In the continuation of the most exciting tournament in all of sports, Sunday finds sports fans with a whole host of games in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, as third round action continues today with even more great options for online sports betting at one of the top reviewed sportsbooks found here. With 8 games scheduled for Round of 32 action to close out the weekend, there’s no question where the sportsbook betting action will be, as a host a great match-ups, potential upsets, and the usual unexpected surprises get set to play out in college hoops competition. Cycling through the list of the best online sportsbooks, we stop the needle today on the Oddsmaker Sportsbook, a staple of sports betting amongst our staff for the past 5-plus years. Featuring a simple interface that puts all the day’s possible wagers at your fingertips in just a couple of clicks or finger swipes, as well as one of the industries’ best customer support group, check out Oddsmaker if you’re new to the online sports betting game, as you won’t be disappointed with this time-tested website.
Jumping right in to the available online sports betting action today, as per usual on Sunday I’m a tad late in getting to the first early game of the day, featuring #3 Georgetown in a scrappy match-up with N.C. State, but there’s still 7 games remaining on the sportsbook betting docket to make for a well-rounded day of wagers. Without a doubt, the most intriguing match-up on the day comes in the last game on Sunday, as the #3 Florida State Seminoles take on the #6 Cincinnati Bearcats, for what will be tough challenge for both teams. Florida State features outstanding defense, and Cincy relies on a seasoned-crew of physically overpowering players, so the clash between these two should be well-contested down to the wire. The game features a 2.5 point spread at Oddsmaker Sportsbook today, further indicating how close this contest should be. However, for my first wager on the day I’m backing Florida State to squeeze out a straight up win by holding Cincinnati’s shooting percentage down, something they’ve shown plenty of capability of doing throughout the ACC tournament, and in the 2 wins apiece over the likes of North Carolina and Duke this year.
The next most interesting match-ups feature a pair of teams that weren’t expected to be in the Round of 32, as #10 Xavier takes on #15 Lehigh. As you may or may not now, Lehigh was one of two #15 seed teams to knock off a #2 in the second round of tournament play, so anything goes in this match-up with Xavier this afternoon. While I’m reluctant to back them for a second straight game, look for the Mountain Hawks to give the Musketeers a good run for their money, covering the +4.5 points as underdog against the spread. Find plenty of other great NCAA tournament games on tap for online sportsbook betting today as #7 Florida battles the other #15 seed still standing, Norfolk State, #1 North Carolina takes on the hot-shooting #8 Creighton, #12 South Florida will try to smother #13 Ohio with their pesky defense, and #1 Michigan State battles #9 St. Louis, another surprise winner over #8 Memphis in the second round. Don’t leave out a great Big 12 vs. Big Ten battle between #2 Kansas and #10 Purdue, which figures to be a fantastic battle between two elite programs.
Moving along to wagers on NBA Basketball today, first find the second match-up between the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic in a weeks’ time playing out this evening, with the Heat trying to avenge a tough overtime loss to the Magic just 6 days ago. Getting form back on the road with a win at Philadelphia on Friday, LeBron James and the Heat will look to up the scoring ante on their home court, where they’re averaging north of 103 points per contest. Orlando, averaging over 11 points less per game on the road than Miami at home, may find it difficult to pull out a second straight win in a week over their South Florida rivals, but nonetheless I’m taking them to cover the hefty +8 points against the spread, with Dwight Howard’s trade talk gone for the season and a clear path towards the NBA playoffs now on their radar. Expect a great game here tonight, but a Miami win at home where they’re 18-2 on the season. Check out another pair of NBA games set up for Sunday evening that could be great options for sportsbook betting, even if they aren’t necessarily great match-ups. First, the Utah Jazz, a team that struggles on the road, head to Los Angeles to battle the Lakers. The Lakers, now minus team leader Derek Fisher, are a -11 point favorite, and for good reason as they’re hitting on all cylinders during a 5-game win streak. Utah’s struggles away from home are well documented, at a 5-16 record away from Salt Lake City, and for tonight I’ll look for LA to cover the 11 points against the spread in an easy win. The second big mismatch of the day on the betting lines occurs as the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Portland Trail Blazers, with Portland in complete overhaul mode after the firing of head coach Nate McMillan and the changing of the player guard around the trade deadline. Coming off a clutch 11-point win at Chicago, arguably one of the hardest road venues in the NBA, Portland could be a great pick to cover the lofty +10 points against the spread at Oddsmaker, as their new-look line-up and new coaching strategy could keep Oklahoma City guessing a bit tonight. While OKC should be expected to pull out a win at home behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, I’m backing Portland to make a good effort out of it with a favorable spread to cover.
Rounding out another fine day of online sports bets, find plenty more action in NHL hockey as the action intensifies with the playoffs looming large. A big first game to check out is the battle between the Washington Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks, with the Caps desperate for a win in a vulnerable 8th position in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Look also to a must-win game for the Phoenix Coyotes, who sit one point out of 8th in the Western Conference playoff picture, as they play on the road at Edmonton with the Oilers out of the picture but happy to play spoiler at home where they’ve played their best hockey on the season. Look also to the Calgary Flames vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, as Calgary badly needs this win at home to stay in contention, and should be a good bet to cover the 1.5 goals as favorites against the spread as they’ve been hot at home this season as well. There’s plenty of great action across basketball and hockey to find some great wagers at any one of the top reviewed online sportsbooks found here, so close out your weekend with some exciting wagers, enjoy all the intense action of the NCAA Tournament, and check back with us again tomorrow for more updates on the top sports betting options to start off another week.