It is the last weekend of January and while the only football game on the board at America’s Bookie is the NFL’s Pro Bowl this Sunday and the NHL is also on the shelf for its annual All-Star break, this could be the best weekend of the month when it comes to having a wide array of betting options.
If you are a fight fan, there are some major bouts on the board in both professional boxing as well as in MMA fighting. Highlighting Saturday night’s boxing card in Las Vegas as part of a Showtime event, reining champ Carl Frampton has been listed as a -165 favorite against Leo Santa Cruz (+145) in a rematch for the WBA Featherweight title. Saturday’s UFC Fight Night on FOX’s main event pits Valentina Shevchenko against Julianna Pena in the woman’s bantamweight division. America’s Bookie has Shevchenko listed as a -152 favorite and the moneyline odds on Pena are set at +132.
There is also some great betting action in professional tennis with the Australian Open Finals in the first Grand Slam event of the year. On the women’s side, it will be an all-Williams final early Saturday morning (3 a.m.) with Serena listed as a heavy -450 favorite to win the title over her sister Venus, who is set as a +370 underdog. On the men’s side, Roger Federer will play the winner of the semifinal match between Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov in the finals for that side of the bracket.
The Kentucky Derby may be horse racing’s most popular event of the year, but the richest race in the history of the sport takes place this Saturday at Gulfstream Park with the running of the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Invitational for four-year old thoroughbreds and up. The total prize purse for this 1 1/8 mile run on the dirt track at Gulfstream has been set at $12 million with 12 different owners putting up $1 million each for the right to enter a horse in this race. Former Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome has been opened as a 6/5 favorite and he will be looking to avenge last season’s loss to Arrogate (7/5) in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
In another big showdown on Saturday in college basketball, the Big 12’s Kansas Jayhawks will square off against the SEC’s Kentucky Wildcats in an inter-conference battle between two of the top five teams in the country. The No. 2 Jayhawks are coming off Tuesday’s 85-69 loss to West Virginia as three-point road underdogs, while No. 4 Kentucky will look to bounce back from its stunning 82-80 loss to Tennessee as a 10.5-point home favorite. Both teams have been tough on bettors lately with Kansas going 2-7 against the spread in its last seven games and the Wildcats failing to cover in four of their last five games. Be sure to check America’s Bookie for all the betting lines for this 6:15 p.m. tip on ESPN.
The top matchup on Sunday’s NBA slate in a 3:30 p.m. start on ABC pits the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers in an inter-conference showdown. The Thunder come into game with a three-game winning streak both SU and ATS following Thursday’s 109-98 victory against Dallas as nine-point home favorites. The total has gone OVER in four of their last six games. Cleveland is mired in a rare three-game losing streak (SU and ATS) as part of a SU 2-6 slide in its last eight games. The Cavaliers will play host to Brooklyn on Friday night as 15-point favorites and America’s Bookie has set the total for that game at 226.