March Madness BettingFor as quick as people have been to criticize those that lobbied for a team other than the Virginia Commonwealth Rams to be included in the play-in for this year’s NCAA national title tournament, their fans may actually want to thank them. Nobody expected VCU to get in, but it seems as though they’ve used their doubters as motivation to play better than they did all year en route to a fourth place finish in the Colonial conference. Now comes their toughest test yet, a Final Four matchup against the Butler Bulldogs team that has shed the title of underdog in this year’s tournament to become a legitimate favorite.

Virginia Commonwealth Rams vs. Butler Bulldogs

Saturday April 4, 2011 – 6:09 PM ET

Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas

Online Sports Betting
Odds: Butler – 3.5

That’s what happens when a team goes 9-1 in March Madness betting play over a two-year span, which is what the Bulldogs have done to earn a Final Four appearance for the second consecutive season. Butler beat three of the top four seeded teams in the Southeast to reach the national semi-final, and are focused on completing unfinished business.

March Madness Betting Preview: VCU

From an enthusiastic young head coach to a team that has simply lit it up from beyond the arc, everything about the Rams’ run to the Final Four has been exciting. Nobody will talk about how the first two teams they beat were really struggling, with both the Georgetown Hoyas and Purdue Boilermakers at the low point of their seasons entering tournament play. Nobody will talk about how they shot the lights out to survive a scare from a Florida State Seminoles’ team that was seeded just one spot higher, or how Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks always choke in the Elite Eight. The bottom line is that VCU is shooting better than they have all year, and their hot streak has made them one of the most dominant teams nobody predicted would be here.

March Madness Betting Preview: Butler

In order to succeed in this tournament, teams need to be able to perform under pressure, and that is exactly what the Bulldogs’ calling card has been the past two seasons. Despite struggling through the Horizon regular season, Butler came alive with a close win over the Old Dominion Monarchs, and were even better in a 71-70 victory over the top-seeded Pittsburgh Panthers. Butler isn’t the sharpshooting team that VCU has been in this tournament, preferring to grind it out with sports betting bonus opponents and wear them down inside. Perimeter defense will be the key to slowing down the Rams, and if they can do that the Bulldogs shouldn’t have a problem winning it with a strong inside game.

March Madness Betting: Outlook & Pick

The Rams have overachieved throughout the entire tournament, but there is only so long that they can continue to perform at such a high level. Butler represents the most physical team they will face, and should wear them down offensively, while giving them no space at the other end of the floor. VCU has been this year’s Cinderella team, but their road will end against a Bulldogs’ team that has unfinished pay per head business.

March Madness Betting Pick: Bulldogs – 3.5

Final Four Betting PicksOnline March Madness betting is winding down as there are only four teams who made it to Houston, and one matchup features two “blueblood” programs that have surprised some by making it to this point. Connecticut was left for dead before a run in the Big East tournament carried them to this point, while Kentucky has sacrificed talent for maturity after sending five players to the first round of the NBA draft.

UConn Kentucky Betting – Saturday, 8:45 PM ET

The Huskies are now 12-0 in tournaments this season after a 74-67 win over San Diego State to win the West region, racing out to a nine-point halftime lead before holding off the Aztecs. Kemba Walker showed that he may be the best player in the country with a 36-point performance, while Jeremy Lamb continued his solid play with 24 points for the Huskies, who shot 47.4% from the field and hit eight of their 16 attempts from beyond the arc. March Madness betting players have been counting out UConn since the stretch run, but after winning in Maui earlier in the season, the Huskies rolled through the Big Tournament and now, here they are, in the Final Four for the fourth time since 1999.

The Wildcats return to the Final Four for the first time since 1998 in a 76-69 victory over North Carolina to take the East region, and they were spectacular from long range, going 12-of-22. Brandon Knight had another big game with 22 points, while Josh Harrelson and DeAndre Liggins scored 12 points apiece for the Wildcats, who may not have the talent of last year’s squad, but the 2011 edition avenged last year’s loss to West Virginia, and they’re further in the Tournament than their highly touted predecessors. Harrelson has been a massive factor with his play in the post.

Those checking out college basketball scores will see the Wildcats as a 2.5-point favorite against the Huskies, who are 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS in three meetings with Kentucky since 2006, when UConn came away with an 87-83 victory in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. They also met this season, and the Wildcats got spanked 84-67 in the final of the Maui Invitational as Walker lit them up for 29 points. Expect the Wildcats to be fired up to avenge that loss, especially Knight as he was awful, going 3-of-15 for six points and he missed all eight of his three-point attempts. The Huskies have had a great run, but they have to run out of gas sometime, and we think Knight will get the best of his matchup against Walker, and not only that, Kentucky has more weapons on the perimeter. This would also be a good time for Terrence Jones to snap out of his slump. Go with the Kentucky Wildcats in your sports betting picks.

Hockey OddsSports Betting Overview

A playoff atmosphere is in the air during March Madness betting and the stretch run for the NHL post-season. Every game in the NHL schedule counts, and that is especially true for games like this one between two teams battling for the same playoff spot. Both of these teams are looking to move up in the NHL standings, and both of these teams are doing the right things to make those moves happen.

The Buffalo Sabres hold down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference NHL standings, but the Sabres are also only three points away from taking over sixth place. The Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to make one last push as they sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Sabres by seven points. With only six games remaining, it is unlikely that the Toronto Maple Leafs will catch Buffalo. But if the players on the Maple Leafs want to be on the team next season, they will keep making a push as though the playoffs were within their reach.

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres are 6-3-1 on the last 10 games and are riding a three-game winning streak. In the last few games, Buffalo is getting excellent goaltending from former Vezina Trophy winner Ryan Miller. Miller is 4-0-1 in his last five games and that stretch includes two shutouts. Miller’s play has been solid behind a defense that is not playing so well, but the Buffalo offense has really picked up the pace in the last several games. The Sabres have brought their goal differential to +12, which is a dramatic improvement over where the team was at just after the all-star break. The team is still waiting for aggressive forward Patrick Kaleta to return to the line-up. But, in the meantime, pint-sized performers Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis are causing plenty of headaches for the opposition.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs were keeping pace with the Sabres as early as a week ago. But while Buffalo was ripping off a three-game winning streak, the Leafs have had a difficult time putting two wins together. In the last 10 games, the Leafs are 5-4-1 and they just lost their most recent game which was against the Detroit Red Wings. A loss to Detroit is nothing to be ashamed of, but when you are chasing a team in the standings that keeps on winning then every game counts.

The Bottom Line

If the Leafs lose this game, then you can pretty much consider them out of the playoff hunt as it will put them nine points behind the high-flying Sabres with only five games left in the season. The Sabres are probably not going to catch Tampa Bay for fifth in the standings, but to climb to the sixth position in the Eastern Conference would be quite an accomplishment for a team that was out of the playoffs immediately after the all-star break.

BSNblog Pick: Buffalo Sabres

NHL OddsThe Montreal Canadiens worked an extra 64 minutes through on-ice activities at their practice facility in Brossard, Quebec on what was supposed to be a day off Sunday, in hopes that it will help end their 186 minute streak of futility when they take on the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday. That is how long it has been since the Canadiens scored a goal, the final tally in an 8-1 win over the Minnesota Wild over a week ago.

Atlanta Thrashers @ Montreal Canadiens

Tuesday March 29, 2011 – 7:30 PM ET

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec

Online Sports Betting
Odds: Canadiens – 120

The Canadiens had plenty of support at the arena when hundreds of fans showed up to cheer their team on, only hours after they were booed off the ice following a 2-0 loss to the Washington Capitals. Montreal will battle to end their skid against an Atlanta team that has ranked among the coldest through the second half of the NHL season to fall out of the Eastern conference playoff race.

NHL Betting Preview: Thrashers

Three wins in 19 games from January through February pushed Atlanta from the top of the Southeast down to fourth in the division and outside of the elite eight in the conference. While they are no longer in free-fall mode, the Thrashers are still struggling to find their consistency with four wins through their last eight games, and now face a five-game road trip. Atlanta allowed the worst team in the Eastern conference to score twice in the third period and force a shootout in an eventual 5-4 win over the Ottawa Senators, and will need a much more focused effort on the road where they have hovered around the .500 mark this season.

NHL Betting Preview: Canadiens

The Canadiens’ players know all about the need to remain focused after head coach Jacques Martin put them through tough workout drills on what was supposed to be a day off. The obvious initial goal will be to get on the board and end their three-game goalless drought, and getting to the net and causing traffic in front of the Atlanta goal will be something that Montreal’s forwards concentrate on. The one consistent this sports betting bonus season has been the play of netminder Carey Price, who is a legitimate Hart trophy candidate for the league’s most valuable player. Price ranks second in the NHL in wins and shutouts, and in the top-10 in nearly every other important statistical category.

NHL Betting: Matchup & Pick

Price will hold down the fort until the Canadiens’ offense can finally get going, and that shouldn’t be a problem against an Atlanta team that has allowed more goals than any other team in the Eastern conference. Montreal is on pace to have just one player hit the 30-goal mark in team captain Brian Gionta, and will need more production from its role players in order to finish the pay per head season strong.

Gambling Advisor blog Pick: Montreal Canadiens - 120

Playing Blackjack Online For Money? Ten Quick Tips.

Are you thinking about getting your feet wet and making your first deposit at an online casino?  Well before you go ahead and do that, here are ten things you will want to consider.

1.  Many online casinos offer deposit bonuses--in fact pretty much all of them do.  The ones I advertise through this blog are among the best.  I know, because I played online blackjack a ton in my college years.  No word of a lie, I was known as "Gamblore" throughout my residence.  Huge fat tip for ya--stay away from Ultimate Bet, I'm almost certain it's rigged.

2.  Many online gambling sites do not accept U.S citizens.  This is largely due large political influence of American land-based casinos.  The online gambling sites advertised through this blog all accept U.S citizens.

3.  Different online casinos have different payouts.   I have tried many online casinos and have seen enough in my years of playing blackjack to realize that some online casinos are just plain corrupt.  For these companies, having the house edge just isn't enough; they need to cheat too.  The casinos represented on this blog are on the up-and-up, and I know this because I have tracked my playing and recorded my win to lose ratio.

4.  Record your wins and losses!  If you are going to be serious about playing online blackjack with your hard earned money then for God's sake heed my advice on this one.  The only way to find out in the end whether or not an online casino is scamming you is to play enough hands to collect a good amount of data.  Sadly, using this method you have to lose your money before you find out whether the casino is dirty.  How long should you track your win/loss record?  Probably no less that one thousand hands.  Yes, it can be expensive, but too little, and your results won't be accurate.

I have played well over 10,000 hands at both Cherry Red and Rushmore (although less at Rushmore).

Cherry Red-  Win- 48%  Lose- 52%

Rushmore- Win- 48% Lose- 52%

5.  Learn basic strategy.  Online blackjack is a great place to master basic blackjack strategy since you can take your time to make decisions without being rushed by other players.  This gives you the opportunity to use your basic strategy card when making difficult decisions regarding splits and doubling (the most common mistakes).  Capitalizing on your doubles and splits is absolutely necessary if you wish to make money playing online blackjack.

6. Learn to count cards.  I want to stress right now card counting is impossible to use on online casinos because the deck is shuffled after each hand.  However, I find that online blackjack is the best place to practice this skill as there are less distractions and you can take your time to get it right.  Once you get the count down pat, you can move on to land-based casinos and start practicing at a higher pace and with distractions.  If you can master card counting, it is quite possible to make a living off land-based casinos--if you don't get caught.

7.  Many online casinos are not flexible in how they accept payments.  I don't like to use my credit card online, so I usually make my deposits right through my bank account.  All the blogs represented on this site are flexible in their deposit methods.

8.  Some online casinos take a week or more to payout.  I think that is simply ridiculous.  In this technological age, any player should be able to get his winnings in a much more timely manner.

9.  Stay away from UltimateBet!  I have had many bad experiences with their blackjack.

10.  I mean it, stay away from UltimateBet!
College Basketball BettingThe Brigham Young Cougars are one of two teams from the Mountain West to make this year's NCAA national title tournament, and with the March Madness betting Sweet 16 upon us both are still alive. The Cougars and MWC conference champion San Diego State Aztecs have both advanced through their first two tournament games, but will be tested with a trip to the Elite Eight on the line. BYU will be the first to put its title hopes on the line, as they take on the Florida Gators in the South East region on Thursday.

Brigham Young Cougars vs. Florida Gators

Thursday March 23, 2011 – 7:27 PM ET

New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, LA

Online Sports Betting
Odds: Florida Gators - 3

The Cougars will battle a Florida team that finished first in the SEC East during the regular season, but are still looking to make a statement in the Madness after falling to Kentucky Wildcats in the SEC title tournament. The Gators had little trouble with the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos and the UCLA Bruins through their first two tournament games, and will need to be ready for a step up in competition.

March Madness Betting Preview: Brigham Young

Jimmer Fredette has taken the Cougars on his shoulders since the team lost Brandon Davies to a season-ending suspension in the final days of the Mountain West season. Fredette has been a one-man show through BYU's first two tournament games in registering a combined 66 points, and it will be interesting to see if he can keep it up against a tough Gators' defense. Jackson Emery has complimented Fredette well in Davies' absence, including the 16 points and four assist he put up against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the third round. Fredette will be the focal point to the Cougars' success, but the further BYU goes the more he will need his teammates to step up around him.

March Madness Betting Preview: Florida

The Gators haven't been tested much through the first two rounds, and the most important factor for their next game will be to expect a tougher challenge. Erving Walker has been the team's biggest star so far in the tournament, but he hasn't done it alone with Kenny Boyton and Vernon Macklin both playing key roles in the team's first two pay per head wins. Boynton's health will be one of the keys to Florida moving any further forward in the Madness, as the Gators will need their best defender to be able to at least slow Fredette.

March Madness Betting: Outlook & Pick

The Gators have cruised through the first couple of sports betting bonus tournament rounds, but will be in for a major wakeup call against BYU. Fredette will continue to perform at the highest level with the injury to Boynton keeping him from playing his best defense. Florida should be able to keep this game close down to the wire, but it will be the Cougars that advance to the Elite Eight.

Gambling Advisor blog Betting Pick: BYU Cougars + 3

March Madness OddsThe top seed from the West region will look to continue its run to repeat as defending national champions when the Duke Blue Devils clash with the Arizona Wildcats in the Sweet 16 this Thursday. The Blue Devils narrowly escaped a scare from the Michigan Wolverines in a 73-71 third round win, and it won't get any easier for the March Madness betting favorites when they take on this year's PAC-10 champions.

Arizona Wildcats vs. Duke Blue Devils

Thursday March 23, 2011 – 9:45 PM ET

Honda Center, Anaheim, California

Online Sports Betting Odds: Duke Blue Devils – 8.5

The Blue Devils got a boost from the return of Kyrie Irving to the lineup, but coach K will tread carefully as he looks to work one of his best players back into his game plan without disrupting the chemistry they put together en route to an ACC title this year.

March Madness Betting Preview: Arizona

While Irving's return had attracted the bulk of the sports betting bonus attention, the Wildcats will be keyed in on reigning ACC MVP Nolan Smith, who has averaged 21.3 points per game and 5.2 assists this season. Smith scored a game-high 24 points in the win over Michigan, and if Arizona can slow him down it could leave the Blue Devils vulnerable. The Wildcats have their own superstar in Derrick Williams, who has emerged as one of the top player's in this year's tournament. Williams had the game-saving block in Arizona's win over Memphis in the second round, and then followed that up with a massive three-ball in the upset of the Texas Longhorns.

March Madness Betting Preview: Duke

Irving scored just 11 points against the Wolverines, but there is no doubt that coach K is confident in his ability to deliver with the game on the line. Kyle Singler has emerged as the perfect compliment next to Smith, including the 13 points and eight rebounds he registered against Michigan. If Irving can find his form without hurting the chemistry between Smith and Singler, than Duke will easily make it through to the Elite Eight. The Blue Devils shot over 50-percent as a team in their most recent win, and never trailed in the second half. Duke has enough talent to outscore Williams and the Wildcats' offense, and coach K knows his team's focus has to be on offense.

March Madness Betting: Outlook & Pick

While the Blue Devils cannot afford to let Williams run wild, their pay per head focus will have to be on scoring. Duke has one of the best triple threats in the tournament with Smith, Singler, and Irving, but they will need to find a way to perform together in order to get the job done. Arizona has been fortunate to survive through their first two games, but that run will come to an end against the defending national champions.

March Madness Betting Pick: Duke Blue Devils – 8.5

NCAA Tournament OddsThose who bet on March Madness are getting ready for the Sweet Sixteen to begin on Thursday, and all four matchups should be closely contested, so with no delay, let’s jump into some picks.

UConn San Diego State Betting – Thursday, 7:15 PM ET

In the first-ever meeting between these two, this game is a pick ‘em in Anaheim, and the second-seeded Aztecs are in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time. However, they have a coach in Steve Fisher who has been here before, and they have a big frontcourt that the third-seeded Huskies may have problems with. The Huskies may have the best player on the court in Kemba Walker, but San Diego State has more weapons and can slow the game down. Go with San Diego State.

BYU Florida Betting – Thursday, 7:27 PM ET

The No.2 Gators are a 2.5-point favorite in New Orleans against the No.3 Cougars, and those watching March Madness scores may remember last year’s 99-92 double-overtime win for BYU over Florida, who gave up 37 points to Jimmer Fredette, the favorite for national Player of the Year. But the Gators are a better team than last year, and revenge is a strong motivation at this time of year. Look for a big game from Florida’s Chandler Parsons, one of the best all-around players in the country, as he looks to pick up the slack for Kenny Boynton, who may not be at 100% because of an ailing ankle. Still, we’re taking Florida to go to the Elite Eight.

Arizona Duke Betting – Thursday, 9:45 PM ET

The last time these two met, it was in the 2001 title game, and the Blue Devils came away with the win. This time around, the defending champions from Duke are an 8.5-point favorite in Anaheim against the No.5 Wildcats, and that is far too high. Duke has the edge on the perimeter, but the Wildcats have a guy who can get to the foul line better than anyone in the country in Derrick Williams, and Arizona has some size that can give the Blue Devils some problems. NBA scouts are very high on Williams, and he’s already made some big plays. We think Duke will win the game, but Arizona will cover the spread in this matchup.

Butler Wisconsin Betting – Thursday, 9:57 PM ET

In the nightcap, the No.4 Badgers are 5-point favorites in New Orleans against the No.8 Bulldogs, who have won both of their games with plays in the dying seconds. Wisconsin also needed a big play to edge Kansas State, but we’re going to give the edge to Butler, who have made a living off being an underdog. The Bulldogs went to the title game last year, and they won’t fall under the pressure, while the Badgers may crack. We know the Bulldogs won’t, so take them as the underdogs in your online sportsbook.

NHL OddsOnline Sports Betting Overview

Many people who bet on March Madness have also been keeping tabs on the race for the NHL playoffs. No matter how the sportsbook promo experts do the math, the New Jersey Devils’ amazing second-half of the season run will come up short as far as a playoff spot goes. But the betting services know that the New Jersey players are all playing for spots on next year’s team and, if next year’s team is anything like this team was, then the Devils will be a Stanley Cup force next season.

The Boston Bruins are hovering around that first-place slot in the Northeastern Division. Right now, the Bruins hold on to the top spot in the division by one point over the Montreal Canadiens. But the Canadiens are surging and the Bruins need wins to stay ahead in the race. With team captain Zdeno Chara going down to a leg injury in the last Bruins’ game, things do not look good for the team from Bean Town.

New Jersey Devils

On December 23, 2010, the New Jersey Devils were dead last in the NHL with only nine wins out of more than 30 games. That is the day that former Devils head coach Jacques Lemaire took over as this season’s interim head coach. Ever since then, the Devils have made the long and difficult climb into playoff contention putting together winning streaks of eight and nine games at a time. The Devils are 7-3-0 in the last 10 games and seven points out of a playoff spot. It does not look like the Devils will have enough time to get themselves into the playoffs, but they can make life miserable for the Bruins as the Devils try to keep right on winning.

Boston Bruins

The Bruins are 4-3-3 in their last 10 games and trying desperately to hold off the Montreal Canadiens for the Northeast Division lead. But the Bruins are starting to show signs of trouble that is very similar to last season. Even though he has had a Vezina-caliber season, goaltender Tim Thomas is not playing well lately. The Bruins would like to turn to Tuukka Rask, as they did last season, but Rask has been unstable lately. Thomas was pulled in the Bruins loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Rask was put in goal. But when the Leafs scored on Rask’s seventh shot against, the young goalie exploded on his defense and Thomas was put back in net. Things are coming a bit unhinged in Boston.

The Bottom Line

The New Jersey Devils are a disciplined hockey machine right now, and the Boston Bruins are not. The Bruins need to get themselves under control or they may find themselves with a first-round playoff exit this year. But this game is one that will slip away from the Bruins and show the New Jersey fans that there is a lot to look forward to for next season.

BSNblog Free Pick: New Jersey Devils

Hockey Betting PicksSports Bet Overview

The NHL playoff race is entering the last stages just as the 2011 March Madness betting starts to get interesting as well. There are teams that the sports betting bonus experts have not mathematically eliminated from NHL playoff contention, so those teams keep working towards their post-season goals. A 5dimes review of the Eastern Conference standings shows that the Toronto Maple Leafs are five points out of a playoff spot with nine games left to play. The chances are slim, but the Leafs keep playing for that final playoff spot.

The Minnesota Wild has a little higher mountain to climb. With nine games left on its schedule, Minnesota is seven points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Unfortunately for the Wild, its schedule does not have as many conference games as some of the teams it is chasing. That puts the Wild at a distinct disadvantage. Another element that is working against the Wild is the play of the team itself.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs are 5-4-1 in the last 10 games and sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. Toronto trails the eighth place Buffalo Sabres by five points, and a road game is not exactly the ideal setting for the Leafs. Toronto has a 15-17-3 road record this year, which is not helping in the hunt for a playoff spot. Even with the emergence of rookie goaltender James Reimer, the Leafs cannot seem to score goals or play good defense on the road. The only thing that Toronto has going for it in this game is that the opponent is the Minnesota Wild. Other than that, this game will be a struggle for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild’s problems can be spelled out by the team’s record in the last 10 games. With a 2-6-2 record in the last 10 starts, Minnesota is not doing anything to help its chances of getting near the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Wild is in 11th place and it trails the eighth-place Anaheim Ducks by seven points. With only nine games to play, and an effort that is not helping the Wild win games, it does not look good for the team from Minnesota.

The Bottom Line

The Toronto Maple Leafs has a legitimate chance at a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The teams in front of the Leafs are playing inconsistent hockey, and a three or four-game winning streak by Toronto could catapult them into playoff contention. The Minnesota Wild, on the other hand, seems to be done for the season. They are playing with no emotion and are certainly not giving any of the signs that they are ready to fight for a playoff spot. This is exactly the kind of opportunity that the Toronto Maple Leafs need to take advantage of in order to jump-start its playoff hunt.

Gambling Advisor blog Free Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs

Online March Madness Betting – Bulldogs Look To Quiet Red Storm

College Basketball BettingOnline March Madness betting players have watched St. John’s emerge as one of the biggest surprises of the season, as they continually took down teams in the Big East, or anyone that visited Madison Square Garden. But the Red Storm will go to Denver for the Southeast region on Thursday, when they face Gonzaga, a deep team and a program who has been known for taking down the teams of the power conferences.

Gonzaga vs. St. John’s Betting – Thursday, 9:45 PM ET

The No.11 Bulldogs (24-9, 11-3 WCC) come into this game with a ton of momentum, winning nine in a row and claiming the WCC tournament as well. Gonzaga came into the season with high expectations, but suffered through a tough non-conference slate and a three-game losing streak in January. However, the Bulldogs are built for the postseason with players like Steven Gray, Robert Sacre, Elias Harris and Demetri Goodson, players who have been here before and won’t back down from a school from the Big East. Gonzaga is 11th in the country in field-goal percentage, 22nd in field-goal defense, and they’re an excellent free-throw shooting team, ranking 15th. MLB betting players know you have to be solid in the fundamentals, and Gonzaga is the poster child for that in college hoops.

The No.6 Red Storm (21-11, 11-6 Big East) fell against Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament, but they’ve still won eight of their last 10 games. St. John’s have beaten some very good teams, due to playing in the Big East, but they haven’t fared as well when they’re not playing at home and in particular, at Madison Square Garden. Dwight Hardy leads a team loaded with seniors, and you could argue that Hardy has been the best player in the Big East over the second half of the conference schedule. But the numbers aren’t flattering for St. John’s (287% in three-point defense, 188th in rebound margin).

We’re betting 5dimes that this will be one of the toughest games of the first round for March Madness betting players to call, as Gonzaga is a dangerous 1-point underdog for St. John’s to draw. The Bulldogs beat St. John’s in the 2000 Tournament, then beat them in November 2001 at home while covering the spread both times. We’re giving Gonzaga the edge when it comes to crowd support as their campus in Spokane is much closer for their fans, and the Red Storm hasn’t been that great outside of New York. While St. John’s has a lot of seniors, the program hasn’t been to the Tournament since 2002, while the Bulldogs have players who are used to the pressure of the Big Dance, and that will be enough to power Gonzaga to a sports betting victory.

NCAA Tournament BettingBelieve it or not the first round matchup between the Princeton Tigers and Kentucky Wildcats will feature two of the most storied teams in the history of the NCAA national title tournament. The Wildcats are seven-time winners but haven’t clinched the title since 1998, while Princeton will be making it’s 23rd appearance in the March Madness betting, having only a single Final Four finish to boast about heading into the 2011 tournament.

Princeton Tigers @ Kentucky Wildcats

Thursday March 17, 2011 – 2:45 PM ET

St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa Bay, Florida

Online Sports Betting Odds: Kentucky – 13

The Wildcats enter the second round contest as 13-point favorites after knocking off the Florida Gators 70-54 in the SEC Championship game. Kentucky will ride a six-game win streak into the St. Pete Times Forum, and will look to flex their muscle against a Princeton team that upset the Harvard Crimson in the final seconds of their Ivy League championship game to earn an automatic bid.

March Madness Betting Preview: Princeton

The Tigers imposed their will for most of the Ivy League season, with losses at Brown and Harvard the only stains on an otherwise perfect season. Princeton won their regular season finale over the Pennsylvania Quakers to earn home court advantage for the conference championship game, and made it count with a buzzer-beating win. Despite the talent gap between the Ivy League and other conferences, the Tigers still earned respect in shooting 46-percent from the field, which ranks 41st in the nation. Princeton will need the combo of Kareem Maddox and Ian Hummer to bring their best game after that tandem led the team in both scoring and rebounding. Their play will be the biggest factor in whether Princeton can keep this game respectable.

March Madness Betting Preview: Kentucky

The Big Blue battled all year to catch the Gators, but after finishing the year three games back in the SEC East, Kentucky finally flexed its muscle in the conference title game for the second straight year. The tandem of Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight has been as good as any in the country, and they proved they can perform on the biggest stage after leading four Gators that finished in double-figures against Florida. The Wildcats will need Darius Miller to step up and complete the trifecta as the tournament progresses, but shouldn’t have a problem against the Tigers in the opening sportsbook promo round.

March Madness Betting: Outlook & Pick

While the Wildcats are projected by many to be a lock to advance, their ability to cover the spread will be determined by just how focused this team is. John Calipari will need to keep his team motivated in order to build on the momentum from the SEC title win, and that shouldn’t be a problem for a team that is stacked with star potential eager to show off under the brightest spotlight of them all. The Kentucky Wildcats will make a pay per head statement and blow away a Princeton team that is happy just to be there.

BSNblog Pick: Kentucky Wildcats - 13

NHL PicksSports Betting Overview

The Sabres honored the passing of former French Connection member and hockey legend Rick Martin with a win over the Ottawa Senators. But the win was more than an homage to a great player, it was extremely necessary for the Sabres to maintain their playoff status. As the March Madness betting begins, the Sabres sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. A loss in the first game of last weekend to the Toronto Maple Leafs threatened to derail the Sabres’ playoff hopes. But a strong sportsbook promo performance against the Senators helped to keep the Sabres locked into seventh place.

The Carolina Hurricanes keep dropping further and further in the NHL standings as the days go by. Right now, the Hurricanes are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and four points behind the eighth place New York Rangers. But the Toronto Maple Leafs, Atlanta Thrashers and New Jersey Devils are charging hard. The Hurricanes have been stumbling in the last couple of weeks, and they need to start picking up the pace if they want to stay in the playoff hunt.

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres are fighting more to keep seventh place in the conference than they are to catch the Montreal Canadiens and take over sixth place. The Sabres have 13 games left in the regular season, but they trail the Canadiens by seven points in the standings. The Canadiens are playing well and not giving the Sabres many chances to make up ground.

The Sabres are fending off the New York Rangers for that seventh spot. The Sabres and Rangers both have 76 points, but the Sabres have one more regulation win and that put them in seventh. In the last 10 games the Sabres are 6-2-2 with losses to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins clouding an otherwise impressive run. The team has responded to new owner Terry Pegula, and they hope to maintain their momentum going into the playoffs.

Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes have a lot of problems. The team is 3-5-2 in the last 10 games, and that includes a 2-game losing streak. The teams that the Hurricanes are tangled with in the standings are all winning. The Hurricanes need to start putting some wins together or they will quickly find themselves looking up at the Devils, Thrashers, Leafs and Rangers.

The Hurricanes’ main problem is their defensive inability to clear the zone. The Carolina defense will often leave goaltender Cam Ward on his own in the defensive zone, and that has resulted in the Hurricanes giving up a lot of goals. A relaxed defensive approach in this game against the high-flying Sabres would be a huge mistake.

The Bottom Line

The Hurricanes lack the leadership and defensive toughness necessary to stand toe-to-toe against the Sabres. The Sabres are riding a wave of emotion and momentum so high that it is hard to say what team will be able to bring them down.

Gambling Advisor blog Pick: Buffalo Sabres

Hockey BettingThe Washington Capitals will be chasing much more than revenge when they hit the Bell Centre ice to take on the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night. A quick glance at the Eastern conference standings reveals exactly why. Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals have won eight straight games to pull to within just a single point of the Philadelphia Flyers for first place overall.

Washington Capitals @ Montreal Canadiens

Tuesday March 15, 2011 – 7:00 PM ET

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec

Online Sports Betting
Odds: Washington Capitals - 110

That’s where the Capitals finished a year ago, before they were upset by Montreal in the seventh game of their opening round series. Washington opened this year’s season series with one of their most complete efforts of the season in a 3-0 win at home, but fell 3-2 in a shootout to the Canadiens the last time these teams met. Their final two meetings will take place over the next two weeks, with both games to be played north of the border.

Leading Up To Puck Drop: Washington Capitals

The Capitals have been the league’s hottest team over the past month, rocketing from the middle of the East standings to within a point of the first-place Flyers. However, while Washington has played a more complete game overall, they have done so against a relatively weak schedule. Ovechkin and company have faced just two teams currently in playoff position during their eight-game win streak, and were forced to at least overtime in both of those games, including a 2-1 shootout win over the faltering Tampa Bay Lightning, and a 4-3 overtime win on Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Known for their high-powered offense and skilled forwards, the Capitals have gotten the job done with a more complete game at their own end, allowing more than two goals just once during their current run.

Leading Up To Puck Drop: Montreal Canadiens

Despite all that the team has been forced to deal with over the past couple of weeks, the Canadiens have been nearly as hot as Washington over that span. Montreal has won seven of its past nine games, including a 3-0 road win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday that pushed them to within two points of the Lightning for fifth spot in the East. Carey Price continues to prove management made the right move by keeping him over Jaroslav Halak in the summer, and is now second in the league in shutouts with eight after Saturday’s clean sheet. Montreal has beaten every other team in the Southeast division during their current run, and will now aim for the sweep in their third match against the Capitals.

The Match Up: Capitals vs. Canadiens

The Capitals have been solid over the past online sportsbook month but will have to lose eventually, and the ice at the Bell Centre hasn’t been too kind to Washington in recent years. Montreal has quietly put together a little run of their own, and will look to capitalize on back-to-back home games against the Capitals and Lightning to move closer to the Penguins for home ice advantage in the opening round of this year’s playoffs.

BSNblog Free Pick: Montreal Canadiens

Bet On NCAA Basketball: Hawkeyes Look To Knock Out Spartans

NCAA Basketball OddsMarch Madness betting players have seen Michigan State spiral out of control from a Final Four contender to a possibility of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1997, and a loss in the first round of the Big Ten tournament would surely be the final nail in the coffin. The Spartans face off against Iowa, and this rubber match won’t be easy to get through.

Iowa vs. Michigan State Betting – Thursday, 4:30 PM ET

The Hawkeyes (11-19, 4-14) lost six in a row before a major upset of Purdue at home, and they could use that big win to gain some momentum for this game. They’ll need it because the Hawkeyes aren’t a good team, ranking 207th in points scored and 186th in points allowed. Matt Gatens is one of three players to average in double figures for the Hawkeyes, who do shoot a decent 44.1% from the field, but only 31.1% from the three-point line. If the Hawkeyes were an online horse betting option, they would be a longshot but at the same time, they have nothing to lose and can play relaxed.

On the other hand, the Spartans (17-13, 9-9) have everything to lose in this game, and it’s been a weird season in East Lansing. It began with a brutal non-conference schedule, while guard Kalin Lucas had to battle back from another injury, and fellow guard Korie Lucious was kicked off the team. The Spartans still rebound well and they block shots, but they’re not as good defensively as they normally are, ranking 147th in points allowed, and they’re terrible at defending the three-point shot, ranking 280th in three-point defense.

We’re going to bet 5dimes that the Spartans will be the favorites in this Big Ten clash, as they are 4-1 SU and 2-3 ATS in their last five meetings with the Hawkeyes. Their two meetings this year were both routs as Iowa won by 20 at home on February 2nd, while the Spartans avenged that with a 19-point victory at their place a month later. The Spartans still have enough talent to beat the Hawkeyes, but they’ve played well below their standards this season. Lucas, in particular, has to take this team on his back and lead the way, but freshman Keith Appling scored 18 in the win at East Lansing, and if he doesn’t, someone else will have to step up. The Spartans have a size advantage in the post as well, and they should use that to maximize their chances. The Hawkeyes are going to give the Spartans a scare and this will be a close game, but we’re sticking with Michigan State in our best online sportsbook.

NHL OddsOnline Sports Betting Overview

Oh what a difference a new owner makes. Immediately after Terry Pegula was officially announced the new owner of the Buffalo Sabres, all of the March Madness betting in Buffalo stopped because the Sabres went on a 5-0-2 streak. The Sabres made one 2011 NHL trade deadline move by bringing in Brad Boyes, and that seems to be exactly what the Sabres needed to start moving up in the NHL standings. The Sabres now find themselves in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and only two points away from the seventh place New York Rangers.

The entire league expected the Pittsburgh Penguins to fold up camp and call it a season when the team lost Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for the entire season. But the Penguins have hung in there despite some extremely poor goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury and find themselves trailing the first place Philadelphia Flyers by two points. That is first place in the Atlantic Division and first place in the Eastern Conference. Not bad for a team that was supposed to give up weeks ago.

Buffalo Sabres

In their last seven games, since billionaire Terry Pegula took over the team, the Sabres are 5-0-2 and are riding a two-game winning streak. The Sabres seem to prefer the road as the road record is 18-10-3 while the home record is 14-15-3. The Sabres will have to work on winning in the friendly confines if HSBC Arena if they want to win in the playoffs, but for now they can continue to work that road mojo when they roll into Pittsburgh. This is the third game of a seven-game road trip for the Sabres, and they seem to be rotating starting goaltenders. Ryan Miller played the opening three games for the team, and then suddenly disappeared. Goaltender Jonas Enroth was brought up to start the last game for the Sabres while back-up Patrick Lalime rode the bench. It will be interesting to see what the Sabres do about their goaltending situation when the season is over.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins are 3-3-4 in their last 10 games, and their last start was a 3-2 overtime win over the Boston Bruins in Boston. The Penguins play a hard-hitting style of game and with Crosby and Malkin out, Pittsburgh has leaned even more on the physical play. The small stature of the Sabres and Buffalo’s less-than-aggressive defense could be something that the Penguins will exploit all game long. Pittsburgh is one of the few teams with 20 wins at home, and they play extremely tough at Mellon Arena.

The Bottom Line

This game rests completely on the shoulders of the Penguins’ goaltending. If the Pittsburgh goaltending is solid, then the Penguins’ physical style of play will neutralize the Sabres and put the game away. If the Penguins’ goaltending is shaky, then more than a couple of the Sabres very limited amount of shots on goal in this game will find their way into the net.

BSNblog Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins

Hockey OddsSports Bet Overview

The betting on March Madness has yet to really get underway, but the sports betting bonus on which NHL teams will make the playoffs is in full swing. When the NHL season started, the Hockey Training Tips observers thought that the Los Angeles Kings would rule the league. The Kings got off to a very fast start that put them at the top of the Western Conference and battling for the top spot in the league. But, as the season wore on, the Kings came crashing down to Earth and found themselves looking up at the top eight teams in the Western Conference. The Kings have battled back and are now in the thick of the Western Conference playoff battle again, but they will have to keep winning to stay in the hunt.

The Detroit Red Wings are so happy with goaltender Jimmy Howard that the team signed Howard to a three-year contract extension in the middle of this season. In what is sure to be deemed a coincidence, Howard has gone 1-2-2 in his last 10 starts. The Red Wings will probably not catch the Vancouver Canucks for first place in the Western Conference as they trail the Canucks by seven points. But if the Red Wings are not careful, the San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks could pass them and knock the Red Wings out of the top three in the Western Conference standings.

Los Angeles Kings

For many teams in the NHL, now is “do or die time.” The Kings are managing to put together some good streaks to maintain their hold on eighth place in the Western Conference. In the last 10 games the Kings are 6-3-1, and that has helped to put them back into the playoff race. But their last start was a critical Western Conference loss to the Canucks in Los Angeles. The Kings are getting some great goaltending from Jonathan Quick, but they will need to pick things up in the goal-scoring department if they want to be playing in the NHL post season.

Detroit Red Wings

For all of his recent flaws, Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard is having a very good season. His season record is 31-12-5 and his save percentage is .907. The knock against Howard is that he lets in easy goals at the most inopportune moments. But when a goalie has 31 wins on the season, it is hard to argue with his technique.

The Red Wings are the top scoring team in the league outscoring goal-producing machines such as the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks. It is the offense of the Red Wings that makes up for the goaltending, and even the Detroit defensemen get in on the goal-scoring act. This is not the best Detroit team we have seen in a while, but it is one of the most offensively consistent teams in the league.

The Bottom Line

The Kings have problems with teams that can score goals. Jonathan Quick keeps the Kings in games as he can, but until players like Anze Kopitar start putting the puck in the net, the Kings will have problems beating the better teams in the league.

Gambling Advisor blog Pick: Detroit Red Wings

College Basketball Picks – Tar Heels Wary Of Looking Too Far Ahead

College Basketball OddsThe No. 13 North Carolina Tar Heels have overcome a tough start to their season to climb all the way to the top of the ACC standings in to a tie with the defending national champions for first spot. The Tar Heels could have the chance to win the conference championship outright this weekend, but that opportunity comes with a big warning about looking too far ahead. In order to keep pace with the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils and get that shot at the title, the Tar Heels must first take care of the Florida State Seminoles on Wednesday night.

(13) North Carolina Tar Heels @ Florida State Seminoles

Wednesday March 2, 2011 – 7:00 PM ET

Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Florida

Online Sports Betting
Odds: North Carolina – 1

The Seminoles have won three of their last four since falling to North Carolina 89-69 on the road, and will be eager to avenge that loss when they return home for a rematch. Florida State proved its merit when they took down Duke earlier this year, which has Tar Heels’ head coach Roy Williams wary of a potential upset.

College Basketball Betting Preview: North Carolina

Led by Tyler Zeller, the Tar Heels are right there with Duke in the race for the ACC title. This just one year after finishing 5-11, and in the same college basketball betting season that they started out with just four wins through their first seven games overall. Maturity and chemistry have been the two biggest factors, as North Carolina has rallied around Zeller to win five straight heading into Wednesday night’s action. Zeller and John Henson scored 16 each the first time these teams met, with freshman Harrison Barnes scoring a game-high 17 in the win. The Tar Heels had four players hit double-digit scoring totals in that win, and will need to do the same in this one.

College Basketball Betting Preview: Florida State

The Seminoles demonstrated their upset capability when they took down the Blue Devils earlier this season, but this game will be about a lot more than that. Florida State is two games back of the Tar Heels and Duke for the top spot, and there is a real possibility that this team can finish second if they can knock North Carolina off this week. This will be the Seminoles’ final game at home this season, and they have the chance to clinch a perfect record there against ACC opponents for the first time in school history.

College Basketball Betting: Outlook & Pick

The Seminoles are perfect at home this season, but in order to clinch that eighth win they will need to take down a North Carolina team that has won their last four meetings there. That will be no easy task as the Tar Heels fight for their chance to clinch the ACC title with a showdown against Duke looming this sports betting bonus weekend.

Sportsbook Promotion Code Betting Pick: Tar Heels -1

NCAA Basketball OddsThe No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks are now in control of their own destiny in the Big 12, one half-game ahead of the No. 8 Texas Longhorns for the conference lead. The Jayhawks will continue their quest to lock up a division crown on Wednesday night against the No. 22 Texas A&M Aggies, in the lone meeting of the season between these programs.

(22) Texas A&M Aggies @ Kansas Jayhawks (2)

Wednesday March 2, 2011 – 9:00 PM ET

Phog Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas

Online Sports Betting
Odds: Jayhawks - 13

The Jayhawks have bounced back from a loss to the Kansas State Wildcats with three straight wins, but will now have to close out their year against back-to-back ranked opponents to clinch the Big 12 crown. Standing in their way first is an Aggies team looking to rebound from a loss to the Baylor Bears that ended their five-game winning streak.

College Basketball Betting Preview: Texas A&M

The Aggies failed to hit the 60-point mark for the first time in six games when they fell to the Bears 58-51, and will need to find their offensive flair in order to have any chance of keeping their next game close. Baylor has had their number over the past couple of years, winning three straight over Texas A&M with their stellar defense the biggest reason why. The defeat marked just the fourth time in their last 24 games that the Aggies lost when allowing less than 70 points, and they will now need to find an offensive spark in a hurry. Texas A&M is hoping to find that spark in forward Khris Middleton, who leads the team in scoring with an average of 14.6 points per game and is second in rebounding with an average of 5.3.

College Basketball Betting Preview: Kansas

The Jayhawks have benefited from the poor play of the other top Big 12 contenders, and are now in position to clinch at least a share of the conference title if they can take down Texas A&M. Kansas has gotten the job done without starting point guard Tyshawn Tyler over the past couple of games, with sophomore Elijah Johnson playing well in his place. Still, the potential for Tyler to return from suspension would only make the Jayhawks’ offense that much more potent, and it will be interesting to see how head coach Bill Self handles his sports betting bonus return.

College Basketball Betting: Outlook & Pick

Kansas has won 16 of 17 games against the Aggies in the all-time series, and have won five in a row by an average of 12.2 points. The number for this game is right around that average, and with the Jayhawks playing at home and fighting for their chance to clinch their share of a Big 12 title, there is plenty of college basketball betting incentive for Kansas to get the job done. Expect the Jayhawks to run away with this one early.

College Basketball Betting Pick: Kansas - 13