Top 25 Teams Clash on Friday Night as #4 Syracuse hosts #10 Florida

The undefeated Syracuse Orangemen (7-0) have gotten off to another hot start for the 2011-12 NCAA Basketball campaign, but will get their biggest test of the season tonight as the high-scoring #10 Florida Gators come to the Carrier Dome for a great Friday night Top 10 match-up between two elite college hoops programs.

Keeping attention on basketball has been a challenge for Syracuse University in recent days, after finding themselves mired in an abuse scandal brought on by former assistant coach Bernie Fine, however the well-rounded and talented Orangemen basketball squad has put off-court issues aside for now, and has had few issues reaching the 7-0 mark to start the season for the 4th consecutive time. Led by head coach Jim Boeheim, one of the greatest college basketball coaches in history, Syracuse seeks to make it 8 wins to start the season with a victory over Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators, but the Orangemen will have to put all of their offensive muster into tonight’s match-up against a Florida team that ranks third in the nation scoring 90.8 points per contest. Although most of that damage has been done against lesser-known opponents early in the season, Florida has shown their ability to hang with the best in the nation this year, ironically evident in their only loss of the season at Ohio State on November 15th. Against a Buckeyes team that just embarrassed Duke this week, the 7 point loss suffered in their second game certainly helps to build confidence in Florida’s chances for success in other road match-ups against top-ranked teams, like the one ahead this evening.

Syracuse is opening the 2011-12 NCAA Basketball campaign with a very favorable draw of 10 straight home games (playing in the NIT Tip-Off in NYC this year should be considered home games for Syracuse), and tonight’s game could be the only real challenge during that stretch for the Orangemen. Blowing out opponents by an average margin of victory of 26.1 points, Syracuse continues to have confidence in its veteran squad, led by senior forward Kris Joseph, who is averaging 14.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. There is a very well-rounded aspect to the Orangemen’s game this year, with plenty of talent all around the court consisting of guards Brandon Triche (11.0 points, 3.6 assists) and Scoop Jardine (7 points, 4.1 assists), inside threats Joseph, C.J. Fair and Fab Melo, and 6th-man F James Southerland (10.6 points, 3.6 boards in just 16.4 minutes/game), which undoubtedly gives Syracuse fans plenty of reason to cheer for as they hope for another strong run into the NCAA tournament this year. Having won two straight meetings against this Florida squad no doubt helps to boost the confidence of the Orangemen coming in to tonight’s contest, with three starters having logged time in the 85-73 win back on Dec. 10, 2009 (Jardine, Joseph and Triche), and with one of the loudest, most raucous home crowds at a packed Carrier Dome backing them up, Syracuse’s talent should shine tonight against Florida.

The Gators on the other hand are looking very well balanced themselves ahead of this match-up, with a number of players capable of providing scoring at will and 6 players hitting double figures in scoring so far this year. Florida thrives on moving the ball, shooting well and attacking the basket on the offensive and defensive glass, ranking 6th in the nation in rebounding, and also an impressive #1 in adjusted offensive efficiency, which means that per possession, they score more points than anyone else in College Hoops (by comparison Syracuse is #4, no slouch by any means). Against the Syracuse 2-3 zone defense, outside shooting will be a key to the Gators’ game plan, hedging their performance on star guards Kenny Boyton (averaging 18.5 points/game), Bradley Beal (17.0 points, an impressive 6.5 rebounds/game) and Erving Walker (13.7 points, 4.3 boards, 5.3 assists). Definitely don’t discount the inside presence of sophomore forward/center Patric Young (10.2 points, 7.7 rebounds/game), Will Yeguete (6.2 points, 6.8 boards), or Erik Murphy (10.0 points, 4 boards), which give Florida a quick all-around offense that moves the ball well, but against a lock-down 2-3 zone like Syracuse, tonight’s game for Florida really does come down to whether they can capitalize from the outside and keep up their torrid scoring pace.

One big area of difference between these two clubs comes on the defensive side of the ball, with Syracuse giving up 8 points less per game than Florida does, ranking first in opponents’ turnover rate, and hounding rebounds inside the paint on both sides of the court. While ‘Cuse is just 56th in overall rebounding (39.4/game), they rank first in offensive boards, and have averaged 9.7 boards/game more than their opponents through 7 games, showing that their inside presence is tough to contend with on the glass. This will be incredibly important for tonight’s game line; if Syracuse can win the battle of the boards (most especially on defense) as Florida tries to space out the Orangemen zone and find open outside shooting, they’ll put themselves in good position to let their steady-paced offense keep ball possession time up, keeping the hot Florida shooters subdued. While Florida is certainly a good rebounding team as well, they have struggled at keeping fouls to a minimum while battling in the paint, something they definitely don’t want to see continue against a Syracuse team that doesn’t go to the line often. With the Gators sending opponents to the free-throw stripe at an alarming 40.7 percent of possessions, they’ll simply have to be more careful around the big Orangemen inside, something that is much easier said than done.

Betting Lines for #4 Syracuse vs. #10 Florida

Intertops.eu is our featured top online sportsbook for Friday’s top NCAA Basketball match-up, and with a few easy clicks you can check out the betting lines for Syracuse vs. Florida at one of the longest-running online sportsbooks in the world. Tonight’s match-up leans in favor of the home team Orangemen, who pick up -290 odds to win on the money line, while Florida is a +245 underdog away. Against the spread, Syracuse gets just a 6 point edge at -110 odds, while the Gators are the 6 point underdog at the same odds. Betting on total points, the over/under is a fair 148.5 points, banking on the Syracuse zone defense to slow down the Florida offense enough to keep both teams around 70-75 points during the ballgame. Perhaps the best look of the day for sports betting on this game is against the spread, with Syracuse a good option to cover 6 points in a victory. As the team with more veteran leadership, a stingier defense, and the one likely getting more trips to the free-throw line tonight, ‘Cuse could easily pull away at the end on the double-bonus, putting the game just out of reach for Florida.

Our Pick to Win:

This should be one of the best NCAA College Basketball match-ups of the weekend, with two exciting teams in competition albeit with rather different styles. While Florida will seek to run-and-gun, Syracuse should try to steady the tempo of the game with their hounding defense and good ball movement on offense around their talented guards. If Florida can keep a hot hand through the game, pushing the ball to open shooters and spreading the ‘Cuse zone defense out, the Gators could find themselves pulling off an upset that few visiting ranked teams have been able to do on the road against better ranked opponents. ¬†Syracuse on the other looks to make its national mark with a signature win tonight at home. I like their veteran leadership both on the court and on the bench in this match-up, and their ability to lock down opposing offenses while dominating the glass and creating turnovers. As such, we’re taking Syracuse to win an exciting game at home tonight against Florida, with a final score of 77-70.

Friday Online Sportsbook Betting at Intertops.eu

With a sigh of relief we have reached another weekend, and with it comes another foray into the best sports betting options set up for the next few days ahead starting with Friday’s top sporting events across a number of leagues currently in play. Despite suffering another setback in last night’s NFL game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles, as the home-team Hawks knocked off the preseason ‘Dream Team’ Eagles and sent them searching for answers next year, I’m looking ahead to some great opportunities for online sports betting at one of the best sportsbooks reviewed here at Intertops.eu. Intertops Sportsbook has been in the game since 1996, and as the self-touted oldest online sportsbooks around, these guys certainly understand how to treat their customers, offering great support, tons of stats, information and trends for betting lines, and quite possibly the widest selection of betting choices on a daily basis out of all the sportsbooks we’ve ever reviewed. So, without any further adieu, let us bust into Friday’s featured betting lines with the hopes of padding some sportsbook accounts before another big weekend packed with NCAA and NFL Football, NCAA Basketball, and NHL Hockey returns!

Starting off today’s bets, we’re making quick stop on the Pac-12 conference championship game, which although featuring possibly the worst match-up the newly-formed Pac-12 will ever see, still is worth checking out as the first conference title game set for this weekend. #9 Oregon (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12) will host UCLA (6-6, 5-4) at Autzen Stadium in what should be also the biggest blowout in a conference title game, as the UCLA Bruins come into tonight’s match-up with a fired head coach Rick Neuheisel completing his tenure after being routed 50-0 against USC last week, and tumbling to another disappointing season finish. As the first team to reach a conference title game with 6 losses, UCLA can thank USC’s ineligibility for providing them with the opportunity to play in tonight’s game, however they might be singing a different tune if the contest turns out anything like the 60-13 drubbing the Bruins suffered last year at the hands of the Ducks. For online sports betting, this game is a perfect example of not getting too afraid of the points spread, which stands at a menacing 31.5 points in favor of the LaMichael James-led Oregon squad. Although the spread is huge, Oregon faces a Bruins team in disarray, which will find little traction in front of a rabid Oregon crowd tonight, and our pick takes the Ducks covering points for the first wager of the day. Take note also that with a UCLA team that has found it incredibly hard to score in this match-up in the last few years, the over/under at 66.5 points may be a good shot for under pickers to take advantage of, as although we know Oregon can put up points, we could also see UCLA struggling to score at all, keeping this game just under the points margin tonight.

On to more sports betting opportunities today at Intertops.eu, check out NCAA Basketball action with two exciting games pitting Top 25 teams against one another, as first the #10 Florida Gators head into battle with the #4 Syracuse Orangemen, and second the #6 Louisville Cardinals host the #19 Vanderbilt Commodores. Gearing up for Saturday’s heaping pile of 119 NCAA Hoops games, use tonight’s featured match-ups as a couple of teasers ahead of tomorrow’s featured action, and take a look at the betting lines for these two contests as the best picks available for action on the hard court tonight. As Syracuse continues it’s 10-game run at home to start the season, look for a good match-up against the well-coached #10 Florida Gators tonight, who come into the match-up ranked 3rd in the nation in scoring at over 90 points a game. However, most of that damage has been done against lesser teams early in the season, and against an Orangemen that is winning by an average of 26.1 points at home to start the year, it’ll be a big task for Billy Donovan’s Gators to emerge with a win at the rockin’ Carrier Dome tonight. For this game, I’m taking a different tact, and will look for Syracuse to jump out with a solid first half lead, covering the -3.5 points at -110 odds at Intertops.eu. For the second Top 25 match-up tonight however, I’m all in on Louisville, as Vanderbilt looks to be a pretender in the top rankings with two losses already on the season. Despite Louisville’s laundry list of injuries, the impact hasn’t deterred the Cardinals from seeking their first back-to-back 7-win season starts, and against a Vanderbilt team missing their leading scorer and big man Festus Ezeli, I like a home win here tonight, as Vandy continues to struggle in the turnover department and fails to overcome another top-ranked opponent (they’ve dropped 4 straight against ranked foes).

Rounding out the day’s online sportsbook betting choices at Intertops.eu, quickly hit up some options for NHL Hockey, with a crop of good games on tap to close out the sports betting week. Look out for the surging Detroit Red Wings to continue their winning ways on the road against Buffalo, as the Sabres have slumped to 4-5-1 in their last 10 due to mounting injuries to top players. Seeking a 7th consecutive win, I’m backing Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Frazen and Nicklas Lidstrom to pull through with a road win, covering the 1.5 goals against the spread. Look for even further good options for betting on NHL Hockey with the Minnesota Wild hosting the New Jersey Devils, a favorable game for the Chicago Blackhawks to cover the spread in as they host the New York Islanders, and we’ll look to the St. Louis Blues to shut down the Colorado Avalanche tonight, holding the points total down under the 5 goal limit. Find these match-ups and more great sports betting options daily at Intertops.eu Sportsbook, and look ahead to another great weekend packed with excellent sportsbook bets at any one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed right here.

Thursday Night Football: Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks

Despite both the Philadelphia Eagles (4-7) and the Seattle Seahawks’ (4-7) struggles this season, with the two teams meeting up in the loud and rowdy confines of CenturyLink Stadium in Seattle, tonight’s Thursday Night NFL Football contest figures to be an exciting option for online sports betting on a relatively slow day of sports betting action.

No doubt the most disappointing of these two teams heading into tonight’s contest is the Philadelphia Eagles, who after adding a corps of top-level talent on defense including Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins, have sputtered to the brink of being ousted from playoff contention, losing more games through 12 weeks this year than through all of last season. It’s clear that even with the Eagles highly touted offensive arsenal on display, which ranks 2nd in the NFL in rushing behind running back LeSean McCoy, and 10th in passing for the 3rd all-around offense in the league, finding a way to mesh together complete games on both sides of the ball has been a challenge. So much so that the Eagles’ veteran head coach Andy Reid, a master at revitalizing his teams towards the end of the season, has had many fans in Philly calling for his head after the disappointing year the Eagles have produced thus far in the 2011 campaign. Heading into tonight’s match-up with Seattle even, where the Eagles are clearly the more talent-packed, experienced team, Philadelphia’s chances of winning aren’t clear cut especially considering the swath of injuries that has begun to plague the team in recent weeks.

With starting QB Michael Vick out still with broken ribs, Vince Young will get another start after putting up 400 yards against New England last week, albeit with most of his stats coming in garbage time in a blowout Pats win. For today’s match-up, it’ll be curious to see how Young spreads the ball around without one of his top receivers in Jeremy Maclin (sitting with a hamstring injury),and possibly without the services of the league’s leading rusher LeSean McCoy (1,050 yards rushing, 11 TDs), should his sprained toe hold him out. There’s certainly some depth in the Eagles passing game, which led by the speedy DeSean Jackson could be a tough threat for the 20th-ranked Seahawks defense to deal with, but with McCoy likely not getting too much work even if he does play, it’ll be interesting to see how Andy Reid balances the running and passing games in a hostile environment this evening. As for the defensive side of the Eagles game, missing the presence on defense of Dominque Rogers-Cromartie, and possibly Nnamdi Asomugha certainly doesn’t help, however at least against a terrible Seattle passing attack (ranked 25th in the league at 196.4 yards/game), at least the Eagles will get some relief, with top receiver Sidney Rice out and QB Tarvaris Jackson playing through injury.

There isn’t all too much to say about the Seattle Seahawks this season, other than it’s a building year. Without a solid quarterback, Seattle has struggled to maintain ball possession, and has struggled to produce long-lasting drives all season. Though they have promising talent, namely with Marshawn Lynch in the backfield (180 carries, 706 yards, 6 TDs), and the likes of Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin and Ben Obomanu at wide-out, they’ve been unable to let their stars shine consistently throughout games, something which is blatantly evident by the highly-touted tight end Zach Miller being used as primarily a blocker this season instead of a key pass catcher. Seattle simply struggles to find rhythm in the passing game, which leads to a stalled running game, which was more than evident in last weeks’ loss to Washington in which Seattle generated -9 yards on its last 4 possessions to essentially hand the Redskins a 23-17 win. Though Marshawn Lynch has been one of the best backs in the league over the past month (averaging 110 yards/game in 4 November contests), it’s been the inability of the Hawks to play a complete game around him that has kept them out of the win column, beating themselves up with penalties, too many 3-and-out series, and inopportune turnovers.

One must factor in however the setting for this game tonight, taking place at the loudest venue in the NFL, with the Seahawks desperate to knock the Philadelphia Eagles out of playoff contention in a retribution game. Though the teams haven’t match-up since 2008, and come into this match-up as very different squads than before, there is something to be said for a good NFL grudge match even when both teams involved are underperforming, and definitely something to be said about playing in front of a confidence-boosting home crowd. What I do like about Seattle, especially when playing at home, has been their ability to stop the rush, ranking at 11th in the league giving up just over 100 yards per outing to opposing backs. With LeSean McCoy in doubt (and questionable as a contributor any which way after a 31 yard effort on 10 carries last weekend), Seattle could find ways to put more coverage on the Eagles’ deep threats, something Philly no doubt will look to exploit in this match-up. If Seattle can contain the Eagles offense and hold them within 3 touchdowns while generating a turnover or two, this game could very well go the way of the home team Hawks. That is of course, if Seattle can muster better than the 15.2 points per game they’ve put up in their last six games….

Betting Lines for Philadelphia at Seattle

Oddsmaker.ag Sportsbook is our featured top sports betting website for Thursday, and looking at their top betting lines we see that coming into this match-up Philadelphia is a slight favorite on the money line, getting -155 odds to win in this Thursday Night NFL Football contest. With Seattle playing their best ball at home each year, they get much tighter +135 odds in this match-up than one might expect initially, as while consideration has to be taken for how poor of an offense Seattle has by comparison, one also must consider the burden of injuries factoring in for the Eagles as well, and how hard it’s been for them to win games even with all their top players suited up. Against the spread tonight, the Eagles could be the best bet with the -3 points at -120 odds, as if the Seahawks lose, they will probably find a way to do it by a touchdown or more late in the game. However, if you like the prospects of Seattle overcoming a better team at home (ala vs. Baltimore in Week 10), taking the +3 points on Seattle at EVEN money might be an intriguing bet for the risk taker. Lastly for betting lines at Oddsmaker.ag, the over/under stands at 43.5 points, a mark that may be tough to reach if Philly sits LeSean McCoy, and/or the Seattle Seahawks fail to generate any offense this evening.

Our Pick to Win:

I have to admit that I’m a life-long Seattle Seahawks fan, by virtue of the years spent growing up in the Pacific Northwest. However, being a Hawks fan finds me likely to be even more pessimistic about Seattle’s chances in big match-ups like these, as it’s been a characteristic of Seattle teams to find a way to lose ballgames, rather than win them. Though Seattle has a lot of promise and some talent, this game tonight is Philadelphia’s to lose, as despite potentially missing players due to injury, the Eagles are still the better offense, better defense, and better team overall. It’ll be key tonight that Vince Young avoids mistakes which would otherwise allow Seattle to keep within grasp of this game, but otherwise don’t expect Seattle to do itself any favors. While Marshawn Lynch has another solid game for the Hawks tonight, Seattle falls a bit short and gets eliminated from the playoffs with a 27-14 loss at home tonight.

December Opens with More Great Football, Basketball and Hockey Bets

This is without a doubt one of the most exciting time of the year for sports fans, as every single night of the week throughout the holiday season fans are bombarded with multiple games to watch, attend and/or wager on at the best online sportsbooks reviewed right here on our website! Luckily for you and me alike the top sportsbooks have the best of what’s to come betting-wise on a daily basis, and wagering on the best-of-the-best sports betting sites found here is always a safe, secure, tried and tested way to get into the action each and every day of the week. Being a member and player at every single one of the sportsbooks listed on our homepage, I can vouch with confidence that all the websites reviewed on our site are guaranteed to give you a great sportsbook and experience for your wagering dollar, with great customer service and easy betting options. For today, we’ve decided to hunker down at one of the best online sportsbooks, wagering on a number of different types of bets ranging from parlays, to line wagers, to straight up money. With a trip to the Oddsmaker.ag Sportsbook, one of the longest-standing members amongst our top online sports betting sites found here, you can quickly find all the best betting options for the day, on a site that is constantly being improved and updated to suit your needs.

For the top wagers available today, turn to first to the NFL Thursday Night match-up featuring the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia ¬†Eagles. Despite the fact that this contest pits a pair of 4-7 teams, with Philadelphia being especially disappointing this season after being a preseason favorite to go to the Super Bowl, any game at Seahawks Stadium (CenturyLink Field, whatever) in Seattle, WA is bound to be a rockin’ good time, with one of the loudest fan bases in the country. While the Eagles certainly have the edge on talent in this match-up, it hasn’t proven them to be winners on a weekly basis, and against a defensive-minded Seahawks group intent on shutting down running back LeSean McCoy, this could be a closer game than many would expect. Though we can’t expect the Eagles to fall like Baltimore did at Seattle a few weeks back, this game should be another tight one, with Philly looking to squeak by as the Seattle offense once again has hiccups down the home stretch. For a good opening wager on the day, look to Philly to cover the marginal -3 points (-110) at Oddsmaker Sportsbook, as their overall talent level pulls them out with a home win and still a slim remain chance in the playoffs ahead.

Moving into the action for NCAA Hoops today, find a couple of key games worth wagering on, including an interesting match-up between #1 Kentucky and a feisty St. John’s squad, as the Wildcats warm up for their big-time showdown this weekend with #5 North Carolina. Look further to a great road match-up for Georgetown, who face a tough battle against #12 Alabama, for another great online sports betting option at Oddsmaker.ag. Though the road teams this season have not fared well against ranked teams playing with home court advantage, this could be an interesting bet for you underdog pickers tonight, as Alabama gets its first test against a true elite program this season with the Hoyas in town. Especially with G-town a +7.5 underdog at Oddsmaker.ag today, betting on the Hoyas to cover the spread could be a decently profitable wager to undertake. Catch a few other worthwhile bets on NCAA College Basketball today as lesser known teams also make for good wagering, with George Washington visiting Kansas State (KSU should be able to cover -11 points at home) and Providence at South Carolina (look for the Friars getting an underdog win, or at least covering +5 on the spread). You can easily find a handful of wagers each and every day on College Hoops, and with 52 total games on tap, venture down to Oddsmaker Sportsbook for a few of the best betting pickups on Thursday.

Lastly for sports bets today, check out further betting options in NHL Hockey, with the red-hot Vancouver Canucks seeking their 6th straight win against the slumping Nashville Predators, and in LA the Kings host the Florida Panthers while looking to keep their winning streak in the series at six games since 2002. Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins hits the ice in his first game back against the Washington Capitals since getting a concussion in last season’s Winter Classic between the two games, and elsewhere the Dallas Stars host the Ottawa Senators while the New York Rangers look to keep on their torrid pace of 10 wins in 12 games and build on three straight victories. Make sure before logging off at one of the top online sportsbooks that you also check out tonight’s betting lines for the lone NCAA Football match-up between the #23 West Virginia Mountaineers and the South Florida Bulls, as West Virginia seeks to eek out a three-way tie for the Big East conference title with a win and some help from Cincinnati this weekend. All-in-all it’s a great day of online sports betting regardless of what sport you follow, so head down with us to one of the best online sportsbooks like the one at Oddsmaker.ag today, and get lucky on some good wagers this afternoon and evening!