After yet another surprising day in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, yet another #1 seed gets knocked off the table, and once more the Butler Bulldogs continue their wild run in an outstanding tournament appearance that will erase them from the ‘Cinderella’ standing they’ve held in the past. With Duke having no answer for the fast-paced, athletic approach of Derrick Williams and the Arizona Wildcats last night, the game with the largest point spread going in favor of Duke turned out to be the game with the biggest upset, as the Blue Devils went down in Purdue Boilmaker fashion, losing 93-77 and closing out hopes for a repeat championship. San Diego State failed to stop UConn runs led by Kemba Walker, who at one point scored 12 straight points down the home stretch while the Aztecs failed to answer. In a game SDSU should have won, the Huskies once again showed their resilience and ability to heat up, going on runs of 12-0 and 15-2 during the game to shut down the hopes of the mid-major Aztecs last night. Lastly, there may have been clips of Jimmer-time being rolled throughout the BYU-Florida showdown last night, however the Cougars star guard simply tried to do too much, failed to rely on his teammates down the homestretch, and for the first time in the tournament showed the void left by the absence of Brandon Davies as the Florida bigmen led by an outstanding effort by Alex Tyus seemingly gobbled up every loose board on either side of the court en route towards an eventual overtime victory. Whew! Another fantastic night, more upsets and unpredictable outcomes…and this is exactly why the NCAA College Basketball tournament is the most exciting championship in all of sport.
Licking a couple of wounds, throwing the brackets aside and moving towards another great day of online sports betting featuring Sweet 16 Basketball action at the top of the list, we turn to one of the best sportsbooks reviewed on our site at the Betus.com sportsbook (read the review of Betus.com), which features plenty of options for the best sports wagering possibilities on Friday. Once again baffled by the insane margins sportsbooks are placing for underdog teams, #1 Kansas pulls the biggest favorite on the day, in their match-up with #12 Richmond. The Spiders are indeed a better team than their 12 seed leads on, and while inexperience is certainly a factor for the Richmond team that has only made it to the Sweet 16 once, and that coming in 1988, if anything is being learned in this year’s tournament, it’s that every game can and will be close when not expected to be. Add to that big upsets with heavy favorites including Arizona over Duke, VCU over Purdue, and Florida State over Notre Dame, and the Kansas vs. Richmond match-up becomes all the harder to gauge the eventual winner. However, as Kansas faces the easiest tournament run to the Final Four getting a 16, 9, 12 (today’s match-up), and either a 11 or a 10 seed in the Elite 8, the Jayhawks no doubt will be on their ball to take advantage of their fortunes, and this may be the only #1 seed getting through to the final two games this year. While I like Richmond, and put them through to this match-up tonight, the Morris twins along with a well-balanced cast that can score at will, are simply too much for the upstart mid-major Spiders, though fully expect Richmond to put up a dog fight and cover the 10 1/2 points.
The next #1 seed up on the block is Ohio State, which has played extremely well dismantling their first two opponents by an average of 30 points. Facing #4 Kentucky is a whole different animal however, though the Buckeyes have historically owned the Wildcats winning 5 straight tournament games in a row. However, those losses come far out of context, the last meeting being in 1987, so expect no precedent to come into play tonight. Key to this game is the youth of Kentucky, which leads a fast-paced, athletic attack against any opponent and has the ability to win any night they are on point. If they can focus, and stay composed against a feverish attack from OSU led by David Lighty, Jared Sullinger, William Buford and Jon Diebler, UK stands a chance, and could be a good upset option at +220, or even to cover the 6 points as spread underdogs. Look for a high-scoring affair as both teams push the pace, setting sights for a good wager on over 141 points, however Ohio State looks poised enough to cover the -6 and push on to the Elite 8 after tonight’s showdown. Smartly, for the next match-up Marquette is only a 4 point underdog even as an 11 seed up against 2nd seeded North Carolina. UNC should have been dropped by Washington last round, however by luck and UW’s mishandling of the late stages of the game find themselves in a spot they don’t necessarily deserve to be in. The Tarheels have fluctuated in between moments of brilliance, and spots of ineptitude this season, showing they can compete with the best in the land, but can also melt down in the face of adversity. Meanwhile the Marquette Golden Eagles stand as one of only two Big East teams remaining, and after knocking off both Xavier and Syracuse to get here, have shown the poise needed to contend for the big prize in this year’s tournament. Erase thoughts of the season record and focus on the game at hand, and Marquette actually stands out as a favorite to win this game tonight, based on their recent consistency and team confidence coming in. Marquette with the +160 to win is our pick for this match-up, banking on a fast start for UNC, but poor shooting down the stretch to hand the ballgame to the Golden Eagles.
Last up for NCAA Tournament action on Friday is perhaps the toughest match-up to predict, with VCU surprising everyone showing they can put up big points against the best in the tournament, and Florida State, continually showing their defensive prowess can overcome any match-up and contain any star shooter in the league. In a great 11 vs. 10 seed match-up tonight. VCU has silenced all criticism by throwing down against USC, Georgetown and Purdue and winning by an average of over 16 points per game, however those margins of victory won’t be seen tonight against the stingiest defense in the land. Perhaps not one of the more exciting games in Sweet 16 action, as likely neither team will grace 70 points on strong defense being played on both sides, Florida State wins the defensive battle and the game. However, count on this one to be close down to the wire, with VCU holding strong enough to break into the +4 points as underdog and make this exciting to the end. As with every day of NCAA Tournament action, the options for online sports betting are as exciting as ever, and with fewer and fewer games remaining, now is the perfect time to check into a top sports betting site like BetUS.com, and put down your line in the sand for a couple of match-ups tonight!
Shifting focus over to the NBA for more top sportsbook bets on basketball, 13 games are lined up with a few key match-ups available across the betting lines at BetUS. Featured basketball games for betting on sports include a fun Eastern Conference match-up between Miami and visiting Philadelphia, with the 76ers trying to avoid facing Miami by chasing down Atlanta in the 4th seed, just 2 1/2 games ahead. With both teams hot on the chase of those above them in conference standings, this should be a heated match-up (no pun intended) which leads to a high likelihood of the 76ers keeping the contest within the 8 point underdog margin at BetUS. No doubt heavy underdogs due to the fact the 76ers have lost 11 of 13 at Miami, this is a different team bound for the playoffs and playing with more depth than the Heat tonight. Upset, perhaps not, but if you’ve got a small amount of cash to throw at the +300 for Philadelphia, it might be a worthwhile and exciting wager to make this the upset pick of the night. In other games with playoff implications, find Memphis traveling where no-one wishes to go these days, and that’s to Chicago to face the Bulls who have climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference and show no signs of slippage. Winning 14 straight at home is a daunting task for the best teams in the league, let alone the Grizzlies who while winners of 3 straight, stand fighting to hold their 8th seed in the West as the Houston Rockets nip at their ankles. 9 1/2 points goes to Chicago tonight, but the way both teams have played defense, the under bet on 186 total points could be the way to go tonight.
Checking out a few additional options for online sportsbook bets on basketball, the San Antonio Spurs and the Portland Trail Blazers meet in an exciting match-up that has Portland favored at home by 4 1/2 points, Phoenix and New Orleans clash with the Hornets locked in between Portland and Memphis as the 7th seed in the West and coming in 5 point underdogs for the contest in the desert, and finally a fun match-up at Staples Center as the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers do battle. Shift a little attention and perhaps a few dollars towards continuing action in the NHL Hockey race towards the playoffs, with solid match-ups between Vancouver and Atlanta, New Jersey vs. Pittsburgh, and Carolina vs. Tampa Bay to name a few, and as always playoff implications on the line each and every night, betting on Hockey is always an exciting addition to the plate of options for online sportsbook betting on any given day. For tonight, enjoy the final games in the Sweet 16, check out plenty of action across the NBA and NHL to make for additional excitement for sports betting, and have a lucky and fantastic weekend ahead!