5 Top Bets in North American Sports
North American bettors are in for a treat over the next few months, with the schedule packed with a host of top-class action across various sports.
Ice hockey and basketball are taking centre stage at the moment as the NHL and NBA reach the culmination of their respective 2019/20 seasons.
Both leagues had been on an enforced hiatus earlier this year, but have returned to action over the past couple of months to ensure that their play-offs are completed.
Not all betting markets were affected however – the UFC took a short hiatus but was often the only live sport on TV for most of the summer, while online gambling saw a major boom. From poker to live American Roulette, many leading betting operators shifting their advertising efforts to online gambling to give customers the chance to build their bankroll in anticipation of the resumption of sport.
With bettors now able to play up their winnings on a plethora of exciting sports events, we take a closer look at some of the wagers you simply cannot afford to miss.
Offense set to Shine for Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars will go head-to-head in the NHL over the next couple of weeks in what promises to be a thrilling battle for the Stanley Cup.
Lightning head into the final as the odds-on favourites having produced some extremely impressive performances during the play-offs.
They have defeated Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins and New York Islanders to reach the final and their star-studded team will be tough to beat.
Lightning are particularly strong offensively and should possess too much firepower for the Stars over a seven-game series.
Dallas have beaten Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights to progress to this stage, but Tampa Bay are strongly fancied to see off their challenge.
Lakers a Banker Bet in the NBA
The Los Angeles Lakers have been favourites to win the NBA championship for much of the season and they are fully expected to get the job done.
The Lakers face Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Final and should have little trouble in easing to a comfortable series win.
Miami Heat and Boston Celtics are contesting the Eastern Conference Final and the former look a good bet to make it through.
Los Angeles are impossible to oppose in the outright market, but odds of around -300 don’t represent much in the way of value.
The correct score market may be the way to go in the final, with 4-2 series victory for the Lakers likely to give punters a good run for their money.
Hamlin on Track in the NASCAR Cup Series
Denny Hamlin entered the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series play-offs as one of the favourites to win the championship and he looks a good bet to claim top spot at the end of the campaign.
He won six races and racked up 47 play-off points during the 26-race regular season, putting him second in the standings behind Kevin Harvick.
His main issue is likely to be a challenging round of 12, with the three tracks where the races are being staged not amongst Hamlin’s favourites.
However, if he can safely navigate his way through that stage of the play-offs, the remainder of the schedule should play more to his strengths.
Hamlin has stated that Harvick and Chase Elliott are the biggest threat to his hopes, but the 39-year-old appeals as the value wager in the field.
Ravens Looking Good in the NFL
Baltimore Ravens were strongly fancied to win the Super Bowl last season after romping to a 14-2 record during the regular season.
However, their play-off hopes were dashed by the Tennessee Titans who ruthlessly exposed frailties in the Ravens’ defensive unit.
Those issues have been addressed this summer and they are amongst the front-runners to go all the way this time around.
The Ravens demolished the Cleveland Browns 38-6 on the opening weekend of the 2020 NFL season to spark talk that they are genuine contenders.
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s unique style has attracted plenty of admiring glances from around the league and the Ravens should be difficult to stop this term.
Sounders Make a Big Statement
The Seattle Sounders went into the current campaign as the reigning MLS Cup champions and they look in good shape to mount a serious defence of their title.
Two recent victories over the heavily touted LAFC highlighted the Sounders’ credentials and keeps them on course for a strong seeding for the post-season in the West Conference.
Goalkeeper Stefan Frei gives Seattle a solid platform to build from, while attacking talents such as Nicolas Lodeiro and Raul Ruidiaz give them potency in forward areas.
Seattle have contested three of the last four finals of the MLS Cup and it would be no surprise to see them enhance that record this season.
Toronto FC once again look a strong contender in the Eastern Conference and could emerge as the biggest threat to the Sounders’ hopes of success.