We’re one day closer to the start of the Sweet 16 in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, and building up to this Thursday, we find ourselves once again engaged in a simple offering of sporting events for online sportsbook betting, while we wait anxiously for the exciting college hoops showdowns to get underway once more. Heading to another of the top-flight online sportsbooks reviewed here on our website, the Sportsbetting sportsbook (read the review of Sportsbetting.com) gets call for betting on sports including a trio of wagering opportunities for NBA Basketball, 10 games scheduled for NHL Hockey, and the 4 upcoming Sweet 16 games available for NCAA Basketball. If you’re feeling extra saucy, even Major League Baseball’s exhibition season is up for sports betting today, with bets available on mostly the money only, you can even take a stab at some preseason options for sports betting on baseball, with the regular season rapidly approaching and teams starting to work in their starters to get all the kinks out. It’s noted however that little information is available for each of the match-ups on a day-to-day basis, so if you’re looking into betting on baseball for Cactus and Grapefruit League play, choose very carefully and keep the wagering amounts to a minimum!
As the games in the Sweet 16 approach, we can’t resist getting our bets in for the first 4 games slated on Thursday, starting off with the first of two West Region games featuring the Connecticut Huskies vs. the San Diego State Aztecs. In an exciting match-up featuring two star players, SDSU’s Kawhi Leonard faces off against Kemba Walker in what should amount to a fantastic Sweet 16 starter for any sports fan to jump into. The Aztecs feature a more balanced attack, with a wide variety of veteran players to accompany Kawhi Leonard. D.J. Gay and Malcolm Thomas both will provide that veteran stability needed to take on the Jim Calhoun-coached Huskies, and perhaps the tale of the tape for this game lies with which team can come to the table and knock down shots. UConn’s youth shows in its 187th-ranked shooting percentage figures, but their inside presence can more than make up for that, ranking 11th in the nation in rebounds. If SDSU can attack from the perimeter, utilize their 7th-ranked scoring defense, and harness the advantage of the game being in Anaheim, just about 100 miles away from their home campus, UConn will be in for a tough go, and quite frankly it’s surprising to see them come into the match-up as a slight underdog on the line at the Sportsbetting.com sportsbook. For the first option for top sportsbook bets today, we’ll hedge a wager on SDSU to emerge victorious, covering the +1. With two very athletic teams likely pressing the ball all game long, count on a good challenge to the over/under posted at 130, as both teams likely break through 70 points, with averages of 73.4 and 72.2 points for UConn and SDSU respectively.
Next in line for Sweet 16 sports betting, we’ll stay out West in Anaheim for the #5 seed Arizona vs. #1 seed Duke match-up, which figures to be another interesting challenge for the East-coast Blue Devils as they head into enemy territory for the match-up with a confident Wildcats team coming off a clutch defeat of the Texas Longhorns last Sunday. Unsurprisingly, Duke is favored, however by a whopping 8.5 points at Sportsbetting.com. With the way the tournament has played out this year, and judging on the close affair between Duke and Michigan, this game will certainly follow suit, as Arizona is physical, athletic, and looks to make its mark in the tournament as the Arizona program seeks a return to the elite levels of play experienced under decades of leadership by legendary coach Lute Olsen. Both teams consist of great shooters and a high shooting percentage, and no doubt Duke holds the advantage with young phenom Kyrie Irving back in the lineup and quickly knocking off the dust after missing most of the regular season, however we can’t shake the feeling that regardless of statistical information, this will end up a close contest no matter what the team breakdowns are. Certainly worth consideration for a possible tell-tale is Arizona’s all too heavy reliance on their star sophomore forward Derrick Williams, who is the only player on the Wildcats team to average double figures on the season. When faced against the likes of Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler, Kyrie Irving and the Plumlee twins, Coach K’s Blue Devils have the true depth needed, as well as the brains, to continue their run past Arizona on Thursday. Nonetheless, look for the Wildcats to make a game of it, and keep the score within 8.5 points in what should be a high scoring affair.
As we shift to the Southeast region games for Sweet 16 sports betting, a very challenging match-up takes place as #3 seed BYU battles #2 seed Florida, with the high-powered Cougar offense led by Jimmer Fredette being one of the stars of this year’s tournament. Key to this game remains the status of Florida guard Kenny Boynton, who sprained an ankle during the UCLA victory, and would likely be the defensive match-up for Fredette, the nation’s leading scorer. If Boynton remains even 50-50 for the game (as he’s missed practice yesterday, and remains day-to-day), that would be a huge blow for the Gators, who need his defense and his scoring abilities to contend with the run-and-gun offense of BYU. Judging on this match-up alone between Fredette and Boyton leaning in BYU’s favor, the +3 points for BYU as underdog make this an enticing bet, as does the +130 on the money. Florida will need to utilize its size advantage and inside presence to help offset the outside shooting capabilities of BYU on Thursday, but our pick takes the BYU Cougars to prevail down south, in a replay of last year’s double overtime win over the Gators in the first round. Lastly, for the Southeast region’s Sweet 16 action on Thursday, the upset-minded Butler Bulldogs have once again shown their tournament moxie after upsetting #1 seeded Pittsburgh on Saturday. If Butler can keep this game close like they have in their last two match-ups, they’ll stand a fair chance against the bigger, more physical Wisconsin Badgers, led by top scorer and rebounder Jon Leuer. Once again, we love a good upset challenge, and this one looms with an exciting opportunity for a good money pick-up with the Bulldogs coming in as a +165 underdog.
Heading to the pro leagues for continued options on today’s online sports betting at Sportsbetting.com, the trio of NBA games makes for a perfectly set up parlay wager, with two good match-ups between Chicago and Atlanta as well as the Los Angeles Lakers hosting Phoenix, and one relatively easy scenario as Portland hosts Washington. First up, Chicago looks for retribution after their last 19 point give-away against the Atlanta Hawks, and coming in red-hot after picking up their first 50 win season since the 97-98 campaign, they’ll look to the recent return of Carlos Boozer to help them shut down the Hawks on their home court tonight. In a defensive-minded battle, Chicago comes up clutch on the road once more, having the more balanced attack between MVP candidate Derrick Rose, and inside threats Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer. We’ll take the Bulls to cover the -4 points on the spread in the first match-up here tonight. Next up, find the Los Angeles Lakers pressing forward for the second game without Andrew Bynum, out serving his final game of a two-game suspension. Not seeming to matter much however, the Lakers are 12-1 since the All-Star break, mostly on impressive defensive play and a fantastic ability to close out games. Though Phoenix is one of the few teams to win at Staples Center this season, the Suns will run into the same problems as other teams have during the Lakers 5 game winning streak, and that is the limited points Los Angeles is allowing (86.7 points averaged by their last 10 opponents). Look for LA to cover the 7 points on the spread tonight, and adding in a Portland win in a crucial but relatively easy match-up against the floundering Washington Wizards, taking Portland to cover the stiff 15.5 points with fingers crossed.
For you NHL Hockey fans today, or sports fans looking to get a taste of the exciting action remaining in the 2010-11 season, check out 10 games available for betting on sports as many playoff positions remain up for grabs, especially in the very tight Western Conference race which features 7 teams within 4 points of one another from 5th seed to 10th. In the first look out West, Phoenix looks to bounce back from a loss in the opener of a six game home stand, which saw them dropped by Chicago, who now sits only 3 points away from the 4th place Coyotes. Though the St. Louis Blues, the Coyotes opponent tonight, has been struggling as of late to watch their season dwindle away out of playoff contention, no doubt they’ll look to play spoiler, with Jaroslav Halak in goal due to improve on his horrendous performance against San Jose, where he was pulled after giving up 3 goals on 7 shots. Expect improved goaltending to give a boost towards those looking to pick the under 5.5 points slated for this match-up, though better money will be available taking Phoenix to win by 2 goals, eclipsing the -1.5 goals given at +175 as the Coyotes remain hot and chasing the heels of San Jose in the Pacific Division. Look next towards a much-anticipated battle between Eastern Conference #1 and #2 seeded Philadelphia and Washington, with a possibility for the Capitals to even the points with the Flyers at the top of the Eastern Division. Washington has been on a tear winning 10 of 11 games, though would have to win tonight without their superstar Alex Ovechkin who will miss at least a week due to a ‘nagging injury’ which wouldn’t be expanded upon by Caps coach Bruce Boudreau. With both teams fighting for home ice in the playoffs, this game means a lot to both teams, but we’ll have to side with the Caps to earn a win as Michal Neuvirth continues his outstanding form in goal to shut down the Flyers. Check out another great game with playoff implications as the Buffalo Sabres look to build cushion sitting in 8th spot in the East and travel to Montreal tonight, and make sure to check out a number of other match-ups available in NHL Hockey to add to the collection of online sports betting choices available at Sportsbetting.com today!