbook.com sportsbook, as two prime match-ups with good odds are featured for you right now.

Moving along to contests in the NBA tonight, 7 games are on tap with a number of decent opportunities for top sportsbook betting in tow. First up, find the Indiana Pacers looking to hold onto the final playoff seed in the East as they visit the New Jersey Nets who will be without star guard Deron Williams once more. Indiana has owned New Jersey of late, winning nine out of the last ten games, and seeks to win its 5th straight at New Jersey for the first time in history. If this year’s history is any precedent however (their last match-up in Jersey resulted in a 105-86 victory for the Pacers), Indiana should be set up nicely to cover the -3.5 points on the line and keep the over/under below 195 points as the Nets’ key scorer won’t be contributing. Next up on the NBA docket for sportsbook betting, we’re headed towards the Boston vs. New York match-up with the Celtics secure in their place at the top of the Atlantic Division, but the Knicks looking to gain ground sitting 1/2 game back of 6th place Philadelphia tonight. Defense has been the Achilles’ heel of New York since the Carmelo Anthony trade, where for Boston it’s been their strongest asset towards their impressive season this year. Counting on defense to be the name of the game for Boston to limit the over/under from breaking 197.5 points, we’ll side with an under wager in this match-up to hopefully secure a second NBA sportsbook bet on Monday.

Rounding out another day of top sportsbook betting options, check out betting lines for the remaining NBA games, including match-ups between Utah and Memphis as the Grizzlies look to hand the Jazz another road loss on their way towards missing a playoff seed for the first time since 2006, Chicago gets an easy home match-up against the Sacramento (soon to be Anaheim) Kings, San Antonio plays host to the Golden State Warriors as one of the best home teams takes on a struggling road team, and Denver continues to joyfully play out its season, tonight against the flailing Toronto Raptors, improving since the Anthony-Billups trade that only seems to have made the Nuggets stronger. Enjoy another great day of the best sportsbook betting available at Superbook Sportsbook, make sure to check out all the Sweet 16 match-ups and betting lines for the NCAA Tournament with huge games featuring UConn vs. San Diego State, BYU vs. Florida, Arizona vs. Duke and Butler vs. Wisconsin due up next, and as always good luck in all your online sportsbook wagers to come!

Aaron G.