Monday Service Plays

Monday Service Plays

RedZone Sports
Yankees.


Mighty Quinn
Brewers.


Scott Spreitzer
Texas Rangers


Huddle Up Sports
Tulsa Under


Cappers Access
Cubs
Phillies
Grizzlies


Big Time Sports
Clippers Over


Joe Wiz
Atl Hawks


USA Sports Consulting
BlueJays


MadduxSports
San Diego Padres


Jack Clayton
Astros/Padres Over


Glen Mcgrew
KC Royals

Rocco Spacamuro
Yankees


ARTHUR RALPH
BLUEJAYS


GAMBLERS DATA
Angels


NATIONAL SPORTS SERVICE
Tulsa -5.5


Benjamin Lee Eckstein
Indians -170


Scott Ferrall
BRADLEY +5.5

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Scott Spreitzer

Pittsburgh Pirates at Atlanta Braves

I'm laying the price with the Braves on Monday. The Pirates really struggled in road night games against southpaws last season, scoring just 4.1 runs per game while losing 9 of 14 contests. Ian Snell has put up some decent numbers, but not in this park. The righty owns a 6.75 ERA over the last three seasons in Atlanta. Tom Glavine returns to Atlanta and should have little trouble getting off to a winning start against a team he has absolutely dominated in his career, including the last three seasons. Glavine's teams are a healthy, 28-15 in 43 starts against the Buccs, and he owns a 3.32 ERA. The NY Mets were a perfect 4-0 against Pittsburgh when Glavine toed the home rubber the last three seasons. I believe the Braves will fare just as well.

Play on: Atlanta

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Alex Smart

Los Angeles Dodgers -169

The Giants Barry Zito in his first season in the NL , had a sub par performance going 11-13 along with a slightly bloated 4.53 ERA.Things may not get much better for this notoriously slow starter here today . This will be the southpaws 4th opening day assignment , with the other three , going badly, as is evident by a 0-3 record and a hefty 9.49 ERA in those tilts. His pitching opponent Brad Penny from the LA Dodgers was at the proverbial opposite end of the performance spectrum last season, accumulating a 16-4 record along with a stable 3.03 ERA. Look for Penny and the Dodgers newly acquired slugger to help trigger the Dodgers first win of the season here Chevz Ravine this afternoon. Final notes & Key Trends: Dodgers are 36-15 in Penny L/51 starts as a favorite. LA is 19-9 L/28 meetings in this series.

Play on the Dodgers

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Ted Sevransky

Colorado Rockies -106

St Louis went from a World Series title to a 78-84 record last year. The drop-off in 2008 might be just as significant, if not more so, as the Cardinals look very much like one of the worst teams in the NL heading into the regular season. Let’s not forget how the Cards started off 2007, getting outscored 20-2 in a three game sweep at home at the hands of the New York Mets, as part of a 1-7 start to the season at Busch Stadium. There’s little reason to expect this season to start any differently.

The Cardinals offseason was nothing short of an unmitigated disaster. Among the departed are many of the key cogs in their 2006 World Series run: shortstop David Eckstein, third baseman Scott Rolen, center fielder Jim Edmonds among others, without acquiring adequate replacements. Make no mistake about it – this isn’t a mediocre team, it’s a bad team, not yet priced correctly by the betting marketplace.

Jeff Francis was the Rockies undisputed ace last year, carrying the starting rotation for a good portion of the season before other guys stepped up in September, allowing the Rockies to go on their record setting late season push into the playoffs. Francis won a career high 17 games last year. He went 9-4 after the All Star break and 2-1 in the playoffs. Francis has completely shut down the Cardinals in six previous career starts against them: 4-1 with a 2.28 ERA. And with Luis Viscaino signed to set-up for closer Manny Corpas, six strong innings from Francis should be more than enough to earn the Rockies their first victory of the 2008 campaign.

Take Colorado.

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James Patrick Sports

Hawks vs, Grizzlies

A tired bunch of Bears return home off the NBA road to host the Atlanta Hawks. With Atlanta sniffing the play-offs and in need of every game possible we use our Monday NBA selection on Atlanta Hawks.


Marc Lawrence

Play On: Phoenix

Note: Suns play host to the Nuggets in a key Western Conference clash knowing they are 27-4 SU and 20-9-2 ATS as a home favorite in this series, including 21-0 SU and 18-3 ATS when Denver owns a win percentage of .290 or greater. With Phoenix playing with revenge and Denver off back-to-back revenge wins, we'll stay at home with the Suns here tonight.


Great Lakes Sports

Toronto at New York Yankees
Toronto with Halladay

The Bluejays Halladay is 10-4 with a nice 2.95era vs the New York Yankees since 1997, 83-63 when the total is between 9 to 9.5 the last three years, they are also 21-15 when playing on Monday's the last three years, and 79-67 vs division opponents the last three years. We look for the Toronto Bluejays to beat the New York Yankees on this Opening Day of Major League Baseball.


Alex Smart
Game: San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers

The Giants Barry Zito in his first season in the NL , had a sub par performance going 11-13 along with a slightly bloated 4.53 ERA.Things may not get much better for this notoriously slow starter here today . This will be the southpaws 4th opening day assignment , with the other three , going badly, as is evident by a 0-3 record and a hefty 9.49 ERA in those tilts. His pitching opponent Brad Penny from the LA Dodgers was at the proverbial opposite end of the performance spectrum last season, accumulating a 16-4 record along with a stable 3.03 ERA. Look for Penny and the Dodgers newly acquired slugger to help trigger the Dodgers first win of the season here Chevz Ravine this afternoon. Final notes & Key Trends: Dodgers are 36-15 in Penny L/51 starts as a favorite. LA is 19-9 L/28 meetings in this series. Play on the Dodgers -1.5 runline

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Jimmy The Moose

Game: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers
Prediction: under

Reason: Pittsburgh has played under the total in 4 straight games. The under is 5-1-1 in the Penguins last 7 games played with 0 day rest between action. The under is 9-0 in the Rangers last 9 games played with 0 day between games. The under is 8-2-1 in New York's last 11 games. The under is 15-7-2 in their last 24 games vs. a team with a winning road record. The team's played the under on Sunday afternoon and the under is now 10-4 in the last 14 meetings between the clubs. Play the under.

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VEGAS SPORTS PICS

CBB

Bradley Braves + 5.5 over (at) Tulsa Golden Hurricane    

Bradley is 6-3 last 9 games including a 72-71 win at then No.16 Drake, which went on next game to win at then No.10 Butler 71-64. Braves rank 15th nationally averaging 9.1 three-pointers.    


MLB

Chicago Cubs (Zambrano) - 125* over Milwaukee (Sheets)    

Defending NL Central Champ Cubs are 5-1 versus Milwaukee last six home meetings dating back to last April. Zambrano went 2-1 with a 4.26 ERA against the Brewers last season.    
   

LA Dodgers (Penny) - 1.5 (+125*) over San Francisco (Zito)    

The offensively challenged Giants enter off a last place finish in 2007. Zito is 0-3 in opening day starts including a 7-0 loss to S.D. last season. Penny won at San Francisco 2-1 last April 7th.

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Stephen Nover

Kansas City Royals @ Detroit Tigers
PICK: Kansas City Royals

REASON FOR PICK: Maybe on paper you can justify the Detroit Tigers being this high of an opening day favorite against Kansas City. But the reality doesn't translate.

If you're going to lay better than 2-to-1 on a baseball favorite, you better make sure that team has a strong pitching edge, a healthy lineup and there's no wildcat factors going on such as weather.

The Tigers have none of that for this matchup. Justin Verlander goes to the hill for Detroit. It's his first opening-day start. Could he suffer from a case of nerves?

The Royals, on the other, are pitching Gil Meche. He defeated the Boston Red Sox last year on opening day, 7-1. Meche held the Red Sox to one and six hits in 7 1/3 innings, while striking out six and walking one.

This was in line with how well he pitched during the early part of last season, when he only gave up more than earned three runs once during his first nine starts.

Meche has a proven track record against Detroit. He's 6-4 with a 3.78 ERA versus the Tigers in 14 career starts, including 4-1 at Comerica Park.

The Tigers look great because they upgraded the left side of their infield with superstar third baseman Miguel Cabrera and shortstop Edgar Renteria. But their bullpen could be a huge weakness.

Both of Detroit's two top setup men - Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney - are out with shoulder injuries. These fireballers made closer Todd Jones look better than he is because they were such hard throwers. Batters would be off-balance because of it when they faced Jones.

Jones is one of the weaker closers and now the rest of Detroit's relief is suspect. The Tigers also are without leadoff hitter and catalyst Curtis Granderson, out with a broken finger.

After returning from six weeks of Florida sunshine, the Tigers suffered some weather culture shock with cold and freezing rain that perhaps might even turn to snow. Sure it's the same for both teams, but bad weather usually helps the 'dog because it puts more randomness into the equation.

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Bryan Leonard

Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles
PICK: Tampa Bay Rays

The new look Rays are for real. Not only do they have a new name after dropping the Devil in the off-season but they have one of the deepest pitching staffs in baseball. Much has been made about the talented arms in the starting rotation but we really like this Tampa Bay bullpen. In the past Tampa starters would lose out on victories because of the questionable bullpen but that shouldn't be a concern this year. James Shields takes the mound Monday and he looks to improve on a breakout year. He had amazing control a year ago allowing just 1.96 walks per game. What is just as impressive is that he is a dominant strikeout pitcher who mowed down 7.63 players a game. Last year he posted a 2.12 ERA in Camden Yards going 17 innings in his two starts.

Baltimore enters the year considered to be the worst team in the American League, and we are in full agreement. The opening day starter is Jeremy Guthrie who was claimed off the shelf after Cleveland gave up on him. He was nearly unhittable in May and June last year but he really struggled after the All-Star break. Guthrie posted an ERA of 5.00 this spring so it may be that the two month span from a year ago was an aberration. In 20.1 innings of work last year against the Rays he allowed 33 base runners.

Offensively Baltimore has two solid big league players in Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis, but Roberts is likely headed out the door for more prospects. With aging veterans like Mora, Huff and Payton getting playing time don't count on the O's to win many games. Tampa has the better starter, the better bullpen and the better hitting ball club. We get a cheap line here because of the "Rays" across the Tampa player's chests.

PLAY TAMPA BAY

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EZ WINNERS

MLB

2 STAR: (925) TEXAS (+$174) over Seattle
(Listing Millwood and Bedard)
(Risking $200 to win $348)

Only time will tell if Seattle's big trade for their opening day starter Eric Bedard from Baltimore will pay off. But one thing is for sure, he has had a horrible spring. Bedard had an 8.63 ERA in six starts this spring allowing 35 hits, including nine home runs, in 24 innings pitched. Millwood finally looks to be healthy after an injury riddled season last year and looked good in his final spring tuneup. I think this big dog will bark.

1 STAR: (904) CHICAGO (-$120) over Milwaukee
(Listing Zambrano and Sheets)
(Risking $120 to win $100)

Ben Sheets has not been sharp at all in the spring finishing up with a 9.56 ERA that included a nine earned run performance and a monster shot grand slam homerun by Jim Thome in his final spring outing against the White Sox. Carlos Zambrano has been impressive for the Cubbies. I look for big Z to get off to a much better start this season, his ERA in the spring was excellent at 2.37. I'll ride him here as a small home favorite.

1 STAR: (917) KANSAS CITY (+$187) over Detroit
(Listing Meche and Verlander)
(Risking $100 to win $187)

The Tigers starter Justin Verlander has been up in the zone all spring and his 5.85 spring ERA is an indication of this inabality to keep the ball down. Royals starter Gil Meche had a decent spring posting a 3-2 record with an ERA of 3.74. Last season Meche had success against the Tigers as he was 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA in three starts against Detroit. The Royals should be an improved team this season, I will take a shot with them here.

1 STAR: (919) TORONTO (+$142) over NY Yankees
(Listing Halladay and Wang)
(Risking $100 to win $142)

Its not often you will get Roy Halladay at this kind of price but the "New York Yankees" name gets us value here. The Yankees opening day starter Chien-Ming Wang was 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA in three starts against the Jays last season and he has been knocked around in spring training this year where he finished up with a 8.04 ERA. Roy Halliday's ERA the last three seasons pitching at Yankee Stadium is a microscopic 0.61! I'll gladly take Toronto as a dog with their ace on the mound.

1 STAR: (905) WASHINGTON (+$187) over Philadelphia
(Listing Chico and Myers)
(Risking $100 to win $187)

This is a Bio-Rhythm play, we are fading Brett Myers. The Phillies have also been pretty horrible in spring training and closer Brad Lidge is on the DL with a knee injury. Lets see if the Nats can knock him around some here.

1 STAR: (915) HOUSTON (+$146) over San Diego
(Listing Oswalt only)
(Risking $100 to win $146)

I have to take a shot with the Wizard on the mound for Houston at this price. The Astros have more sluggers in the lineup this season so hopefully this can scratch out a few runs against the Padres ace. Peavy is 6-2 lifetime against the Astros, but Roy is 7-1 lifetime against the Padres. There is value here.

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JEFFERSONSPORTS

PHOENIX-5.5

MEMPHIS+3

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ETHAN LAW MONDAY CONFIRMED MONDAY MLB SELECTIONS

1* KANSAS CITY +$175
1* TEXAS +$170


KC: RHP Gil Meche (9-13, 3.67 ERA in 2007)

at

DET: RHP Justin Verlander (18-6, 3.66 ERA)

Before everybody begins jumping down my throat at even the possibility of wagering on this selection, I must make this clear that this selection has A LOT of merit to it. With that said, there is absolutely no question in my mind that when the 2008 season is all said and done, Detroit will be battling for the divisional crown with Cleveland, while it is entirely conceivable that Kansas City might lose 100 games this season. With all of that being said, lets get to the merits of this selection. I put an addendum in my non-graded Sunday night selection about how in the opening weeks of the baseball season we usually can expect the unexpected. We also know that there is more value in the opening week of the season, because we often get these perceived mismatches like the one we have here tonight. Detroit opened as a -$200 favorite (an exceptionally high price) and despite that absolutely outrageous line this is the most lopsided bet game of the day with the public favoring this Detroit team at almost a 9-1 clip. What the public hears is what is in the papers and what is on ESPN just about every night. The off-season moves by the Tigers have been well documented with the additions of on of the very best hitters in all baseball in Miguel Cabrera, Edgar Renteria and Jacque Jones who will help bolster an already incredible offense. Indeed, its possible the Detroit now possess the single best offense in all of baseball. The addition of Dontrelle Willis will also mean that this is a team that will also have one of the more formidable pitching staffs in the American League. Again this is all information that should be nothing new to the avid baseball follower. Despite all of that, one thing is for certain (like death) no matter how good or how bad each of these teams are on paper, our bottom line (profit) is all we care about and its entirely conceivable that Kansas City will win their backers more money when its all said and done this season then Detroit due to the very fact that the odds maker sets the kind of lines like we see in this contest. Although it might be extremely difficult to believe, the true line in this contest should be in the neighborhood of -$135 (possibly lower) when you consider that Kansas City is sending their own Ace in Gil Meche to the mound. Although the Royals lack power, they are still a team the is more then capable of putting up runs this season. Kansas City performed admirably on the road against right-handed pitchers in day contests last season as they backers won a tidy +$395 and their offense averaged close to 5 runs per game in that setting. In stark contrast, this is a Detroit team that lost a boat load of money at home against right-handed pitching -$1350. To make matter even worse, they had a losing record in home/day games in this setting where they were 9-11 -$680 with an offense that averaged just over 5 runs per game. If you really take a look at those splits if almost incredible that they are a 2-1 favorite.

Although last season there was a vast difference in both of todays starting pitchers win totals, there is not much that separates these pitchers statically and historically. Verlander comes into this contest 6-0 with a 2.26 ERA in eight career starts against the Royals; while Meche has been equally impressive against the Tigers where he is 4-1 with a 335 ERA in nine starts at Comerica Park. However, what I found interesting is that Meche averages almost a full inning longer per start then does Verlander in day games and considering that Verlander allowed five earned runs in just three innings this past Tuesday, there is a VERY good chance that this contest might be decided by the bullpens. If thats the case, we will be in fantastic shape as Kansas City has a decided advantage. Indeed, Kansas City comes into this contest with a bullpen that was one of the best in the majors, one that posted just a 3.85 ERA. Contrast that with a Tigers bullpen that posted a 4.62 ERA (in home games) last season and one that has again (like clockwork) already been hit with the injury bug. Bad shoulders have Joel Zumaya out until at least midseason and Fernando Rodney beginning the campaign on the disabled list. Those were the guys how would normally set up their 40 year old closer in Todd Jones, who even when he gets the ball is always shaky. Nevertheless, just trying to get the ball in Jones' hands will be a chore as Zach Miner, Tim Byrdak, Bobby Seay and Jason Grilli all are unproven and unreliable.

What really caught my eye when I took a deeper look into this contest was the rather dominating technical data I uncovered which warrants some discussion. Kansas City comes into this contest 21-21 (+18.8 Units) as a road underdog of +175 to +200 over the last 3 seasons; while their starting pitcher, Gil Meche is an impressive 9-4 as an underdog of +150 or more over the last 2 seasons with an average margin of victory of a whipping 1.7 runs! The fact that Meche is also 5-0 +$870 as a road underdog of +150 to +200 over the last 2 seasons cements it. Take the huge underdog and pray!

Verdict: Kansas City 4, Detroit 3
PLAY 1* UNIT ON KANSAS CITY +$175


TEX: RHP Kevin Millwood (10-14, 5.16 ERA in 2007)

at

SEA: LHP Erik Bedard (13-5, 3.16 ERA)

Here we go back to what we do best, identifying the very best situational settings for teams that are instilled as heavy underdogs. I have to be quit frank, when I saw this line I almost fell off my chair given the that Texas comes into Seattle as a +$170 underdog. We know that the justification for this over-evaluation is simple, with the additions of Bedard, Seattle is considered to have the very best starting rotation in the league with Felix Hernandez and the other acquisition of Silva and many of the so-called experts have prognosticated that Seattle will walk away with the AL West crown when its all said in done. In contrast, Texas is expected to finish dead last in the division but rest assured, this is a far better team then last years version despite lacking the superstar names that often receive most of the media hype. As you will recall, the Rangers made several moves at last season's trade deadline that re-energized the club as a whole when they brought in eight prospects for pitchers Eric Gagne and Ron Mahay and first baseman Mark Teixeira. The result of those deals makes the Rangers a very talented and young team that could surprise many people this season as I expect them to be a very hungry and each bunch. Second baseman Ian Kinsler emerged as one of the club's top hitters despite playing in just 130 games who topped 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases and batted .315 at home in 2007 and they still have the always dangerous Michael Young is one of the better hitters in the majors, recording 200 hits in five straight seasons. Looking ahead, the major concern with Texas, is their pitching staff as they have continually ignored their pitching problems for the past few seasons. Their Ace and todays opening day starter, Kevin Millwood and #2 Vincent Padilla are both coming off mediocre seasons. With all that said, its not as though Seattle is without their problems as well. Aside from having one of the best starting rotations in the division, their offense has questions marks all over the place as there are the polar opposite to the Rangers with most of their everyday players are over their primes. Overall, the offense has been downgraded this off-season as both Jose Guillen and Adam Jones will be replaced by Brad Wilkerson and Wladimir Balentien in right field.

As I stated above, I was quit shocked when I saw the opening number in this contest. The line opened with Seattle as a -$190 chalk and has since been bet up to -$200 despite the fact that the true line in this contest should be in the neighborhood of only -$130 using a combination of multiple sources of power ratings. As you can see, that is a significant deviation of what the true line in this contest should be. Despite that fact, betting indicators are showing public support for Bedard and Seattle at a 64% clip, perhaps due to the fact that nobody can dispute the fact that Bedard is coming off a career year. I know nobody puts much stock in pre-season games (nor should they) but its hard to ignore the fact that Bedard has been nothing short of miserable this spring. Indeed, Bedard finished Spring Training with an abysmal 8.63 ERA in six starts. He gave up 35 hits, including nine home runs, while striking out 10 and walking eight in 24 innings (in his last outing against the lowly Royals he gave up four runs, including two home runs, with three walks in six innings). Now I know its spring training, but Bedard doesnt seem ready for this Monday and he will have a tall task on hand where he faces a Rangers team that his dismantled left-handed pitching. Last season, Texas averaged 5.5 runs against left-handed pitching last season and even more impressive they averaged 6.4 runs per game in day games against the southpaws. Thats bad news for Bedard who has struggled when pitching at Safeco over his career where he has posted a poor 1-2 mark with a 5.06 ERA in four career starts. Moreover, Bedard has averaged just 5.9 innings per start in home/day games last season, which means more then likely this one could be in the hands of the bullpens, in which case the Rangers will have a decided advantage. In order to acquire Bedard, Seattle gave Sherrill, which means they will have to rely on both Eric O'Flaherty or Morrow to step up for their stud closer JJ Putz. Seattles bullpen posted a 4.13 ERA at home last season when compared to the Rangers bullpen that had just a 3.82 ERA in road contests. Although Bedards counterpart, right-hander Kevin Millwood is nothing to get too excited about, he nevertheless should find success against a Seattle team that was absolutely atrocious in home/day games against right-handers where they were a miserable 6-15 -$695 with an offense that averaged a meager 3 runs per game! I am a bit concerned that Millwood only threw one Spring training game, he was nevertheless impressive in that outing where he threw five scoreless innings (allowed only 3 hits and struck out 5) on 63 pitches. I also studied the posted over/under in this contest and uncovered some interesting technical data relating to Millwoods success at keeping games under the posted total. From the point, we uncovered some supporting technicals that help with our selection. In all games since 1997 in games in which Millwood started the Under is 174-127 and Millwoods team won those games by an average of .6 runs per game. Moreover, unlike his counterpart, Millwood has excelled in day games where he posted an impressive 3.86 ERA last season and over his career he has throw in 55 games (out of 88) games that have gone under the posted total. In those games his team has an average margin of victory of .8 runs. Whos favored here? Lets take the huge underdog in what appears to be the very best value play of the day.

Verdcit: Rangers 5, Seattle 3
PLAY 1* UNIT ON TEXAS +$170

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Jim Feist.

PIT Pirates and ATL Braves.
Take "Under".

Weather conditions for April baseball are more conducive to unders, with colder weather across much of the country. It.5?s going to be in a 55-60 degree range for this game. Bats heat up in July and August, but it.5?s tougher to hit home runs in April when it.5?s cooler. For this game, both teams trot out their aces. Opponents hit just .264 off Pirates starter Ian Snell last season, while Tom Glavine returns to Atlanta and gets to face a terrible offense that finished 12th in the NL in runs scored. Look for pitching and defense to rule this game, play the Pirates/Braves under the total!

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Dave Cokin.

WAS Wizards and UTH Jazz.
Take "UTH Jazz".

The Jazz are a very predictable team right now. Take your chances against Utah when they hit the road, but don't try fading them in Salt Lake City. The Jazz are home tonight off a bad Sunday effort at Minnesota, and the visiting Wizards could be a bit weary at this point. Looks like another Delta Center crush job for the hosts, so it's the Jazz minus the points."

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Sports Advisors

NBA

Denver (45-28, 40-33 ATS) at Phoenix (49-24, 34-36-3 ATS)

The red-hot Nuggets take a five-game winning streak to the desert when they visit the Suns in the first of a two-games-in-two-nights home-and-home series with the Suns.

Denver won a hard-fought battle with the Warriors on Saturday night, scoring a 119-112 home victory. However, the Nuggets came up just short as an eight-point chalk, ending a 5-0 ATS run. Despite that non-cover, George Karl’s team has been a solid bet the last few weeks, going 11-3 ATS in its last 14 contests.

Phoenix returns home after splitting a four-game East Coast road trip. The Suns lost the first two at Detroit and Boston, but rebounded to win at Philadelphia 107-93 on Friday and at New Jersey 110-104 on Saturday. However, they went just 1-3 ATS on the trip, including failing to cover as a 6½-point chalk at the Nets on Sunday.

The home team is on an 8-2 SU and ATS run in this rivalry, with the host taking the first two meetings this season. Phoenix rolled 137-115 as a 7½-point home chalk on Jan. 7, with Denver getting revenge with a 126-113 win as a seven-point favorite on March 5. The last four head-to head clashes have been decided by margins of 24, 17, 22 and 13 points, with the home club going 4-0 SU and ATS. In fact, the host has cashed in each of the last six battles.

These teams meet again on Tuesday night in Denver.

Denver has followed up a five-game road losing skid (2-3 ATS) by winning three straight on the highway (3-0 ATS), prevailing by margins of 11, 9 and 14 points. The Nuggets are also 5-1 ATS in their last six against the Western Conference. However, they’re just 1-5 ATS in their last six against the Pacific Division and 1-4 ATS as an underdog of 5 to 10½ points.

The Suns are on a 9-2 SU run overall (7-3-1 ATS), including five consecutive wins and spread-covers at home. They’re also 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven against the West, but 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 against the Northwest Division.

The over is 9-3 in the Suns’ last 12 home games and 4-0 in their last four meetings with Denver.

Meanwhile, going back to the beginning of February, the Nuggets are on a 20-8 “over” streak, though they have stayed low in three of their last four, including two straight road contests.

ATS ADVANTAGE: PHOENIX and OVER


COLLEGE BASKETBALL INVITATIONAL

Bradley (20-15, 18-14-1 ATS) at Tulsa (23-13, 19-11 ATS)

The inaugural College Basketball Invitational championship series tips off at the Reynolds Center Tulsa, as the Golden Hurricane host Bradley in the first of a best-of-three set.

Tulsa enters this series on a 13-3 SU run (13-2 ATS in lined games). The Golden Hurricane won three home games to get to this point, besting Miami (Ohio) 61-45 as a 4½-point favorite, topping Utah 69-60 as a 2½-point chalk, then knocking out Houston 73-69 as a 3½-point choice on Wednesday. The straight-up winner has cashed in each of Tulsa’s last 10 contests and 15 of the last 16.

Bradley lost three straight games entering the CBI, but has since caught fire in posting wins over Cincinnati (70-67), Ohio (79-73) and Virginia (96-85) to reach this series. The Braves cashed in two of the three contests, and they’re on a 6-3 ATS roll coming into tonight’s contest (3-1 ATS on the highway). The winner is 13-3 ATS in Bradley’s past 16 contests.

Tulsa is 16-2 at home (11-3 ATS in lined contests), and going back to last year, the Golden Hurricane are on a 14-3 ATS roll on their home floor. Furthermore, Tulsa is on ATS hot streaks of 17-4 as a favorite, 8-0 as a chalk of less than seven points and 5-0 in non-conference contests.

Bradley is on positive pointspread runs of 12-4 overall, 7-2 on the road, 10-2 as a road underdog of less than seven points and 37-16-2 after a SU win.

Bradley has been all about offense of late, averaging 85 points per game on 45.8 percent shooting in its last five, while allowing 82 ppg on 47.1 percent shooting. On the other hand, the Golden Hurricane have been very defensive-oriented of late, putting up 63.6 ppg on 40.4 percent shooting while surrendering 62.6 ppg on 40.4 percent shooting.

For the Braves, the over is on runs of 17-5 overall, 6-0 on the road, 18-8-1 in non-league play, 11-1 as a road underdog and 5-0 on Mondays. Conversely, Tulsa is on under streaks of 5-2-1 overall, 5-2-1 at home and 4-1-1 as a favorite.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


NATIONAL LEAGUE

Houston (0-0) at San Diego (0-0)

Reigning N.L. Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy (19-6, 2.54 ERA in 2007) leads the Padres against the Astros and ace Roy Oswalt (14-7, 3.18) as the two squads begin the 2008 season at Petco Park.

San Diego is coming off a heartbreaking 2007 season in which it lost a one-game playoff to Colorado for the N.L. wild-card berth. The Padres finished 89-74, 1½ games behind division champion Arizona and a game back of the Rockies. On the bright side, Bud Black’s club won 13 of its final 18 home games last year.

Houston experienced a rare losing season last year, going 73-89, good for fourth place in the six-team N.L. Central. The Astros did close the year on a 5-1 run, and also won of their last seven on the road.

The Astros won the season series last year, 4-3. The visiting team is 8-5 in the last 13 meetings.

Peavy, who is making his third Opening Day start, hit the pitching equivalent of the Triple Crown last year, leading the N.L. in wins, ERA and strikeouts (240). The veteran righthander was 9-5 with a 2.51 ERA in 19 starts at Petco Park in 2007. He’s 6-4 with a 2.23 ERA in 12 career starts against the Astros, going 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA in two outings last season.

Oswalt had a drastic home-road split last year, going 9-1 with a 1.91 ERA in Houston, but just 5-6 with a 4.77 ERA on the highway. The righthander, who is starting on Opening Day for the sixth time, made one start at Petco Park last year, giving up two runs in just 4 2/3 innings, failing to get a decision in a 3-2 Houston win. For his career, Oswalt is 7-1 with a 2.27 ERA against the Padres (2-0, 2.50 ERA at Petco).

The Padres are 7-2 in their last nine against the N.L. Central.

The under is 9-2-2 in the last 13 Padres-Astros clashes, including 5-0-1 in the last six battles at Petco. The under also went 4-0 in Houston’s last four overall last year, 6-1 in Oswalt’s last six starts and 12-6-1 in Peavy’s 17 home outings. However, the Padres closed 2007 on a 7-1-1 “over” streak.

ATS ADVANTAGE: SAN DIEGO and UNDER


AMERICAN LEAGUE

L.A. Angels (0-0) at Minnesota (0-0)

Jered Weaver (13-7, 3.91 in 2007) makes the first opening-day start of his career when he leads the Angels against the Twins and veteran righthander Livan Hernandez (11-11, 4.93 in 2007).

The Angels went 94-68 and cruised to the A.L. West title last year, their third division crown in the last four seasons, winning it by six games over the Mariners. However, Los Angeles got swept by eventual the World Series champion Red Sox in a best-of-3 opening round playoff series.

After winning the A.L. Central four times in five years, the Twins took a major step back in 2007, finishing in third place in the division with a 79-83 record.

The Angels won the season series last year 6-3, capturing the final four meetings. Going back to 2005, Los Angeles is 12-6 in this rivalry.

Hernandez, who pitched for Arizona last year, was shaky in his first spring in Minnesota, posting a 6.38 ERA. Despite that, with former Twins ace Johan Santana traded to the Mets in the offseason, Hernandez was awarded with the eighth opening-day start in his 10-year career, but his first as a pitcher in the American League. He has never pitched inside the Metrodome.

Hernandez has made two career regular-season starts against the Angles, failing to register a decision in either contest while posting a 3.55 ERA. However, he did face the Halos twice in the 2002 World Series when with the Giants, going 0-2 with a 14.31 ERA.

Weaver started last year on the disabled list and struggled at the start of his first full big-league season. But he came on strong after the All-Star break, going 7-2 with a 4.13 ERA in 14 starts. He was also outstanding in spring training this year, going 5-0 with a 1.67 ERA in six starts.

Weaver was 6-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 14 starts on the road, including getting a no-decision on July 21 in Minnesota, as he gave up just two runs on five hits over seven innings, with L.A. eventually losing 5-2. For his career, the righthander is 2-0 with a 2.11 ERA in three starts against the Twins.

Los Angeles went 2-7 in its final nine road games last year and 1-4 in its final five against the A.L. Central. As for the Twins, they lost nine of their last 13 home games in 2007, but are on a 4-0 roll against the A.L. West.

The under is 23-11-3 in the last 37 games in the Metrodome, but the over is 4-1-1 in the last six Twins-Angels battles in the dome.

ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. ANGELS

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Re: Monday Service Plays

Karl Garrett

Baseball action today, and I am very interested in the Mariners on the RUN LINE today in their home opener at Safeco Field.

Expectations are high in the Emerald City, as the M's have a new ace in their rotation with Erik Bedard taking the mound for the first time in his Seattle career.

Bedard's last 23 innings of work against the Rangers have seen just 2 earned runs cross the plate, while opposing hurler Kevin Millwood has been hit hard in his recent starts versus Seattle, allowing 4 runs or more in each of his last 5 starts against the M's.

Seattle won 8 of the 10 home games against Texas last season, and the G-Man see an opening day romp on tap for the King County faithful.

RUN LINE play on the Mariners.

4* SEATTLE -1 1/2-RUNS

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Re: Monday Service Plays

Arthur Ralph

Superpick: La Angels with Weaver

Regular Play: Tulsa

Free Pick: Toronto Bluejays with Roy Halladay

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Re: Monday Service Plays

Locksmith Sports

1 Unit on Bradley +5.5

I think this game will be very closely contested so we'll take the points.  Bradley is 11-2 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games this season, 10-2 ATS in road games versus poor pressure defensive teams - forcing <=14 turnovers/game after 15+ games over the last 3 seasons, and 7-1 ATS versus good teams - outscoring their opponents by 4+ points/game after 15+ games this season.  The Braves are also 15-6 ATS when playing only their 2nd game in a week this season, 21-9 ATS after covering 2 of their last 3 against the spread over the last 2 seasons, and an impressive 13-4 ATS after 1 or more consecutive wins this season.  Take the points.

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Re: Monday Service Plays

DUNKEL INDEX - CBB NIT

Bradley at Tulsa

Tulsa hosts the first game tonight in the best of three series for the CBI championship and comes in with a 16-2 record at home. But Bradley has played well on the road with a 7-1 record ATS in its last eight games, including a win at Virginia in the semifinals. The Braves are the underdog pick (+5 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has Tulsa favored by 4 1/2.

Dunkel Pick: Bradley (+5 1/2).

Here are all of today's games.
MONDAY, MARCH 31
Time Posted: 7:30 a.m. EST

Game 613-614: Bradley at Tulsa
Dunkel Ratings: Bradley 63.230; Tulsa 67.957
Dunkel Line: Tulsa by 4 1/2
Vegas Line: Tulsa by 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Bradley (+5 1/2)

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DUNKEL INDEX - NBA

Denver at Phoenix

Denver takes its five-game winning streak on the road tonight, but runs into a Phoenix team that is 5-0 SU and ATS over its last five home games. The Suns are the pick (-5 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has Phoenix favored by 7.

Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (-5 1/2).

Here are all of today's games.
MONDAY, MARCH 31
Time Posted: 10:30 a.m. EST

Game 601-602: Miami at Indiana
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 106.089; Indiana 120.191
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 14; 197 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 16 1/2; 198 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+16 1/2); Under

Game 603-604: Toronto at Charlotte
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 118.334; Charlotte 115.005
Dunkel Line & Total: Toronto by 3 1/2; 199
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto by 2; 194
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-2); Over

Game 605-606: Atlanta at Memphis
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 117.316; Memphis 112.761
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 4 1/2; 213
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 3; 210
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-3); Over

Game 607-608: Washington at Utah
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 116.191; Utah 124.358
Dunkel Line & Total: Utah by 8; 207 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Utah by 9; 209
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+9); Under

Game 609-610: Denver at Phoenix
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 120.302; Phoenix 127.243
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 7; 245
Vegas Line & Total: Phoenix by 5 1/2; 236
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (-5 1/2); Over

Game 611-612: Dallas at LA Clippers
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 120.329; LA Clippers 113.468
Dunkel Line & Total: Dallas by 7; 193 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Dallas by 6; 192 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Dallas (-6); Over

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