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Tuesday Service Plays
Re: Tuesday Service Plays
GAME: Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors
PICK: Golden State Warriors
REASON FOR PICK: The Kings, playoff regulars under Rick Adelman, haven't made it to the postseason since he was fired (nice move!). They'll visit Oakland tonight in another meaningless game for them but a very important one for the Warriors, who enter tonight's game at 46-31, tied with the Nuggets for the West's final playoff spot (two games back of the Mavs). The Kings have a slew of players all listed as questionable. PG Udrih (12.8-4.4 APG) has missed 10 of the last 11 with a back problem, Miller (13.4-9.5) has missed the last two with a leg problem, Artest (20.5-5.7-3.5) returned vs LA Sunday night but who knows (?) and Garcia (11.9) hurt his ankle vs LA. The Warriors have that terrific perimeter game, led by guards Davis (21.9-4.6-7.6) and Ellis (20.1-4.9-3.7) plus swingman Jackson (20.1-4.5-4.1). The frontcourt has depthn and talent. The Warriors had scored 100 points or more in 37 straight games, before seeing that streak end at San Antonio on April 1, in a 116-92. loss. Golden State is just 1-3 in April, winning only at Memphis (117-86) but getting held under 100 points in losses at both Dallas (111-86) and New Orleans (108-96). In should be mentioned that Golden State has scored triple digits in all but ONE of its 46 wins this year. The Warriors are 25-12 SU at home but just 14-23 ATS. However, I'm laying the points with them, as the Kings are in a similar situation here (plus are on the road) to the one they faced Sunday night at home vs the Lakers. The Kings are just 3-11 vs Pacific Division rivals but one of those three wins came Mar 18 over the Warriors. The Warriors can ill-afford a loss to the lowly Kings, so like the Lakers did Sunday night (beat the Kings 114-92, after losing 114-133 to them about a month earlier), the Warriors win in a rout! Lay those points.
Re: Tuesday Service Plays
GAME: Los Angeles Lakers @ Portland Trail Blazers
PICK: Portland Trail Blazers
REASON FOR PICK: When it comes to games being played in April, the spreads are so out of whack due to playoff scenarios, implications, must wins and teams that have supposedly ?given up?. This is such a line as the Lakers, who are in the thick of the top spot in the Western Conference, are getting completely overvalued. Portland meanwhile has nothing to play for so the Blazers are close to double-digit home dogs. And in this case, the public still loves that road chalk.
These teams met in Portland five weeks ago and the Lakers, who were playing much better at the time, were six-point favorites, showing just how much the line has changed and for no good reason. Los Angeles lost that game by eight and that snapped a 10-game winning streak for the Lakers. Los Angeles already got its revenge as it won at home last week by 13 points over a Brandon Roy-less Blazers team. Roy is back as Portland went 0-4 without him and lost in his return last time out but that was against the Spurs.
Portland is a solid 27-14 ATS as a home underdog over the last two seasons and the Blazers are 15-4 ATS in home games after a game where they covered the spread this season. The Lakers meanwhile are on a 5-10 ATS run and continue to get their lines pushed up. Facing the Blazers has never been easy as Los Angeles is 6-18 in Portland over the last 13 years and from a spread standpoint, it is a woeful 6-21 ATS in the last 27 meetings overall.
The Lakers also fall into a solid play against situation. Play against road favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points in a game involving two teams that allow between 43.5 and 45.5 percent shooting on defense and commit fewer than 14.5 turnovers per game on offense in the second half of the season. This situation is 43-14 ATS (75.4 percent) since 1996 with the average point differential actually favoring the home teams by +0.7 ppg. The Lakers only need to win and we will gladly grab this generous line. Play Portland Trailblazers 1 Unit
Re: Tuesday Service Plays
Black Magic Sports
1 Unit on Chicago Bulls -9
Chicago will have no problem winning this one by double-digits tonight in Miami. The Bulls play a Heat squad that basically has their whole team out with injuries. As a result, Miami is 2-18 in their last 20 games overall. The thing is they aren’t even competing. The Heat have lost 6 straight games by at least 14 points a piece. The Bulls will continue this trend Tuesday. Chicago won their last meeting in Miami by a final of 126-96 in a 30-point blowout earlier this season. Chicago is 21-7 ATS in April games over the last 3 seasons. Miami is 4-13 ATS in April games the last 2 seasons. Miami is 4-14 ATS in home games after a loss by 10 points or more this season. Miami is 1-9 ATS in home games after a blowout loss by 15 points or more this season. The Bulls keep kicking the Heat while they are already down Tuesday. Cash in with Chicago as the favorite.
Re: Tuesday Service Plays
Game: Baltimore Orioles vs. Texas Rangers
Prediction: Texas Rangers Reason: I'm laying the price with TEXAS. The Orioles have gotten off to their best start in the years and the players are slapping themselves on the back, saying how "great" they've been playing. Let's not get too carried away though. While the Orioles have managed a 5-1 start, this represents their very first road game of the season. That's worth noting as the Orioles were an awful 64-97 (-14.8) on the road the past two seasons, including an ugly 2-10 (-7.2) mark when playing a road game with an over/under line of 11 or 11.5. Its also worth noting that they were a dismal 40-60 in 100 day games during that stretch. While the Orioles are playing their first road game, the Rangers will be highly motivated as this represents their home opener. Note that Texas has gone a relatively respectable 86-76 at home the past two seasons. In fact, they closed out last season on an impressive 15-3 run here. It should also be noted that the Rangers have won nine of their last 13 home meetings with the Orioles. Burres gets the call for the Orioles. He was 3-5 with a 5.12 ERA on the road last season and he got rocked for eight runs and eight hits, while recording only two outs, en route to a 30-3 beating the only previous time he faced Texas. Conversely, Jennings has faced Baltimore only once and tossed seven shutout innings, en route to a 2-1 victory for Colorado, his team at the time. Jennings, who is from the area, could really use a solid season as his contract has $4 million in incentives built into it. Look for him to outpitch Burres this afternoon, leading the Rangers to a victory in their home opener. *Personal Favorite
Game: San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants
Prediction: San Francisco Giants Reason: I'm playing on SAN FRANCISCO. The betting public is really down on the Giants, who are 1-6 for the second straight season. That's given us some terrific line value for a game in which I believe they should enjoy a pitching advantage. Last season, the Giants won their eighth game and I expect them to be duplicate that performance this evening. The Giants first six games all came on the road and they came vs. the likes of Lowe, Penny and Sheets. Yesterday was their home opener and they had to deal with future hall-of-famer Greg Maddux. I expect them to have significantly more success against Randy Wolf. Yes, Wolf was fairly solid in his opening start. That came at pitcher friendly PetCo Park though and before one gets too excited about Wolf's performance, keep in mind that he had a 4.73 ERA last season (and had shoulder surgery) after posting an ugly 5.56 mark in 2006. Additionally, note that in four career starts at AT&T Park, Wolf is 1-2 with a poor 4.88 ERA. Conversely, Lincecum has a 2.03 ERA in two starts vs. the Padres and he tossed seven shutout innings, allowing only four hits, in his only home start against them. Lincecum is the only Giant with a victory after allowing one run through four innings out of the bullpen. (He would have started, if not for a rain delay) Its also worth noting that Lincecum closed out spring training by tossing five no-hit innings with nine strikeouts. Oakland manager Bob Geren said: "Lincecum threw the ball real well. He had a very, very good fastball..." Giants manager Bruce Bochy added: "The kid threw well. It was a nice tune up for him. It was a big win for us. The way we played tonight was what we were looking for." Looking back further and we find that Lincecum had 20Ks in his final three starts in spring training, fannig seven while allowing two runs over six innings vs. Texas in his previous start, prior to "no-hitting" the A's. Look for him to deliver another strong start here, as the Giants momentarily quiet the critics and earn their first home win in 2008. *Contrarian Game of the Month
Game: Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat
Prediction: Miami Heat Reason: I'm taking the points with MIAMI. I feel that this is far too many points for the Bulls to be laying on the road for a meaningless game, even if the opponent is Miami. While the Bulls are technically still (just barely) mathematically alive, they know they won't be making the playoffs. This point was hammered home in their last game, a double-digit home loss vs. Washington. Listed as -7 favorites, the Bulls were outrebounded by a whopping 53-28 margin. Off that loss, I feel that it will be tough for the Bulls, 5-8 ATS when coming off a SU loss when listed as a favorite, to get "up" for the lowly Heat. Miami, on the other hand, should have some motivation. For starters, the Heat are playing at home. They're also trying to snap a 7-game losing streak and prove that they're not playing for last place. Additionally, they're playing with double-revenge, having already been beaten twice by the Bulls and embarrassed by 30 points when the teams met here at Miami. As Chris Quinn said: "The only thing with five or six games remaining to do is go out there and play with pride, play as hard as we can and show what we can do out there." Look for the revenge-minded Heat to do as Quinn says (play hard and play with pride) giving their guests all they can handle and improving to 12-6-2 ATS the last 20 times that they faced a team which allows 99 or more points per game. *Best Bet
Game: Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat
Prediction: over Reason: I'm playing on Miami and Chicago to finish OVER the number. Its true that the Heat have really struggled to score for some time now. However, their last six games have all come against teams that are either in the playoffs or which are still fighting for the playoffs. Technically, the Bulls also fall into the latter of those categories, as they're still mathematically alive for the playoffs. However, the reality is that they have no chance, something which the players have fully realized and accepted. The Bulls haven't been very good defensively all season, allowing 99.9 points per game and 100.9 on the road. They've been even worse on that side of the ball lately, allowing an average of 107 over their last six games. Knowing that the playoffs are now out of reach and facing a team which also isn't going to the playoffs, I don't expect them to place a high priority on defense this evening. They can still score points though, having reached a minimum of 97 in five straight road games, averaging 102 per game during that stretch. Despite Chicago's defensive shortcomings, the over/under number is very low. In fact, the Heat have only played three home games with an over/under line in the 180-184.5 range the entire season, two of which finished above the number. Likewise, the Bulls have played three road games with an over/under number in that range; all three of them finished above the total. Looking back further and we find the OVER at a highly profitable 52-29 (64%) the last 81 times that the Bulls played a road game with a total ranging from 180 to 184.5 Looking at this season's earlier meetings and we see that the game at Chicago was relatively low-scoring. However, the game here at Miami finished above the number by more than 30, as the teams combined for 222 total points. Including that result, the OVER is a healthy 15-5 the last 20 times the Bulls played here at Miami. Look for this evening's final score to be higher than expected once again, with the OVER improving to 4-1 when the Heat were listed as home underdogs in the +6.5 to +9 range. *Blue Chip
Re: Tuesday Service Plays
Dave Malinsky 4* play
This one has now moved to the point at which we can play at low, or even no juice, off of an 8.5, and that is excellent value in a game in which each offense has opportunities both early and late.
Last week we cashed a big underdog ticket with the White Sox against Jake Westbrook, and while he was effective for most of the game he was tagged for a pair of home runs. We believe that is going to be a problem for him this season in the current order of the Indian rotation. By working directly off of Fausto Carmona, opponents are being given a second quick look against a pitcher throwing a similar style (in this case, sinker balls). But Westbrook is a lesser talent than Carmona, which means that not only does the other side get a quick look at more sinkers, they are also stepping down in class. And behind Westbrook there are significant late-game issues. Rafael Betancourt has worked three straight days, so even if he does go here he may not be effective, while Joe Borowski is off to a miserable start, and may be the worst closer in the Major’s right now.
This price is also kept low because of the home/away bias of Ervin Santana, but note that his bias is gapped wide because he has been awful on the road, and not because he has necessarily been all that dominating at home. At this point he is only going to b a six inning pitcher, and that creates headaches for the Angels in the latter stages. They are going to have to give Francisco Rodriguez some time off for those ankle injuries to heal, and there is no indication that Scott Shields is back yet. Having thrown 35 pitches the last two days, his arm strength to go tonight is an issue, and that means bullpen problems all the way around. It also means plenty of chances for each team to score throughout, and in a game in which four runs apiece gets us a win we step in.
Re: Tuesday Service Plays
DALLAS -17' over Seattle - The Mavericks are off a HUGE win in Phoenix. They trailed by 14 points, but behind Nowitski's 32 points, came back to win 105-98 as a 5' point road dog. Dallas held the Suns to NINE fourth quarter points.
The Mavs should be able to build off this big win and blowout the Sonics here. Dallas is a fantastic 8-0 ATS (9.3 ppg) as a home favorite with at least one day of rest off a road win in which they trailed by double-digits. In addition, Dallas is 15-0-1 ATS (8.4 ppg) at home after a win in which Dirk Nowitzki scored at least 30 points. In their lone push (12/19), Dallas let the Suns come back from a 17-points deficit to lose only 105-108 getting 3. Phoenix NEVER led in that game.
The Sonics are in a terrible spot. They are off a double-overtime win as a double-digit dog vs the Nuggets. The Mavs aren't in the playoffs yet even though they are the sixth seed. We look for the Mavs to open up a big lead and the Sonics to throw in the towel rather than strive to get in the back door. Lay the points.
MTi's FORECAST: DALLAS 111 Seattle 89
Re: Tuesday Service Plays
1. 200,000* Hornets
2. 50,000* Hawks
3. 50,000* Reds
1. Hornets- For anyone who's followed the Jazz, one thing is clear: They are not the same team on the road, and the numbers back me up, going 16-22 SU & 15-23 ATS on the highway this season! Expect their road woes to reappear tonight, as the Hornets are crushing the opposition in New Orleans, going 10-0 SU and 9-1 ATS over their last 10 home games!
I know it "appears" the Jazz are playing great basketball, but I disagree. Yes, they've won 6 of their last 7, but when you look at the competition... Are you really that impressed by wins over the Timberwolves, Wizards, or Clippers? In fact, did you notice the only game the Jazz lost over that 7-game stretch was on the road, at the sorry ass Timberwolves of all places! And now you want them to get it done in New Orleans?! Sure, they beat up on San Antonio in their last one, but don't let that win fool you, if you saw the game, it was more a San Antonio collapse than anything Utah did.
Hornets meanwhile are kicking ass and taking names, winning and covering at home against teams like Phoenix, Utah, San Antonio, the Lakers, Houston, Boston, and Warriors to name a few! You'll notice Utah is in that list, as the Hornets already proved to be too much for this Jazz squad, beating them down 110-98 back on February 29th! If the Jazz thought the Hornets were tough then, just wait until tonight.
Finally, let's discuss match ups, as we can learn a lot from their last meeting. First thing you'll notice is Boozer and Kirilenko were completely neutralized by the athletic Hornets frontcourt of West and Chandler. Second, the Hornets also won the turnover battle, committing just 7 to Utah's 14... You can thank Chris Paul's 16 assists to just 1 turnover, a remarkable ratio. Finally, the Hornets were up by as much as 27 in that game, so what makes you think they'll have any chance tonight? Hornets roll in this one!
Take the Hornets comfortably over the Jazz as your top-rated play of the day.
2. Hawks- Love this match up for the Hawks, as they've proven a formidable foe when forced to protect the 8th and final playoff spot, winning 6 of their last 7 games (4-3 ATS) and playing some of their best basketball of the season.
Looks like the trade that brought in Bibby paid off, as the veteran point guard finally brought some much needed consistency to this Hawks offense. For as much as they tried, Stoudemire and Acie Law just weren't getting the job done. Over his last 6 games, he's averaging 17 ppg and more importantly 8.6 assists per game on top of that! He's the reason Atlanta is averaging a blistering 110 ppg on 51% shooting over their last 5 games, and he's also a big part of the reason they grab the cash here tonight.
While the Pacers have been winning games, this is another example (like Utah above) of a team taking advantage of some weaker foes, like New Jersey, Miami, and Milwaukee twice over their last 5 games. Of course, when faced with any real competition they got crushed, like at Boston for example. In other words, this Indiana team is paper tiger, only capable of beating lesser teams... And right now, Atlanta is definitely not playing like lesser team.
Finally, with this game being critical to solidifying their hold on the 8th and final playoff spot, look for the Hawks to come out more focused than ever tonight. Pacers know they're fighting a losing battle, because even with a win here tongiht, they still need close to miracle to catch Atlanta. Motivation from their last meeting also holds strong, as the Pacers blew out the Hawks at Conseco 113-91 back in January, but that was before Bibby and the consistency he brought to the Hawks backcourt.
Bottom line, look for the Hawks to all but close the door on the Pacers in this one.
While we'll take the points, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Atlanta won outright here. Pacers will notice a huge difference with Bibby running the Hawks offense, as he makes all the difference in this one.
Take the Hawks plus the points over the Pacers in this NBA match up.
3. Reds- Have to admit, I was thoroughly impressed with the Reds young hurler, Johnny Cueto, who dominated the Diamondbacks in his debut, allowing 1 run on 1 hit over 7 innings, including 10 strikeouts! The numbers speak for themselves, but if you got the chance to see the 22-year old righty pitch, its hard not to like his chances tonight at Miller Park.
Granted, the Milwaukee offense has looked good, but let's not get carried away. Of course they destroyed a sputtering Giants team over the weekend, but they'll get a much tougher match up tonight against Cueto and the Reds.
What the Brewers should be worried about is their own pitching match up, as I'm not the least bit convinced by Suppan's first start of the season. It was a good one, limiting the Cubs to 2 runs on 6 hits over 6 1/3 innings, but he's been wildly inconsistent at times, especially against the Reds. In 11 career starts against Cincy, Suppan is just 3-2 with an ugly 6.05 ERA.
In fact, I believe Suppan maybe just what the doctor ordered for this Reds offense, which has come out of the gate struggling a bit. batting .230 in the early going. Keppinger and Phillips have been solid, but I'm looking for the Reds to come out swinging in support of their sensational young gun in this one. For all the talk about Cincy's troubles at the plate, their bullpen has been rock-solid, posting a 2.70 ERA in their last 20 innings. In the end, look for Cueto to lead the Reds to impressive win at Miller tonight.
Take the Reds behind Cueto over the Brewers and Suppan in this MLB match up.
Re: Tuesday Service Plays
Knicks +11 (POD)
Ah, how I love this homer pick today. If this cashes, it should be my 8th POD winner out of the last 11 in the NBA. Look, the Knicks consistently show up to play the Pistons. After all, they lost to this team by 4 at home in a game that the Pistons had revenge in. This Knicks team beat the Pistons 89-65 at home, then played them soon after and nearly beat them outright again at home despite MASSIVE Pistons revenge losing by just 4 points. That itself says a lot. Now, add into the mix, no Hamilton, Pistons resting starters and giving them fewer minutes and the fact the Knicks have a New President and they are playing for him as well as Isiah as Walsh has FIRED Isiah back in Indiana, he will have no remorse in doing so here. Why do you think the Knicks have covered 5 of thier last 6? Players and coaches have an incentive to play well as if they don't they don't keep their job with the New ****. I'll take the Knicks in this game that might be a shocker as heck, they could win this outright but I'd rather not take a shot at the +600 ML as I have 2 baseball plays and simply make this my POD. Knicks are 6-1-1 ATS when facing teams on the road with a winning % greater than 60% - what does that mean? When the Knicks face better teams on the road such as the Hornets for example, they test themselves, they are undervalued and cover - just like they did against the Hornets on the road recently and the Pistons are 1-4 ATS against teams with a winning % of less than 40%.
The Dodgers are 4-3, but you want to know something interesting about their record? They have to have back to back losses. Sure, they are just 7 games into a season that will have over a 160+ games. However, given that they have the better pitcher, they got spanked 3-9 yesterday, they face Doug Davis who is an elder statesman in the pitching rotation and who got spanked a few times by the Dodgers last year not to mention the fact this team starts Billingsley who came on very well last year for this team to make a bit at the rotation and wants to keep it that way (clear motivation for today along with a Dodgers bounce-back - remember the Dodgers were 5-2 in Billingsley's last 7 starts to close out last year), this is a nice spot for the Dodgers to bounce-back. Better pitcher, coming off a loss, each time they have come off a loss, they have quickly bounced-back with a win in the next game and this game should be a grind, but I like the Dodgers here - remember, Billingsley beat this very good Dbacks team last year in a start in a 7-1 ballgame at Arizona. Dodgers are 4-0 in B's last 4 starts against the Dbacks on the road and the Dbacks are 1-4 when Davis is an underdog.
Cardinals/Astros Under 9
I have consistently hit the under on this matchup for a few years and today is no different. I hit the under on this game with Wandy and Well pitching yesterday and much is the same today with Chacon and Thompson. Chacon used to pitch for the Rockies if you remember, then he went to the Yankees in a trade that didn't pan out, got shelved to the Pirates where he showed spots of brilliance and now he pitches for the Astros who have taken a shot on him to stabilize the rotation. The Cards starting ERA continues to be below 1 as they are as stout as they come, both offenses have been struggling to score runs as even in extra innings the under still hit yesterday as a total of 9 runs were scored. Chacon will continue to pitch well for his new ballclub, Thompson didn't yield a run to the Rockies last time out, the under is 5-0 when Bucknors is behind the plate, the under is 10-2 in the Astros last 12 overall games and the under is 4-0 between these 2 meetings in Houston of late as well.