It’s finally here sports fans, the start of the 2011 Major League Baseball season! After the long, drawn out spring training season, the first opportunity for wagering on legitimate baseball games presents itself today at the best online sports betting sites reviewed here, and we’re quick to jump on the 6 games available, taking a piece of the action for each contest slated for this evening. With fantasy baseball rosters locked in place, the baseball team hat of choice out of the closet, and opening day tickets in hand for tonight’s clash between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants, it’s one of the most exciting days of the year to be a baseball fan, and a great day for continued sports betting action with a new season on the horizon! Getting the baseball bets down ahead of the games tonight is the first order of business, and as we rotate through the top sportsbooks reviewed for online sports betting options, today’s attention turns to a relative newcomer, at the Diamond Sportsbook (read the review of Diamond Sportsbook). One of the best sportsbooks in the business for bonuses at every turn, as well as offering one of the widest selections of sports betting options you can hope to find, Diamond Sportsbook seems the perfect website for bets on the baseball diamond today (yeah, I roll cheesy like that), and no doubt a solid option for any type of sports wagering any day of the week.
Breaking into the action for Major League Baseball tonight, opening day pitching is always the highlight of the day, especially with a grand match-up in the San Francisco vs. Los Angeles series as Tim Lincecum and youngster Clayton Kershaw do battle on the mound in a storied contest between two of baseball’s great teams. The first of 17 games between the two teams this season start off with a 4 game series that could be a very good indicator of which direction these teams are headed throughout the year. While I have little uncertainty about San Francisco posting another good season, the Dodgers are a big question mark, with a new manager in Don Mattingly, and power in the lineup a concern heading into the new season. The Giants are a slight underdog coming in at +102, and we’ll put our money on the 2-time Cy Young award winner any day of the week, though expect this game to be a close one as each and every game in this series is meaningful even in a 162 game season. Next up for sports betting on baseball, catch the Detroit vs. New York Yankees opener getting underway midday, as hard-throwing Justin Verlander faces C.C. Sabathia in a match-up between two of the top AL teams in this year’s season. With both teams having potent lineups, expect the short workload of the starting pitchers to open up the scoring later in the ballgame, with New York expected to pull out an opening day win at home as their bats dictate the game’s outcome. With the Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals hosting the San Diego Padres on tap for online sports betting today, catch at least a game or two to christen the new season, and hopefully nab some extra cash ahead of the weekend!
Onto further options for online sportsbook betting today, the NBA as usual features just a couple of games on Thursday albeit great competition from the top teams in the league. In the first match-up scheduled, the slumping San Antonio Spurs try to hold off the visiting Boston Celtics with both teams stagnating at 5-5 out of their last ten, and coming in after losses. Boston sits tied for second with Miami tonight, while San Antonio has watched their once sizeable lead in the Western Conference dwindle to just 3.5 games north of a surging Los Angeles Lakers. With the Spurs hurting due to injury, and Boston anxious to stay above the Heat in the East (not to mention winning their last 4 trips to SA), look for a low-scoring, close game to feature a Boston win yet again on the road. In the second match-up of the night, Western Conference foes Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers get down to business, with just a half-game separating the two teams, and both teams coming in hot on long win streaks of 5 and 7 respectively. With the best road record in the NBA, I’m a little surprised at Dallas getting a +6 point underdog for the game, especially with so much at stake in the game tonight in the playoff seeding race, however the pick of the night is on the over/under, with 191 points the mark, and both teams coming in fresh and able to put up points. Between either of these two key NBA match-ups tonight, count on exciting competition to add to the thrill of any online sportsbook betting set in place, as only a handful of these caliber contests remain before the playoffs begin.
Lastly on the sports betting docket for Thursday, action is plentiful in NHL Hockey, with 10 games slated and 8 of those games having playoff implications making for exciting betting at Diamond Sportsbook, and watching this evening after work. Out West, a huge game for the Los Angeles Kings takes place as they visit the league-leading Vancouver Canucks, and badly need a tough win to stay in the middle of the Western Conference playoff race. Without key scorers in Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar, its an uphill battle on the road against the toughest home team in the league, so the Kings will likely lean on Jonathan Quick to help hold down the Vancouver attack, and keep this game close and low scoring in order to give LA a chance. Over/under is at 5 goals tonight, and with two of the best keepers in the game in Quick and Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, look for this to be a prime wager to start with. The Canucks could win the President’s trophy for the first time in their history if the Philadelphia Flyers stumble against the Thrashers, however with Philly needing a win to stay above Pittsburgh in the Atlantic division, as well as turn back a recent 4 game slide at home, look for the Flyers to pick up a close win, as the Thrashers have played well at Wells Fargo Center this year, winning the last three contests. Check out other key playoff sensitive games tonight as Boston hosts Toronto, Tampa Bay brings in Pittsburgh and the San Jose Sharks battle the Nashville Predators, and round out another great day of online sports betting with some of the fastest action around!