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Friday Service Plays
Re: Friday Service Plays
Georgia Force -11.5 / 4 units
Kansas City is in a world of hurt as they travel to Georgia to take on the Force on Friday night. The Brigade are still winless, coming off back-2-back home losses to Grand Rapids and San Jose . Starting quarterback John Fitzgerald was cut/quit the team (depending on which version of the story that you believe) following the loss to the Sabercats last weekend. Backup QB Matt Kohn is hurt, unable to suit up for this game. That leaves former Duke star D. Bryant to make his first career start this week, trying to coax some life out of a dismal offense that has been held out of the end zone on 16 of their 35 meaningful drives in their last three ballgames. And frankly, in an offense-first league, that spells trouble against a Georgia defense that has improved by leaps and bounds over the last few weeks.
Georgia has gotten back on track after a rotten offseason and an 0-2 start to the campaign. The Force have a pair of blowout wins in the last three weeks, beating LA by 24 and Utah by 21. Their lone loss during that span, at Orlando , came via a disputed non-touchdown on the last play of the game, where replays showed the Force receiver getting into the end zone. This team won six straight home games by two touchdowns or more down the stretch last year, and they have little margin for error in ’08 after their rough start. We’ve been cashing in on these non-competitive Friday Night blowouts all year long; let’s cash another one tonight. Take Georgia
Re: Friday Service Plays
TOR - 105 vs BOS
The Blue Jays didn't get any breaks from the schedule maker, opening the '08 season at Yankee Stadium and then returning home to face the defending champs (Boston). The Blue Jays return home with a 1-2 mark, with both losses coming by a score of 3-2. Boston of course, opened the season in Japan (March 25) and is working its way east, pointing to its home opener in Fenway on Tuesday with the Tigers. Boston will start the ageless Tim Wakefield, who is coming off a 17-12, 4.76 season. However, the question is this? Is Wakefield really ageless? I think not, as evidenced by his performance down the stretch LY. He allowed 39 hits and 24 ERs (over 24.2 innings) in his last five regular season starts, for an ERA of 8.76. That was good enough of a reason for Boston to use him just once in the postseason, when he allowed five hits and five ERs over 4.2 innings of a 7-3 ALDS loss to the Indians. Toronto was pretty tough at the Rogers Centre last year, going 49-32. The Blue Jays will send Shaun Marcum (12-6, 4.13 ERA) to the hill in their home opener. Marcum is coming off a "breakout season" in which he didn't make his first start until May 13 (25 of his 38 appearances were starts). Once he earned a spot in the rotation, he never gave it up, going 11-4 with a 3.91 ERA, with the Blue Jays going 15-10 in his starts. He started twice against Boston last season (both times in Fenway), with Toronto winning each time (plus-$225). The Red Sox have to be a little weary after all their travels and I think we are getting a "bargain of a price" in this one, with the up-and-coming Marcum facing the fast-fading Wakefield. Oddsmaker's Error on the Tor Blue Jays.
SEA -135 vs BAL
The Mariners hit .287 last year (3rd-best in MLB) and as far as us bettors were concerned were HUGE "moneymakers," going plus-$1,924 vs the moneyline (at $100/game), which ranked second to only the Rockies. The addition of Erik Bedard to the pitching rotation (joining Felix Hernandez at the top) was seen as a "major move." The Mariners have opened the '08 season with three outstanding performances by their starters, as Bedard, Hernandez and Silva (also new from Minnesota) have combined to allow two ERs in 19 innings (0.95 ERA). If not for closer JJ Putz (what a name for a closer!) blowing Tuesday's game, Seattle would be 3-0. Anyway, they take to the road this weekend, opening a four-game series in Baltimore. Jarrod Washburn starts tonight for the Mariners and in his two years in Seattle is 18-29 (4.49) with the Mariners going 30-33 in his 63 starts. There is some good news however, as he led the team in starts last season with 32 and ranked second on the team with 17 quality starts. He's also had good success vs the Orioles, with a 6-3 (4.46) mark in 11 career starts (teams are 8-3). Speaking of the Orioles, the team split two games with the Tampa Bay Rays (don't use that word devil anymore!), getting rained out yesterday. That means yesterday's scheduled starter, veteran Steve Trachsel, will start instead of lefty Loewen. I was hoping to go against Loewen, as Seattle 'killed' lefties last year, going 28-13 (plus-$1,730). However, going against Trachsel, ain't bad! Trachsel had a "phony" 2006 season with the Mets, posting a 15-8 mark. However, his ERA was 4.97 that season, while he allowed 185 hits in 164.2 innings, with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 79-78. He went 7-11, 4.90 last year, making 25 starts for the Orioles before getting traded to the Cubs on Aug 31. In four September starts with the Cubbies, he was terrible, going 1-3 with an 8.31 ERA. In 29 overall starts last season, his teams went 10-19, as Trachsel allowed 176 hits in 158 innings, posting a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 56-76. Trachsel signed a minor league contract with the Orioles this winter and to show how bad things are in Baltimore, he opens the year as the team's third starter! I'll also note that Trachsel is 0-4 with a 6.93 ERA in five career starts against the Mariners, with his teams losing all five games. I'll repeat, going against Trachsel ain't so bad. AL Game of the Week 15* Sea Mariners.
MIN -135 vs KAN
What's going on here? Weren't the Tigers supposed to be "the team to beat" in the AL after all their off-season acquisitions? So what's up with the Royals sweeping the Tigers in a three-game series in Detroit? Isn't Kansas City the same franchise which has lost 482 games the last five seasons, tying them with Tampa Bay fro the most in MLB over that period? Go figure! Now I realize the Royals won money on the road last year overall (plus-$597) and in away games vs right-handers (plus-$315) but I'm just looking to beat them tonight! Consider this. KC was 34-47 away from home last year (.420), including 24-35 vs right-handers (.408). The KC pitching staff held the Tigers to just five runs in their three-game sweep, giving them a team ERA of 1.55. Come on? The team had a 4.50 ERA last season and tonight will start John Bale, who last made a ML start in 2003. He's spent the last three years in Japan and quoting from a preview of this game, "Bale won a spot in the rotation during spring training, walking two and striking out 11 in 14.2 innings as he posted a 4.91 ERA." The lefty isn't exactly Johan Santana. Speaking of Santana, he's with the Mets these days, not the Twins, while Torii Hunter is now in the Angels' outfield, not the Twins'. Minnesota lost three of four games to those same Angels to open '08, batting .238 as a team with only one HR. Scott Baker (9-9, 4.26 ERA) starts on Friday for Minnesota and the Twins went 13-10 in his starts last year. Expectations are high for him this year, as Baker allowed more than three ERs in just ONE of his final 11 regular season starts in '07. Baker also won all three of his starts versus the Royals last year, allowing only four ERs in 22.2 innings (1.59 ERA), with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 20-2! He may not be Johan Santana either, but those are Santana-like numbers. This is the perfect "let-down" spot for the Royals and the Twins' bats, silent up 'til now, should 'wake up' vs Bale. Las Vegas Insider on the Min Twins
Re: Friday Service Plays
Sonics +9 (POD)
I like the Sonics here for several reasons as it fits into many models. Along with the 2 additional plays, this makes for as sound card of a heavy dog, a solid dog and a heavy favorite out for revenge. The Sonics have not lost 3 ATS ballgames in a row and in particular at home, they lost to this Rockets team by 2 points at home last time around, they did cover against Washington and beat Portland outright with revenge, they faced a Kings team out for revenge against them and a Clippers team who had Brand back so this is why they got beat the last 2 games badly at home. But, this team plays well against Houston covering both times this year, they got thumped in their last game, trust me, practice will have been rough with the way PJ Carlisimo has his team playing and they will play hard today for at least a home cover with an outside shot at winning outright in my opinion. The underdog is 4-0-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings (meaning the Sonics have covered) and the Rockets are 0-5-1 ATS in the last 6 meeting between these 2 teams.
I'll keep this short here, but when I look back on the spreadsheet since 2007, the Suns have lost to the Timberwolves several times including some tough road ballgames. Why do I bring this up? Well each time they end up losing to this team on the road, they come storming back to cover at home or on the road to avenge their loss. Much is the same today. I was on the Jazz when they were seeking revenge against this Twolf team at home, which they did (albeit by 1 point winning by 17), the Suns need to continue winning and playing well together to secure their playoff standing as the West is constantly shifting and I like the Suns here with the revenge, at home where they have been covering and the Twolves are 0-4-1 ATS on the road lately.
Do not underestimate the New York Knicks as double-digit dogs. Sure, Richardson is questionable today, but he wasn't much of a factor in Memphis and of late and this team has plenty of scrubs to take the place of Richardson who is a scrub himself. However, the Knicks covered at Toronto as double-digit dogs and were very competitive against the Hawks. This is a game that this team desperately needs to show up against a team like the Hornets after the loss to the Grizzlies with Walsh in the stands. This team desperately needs to turn around and making a tough effort against the Best team in the West will go a long way. I think this is a great spot for a Knicks cover given that the Hornets should not have covered their last game and Vegas is making it very tough for this ballclub today to cover. Long story short, Walsh the new head honcho will be in the stands, the Knicks need to bounce-back after Memphis, they had been playing very well as home dogs and I can see them hanging tough for most of this ballgame. The Road team is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 ballgames and I suspect the Knicks fight hard just like against the Raps and squeeze in for a low teen loss.
Marlins/Pirates Over 9.5
I can't even begin to tell you how long I have faded Matt Morris and Scott Olsen. Both of these pitchers had their moments over the past few years with Morris with the Cards showing his talent with that lineup and bullpen, but now with the Pirates that luxury is not there. Olsen continues to show promises of briliance but still continues to struggle not getting past the 6th inning without giving up 3 earned runs and change. The Marlins were pounded by the Mets yesterday 13-0 at home and this team likely will not take that well and they face much more hittable with pitches with Morris on the mound today. The Pirates played well against the Braves and have shown consistent pop with their hitting against the Braves starters and they should certainly be able to put up some runs on Morris. I took the Over with the Mets/Marlins the otherd day with Andrew Miller on the mound and I will certainly take the over with the Pirates with Morris on the mound along with Olsen. I see this game going to double-digits.
Re: Friday Service Plays
SUNS -14.5 to T ' Wolves--Phoenix is going to rip Minney to shreads. They beat them by 20 the last time they met in the Desert !
Rockets -8.5 to Sonics--Houston barely beat them in Seattle the last trip, but the Sonics are imploding these days and they'll get jacked tonight.
Dallas +6 from Lakers--This series is tight every time they play. Grab the points. Mavs finally beat a Western contender Wednesday when Dirk returned in win over Golden St. Too much wood to pass up ! Mavs need it more too !
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