Final Four Action, NBA, NHL Games Best Options for Sportsbook Betting

Saturday is jam-packed with great options for online sportsbook betting, and with the Final Four games in the 2012 NCAA Tournament set to get underway in just a few short hours, there’s no question that the two games featuring #1 seed Kentucky vs. #4 seed Louisville and #2 seed Ohio State vs. #2 seed Kansas will be tops on the list for betting on sports today. Alongside the exciting competition of what is truly the biggest and most intriguing sports tournament in the world, today’s schedule of NBA basketball also finds sports fans with a wealth of options for betting at one of the top reviewed sportsbooks found here, and with NHL Hockey also in play and continuing the drive towards the Stanley Cup playoffs, you can be sure to find a host of worthy match-ups to place your bets on today. For the featured online sports betting destination on Saturday, we’re diving into the grab bag to pull out the Betonline Sportsbook, a tried-and tested leader amidst a landscape of questionable, if not outright shady websites for online sports betting. Having continually been amongst the most-frequented sportsbooks we’ve reviewed over the past few years here at CR, put your faith behind Betonline Sportsbook to be a destination worthy of your hard-earned cash and your repeated business.

Busting into today’s betting lines at Betonline, we first have to plant a few wagers on the Final Four match-ups, despite the fact that there has already been plenty of wagering on these two games leading up to today’s actual tip-offs. First, for the #1 Kentucky vs. #4 Louisville showdown, the 8 1/2 points against the spread in favor of the Wildcats is a great opportunity to chase the underdog, as Louisville has time and time again been able to hang with teams that have much more talented offenses than they do, merely by staying headstrong on defense and coming up with clutch performances late in games. I like the Cardinals, who will be well prepared under veteran head coach Rick Pitino, to give the elite squad helmed by John Calipari a run for their money. While the stats lines and the rosters may clearly point to a Kentucky run-away with tonight’s game, don’t be surprised to find Louisville hanging around in the closing moments of this historic and classic rivalry game between two Bluegrass State competitors.

Make sure that with all the media coverage and hype around the Kentucky vs. Louisville game, that you don’t miss out on a great follow-up game between #2 Ohio State and #2 Kansas, which pits possibly two of the most evenly matched up teams against one another in this year’s tournament. Ohio State, led by Jared Sullinger, makes for an outstanding opponent against Kansas and Thomas Robinson, and with the two big men butting heads for the first time this year (as Sullinger was out of the contest against KU during the regular season), expectations should be high that this will be a physical, exciting game to watch and wager on. While OSU has the slight edge on the betting lines getting a 2 1/2 point favorite on the spread, Kansas becomes an appealing +125 underdog, provided they can avoid getting themselves into foul trouble from the early goings on. Make no mistake either way, this game is going to be a close one down to the wire, and outside shooting may indeed be the difference in tonight’s game if a last second shot is needed to decide the final outcome.

Switching gears over into the professional leagues tonight, the NBA hosts a set of 8 games on Saturday, with a number of critical match-ups for teams trying to solidify their spot amongst the playoff ranks. Top action tonight includes a showdown in Philadelphia as the 76ers host the Atlanta Hawks, and try to avoid slipping from first in the Atlantic division to possibly out of the playoffs altogether as their second-half slump continues. Atlanta is on a roll, but will have to play on back-to-back nights, giving the Philadelphia defense a leg up in tonight’s match-up, but nonetheless with the way the Hawks have been playing, I’m looking for them to continue the Sixers woes, and push Philly further down the playoff ladder. Next up, find a great match-up in Texas as San Antonio hosts Indiana, with the Pacers needing a victory to avoid getting overtaken in the East by Atlanta, should they pull out the road victory tonight. San Antonio however is playing some of the best basketball in the league right now, sitting on a six-game winning streak, and with dominant play at home, expect the Spurs to just edge out the Pacers, who don’t play their best ball away from home. Catch other important match-ups with playoff implications as the Memphis Grizzlies battle the Milwaukee Bucks and the Utah Jazz visit the Los Angeles Clippers, and as always at this time of year expect NBA basketball to provide an exciting point of emphasis for online sports betting.

Rounding out the day, NHL Hockey continues the push into the final week of games, with 12 contests on tap and just about all of them having some sort of impact on the Stanley Cup Playoffs race. Huge games in the Western Conference find the Vancouver Canucks hosting the Calgary Flames, as Vancouver continues to chase St. Louis for the points lead in the West, the Los Angeles Kings heading to Minnesota for a critical match-up as they try to hold on to 1st in the Pacific division, and the Dallas Stars vs. San Jose Sharks, as another Pacific division showdown will likely throw the playoff picture into disarray yet again. With just one point separating 1st from 4th in the Pacific, and with the Kings, Stars, Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes all in action today, it’s an exciting moment for hockey bettors to jump into the race and be part of the action to come. Outside of the West race through, there’s plenty of other great match-ups to check out ahead of face-off time, as the Washington Capitals cling to playoff hopes and need a win at home against Montreal, Buffalo tries to regain its winning form against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight in order to further their aspirations of securing a playoff spot, and expect a huge game between the Ottawa Senators and the Philadelphia Flyers, as Ottawa finds itself just two points clear of Buffalo and Washington for 7th place in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Find these great online sports betting options and more today at Betonline Sportsbook, and continue to check back with us again tomorrow as more great sports action makes for more great sports betting fun at one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed here.

NCAA Basketball Final Four: #1 Kentucky vs. #4 Louisville, #2 Ohio State vs. #2 Kansas

After having to wait a week for the 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament to return to action, finally the Final Four games are upon us today, with two fantastic showdowns pitting the elite, best-of-the-best against one another inside the voluminous confines of the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Whether your brackets are busted or remain largely intact, or whether or not you have any teams left in competition that you would consider rooting for, there’s no question that the Final Four is one of the most exciting pair of games in all the sporting world, and certainly well worth a pair of wagers at one of the top reviewed online sportsbooks found here. For the Final Four games lined up today, it’s time to pick out another one of the best online sportsbooks, with today’s nod going to the Betonline Sportsbook. Featuring competitive odds, a clean interface and great customer support, count on Betonline Sportsbook as a key destination for betting on sports day-in and day-out regardless of what sports season it happens to be.

Spotting the two top wagering items of the day on the Final Four games set to play out, check out the sportsbook betting lines first and foremost for an exciting Final Four match-up between tournament favorite #1 Kentucky and stand-out underdog #4 Louisville, as two teams from the same state get set to tip-off in a heated rivalry game on the national stage. This should make for a classic pairing between two of the most brilliant minds in the NCAA, as UK head coach John Calipari leads his extremely talented and high-scoring cast of Wildcats up against the Cardinals’ Rick Pitino and a Louisville squad that has beaten all expectations to play for the chance at a national title. While Kentucky certainly has all the right pieces on the court that have made them the favorite in a run for the championship with Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Doron Lamb, Marquis Teague and Terrence Jones, it will be interesting to see how the Cardinals’ game plan is crafted to limit the potency of a number of the Wildcats’ top players, and keep them frustrated via swarming defense. One thing is for certain, if Louisville can’t contain Anthony Davis down at the post, only a hot-shooting performance for Louisville around the perimeter will be enough to pull them back even in the game. Davis has the size, speed and skill to go toe-to-toe with the best defenders in college basketball, and getting him active on the scoreboard early is key for UK tonight. Also, with Louisville focusing on defense and limiting shooting percentage, Kentucky has to get good outside shooting efforts from their top 3-point shooters, namely Doron Lamb and Darius Miller. With Kentucky averaging nearly 39 percent from 3-point land, they have a clear advantage over Louisville’s shooters, and while Calipari’s game plan will likely focus on pounding the ball inside to Davis, a good shooting night from around the perimeter could help keep the game out of reach especially down near the final buzzer.

For Louisville, clearly outclassed from an offensive perspective and along stats lines, it will be another test to whether an excellent coaching staff leading a poised defensive-minded team can stifle the hopes of yet another elite squad that is picked to beat them soundly and is better in just about all aspects of the game. UK comes in to tonight’s match-up as an 8 1/2 point favorite against the spread at Betonline Sportsbook (-110 odds), and gets -470 odds straight up on the money line, so with that all the pressure is on the Wildcats to not become the next in line to get embarrassed by a more rag-tag band of Cardinals players who consistently frustrate opposing offenses with hounding defense and an ability to play clutch down the home stretch. Despite the fact that Louisville will use a defense-first approach to limit Kentucky’s effectiveness tonight, they also simply must find a couple of stand-out players to lead them in scoring (here’s looking at you Peyton Siva and Kyle Kuric), avoid foul trouble for their big men (namely Gorgui Dieng), and prevent the hottest UK scorers (right now Anthony Davis, Doron Lamb and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) from dominating yet another game. Kyle Kuric has to continue to be the level-headed floor general tonight, and must find a way to hit a few clutch shots from deep range. The Cardinals are not a great shooting team, averaging around 43 percent shooting on the season, and just 31.3 percent from 3-point range, so they need to see Kuric and Chris Smith in particular have success against an equally-good UK defense. Freshman Chane Behanan will also play a huge role tonight, as he has in each game of the tournament while averaging 14 points/game. showdown with great online sports betting options available for taking either the favorite Kentucky Wildcats or the underdog Louisville Cardinals. Look for this match-up to be a lot closer than expected, especially with huge focus on defense that should see the 137 points on the over/under prove tough to surpass, but be weary of another Cardinals’ miracle victory against a Kentucky team that quite simply outclasses them in just about every part of the game.

Moving along to the next Final Four match-up for top sportsbook betting, catch the clash between the two remaining #2 seeds, as the Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Kansas Jayhawks in what should be a much closer match-up at least on paper coming into the game tonight. While this game may get the back burner to the more classic pairing between Kentucky and Louisville, that certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of anticipation for a quality match-up that will feature some of the top names in college hoops. For Ohio State, it’s about the trifecta that combines the inside threat Jared Sullinger, along with the powerful and potent swing-men duo of William Buford and DeShaun Thomas. For Kansas, the focus is on two of the most talented college basketball players in the nation, with Thomas Robinson one of the most dominant inside players this year, combined with point guard Tyshawn Taylor, who is a match-up nightmare for any defense. Along stats lines, these two teams are incredibly well matched. Both shoot the ball incredibly well, averaging right near 48.5 percent shooting from the floor, have mustered right near 75 points of offense per game, and have outstanding defenses that limit opponents scoring to right around 60 points per game. They are nearly identical in rebounding proficiency, passing ability and in three-point shooting. If anything separates the two elite programs in this match-up, it is the depth of talent the two hold. Kansas has notably been vulnerable whenever Thomas Robinson gets into foul trouble, as their only other real inside presence is Jeff Withey, who while being talented can also be inconsistent especially against more physical inside opponents. While the same could be said for Jared Sullinger and the Buckeyes, as OSU finds itself struggling to score without Sullinger in the line-up, Ohio State does have an edge especially around the perimeter, with more available options should some of their starters not be able to step up in a big challenge game against an elite defense.

In this Final Four showdown that will be a rematch game from an earlier meeting between the two powerhouse programs, the Buckeyes will at least be at full strength as they missed their star forward Jared Sullinger in the 78-67 loss at Kansas earlier in the season. That will certainly even the playing field between the two teams tonight, and truly this is anyone’s game considering the level of talent and coaching expertise on both sides of the court. Expect Kansas to push the pace and try to get hot hands rolling on offense once again (as they did exceptionally well against North Carolina in the Elite 8), and expect Ohio State to put big emphasis inside the paint, with a huge battle between Jared Sullinger and Thomas Robinson sure to define the bottom line of the game. Both teams will be looking to put their opponents’ big men in foul trouble early, so expect plenty of action inside the paint from the very get go. That said, as we’ve seen in past meetings between two hot shooting teams, the first half won’t have much say as to how the end of the game plays out, as rarely has a team been able to pull away before halftime and carry the game uncontested to the final buzzer, but it will most likely determine which type of game we’ll see in the second half. Expect both teams to push for easier buckets in the opening minutes, as high percentage shots will be crucial to accumulate in the face of good defense, but once the second half opens up, the outside scoring attacks will be emphasized much more, especially if one team or the other finds their big men in foul trouble. While Kansas must maintain their dominant presence inside the paint, Ohio State may have to find their source of extra points around the perimeter, as no doubt Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey hold the size advantage down low. That said, Jared Sullinger has the ability to overcome any match-up in the paint, so if he has a better night than Thomas Robinson does, that may be an indicator of which way this game drops in the end.

For the betting lines in the second of the two Final Four pairings, Ohio State comes out as a slight favorite to win, with -145 odds straight up on the money line, and -2 1/2 points to cover against the spread. Kansas is a +125 underdog, making them an intriguing pick on an elite team with favorable odds. With two teams that have talented shooters and can put up big points inside the paint and from the perimeter, the 136 points allotted to the over/under will be a challenging risk to take on for sportsbook bettors. While both sides play outstanding defense against squads they don’t shoot as well or don’t have as much depth, there should be expectations that each team is going to push the pace early to try and get the upper hand on the scoreboard. Ohio State certainly has watched what Kansas can do with a hot hand, and will try to prevent transition basketball as much as possible, however the pace of the game may be intense all the way through as both sides shoot and move the ball well, which could easily lead to a breakout of the over total points mark here tonight. Look for this game to be decided on which team can come out with the clutch perimeter shooting, as their matched up very well inside the paint and throughout the starting ranks, but also expect foul trouble to play a hand in a very physical match-up that could see the tides turned depending on which critical player is forced to sit for extended lengths of time.

It’s a huge day for College Basketball as Final Four action only comes around once a year for online sports betting, so with that in mind make sure to squeeze in as much research as possible on tonight’s exciting games, and make your most educated sports bets at one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed here.

Catch NBA, NHL Action for Sports Betting on Friday, Final Four Wagers Ahead

Luckily for us sports fans, today is Friday, and that means another weekend is on the horizon, chalk-full of great opportunities for online sportsbook betting at the best online sportsbooks reviewed here! From continuing action in NBA Basketball and NHL Hockey today to NCAA Final Four competition taking place tomorrow, not to mention the prospects of another Major League Baseball season kicking off in the middle of next week, it’s a fantastic time of the year to be a sports fan, and each and every day is a great chance to get involved in the exciting and (hopefully) profitable world of top sportsbook betting. For Friday, things start out with a bang as NBA Basketball holds a full session of games today, featuring 12 contests stretched out across the U.S. tonight. Looking out to one of the top online sportsbooks for today’s wagers on NBA hoops, look no further than one of the longest-standing online sports betting sites at Intertops Sportsbook, which features a simply-built, no-frills interface and time-tested customer support that makes us keep coming back for more wagers week-in and week-out. Let’s start out with a look at some of the best options for betting on NBA Basketball today, before we start checking out upcoming games in NHL Hockey, and lines for NCAA Basketball’s Final Four set for tomorrow.

Top games in the NBA tonight tip-off with a tough back-to-back stretch for the Dallas Mavericks, who dropped game against the Miami Heat last night and now have to head to face Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic this evening at the Amway Center. At a tough location to get back on track for any visiting team, Dallas will have to find a way to put up a better scoring effort than the 85 points they mustered last night in a 19-point loss to LeBron James and company. Orlando is the clear favorite at -220 odds to win straight up and gets -5.5 points to cover against the spread, and for the first wager of the day I’ll back the rested Magic to come up big after their own 22-point drubbing at the hands of the New York Knicks on Wednesday. Another intriguing match-up plays out in Minnesota tonight, as the Timberwolves play host to the Boston Celtics, a team on a roll winning 3 straight games and 7 of their last 10. Boston has been a great case study in a good team that struggles when on minimum rest, but for tonight’s game coming off a solid 94-82 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, look for Boston to be fresh and ready to take advantage of the Wolves relatively weak defense (avg. 98.8 points/game to opponents) and overcome via their own continually improving defensive unit. Expect an excellent showdown between former Minnesota star Kevin Garnett and his successor, Kevin Love, in what should be a hard-fought game in which I’ll take Boston to cover the +1 points against the spread. Rounding out some of other worthwhile games to wager on, spot the Houston Rockets at home against the Memphis Grizzlies as two teams in the playoff mix duke it out, and catch a solid showdown in Atlanta as the Hawks welcome the resurgent New York Knicks into what should be an excellent contest between two teams separated by just 3 1/1 games in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

As the NHL Hockey season winds down into its final games on the regular season schedule, its high-time you took a shot at wagering on one of the fastest and most physical sports around, as the action on the ice continues to head towards a pinnacle with so many teams fighting for so few playoff spots. Big games with playoff implications today include the Vancouver Canucks hosting the Dallas Stars, with Dallas trying to maintain its slim lead in the Pacific division playoff race, as well as the Los Angeles Kings at the Edmonton Oilers, with Los Angeles looking to jump into first in the Pacific with a win and a Stars loss. It’s another do-or-die night for two teams just outside the playoff picture, as the Colorado Avalanche face the Calgary Flames, with the loser most likely eliminated from playoff contention. Catch another fantastic battle as the Buffalo Sabres get their 5-game winning streak tested by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have already clinched a playoff berth and look to have given up on their quest to win the President’s Trophy (most points) after having lost two games in a row. Lastly, find a great clash between two teams solid in the playoff standings, as the Detroit Red Wings look to continue their winning ways at home against a tough and defensive-minded Nashville Predators.

Make sure to not miss out on your wagers for the two Final Four games taking place tomorrow, as the action heats up Saturday evening with the #1 Kentucky Wildcats facing the #4 Louisville Cardinals, and later the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. the #2 Kansas Jayhawks. There’s only 3 games remaining in the most exciting tournament in all of sports, so be sure to check out Intertops Sportsbook, or any one of the top reviewed online sports betting sites found here, to take out your best bets on the biggest games during the NCAA Basketball season. Until tomorrow, have a fantastic Friday, good luck betting on sports at the top sportsbooks, and catch us again soon for more looks into the top sporting events each and every day.

Thursday Night NBA Match-up: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

While Thursdays generally offer a substantially reduced amount of scheduled games for NBA Basketball, it’s also been true that some of the best match-ups taking place during the week inevitably fall on this day. That circumstance is no more prevalent than today as despite the fact that just 4 games are on the NBA docket, we are treated to one of the best showdowns you could ask for in the NBA, as the Los Angeles Lakers (31-19, 20-4 home), one of the best home teams in the league, play host to the Oklahoma City Thunder (38-12, 16-8 away), one of the best teams overall and one of the most successful on the road. With tip-off tonight at 10:30 PM ET from the glamorous Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, this is a match-up well worth watching, and certainly well worth a deeper look at for online sports betting at one of the best online sports betting sites reviewed here.

Oklahoma City comes into tonight’s road match-up with the hotter hand, sporting a 4-game winning streak while averaging an astonishing 118.75 points per game. While that average is certainly skewed via a 149 point overtime performance against Minnesota last week, if you look at the 9 other wins for the Thunder this month, they are still averaging 108.5 points per game in wins, by far and away the most prolific scoring figures in the NBA. As per usual, the Oklahoma City Thunder have relied on outstanding play from a select few players, namely Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, the last of whom simply has to be considered the favorite for Sixth Man of the Year honors, averaging 17.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. While the Thunder don’t lean heavily on their bench outside of Harden (who accounts for 17.3 of the Thunder’s 32.2 points off the bench per night), they haven’t really had to, considering the ability for either Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook to lead the scoring lines night-in and night-out. For example, in Tuesdays’ 109-95 win over Portland, Westbrook threw down 32 points with 8 assists, while Kevin Durant added 25 points and James Harden put down 21. There’s 78 points of scoring coming from just 3 players…and it happens consistently in every OKC game played. While one would expect some shortcomings via the Thunder’s reliance on just 3 key players, Oklahoma City has excelled by getting good inside play on both offense and defense from Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins, and now has a proven veteran leader on board with the recent acquisition of Derek Fisher from the Lakers.

Derek Fisher, while past his prime as a scoring threat no doubt, certainly is missed throughout the Lakers community for his ability to lead by example, and provide a positive role model for younger players on his team. While Los Angeles as a team hasn’t shown much of a fall-off in form without Fisher, winning 3 of 4 games without him, and 7 of their last 10 games to hold third place in the Western Conference playoff race, Fisher is a player that brings a ton of intangibles to the game that could help to give Oklahoma an advantage especially come playoff time. For tonight however, we look past Fisher’s in-game contributions, which won’t play too much of a factor in tonight’s clash against his former team (given that he’s averaged just over 3 points/game for OKC), but rather to how Fisher will affect Oklahoma City’s game-plan via his deep knowledge of his newly-found rivals. Oklahoma City has been trying to find an answer at Staples Center over the years, winning just once there in 12 tries, and with a veteran former Lakers player amongst their ranks for the first time, the Thunder could have the knowledge they need to overcome an L.A. team that has dominated at home on solid defense and impressive rebounding ability.

For the first key to tonight’s game, the battle on the glass will be a crucial point of focus for both squads. Los Angeles, via Andrew Bynum (12.2 rpg) and Pau Gasol (10.6 rpg), rank second in the league with 45.6 rebounds/game, while Oklahoma isn’t too shabby themselves at 43.4 rebounds/game (8th in the NBA) behind Kevin Durant (8.1 rpg), Serge Ibaka (7.9 rpg) and Kendrick Perkins (6.2 rpg). Where Los Angeles may have an advantage tonight in rebounding is on the offensive glass, where the Thunder are tied for 2nd last in the league with just 9.8 offensive boards per game on the road. Los Angeles isn’t that much better at 11.5 offensive rebounds/game at home (14th in the NBA), but against a high scoring team like OKC, any opportunities for second chances could be huge for the Lakers, who find themselves without as much scoring presence across their line-up. Secondly, the one area where Oklahoma City has been susceptible, turnovers, could greatly influence this match-up as well. giving up an average of 16.1 turnovers per game (worst in the league), Oklahoma City though hasn’t really felt the negative side of that stat, as their offense has been more than able to make up for any lack of control with the ball. Against the Lakers however, who are also reckless with the basketball at home (15.8 TO’s, 4th worst in the NBA), this area of the game should have some bearing in tonight’s outcome. The Thunder simply have to avoid the big turnovers against a Lakers team that plays solid defense at home (allowing just 89.1 points at Staples this year). Conversely, Los Angeles has to protect the ball better to avoid allowing the Thunder to get out on fast breaks and keep the tempo up. An OKC team playing fast transition basketball will overwhelm an defense on any given night.

It will be interesting to see how Los Angeles utilizes its new acquisition, Ramon Sessions, in tonight’s game with the Thunder. Sessions has certainly given LA a boost in the scoring department, averaging over 13 points/night in 7 games with the Lakers since coming over from Cleveland, and should pose as a key factor in tonight’s match-up. Most likely assigned to guarding opposing point guard Russell Westbrook, Sessions will have a huge task of limiting one of OKC’s top scorers, as well as providing outside shooting for the Lakers. The Lakers have most certainly been lacking a solid 3-point shooter, as Kobe Bryant has been tasked with being the main deep-shot threat (5.1 attempts per game, though just 28.7 percent of attempts made), and getting Sessions (a 43.4 percent 3-pt shooter on the year) to fill more of that role will definitely help to ease the pressure off of Bryant. Look out for a resurgence of form after Tuesday’s lackluster 7 point performance at Golden State, and expect Sessions to put in upwards of 15-20 points against an Oklahoma City team that doesn’t pay too much attention to defensive efforts (allowing over 97 points/game).

For Oklahoma City to pull out a rare victory at Staples Center, defense has to be improved in the face of a Los Angeles team that is starting to show signs of making a serious push towards the playoffs. That starts first and foremost with the battle inside the paint, where OKC has to show better form against Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, two of the most capable inside scorers in the league. That puts added pressure tonight on Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins, who will have to be diligent in the paint, avoid foul trouble, and make life difficult for the Lakers’ big men. If Los Angeles has success down low tonight, they will likely be able to spread their scoring around the perimeter too, as OKC’s defense will find itself spread too thin to deal with both Bynum and Gasol inside, as well as Bryant and Sessions on the outside. Lastly, the Thunder’s defense has to limit the effectiveness of the Lakers’ bench. L.A. already is one of the worst bench scoring teams in the league, and in the last victory over the Lakers at home, OKC managed to hold L.A. to just 11 points off the bench, and held shooters to just 38.5 percent from the floor. There is no doubt that with the Lakers scoring focused only on their top four players, and with an improved effort on defense, the Thunder could walk out with a well-earned road win tonight before heading into much tougher waters to come (games against Chicago, Memphis, Miama and Indiana to come).

Betting Lines for the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder at Bookmaker Sportsbook

Looking across the betting lines for tonight’s game at one of the best online sportsbooks found on our website, we find the odds very tight between the two teams, as both enter tonight’s game on good form.

On the money line, the visiting OKC Thunder are a slight favorite to win tonight, with -115 odds straight up, while Los Angeles is a slight underdog at -105 odds. OKC is 5-1 straight up in its last 6 games, but LA is 11-1 straight up at home against the Thunder, despite being just 3-3 straight up over the same period.

Against the spread, Los Angeles has not delivered well for spread pickers, going 21-29 this year. Oklahoma City on the other hand has done reasonably well, beating the spread 28 out of 40 times. The spread is tight for tonight’s game as OKC is just a one point favorite, but could be worthwhile especially for Thunder pickers, as the spread offers slightly better odds than taking the Thunder straight up.

Onto the total points line tonight, 200 points sets the over/under tone. Interestingly enough, the total has gone UNDER in 4 of the last 5 meetings between these two teams, but in the last 5 Lakers’ games heading into this match-up, the total has gone OVER each time. While the total has gone OVER in 5 of the last 7 Thunder games overall, it has been UNDER in 6 of OKC’s last 8 games played on the road. That seems to point to a higher likelihood of points staying under, especially with Los Angeles intent on playing quality defense at home against the league’s top-scoring opposition.

Make sure to look over each of the betting lines available tonight at Bookmaker Sportsbook, or any of the other top online sports betting websites reviewed here, and get ready for an exciting and action-packed Western Conference showdown at Staples Center tonight!

NBA Basketball, NHL Hockey retain top sports betting honors at Bookmaker

With Major League Baseball offering just a hint of regular season play this week as the regular season opening series between the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics continues in Tokyo, Japan, it’s an exciting time for online sports betting as a new season begins just as a couple of other seasons march down the home stretch towards the playoffs. While we wait for the full brunt of the Major League Baseball season to come online and bring in all the teams to regular season competition, there’s still plenty of exciting sports action going on in NBA Basketball and NHL Hockey for the remainder of the week, not to mention the upcoming games set for the NCAA Basketball Final Four set to take place this weekend. Jumping into the online sportsbook betting action today at one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed here, we’ll tap the Bookmaker Sportsbook for the best looking sports picks on a relatively light day of sporting action. Count on Bookmaker Sportsbook to be a thoroughly reviewed sports betting destination with quick access to the top betting lines, great customer service and easy deposits and withdrawal methods you’d come to expect from a top online sportsbook reviewed on our website.

Jumping into today’s top sports betting picks, the NBA features a subdued schedule with just 4 games on tap for Thursday night, and that has me all too tempted to jump into today’s wagers with a parlay bet at Bookmaker. For the first NBA match-up to look at, the Indiana Pacers head home to try and regroup after last night’s embarrassing loss to the short-handed New Jersey Nets. Showing fatigue after their 5th game in 7 nights and heading into another back-to-back situation tonight, their contest against a weak Washington Wizards team could make for a tougher match-up for the home-team Pacers than it initially looks on paper, especially if you’re seeking a against the spread (currently at -10 1/2 points for the Pacers). However, with Indiana’s fatigue, plus Washington’s inability to crack 80 points in their last two outings, the over/under starts to look more and more tantalizing, with the total points set to 192 1/2. Expecting the Pacers to play much more solid defense tonight and also struggle a bit to generate big offense, I’ll look to the under total points wager here in the first bet of the day. Moving on to the other picks for NBA basketball tonight, catch a great showdown between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat in South Florida, with the Heat favored at home by 8 points in a rematch between last year’s two NBA Finals teams. Trying to extend their league-leading 14-game home winning streak tonight and at the same time halt a 2-game losing skid, this will be a big game for Miami to step up in after struggling to find their scoring groove over the past few weeks. While I’ll look for Miami to pull through with a win tonight, expect Dallas to be much better competition for them right now, and effectively stay within the lofty 8 points given to the Mavs against the spread. Lastly, look to a pair of other games in the NBA tonight, as the Los Angeles Lakers host a fantastic challenge at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Portland Trail Blazers wrap up the night’s games with a visit from the New Orleans Hornets. I’ll be looking for Oklahoma City to pull out a tough road win, and expect the Trail Blazers to overcome at home and beat the low 185 points on the over/under.

For NHL Hockey tonight, once again it’s all about the race to the postseason, as desperation time has hit for a number of teams in the league that have yet to secure their place in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Starting with a huge match-up in the Western Conference between the San Jose Sharks and the Phoenix Coyotes, both teams will be desperate for a win as just 2 points separate 1st from 4th place in the Pacific division, and all 4 of those teams (including Dallas and Los Angeles) are vying for either the division title or the final two spots in the Western Conference playoff picture. Phoenix, playing at home tonight, simply has to find a way to shutdown the Sharks, much like the Anaheim Ducks did against San Jose last night in a 3-1 win. The Coyotes certainly get a boost with the Sharks playing poorly on the road down the stretch, losing 7 of their last 8 road games, and with both teams having generated plenty of offense in the previous contest (a 4-3 shootout win for San Jose on Saturday), we can likely expect another offensive surge in tonight’s game as well. Though as a Kings fan I’d prefer to see the Sharks fall tonight, I expect that with Phoenix struggling for form at home recently, and with San Jose desperate to get a win to stay on pace in the Pacific race, they’ll find a way to edge out a win with more shots and a better power play tonight. In other top NHL games worth a look at, find the St. Louis Blues on the road against Chicago as they look to regain their top spot as the NHL points leader, the Boston Bruins host a critical match-up against the Washington Capitals as the visitors try to pull back even for 8th spot in the East with Buffalo, and the New Jersey Devils host the Tampa Bay Lightning along their path of trying to become the 4th team in the Atlantic division to solidify a playoff spot. Catch these fantastic games and more in both the NBA and NHL tonight as the playoff races become more and more exciting with each passing day, try your hand at one of the best online sportsbooks found at Bookmaker today, and as always we wish you the best of luck no matter which way you choose to wager!

NHL Hockey Wednesday: Los Angeles Kings vs. Calgary Flames

The NHL Hockey campaign always finds the last two weeks of regular season play holding some of the most exciting competition in all of sports, and with today’s NHL schedule packed with games that will inevitably weigh on the NHL playoffs to come, tonight’s match-up between the Los Angeles Kings (37-27-12, 86 points) and the Calgary Flames (35-27-15, 85 points) is a perfect example of what makes hockey such a great sport. Two teams separated by just one point in the Western Conference playoff standings get set to duke it out amidst a 5-team race for the final two spots in the playoff picture where just two points separate 7th from 11th. That makes tonight’s 9:30 PM ET face-off at the raucous Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada just that much more of an intriguing match-up, and a great option for sportsbook bets at one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed here.

After surging down the home stretch and winning 6 games in a row to move into first place in the tightly contested Pacific division, the visiting Los Angeles Kings find themselves on the heels of two straight losses, and a must-win game tonight. With the San Jose Sharks in action tonight and sitting 2 points ahead of them in the Pacific division, as well as the Dallas Stars playing at Edmonton (1 point ahead of the Kings, currently occupying 7th though tied with Phoenix, currently in 8th), this is without a doubt a critical match-up for the Kings, who need a win to get back on track after dropping games to the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks this week. Scoring goals has once again become an issue for Los Angeles, as despite their defense getting back on track in Vancouver (a 1-0 loss on Monday), their offense continues to struggle to get good-looking shots on goal, despite a range of talented goal scorers and puck movers. Facing Calgary’s talented netminder Mikka Kiprusoff won’t make the goal scoring task any easier, as the Kipper is 19-8-3 with a 2.02 goals against average versus the Kings. While the Kings do manage to put up a hefty number of shots per game (30.45), in the last two games against stand-up defensive units, they have struggled to find good looking shots that have real potency behind them. Therefore, it will be critical to the Kings game plan in a hostile environment to not only keep the puck in the Flames zone, but focus more on putting hard shots on goal and less on trying to move the puck around too much. If there is one area of Los Angeles’ scoring attack that has been notably lacking, it’s their presence in front of the crease. It’d be great to see a big body like 6’4″ Dustin Penner in front of the net whacking away at loose shots on goal, but typically we’ve been more likely to see captain Dustin Brown (6’0″) battling it out with much bigger defenders. L.A. has to find a better way to get their big bodies at the net, and clog up Mikka Kiprusoff’s line of sight.

For Calgary, the season looked to be all but over after their poor run of form coming into last weekend, going 0-2-3 in the five games prior to Monday. However, with a clutch 5-4 win against Dallas on Monday (which effectively helped the Kings as well), Calgary comes into this game in a similar do-or-die mode, but they may have the confidence factor on their side at home, where they’ve gone 5-0-1 in their last six games. Further, Calgary has historically owned the Kings on their home ice, winning 10 games in a row there, though they’ve dropped the last two meetings at home against them this season. For the Flames to have success tonight at home against a very good Los Angeles defense that is allowing just 2.1 goals/game (2nd in the NHL), and has the league’s 4th-best penalty killing unit, concentration must be placed on the transition game, and getting at Los Angeles while on a rush. Los Angeles is very fast on defense, so trying to dump the puck into the L.A. zone and move the puck around typically doesn’t work well, as the Kings recover quickly, and are extremely pesky with their stick movement. Led by top defensemen Drew Doughty, Willie Mitchell and Rob Scuderi, Los Angeles has the speed and tenacity to catch up and work over any sized opponent, and prevent good open looks at goaltender Jonathan Quick, who himself has been one of the best goalies in the league this year. In the face of such a shutdown defense, and keeping in mind Calgary’s relatively low-scoring offense (2.4 goals/game, 25th in the NHL), more emphasis will be placed on getting the Flames’ top goal scorers the puck tonight, which means seeing a lot of shots coming via Jarome Iginla (31 goals, 33 assists), who hasn’t scored a goal in 6 straight games, as well as Olli Jokinen (22 goals, 37 assists), who has just 1 point in his last 8 games. Without contributions from these two top scorers, Calgary is going to have it’s hands full in a hectic, low-scoring match-up against a very good defensive team and a very good goalie who is tied for second in the league with 8 shutouts on the season.

Los Angeles needs to get its top line back in scoring form, and that means getting leading scorer Anze Kopitar back into the scoring mix. Kopitar has been held to just 3 combined shots on goal in the last two games, and getting him more looks in front of the Calgary net will be critical tonight. Along with Kopitar, it’s again high-time that the former Philadelphia Flyers duo of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards got their act together. Richards as well has just 3 shots on goal in the last two games, and while Carter has been much more active taking shots (11 in 3 games), he’s failed to gain a point in each of those three contests. Without someone amongst the top scorers being productive tonight, once again tons of pressure is going to be heaped on the defense, and in particular Jonathan Quick. There is no doubt that the Kings have plenty of talented goal scorers, with captain Dustin Brown and Justin Williams both on the verge of their second-straight 20-goal seasons, and with a cast of defensemen that are all capable of scoring, but it’s been an issue of taking quality shots and getting big bodies at the net that has really set the Kings back in the scoring department this year. There’s no question that goals are going to be hard to come by in this hostile Calgary environment tonight, but the game will get even harder for the Kings both physically and mentally if they can’t rally behind the step-up play of one of their top players.

Betting Lines for the Los Angeles Kings vs. Calgary Flames at Betonline Sportsbook

This tight match-up between Western Conference foes finds the host side Calgary Flames getting the very slight underdog on the money line, with +102 odds to win at home, while the visiting Los Angeles Kings come in as -113 favorites in this road match-up. Going 5-0-1 in their last 6 games on home ice, as well as holding a 10-1-1 record against the Kings there in their past 12 games, Calgary looks to be the best bet straight up on this game, especially considering the necessity of a win on home ice to stay relevant in the Western Conference playoff picture.

Against the spread, this game is expected to be a tight one by virtue of the spread line, as Calgary has 1 1/2 goals to give at high -330 odds, while the Betonline bookmakers aren’t expecting the Kings to score enough goals to beat the spread, with -1 1/2 goals to beat at +275 odds. With two solid defenses and two goalies that will be hell bent on pitching a shutout tonight knowing that just 1 goal could decide the match-up, the spread bets will be a tough pick for all but the most confident of bettors.

Carrying over to potential wagers on the total points line, the over/under against stands at 5 goals as two of the league’s top goalies sitting behind two very good defenses square off. Both teams are not known for scoring many goals (the combined season average for both teams is just 4.64 goals/game), so playing the average would find you wagering to the underside of the points total tonight.

Our Prediction:

There should be nothing left on the ice once these two teams are done tonight, as both sides know full-well just how important the two points are from this game heading into the final 5 games of the season. While the Kings have to find their shooting form and put up more than just 1 or 2 goals to walk out of the Saddledome with a win, Calgary as well has to find ways to penetrate the tough Kings defense, or else find themselves mired in an anxious fight towards the closing minutes of the 3rd period. With both teams putting more emphasis on scoring goals tonight, the quicker team that can get a hold of loose pucks and move down-ice in transition will have the upper hand, and that seems to point at the more talented Kings in tonight’s match-up. We’ll put a stake in the ground taking Los Angeles to squeak by with a win in Calgary, in a low-scoring 2-1 game that just might head to overtime to make it that much more interesting.

Midweek NBA, NHL Wagers Top Sports Betting Options at Bovada Sportsbook

As the week winds onward, the anticipation of the 2012 NCAA Basketball Final Four games set for this weekend continues to grow, as does the excitement around the NHL playoffs as well as the NBA race towards the postseason. Also, with the 2012 Major League Baseball campaign officially underway today, as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo in the 1st game of the season, there is plenty of reasons to be elated over the prospects for online sportsbook betting in the days, weeks and months to come. For Wednesday however, with the usual slate of NBA Basketball and NHL Hockey games lined up, its’ more business as usual for betting on sports, at least for the few remaining days ahead of the weekend, when more great sports from Baseball to NASCAR to European Football open up the betting lines. Checking out one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed here at the Bovada Sportsbook, we’ll try and spot the days’ best looking bets, with the hopes of adding some cash to the online sportsbook account ahead of an action-packed weekend full of a wide range of sports betting choices.

First on the docket for betting on sports on Wednesday, we turn to the action in NBA Basketball, where we can find a host of 10 contests set up for this evening across the United States. In the first quality match-up on the evening, look for the New York Knicks hosting the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden, with the visiting Magic a 2 point favorite against the spread at Bovada Sportsbook. Riding on 3-game winning streak, Orlando should get a tough test against a New York side that looks to have found its form again, but without big-man Amare Stoudamire in the line-up, and with both Jeremy Lin and Carmelo Anthony questionable for tonight’s match-up, Orlando looks to be a solid road bet against the points tonight. Moving on to the next worthy contest for online sportsbook bets today, the Chicago Bulls prepare for a road challenge against the Atlanta Hawks, the latter whom tries to move up in the Eastern Conference playoff standings tonight. With a victory tonight combined with an Indiana loss (a tough ask, considering Indiana faces New Jersey tonight, a team that is 2-8 in the last 10 games), Atlanta could find itself in 5th place in the conference playoff race, no doubt something they’ll be shooting for against a Chicago team without star guard Derrick Rose for the 7th consecutive game. The Hawks have been a good bet at home this year, but playing on back-to-back nights could make for a risky wager on the home-team underdog. Nonetheless, I like the fact that Atlanta has already played the Bulls well at home this year (a 109-94 win back in January), and will look for the Hawks to cover the spread at 4 1/2 points today. Check out a host of other games with potential playoff implications as the Phoenix Suns clash with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Denver Nuggets take on the Toronto Raptors, the Utah Jazz head to Boston to face the Celtics, and the San Antonio Spurs try for a 6th straight win in a game versus Sacramento this evening.

Moving along to action on the ice sheet tonight, 6 games are set for top sportsbook bets on NHL Hockey, with the season running out of games for teams making a final push towards the postseason. Huge games affecting the Western Conference playoff race get underway tonight, as the Vancouver Canucks host the Colorado Avalanche, and the Los Angeles Kings travel to face the Calgary Flames. While Vancouver has secured a division title, it still chases St. Louis and New York for the President’s Trophy (highest points total in the NHL), and would love to spoil Colorado’s chances of making it into the playoffs, as they currently sit on the bubble, 1 point out of 7th/8th place. Also in the mix tonight is the Dallas Stars and the San Jose Sharks, who battle Edmonton and Anaheim respectively, with the Pacific Division lead up for grabs as just 2 points separate L.A., Dallas and San Jose heading into tonight’s games. On the Eastern Conference side of things, catch the conference-leading New York Rangers in action, as they could effectively end the playoff hopes of the Winnipeg Jets tonight if they can pull out a win up in Manitoba. With their season on the line, expect the Jets to be in full force at home behind a rockin’ crowd that is sure to push heaps of motivation on their new team in a win-or-stay-home scenario. With great action like this today and throughout the remainder of the week, make sure to check in to one of the top online sports betting websites like the one at Bovada Sportsbook, to find the best-looking wagers each and every day.

NBA Basketball, NHL Hockey Carry Online Sports Betting Action to TopBet

With a break in the College Basketball action between the Elite 8 round and the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament yet to come, and with Major League Baseball’s 2012 debut set to begin tomorrow with an opening series in Japan, there is a sense that a change in online sports betting is quickly coming, especially as the NBA and NHL regular seasons move towards the more exciting 2012 playoffs in just a few short weeks. While we wait for bigger events or a new season to kick off today¸sifting through smaller ranks of options for online sportsbook betting today sports fans can still take a venture down to one of the best online sportsbooks and find at least a few great potential wagers as the NBA and NHL seasons wind quickly down towards the playoffs, and each and every night games get progressively more important and exciting. With a trip to one of the top reviewed sportsbooks featured on our website at TopBet Sportsbook we’re highlighting one of the best choices for online sports betting any day of the week, as TopBet is one of the fastest loading, easiest to use, and most importantly is one of the safest, most secure and dependable websites for betting on sports anywhere on the net. A winner in anyone’s book for great customer support, clean and easy ways to wager every day, and a great standard for lines, spreads and total points wagering, make sure that TopBet is bookmarked as one of your go-to sites for betting on sports any time, and day.

With featured sports action focusing mostly on a handful of the remaining games in the NBA and NHL seasons today, we turn first to the NBA, which holds 7 games for a few good potential online sportsbook bets. The Oklahoma City Thunder today try to hold on to their lead in the Western Conference with a win over the Portland Trail Blazers on the road, to maintain their 3 game cushion on the surging San Antonio Spurs. Speaking of the Spurs, San Antonio will play in Phoenix tonight against a Suns team that has crept back into the playoff discussion, sitting just 1 1/2 games back of 8th seed Houston. With both the Spurs and the Suns on an upswing, look for this game tonight to be a hard-fought, exciting match-up for online sports betting. Another big game featuring a pair of Texas teams tonight finds the Houston Rockets on the road against the Dallas Mavericks. While the Rockets have continued to be a solid home team this year, their fates on the road have been much less desirable, and could be a struggle once again coming into back-to-back games after an overtime win over Sacramento last night. In the second meeting inside a week for these two teams, expect another close game as playoff seeding is definitely at stake tonight, but prepare for the home side Mavericks to once again get the better of their in-state rivals. With a number of other good-looking wagers to be had on NBA hoops tonight, head down to TopBet Sportsbook and find your best bets before the games get underway on the East Coast.

With NHL Hockey left on the online sports betting plate today, check out a big dose of 8 games on tap with the season quickly winding down, and a playoff atmosphere throughout the league making for exciting wagers and exciting competition to watch each and every night. In the East tonight, check out the big match-up between Buffalo and Washington, as the two teams sit tied on points for the 8th and final seed in the Eastern Conference race. With the Sabres on a tear winning 4 straight games, and the Capitals losing only twice in regulation in their last 10 games, this pivotal match-up is certainly one of the most exciting betting options on tap for the NHL. Check out another quality match-up as two of the top teams in the Western Conference, the Nashville Predators and the St. Louis Blues get set to face-off against one another, with the Blues on home ice looking to protect the NHL points lead. Again, these two teams are playing with great form towards the close of the regular season, and both will be tough match-ups for anyone unlucky enough to draw them as opponents in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With a handful of other exciting games including the Chicago Blackhawks vs. New Jersey Devils and the Boston Bruins hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning, catch a number of good online sports betting options on NHL Hockey tonight, to go along with a fun selection of NBA games as well. Stay tuned for upcoming action in Major League Baseball as well, as the 2012 season officially kicks off tomorrow with an exciting series in Tokyo featuring the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics, and as always good luck when wagering at the best online sportsbooks reviewed here!

NHL Western Conference Battle: Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks

As the 2011-12 NHL hockey season winds down towards the always-exciting Stanley Cup Playoffs, the intensity and importance of each game remaining on the schedule increases, making every match-up with playoff implications an exciting addition to online sportsbook betting at one of the best sportsbooks reviewed right here. To kick off a new week of sportsbook bets, there’s no better NHL clash than the one tonight pairing the Vancouver Canucks (45-21-9, 99 pts) and the Los Angeles Kings (37-26-12, 86 pts), with face-off getting underway at 10:00 PM ET from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

The Vancouver Canucks haven’t been playing at their best form down the home stretch of the season, going 4-5-1 in their last 10 games, but that hasn’t prevented them from staying relevant in the fight for the most points in the NHL. Having already wrapping up their 4th Northwest Division title in a row , but coming into tonight’s match-up trailing the St. Louis Blues by 4 points for the Western Conference and NHL points lead, the Canucks still have plenty of motivation to hand the scrappy Los Angeles Kings a blow to their playoff hopes tonight. With the Kings deadlocked in a race for the Pacific Division title, but also sitting on the bubble for 7th and 8th place in the conference playoff seeding as well, you can be sure that Vancouver will be looking to add to their impressive winning total against the Kings at home, in the hopes of not having to see them in the first round (a likely scenario should L.A. squeak into a 7th spot, and the Canucks stay as a #2 seed). Though Vancouver has been impressive on home ice against the Kings, going 5-0-2 in their last 7 meetings at Rogers Arena, they will have to face L.A. tonight without their leading scorer Daniel Sedin (30 goals, 37 assists, 67 pts), who remains sidelined due to a concussion suffered in last week’s game at Chicago. That absence could be critical for the Canucks, especially as Sedin has an 11-game point streak against the Kings coming into tonight’s match-up. With the Kings having confidence against the Canucks, winning the last two games of the season series against them, having one of the two Sedin brothers missing from action will definitely be a factor to watch out for.

The Los Angeles Kings have been on a roll until suffering a setback on Saturday with a 4-2 loss at Boston, which snapped a season-high six-game winning streak for Daryl Sutter’s boys. Defense had been a key to Los Angeles’ success, not allowing more than 2 games to an opponent over that six-game stretch, however a meltdown in the third period against Boston, in which the Kings defense gave up 3 goals to lose the lead and the game, has L.A. resetting themselves for tonight’s crucial showdown. As the Kings enter a tour of the Northwest this week, defense, their main focus this season, has to be back on point against a Vancouver team that is near the top of the league in goal scoring, averaging 3.0 goals/game. That starts with goalie Jonathan Quick, who has been one of the most underrated goalies in the league this season, mainly due to his lack of scoring support. That lack of support is more than evident in this series with the Canucks, as Quick posts a fantastic 1.88 goals against average vs. Vancouver, yet is 4-6-1 over 11 starts. Stepping up against the Canucks’ Roberto Luongo, who is equally impressive against the Kings at a 3-1-1 record with a 1.97 GAA, is a must for the young Kings keeper, as goals will be tough to come by in hostile territory tonight.

For the Canucks, keys to their success tonight lie with their ability to have success via their vaunted power play, which ranks 3rd in the NHL at a 20.9 percent conversion rate. Though Daniel Sedin won’t be in action, the Canucks could get step-up play from brother Henrik, who leads the team in scoring and comes into tonight with 3 assists in the last two games. The Canucks also have to get better play from Alex Burrows (24 goals, 46 pts), who hasn’t registered a point in 5 games. Vancouver needs Burrows to start getting in gear heading into the playoffs, especially with Daniel Sedin not able to be in the lineup. Another huge boost for the Canucks could come via better play from Ryan Kesler (22 goals, 47 pts), who has also laid an egg scoring-wise in 5 straight games. Though getting through a scoring drought against the Kings, who have one of the league’s top defensive units, won’t be easy, Vancouver must see points tonight from Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler and/or Alex Burrows to work their way past the fighting Kings tonight. Getting the puck in deep, working the crease in front of Jonathan Quick, and taking as many shots as possible at the young net-minder will be essential towards the Canucks getting another win on home ice.

On the Los Angeles side of things, getting to the 3-goal mark in the game will be the key challenge for Daryl Sutter’s crew tonight, along with holding back the tide of a talented Vancouver offense. Los Angeles has lost just once since January 12th when scoring 3 or more goals in a game, going 15-1 in that scenario. During their recent six-game winning streak, the Kings offense finally started to take off after having been absent for most of the year, and averaged 3.66 goals/game over that span. With L.A. ranking almost dead last in offensive production, averaging just 2.3 goals (29th) per contest, and struggling all year on the power play (15.7 percent, 21st in the NHL), getting back into their scoring groove immediately is the only way the Kings will overcome a tough closing schedule, where half their remaining games are on the road. That starts with getting the former Flyers’ players back into scoring mode tonight, with Jeff Carter and Mike Richards needing to step up. Mike Richards (16 goals) in particular has shown signs of coming alive after a lackluster year for his new Kings team. Going through a 25-game goal drought was certainly one of the main reasons for L.A.’s scoring woes throughout the middle of the year, as Richards was supposed to come in alongside Anze Kopitar, and provide a serious 1-2 goal scoring punch. With the addition of Jeff Carter as well (21 goals), there is no reason why L.A. can’t be one of the top scoring teams in the league, if they can all get on the same page. Against a strong Vancouver defense in opposition, the Kings will look to step up their shots on goal towards Roberto Luongo, and must find success against one of the league’s top penalty killing units. With L.A.’s power play a weakness coming in, a clutch goal with the man advantage would certainly serve to boost the confidence of the Kings on the road tonight.

Betting Lines for Vancouver Canucks vs. Los Angeles Kings at Oddsmaker Sportsbook

The Canucks get the nod as the favorite in tonight’s NHL clash, with -135 odds to win straight up. Interestingly though, Vancouver is just 2-4 straight up at home in its last 6 games at Rogers Arena. Meanwhile the Los Angeles Kings, +115 underdogs for this contest, are 4-2 straight up in their last 6 road games. However, the Canucks are 7-3 in their last 10 meetings at home against the Kings, despite dropping an overtime match-up with the Kings at home in the last showdown in Vancouver.

Against the spread, Los Angeles finds itself with -250 odds to cover +1.5 goals. The Kings are 4-3 in their last seven games ATS, while Vancouver is just 1-6 in their last 7 games against the spread. Vancouver gets +210 odds to cover 1.5 goals in tonight’s game, and against a tough defensive squad like Los Angeles, once again it’ll be hard for Vancouver to pull out a victory for spread pickers taking the Canucks.

The Over/Under is an interesting betting line for tonight’s contest, as the last 5 meetings between these two teams has gone under the points total. However for the Kings, the points total has gone over in 5 of their last 6 games as L.A.’s scoring has improved, and for Vancouver, 4 of their last 6 games at home have gone over the mark. With the over/under set at 5 tonight, you can bet the scoring will be tough to come by, and with two very good defensive units in front of two very good goaltenders, once again the underside of the total points line looks to be a great option for over/under pickers.

New Week, Great New Online Sportsbook Bets on NBA and NHL Action

With the Elite 8 in the 2012 NCAA Tournament officially wrapped up, and with the Final Four locked in place for next weekend’s exciting conclusion to the NCAA Basketball season, Monday greets us sports fans with somewhat of a lull in the action, after more than a week of exciting March Madness play. However, even though there’s no more tournament games for college hoops until this coming Saturday when the 2 Final Four games tip-off in New Orleans, LA, that certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t some great action for online sports betting on NBA Basketball and NHL Hockey, as the two seasons rally down the homestretch with each match-up becoming more and more critical as the days wear on. Therefore, today’s venture into betting on sports comes at yet another one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed on our site, at the Oddsmaker Sportsbook. Oddsmaker sportsbook is a great destination for those of you looking to get to the days’ odds quickly, and have your bets placed in no time via their simple and easy-to-use sports betting interface. A staple of the online sports betting industry for years and years, trust Oddsmaker sportsbook to deliver you a quality experience whether you’re a seasoned sports betting veteran, or simply a first-time user looking to try out one of the best sportsbooks around.

Starting off the days’ sports betting line-up, the NBA features a host of 9 games in action tonight, with a number of playoff-affecting games coming online. First up, a great battle in Indiana takes place as the Indiana Pacers host the Miami Heat, with the visitors coming in off last night’s 15-point beating at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and looking to right their ship tonight to wrap up a tough 3-game road trip. With a victory at home tonight, the Pacers could move into a tie for 5th place in the Eastern Conference race, as current 5th place holder Atlanta sits idle until tomorrow. Miami on the other hand has found their stride again, winning 7 of their last 10 games, and holds a solid 5 game lead over Orlando in the Southeast division. With Indiana rested and at home with a +3.5 underdog big at Oddsmaker today, as well as Miami looking shaky last night with LeBron James off on his game (perhaps due to a lingering elbow injury?) and Dwayne Wade non-existent in the 4th quarter, I’m siding with Danny Granger and the Pacers to pull through in the first wager against the spread today. In another interesting game this evening, catch a battle for 8th place in the East as the New York Knicks take on the Milwaukee Bucks, as this should be a race worth watching as these two teams continue to play exciting, albeit inconsistent basketball. Expect a high-scoring game at Madison Square Garden, and the Bucks struggling this year away from home, I’ll side with New York to pull down a victory tonight straight up. Look for a few other good games tonight as the Denver Nuggets travel to face the Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls, the L.A. Clippers host the New Orleans Hornets, and the Sacramento Kings take on the Houston Rockets.

Shifting into some colder sports action on the day, NHL Hockey kicks off the week with around 7 games remaining for each team in the league ahead of the playoffs, and tons of undecided playoff spots still up for grabs. In a fantastic doubleheader on NBC tonight, first the Philadelphia Flyers host the Tampa Bay Lightning for what could be the Flyers 9th win in 10 games at home, taking on a Lightning squad that knows how to put up points, just not so much on the road (11-19-5 away). Next, the Vancouver Canucks host a fantastic clash between West Coast teams, as the Los Angeles Kings visit Rogers Arena trying to pick up a critical road. While the Canucks are battling for the league’s points title, and have already clinched a playoff berth via sealing up the Northwest division for the 4th straight year, the Kings find themselves in a quagmire of a Pacific division showdown, with just 1 point separating 4 teams and all of them fighting for the coveted 3rd seed in the Western Conference, as well as the 7th and 8th playoff spots still up for grabs. Expect a defensive dog fight up in Vancouver tonight, with the Kings knowing full well that each game could be the difference between a 3rd place postseason position, or possibly being left out in the cold come Stanley Cup playoff time. Check out other crucial NHL match-ups tonight as the Winnipeg Jets struggle to remain part of the playoff picture, and could doubly help themselves out with a win over current #7 seed Ottawa, Calgary desperately clings to their own playoff hopes and could do everyone a favor in the Pacific division by knocking off Dallas at the Saddledome tonight, and lastly find the San Jose Sharks fighting it out with the Colorado Avalanche, with the two teams sitting tied on the playoff bubble with 86 points apiece. With all this action having a profound effect on the playoff races in the NBA and NHL to come, make sure to stop by Oddsmaker Sportsbook, or any of the top online sportsbooks reviewed here today to catch a couple exciting sports wagers and hopefully some added cash in your online account!