The peak of the 2011-12 NCAA Basketball season is finally upon us as we head into yet another new week of sports and online sportsbook betting, and with a classic showdown between #1 Kentucky and #2 Kansas taking place tonight, there’s little question as to what will be the center of sports betting attention today at one of the top sports betting websites reviewed here. Two of the nation’s elite basketball programs, led by two of the winningest coaches in recent college basketball history, get set to tip-off tonight at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, for the send-off game in what has been a truly amazing, unpredictable, and always exciting NCAA Basketball season. Thus, with the game mere hours away from closing yet another chapter in college sports, first and foremost we find ourselves digging over the betting lines at one of the best sports betting sites reviewed here, with our sportsbook of the day found at Intertops Sportsbook. Kentucky finds itself primed as a 6 1/2 point favorite against the spread, with -320 odds to win straight up, while Kansas makes for an appealing underdog at +260 odds on the money. While Kentucky and Kansas are just about the only teams I’ve gotten right all the way through the brackets so far this year, with the way my selection has played out in the tournament, and with the surprising upsets we’ve seen throughout March Madness, I’m deciding against all initial gut reactions about this game, which lean towards taking the depth and physical ability of the Wildcats over the Jayhawks, who have to rely on a few key players to push them through each and every game. For the first bet of the new week, one with plenty of risk and excitement, I’m taking Kansas as the NCAA basketball national champion to close out the year with an upset win over the team picked by just about everyone in the nation to win it all.
With plenty of other sports action in play to start out another week, we turn our attention over to the NBA, which begins its final push towards the NBA playoffs in a lockout-shortened, 66-game season. As the games become more critical, the online sports betting on pro hoops becomes that much more predictable, as the odds of catching a team on an off-night, or getting upset at home by a huge underdog become less and less of a factor. For the best games and the best sports betting on NBA hoops this evening, check out a plethora of great match-ups on tap, with the top game of the evening set in Dallas as the Mavericks host the L.A. Clippers. The Clippers ride into Texas on a 5-game winning streak, and a 1 1/2 game lead over Dallas for 4th spot in the Western Conference playoff picture, however Dallas has been playing well winning 7 of their last 10 games and continues to be a tough, defensively challenging team on home court. With the Clippers winning 5 straight games at home, but losing their last 3 on the road, this is a crucial game for Lob City especially as 9 of their 14 remaining games will be played out on the road. Having not won in Dallas in nearly 5 years while losing 17 of their last 19 against the Mavericks, it’s a huge game for Los Angeles to win if they are to boost their road confidence at a critical time. Feeling saucy about a slight underdog listing for the Clippers at +4.5 points against the spread, I’ll play the first wager safe by hoping L.A. can challenge the Mavs enough to keep this one close, even if they don’t shake the monkey off their back and get a win.
Looking around for other top NBA match-ups today, find another great Western Conference showdown as the Memphis Grizzlies head into a tough battle against the Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the league’s top home teams on the season. OKC continues to blaze towards the plyoffs, winners of 6 straight with each victory coming by at least 9 points (especially impressive considering the recent high-level match-ups against the Lakers, Bulls and Heat). With Memphis generally struggling to play well away from home, and with Oklahoma City pounding teams on their own court (23-4 overall, averaging a massive 106.9 points/game at home), OKC could be a solid bet to take covering the points spread at -8 this Monday evening. For another big match-up, shift gears to a fine match-up in the Windy City, as the Chicago Bulls host the Houston Rockets for what should be a hard-fought game that the Rockets must find a way to win. Sitting just 1 game above Utah for 8th spot in the Western Conference playoff race, Houston has to find a way to shake its awful road form this season, and overcome a Bulls team that has beaten them 6 straight times. Without Derrick Rose though, the Bulls could once again find themselves in a dogfight against another high-scoring team out of the West, with 3 straight losses coming at the hands of Western Conference foes. That said, with Houston still missing top scorers Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin, Chicago should be in line to pick up a win, albeit perhaps not as convincing as the 8 points given to them as favorites. Another good match-up to side with an underdog tonight, look for Houston to keep this game interesting, as the Rockets certainly need the win more than the recuperating Bulls do this evening.
Heading into bets on the final week of games in regular season NHL Hockey play, the action will be fast and furious as a number of playoff spots are still not accounted for with just 3 games or less left to play. The Western Conference playoff race continues to be the most intriguing, especially as the Pacific division will likely not wrap up its fight for the title until the last day of the season, and with just two games on the docket for NHL action tonight, the one featuring the Los Angeles Kings against the Edmonton Oilers, is certainly one to take a closer look at. The Kings sit precariously in first place in the Pacific division, tied with Phoenix on points but ahead by virtue of their winning record against the Coyotes this year, and will simply have to find a way to win on home ice against a playoff-eliminated Edmonton team that has been very happy to play spoiler down the home stretch (going 6-2-2 in their last 10 games). As such, expect a valiant effort by the Oilers to continue to be the wrench in Western Conference playoff gears, but look for the Kings to figure out a way to pull out another win at home via solid defense tonight. Lastly for the only other available wager on NHL hockey, turn your attention East as the Washington Capitals head to Tampa Bay to face the high-scoring Lightning, in a must-win game for the Caps who sit in 8th spot in the East, just two points clear of the Buffalo Sabres. Washington has struggled on the road this season, but winning two straight games on shootouts heading into tonight’s contest, the Caps should be poised to pick up their 2nd straight win on the road in a critical match-up with just two games remaining on their schedule after tonight.
With great sports betting options like these heading into a new week, check out the wealth of betting lines available at your fingertips when visiting Intertops Sportsbook, one of the longest-standing, most continuously played sportsbooks by our staff here at CR. Make sure to squeeze in at least one wager for the final game in what has been an amazing NCAA Basketball season, good luck in any other bets taken out for tonight’s NBA and NHL competition, and catch us again tomorrow for more updates on all the best online sports betting opportunities at one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed on our website.