Thursday Service Plays

Re: Thursday Service Plays

Carlo Campanella

Utah Jazz at San Antonio Spurs

Utah is only 17-22 SU on the road this season & 16-23 ATS. They play their second of back-to-back road baatles on Thursday night after winning in New Orleans, 77-66. They' ll get their 4 game streak snapped tonight in Dallas, as we know this Jazz team is a horrible 2-11 ATS following a game which both teams scored 90 points or less! Lay it as the Mavs own a 3-1 SU record in this series the last four as hosts

Play on: Dallas

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Tom Freese

Game: Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers
Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers

Reason: The Clippers are in a 86-47 ATS Play Against System that says to go against home teams with revenge from a road loss of 20 or more points if they are playing a team that is off a loss as a favorite in their last game. The Clippers are 0-9 ATS with revenge from a road loss of 20 or more points. The Lakers are 23-12 ATS vs. losing teams and they are 28-11 ATS vs. teams that allow 99 or more points a game. Kobe and company are 26-13 ATS on the road this year and they are 19-8 ATS off a game where this was a combined score of 215 or more points scored.

PLAY ON LA LAKERS

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Matt Fargo

Florida Marlins vs Washington Nationals

Florida Marlins +112

There is no reason to hop off this train just yet. I went with Florida both Monday and last night in this series and I will be backing the Marlins yet again at a price that is just wrong. Florida has won four of its last five games after dropping two of three in the opening series against the Mets. The common mistake for novice baseball bettors is to go against the road team thinking that the home team will not get swept but it is just the opposite and we play for that sweep.

This is almost verbatim from last night. I talk a lot about streaks in baseball and they are important like no other sport. Washington has dropped six straight and this goes in line with the baseball streaks and how to play them early in the year based on the lines. The Nationals are favored with the public behind them to break out of it yet again making it a double win in our favor. That is great for us as we will continue to ride that streak and watch Washington dump another game while getting a solid number with the Marlins.

I have never been a big fan of Mark Hendrickson but the lanky lefty looked very good in his last outing. After getting shelled by the Mets in his first start of the season, he regrouped and tossed a very good game against the Pirates as he allowed just one earned run on five hits in 5.1 innings. It doesn't come as a big surprise as he has been much stronger in the first half. Last season, he posted a 4.02 ERA before the break compared to a 7.31 ERA after.

I?m an even worse fan of Odalis Perez. How this guy won the number one spot in this rotation is beyond me. He tossed only 16.1 innings in the spring and posted a 4.96 ERA and that lack of work didn't show in his first regular season start. He allowed just one run in five innings against the Braves but next time out, he was hammered by the Cardinals for five runs on eight hits and four walks in just four innings. Bad outing are contagious with Perez and with the Marlins bats on fire, that trend continues here. Play Florida Marlins 1 Unit

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Jeff Benton

3* OAKLAND ATHLETICS

This may seem like an odd play, as Oakland is going for the road sweep – and road sweeps are always tough to get, especially for mediocre teams against the A’s. However, for whatever reason, Oakland has enjoyed its recent journeys to Canada, as they’ve now won six straight games in Toronto going back to 2006. Last night, they needed a four-run, ninth-inning rally to pull out a 6-3 victory after scoring late on Monday to win 9-8. Tonight, Oakland sends young, but talented, lefty Dana Eveland to the mound. When last we saw Mr. Eveland, he was outdueling one C.C. Sabathia on Saturday, allowing the potent Indians just a run on six hits over seven innings, walking just one while whiffing seven in a 6-1 home victory. Obviously, one start does not a season make, but that’s very impressive. Speaking of impressive, that was Blue Jays starter Shawn Marcum in his debut six days ago against Boston, as he held the Sox to three hits and three runs in seven innings with a walk and eight strikeouts en route to a 6-3 win. That performance aside, though, it’s still difficult to ignore the fact that Marcum was a much better pitcher on the road last year (7-2, 2.72 ERA) than at home (5-4, 5.66). And one of those poor home outings came against the A’s, when Marcum lasted just three innings after allowing six runs and nine hits, losing 6-4. Add in the fact that Eveland is the first left-handed starter Toronto has faced all year, and I’ll back the A’s at a nice plus price as they go for their eighth straight win in Canada.

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WINNERS EDGE

NBA:

Utah Jazz + 4 , 2 units


MLB:

Atlanta Braves -115 , 2 units

Kansas City Royals + 135 , 1 unit

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Paul Leiner

10* Yankees -155
10* Phillies +145
5* Reds even


Moneylockoftheday

juniors Pick
Braves -105

diggers Pick
Under Of Atlanta / Colorado 9

hawkers Pick
Baltimore +140

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Locksmith Sports

1 Unit on LA Lakers -15.5

The Clippers have lost 11 of their last 13 at home and are just 13-27 at Staples this season, so I don't expect home court to be a factor for them here.  The Lakers are playing for home court in the playoffs and that is more than enough of a reason for them to hand the Clipps a major defeat.  The Lakers have beaten the Clippers in all 3 prior matchups this season by 21, 18, and 37 points respectively.  The Clippers are 0-9 ATS revenging a road blowout loss vs. an opponent of 20 points or more over the last 2 seasons.  The Lakers are an impressive 11-3 ATS vs. division opponents this season and 28-11 ATS versus poor defensive teams - allowing 99+ points/game this season.  Take the Lakers tonight.

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Alex Smart

Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox
Prediction: Minnesota Twins

Reason: Minnesota Twins pitcher Livan Hernandez has started his season in top form, notching wins in both his starts while garnering a stable 3.86 ERA. His pitching opponent from the White Sox and fellow Cuban countryman Jose Contreras, has not been as fortunate, after allowing , 10 hits , 10 walks and 4 runs in 5 innings of work , in his last start, and is off a 10-17 2007 campaign , while garnering a ugly 5.57 ERA. With Hernandez pitching well, and Contreras, continuing with his downward momentum from last year it will not be a hard decision to take the underdog in this spot. Final notes & Key Trends: White Sox are 3-8 in Contreras' last 11 home starts against a team like the Twins with a below .500 record. Play on Minnesota

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Rocky Atkinson

Oakland @ Toronto
Play On:  1* Toronto -140

Toronto is 53-20 at home last 3 years when the total is 9 to 9 1/2.  Toronto is 95-61 last 3 years after a loss.  Toronto is scoring 6.8 runs per game at home this year.  Toronto bullpen has been good with a 2.95 ERA overall and a 3.52 ERA at home this season.  Athletics are 7-18 in their last 25 games vs. a right-handed starter.  Athletics are 1-4 in their last 5 games as an underdog of +110 to +150.  Blue Jays are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.  Blue Jays are 4-0 in their last 4 games as a home favorite of -110 to -150.  Blue Jays are 4-1 in their last 5 games vs. a left-handed starter.  Blue Jays are 4-1 in their last 5 games after losing the first 2 games of a series.  Blue Jays are 26-7 in their last 33 home games vs. a left-handed starter.We'll recommend a small play on Toronto tonight! 

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Larry Ness

STL (-133) vs SFG

The Cards fell 'hard' last season, after winning the World Series in '06. As for the Giants, they were a pathetic 71-91 WITH Barry in '07 and WITHOUT him this year, could be even worse. The Giants are looking to win three straight but if they do, it's likely that Kevin Correia will have to out-pitch the Cards' Adam Wainwright. The Giants beat the Padres 3-2 (11 inn) on Tuesday and then 1-0 last night, as they continue to own MLB's lowest team BA (.220), while scoring the fewest runs (20) of any team, as well (2.2 per!). Correia is in his sixth season and this marks his 147th appearance but just his 29th start. His 28th career start came last Saturday at Milwaukee, where he allowed six hits and four ERs over six innings in a 5-4 Milwaukee win. Meanwhile, Wainwright, who made 61 appearances (all out of the bullpen) in '06 when the Cards won the World Series, is now one of mainstays of the team's starting rotation. St Louis owns a team ERA of 2.48 (second-best in all of MLB), with the team's starters leading the way (collective 1.99 ERA). Wainwright got rained out of the Card's season opener (led 5-1 in the 3rd) and then allowed just two ERs in eight innings last Saturday in a 5-4 home win over the Nationals. Wainwright was very good last year as a starter, going 14-12 (3.70 ERA), with the team going 19-13 in his 32 starts. The Cards were actually better in his road starts (10-5), so expect the Cards to move to 8-2 on the year (last time St Louis opened 8-2 was in 1981!) with a win over poor-hitting Giants. Take St Louis.

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BEN BURNS

BASEBALL

TAMPA BAY
I'm laying the price with TAMPA BAY. The Mariners have grabbed the first two games of this series but I expect the Rays to bounce back and avoid the sweep this afternoon. For starters, they'll be extremely motivated to snap their 4-game losing skid before it turns into another one of their "typical" seasons. That's particularly true given that the Rays had much higher hopes than normal entering this season. Additionally, the early start time should favor the Rays, as the first pitch will be thrown out at 12:40 ET, which is a very early 9:40 for the West coast based Mariners. Most importantly, I expect Tampa to have an advantage on the mound. Batista may have won 16 games for the Mariners last season but he's still a mediocre pitcher. He's got a losing career record and he hasn't had an ERA below 4.10 since 2003. He also wasn't sharp in his opener, giving up five runs (4 earned) seven hits and four walks, en route to a 6.00 ERA and a 6-4 loss. It should also be noted that the Mariners are still without their closer, J.J. Putz. Batista, a former closer, has already been forced to come in and save a game but (obviously) won't be able to do that here. Edwin Jackson gets the call for the Rays and he's coming off a great opening start. Facing the powerful Yankees, Jackson ran into trouble in the first inning, allowing the Yankees to load the bases. However, he escaped the inning by allowing only one run. That would turn out to be the only run which he allowed as he cruised from that point, eventually pitching six complete innings, while allowing just five hits. Note that he retired the last nine Yankee batters that he faced. Additionally, note that Jackson, who is only 24 and who has an excellent fastball, was sharp in his final couple of spring starts AND that he will have the advantage of starting against the Mariners for the first time. Look for Jackson to outpitch Batista as the Tampa Bay bats come to life and the Rays avoid the sweep. *Getaway Day GOM

TEXAS (game 1)
Game: Baltimore Orioles vs. Texas Rangers
I'm laying the price with TEXAS in Game 1 of today's double-header. I played Texas, listing Gabbard and Trachsel yesterday but the game was postponed. Gabbard has now been moved to the second of today's games while Millwood will face Trachsel in the opener. Once again, I feel that Texas should have a decided advantage. The fact that the game was rained out should be a benefit to the Rangers too, as it may have cooled off the Orioles. Orioles manager Dave Trembley concurs, saying: When you're going as good as we are, you want to keep playing. I'd rather play, but there's nothing you can do about the weather." It should also be noted that the postponement made Trachsel adjust his routine. Although its been some time since he faced them, Trachsel is 1-1 with a 7.06 ERA in four career starts vs. the Rangers. While Trachsel, now 37 years old, was relatively solid in his opening start, let's not forget that he was horrible with the Orioles last season, before moving on to the Cubs. He finished the season with a 4.90 ERA after recording a 4.97 mark the previous year. He was particularly brutal on the road last season, going 4-9 with a 5.96 ERA, allowing opposing hitters to bat over 300. As a team, Tuesday's victory notwithstanding, the Orioles remain an awful 65-97 on the road the past two seasons. Millwood gets the call in the opener for the Rangers. Despite his 0-2 record, he's been superb, allowing just two earned runs in 14 innings, for a 1.29 ERA. Those games came at Seattle and at Anaheim, two very respectable opponents. Today, Millwood has the luxury of facing a Baltimore team which he has dominated. Indeed, he was 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two starts against the Orioles last season and is 5-0 with a 1.70 ERA his last five starts against them. All of those five starts came while Millwood was a member of the Rangers, with Texas winning them by a combined score of 24-8. Look for Millwood to continue his strong start and his dominance in this series and for the Rangers to finally give him some run support, en route to their first victory of the season. *Personal Favorite

HOCKEY

UNDER Montreal/Boston
Game: Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens
I'm playing on Montreal and Boston to finish UNDER the number. These teams played several high-scoring games against each other this season. However, the most recent meeting was relatively low-scoring, producing four goals in regulation and finishing with a 3-2 final. With the playoffs now here, I'm expecting tonight's game to result in a tight and low-scoring contest. The Bruins closed out the regular season by seeing the UNDER go 4-0-1 their last five games. Those games had final scores of 4-0, 2-1, 3-2, 2-1 and 3-0, averaging less than four goals each. For the season, the Bruins have seen the UNDER go 12-6-1 when playing with two day's rest in between games and 21-8-2 when facing a team with a winning record. Meanwhile, the Canadiens closed out the regular season with three straight victories, allowing a mere two goals during that span with final score of 3-0, 3-1 and 3-1. The UNDER is now a profitable 48-33-7 when they've played in the month of April over the past decade, including a 12-7-1 mark the last three seasons. Both goalies are playing well. Boston's Tim Thomas closed out the final three weeks of the regular season by going 5-2-2 with a 1.85 goals-against-average. Meanwhile, Montreal's Carey Price has a 12-3-0 record with a 2.12 GAA (two shutouts) since taking over the starting job from Huet in February. Price may be a rookie but he's been playing with veteran-like poise. He's no stranger to "big games" as he's won gold for Canada as the World Juniors and was also named playoff MVP in leading his minor league team to a Calder Cup championship. Look for both goalies to continue their recent strong play and for tonight's final combined score to be lower than expected. *Blue Chip

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

CASH & PROFIT EXPERTS

MLB

WASHINGTON NATS -115

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Drew Gordon

1. 200,000* Jazz
2. 50,000* Pirates
3. 50,000* Cardinals

1. Jazz- Basketball is a game of streaks. Sometimes a good team will run cold, and we fade them. Other times, a good team runs hot, and then alarm bells start ringing to jump on the bandwagon. Utah falls in the latter category, crushing San Antonio and New Orleans in back-to-back games, but the difference here is that they didn't do it with offense, but instead with outstanding defense. Utah has always been more proficient on the offensive end, but if they can lock down elite teams like they have in their last two, they become infinitely more dangerous.

Anyone who's seen these two teams play, knows they can score in bunches, with both squads averaging about 103 ppg over their last 5 games. However, clearly the difference is defense, as the Jazz are allowing just 79 ppg over their last 4 games! When Boozer, Williams, and Okur can go a combined 16 for 45, and the Jazz still win by 11, in New Orleans no less, that's saying a lot!

Critics of this play will argue that the Mavericks have more to play for, sitting in the 7th seed, up 2 games from the 8th, with 4 games remaining, but I disagree. The Jazz are playing for playoff position, and are just 2 games back from the 2nd seed with a game against San Antonio in the regular season finale. Not only that, but barring a complete collapse, the Mavericks are set, with games against some pretty weak competition still on their schedule, including at Portland (who's struggling) and at Seattle (who's terrible).

Bottom line, the one knock against Utah has been their defensive effort on the road, but they answered a lot of questions by shutting down Chris Paul and his Hornets in New Orleans Tuesday. Look for them to build off that game with another impressive effort tonight in Dallas. Utah may not win the game (it wouldn't surprise me if they did), but they sure as hell will keep it close enough to cover.

Take the Jazz plus the points over the Mavericks as your top-rated play of the day.

2. Pirates- It took 27 innings for the Cubs to take the first two games of this series, and try as they might to complete the sweep tonight, I say the Pirates and Matt Morris protect their house in this one and here's why:

While Morris was far from impressive in his season debut against the Marlins, allowing 3 earned on 8 hits over 5 innings, he has had plenty of success against the Cubbies in the past, going 12-8 with a 4.50 ERA. In fact, going back a couple years, when he was a member of the Cardinals, he dominated Chicago, going 10-2 with 3.18 ERA. Look for Morris to recapture some of that old magic tonight, especially considering the way the Pirates offense is producing.

Speaking of the Pirates batting order, scoring runs hasn't been a problem, with 46 scored so far this season, good for 4th in the N.L.. And when you consider that was done largely without the help of Bay or Laroche, both of which finally got in on the action yesterday, it makes those 46 runs even more impressive.

Rich Hill gets the start for the Cubs, and unlike the Pirates, run support has already started to become an issue for the talented southpaw. Last season he received the 2nd lowest run support in the Majors, and the fact that it became an issue in his very first start of this season has to be frustrating. He pitched a solid game against the Astros (allowing 2 runs over 6 innings), but the Cubs eventually lost 4-3, costing him the decision. Note the last time he pitched in Pittsburgh, he got rocked for 6 runs on 9 hits over 6 innings.

Bottom line, look for Pittsburgh to avoid the sweep, as they've pushed this Cubs team to extra innings twice and come up short, but tonight, they get the job done behind Morris. As mentioned above, Hill has had his troubles in Pittsburgh, and with the Pirates batting order swinging the bats well, he could easily find himself in trouble once again tonight.

Take the Pirates behind Morris over the Chicago Cubs and Hill in this MLB match up.

3. Cardinals- Redbirds are favored here for a reason, but let's start with their strong play out of the gate, winning 7 of their last 8 games, thanks in large part to some rock-solid starting pitching, posting a combined 1.99 ERA so far this season! One of the pitchers who's contributed to that lockdown ERA is Adam Wainwirght, who gets the start tonight.

Wainwright first start of the season was excellent, limiting the Nationals to 2 runs on 8 hits over 8 solid innings of work. We've seen the Cardinals big righty really progress since last year's All-Star Break, posting a 2.71 ERA after that point, and now comes into this season looking even sharper. Forget about his 1-0 record with a 4.91 ERA in 2 career relief appearances against the Giants, as he's a much better pitcher at this point in his career, and San Fran will find that out the hard way in this one.

Speaking of San Fran, there isn't much positive to say about their efforts this season. They rank last or close to last in almost every important offensive category there is, while their starting pitchers have posted a below average 4.70 ERA thus far this season. For as good as Wainwright has been, the Giants batting order could find themselves struggling once again tonight, as they're batting only .220 on the season, while scoring a Major League low 20 runs.

Finally, not too impressed with Kevin Correia, who gets the start for the Giants tonight. He was decent against the Brewers, despite suffering from a stomach virus, but that's not where the criticism ends. In fact, Correia has had trouble against the Redbirds in the past, going 0-1 with 5.14 ERA in 7 careers outings (1 start) against them. Again, he's decent, but considering the Cardinals edge with Wainwright, and their edge at the plate (batting over 40 percentage points higher - .262 and scoring almost twice as many runs - 39) look for the Cardinals to get their 8th win in their last 9 games tonight at AT&T Park.

Take the Cardinals behind Wainwright over the Giants and Correia in late MLB action.

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2-Minute Warning

BOSTON (WAKEFIELD) over Detroit (Robertson)

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Larry Ness

Mismatch of the Week

REASON FOR PICK: What's wrong with the Yanks and is it about time to "break up the Royals?" The Yankees led all of MLB with a .290 team BA last year, while scoring a ML-high 968 runs. However, after nine games (4-5 start), the Yanks are batting just .244, while scoring an AL-low 25 runs (2.8 per), which is more than only the Giants (who have scored just 20 runs in nine games) in all of MLB (30 teams). As for KC, perennial "bottom feeders" in the AL, the Royals are off to a 6-2 start and are MLB's biggest "moneymakers" so far, at plus-$690 ($100/game). The Royals are doing it with pitching, as they own the best team ERA in the majors at 2.25, which includes a spectacular 0.82 ERA by KC's bullpen! All this from the team which followed its 83-79 season in 2003 with three straight 100-loss seasons (310 combined losses), before going 69-93 last year. All right, already! It looks as if Derek Jeter will sit out his third straight game with a sore thigh for New York and catcher Posada may miss as well but I'm backing Andy Pettitte. Pettitte was not sharp in his '08 debut last Saturday, allowing eight hits and five runs (three ERs) in five innings of a 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay. However, here's some numbers he'll likely not "misremember!" In 17 career starts against the Royals, the veteran lefty has gone 11-3 with a 3.15 ERA, while his team has won 13 of the 17 games. In his last eight starts against KC, he's 6-0 with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 35-3! The Royals will counter with lefty, John Bale. Bale accomplished little in the majors from 1999-2003 playing for three teams and then spent three seasons in Japan. He was signed by the Royals before last year but spent the first half of the season on the DL. He wound up making 26 appearances in '07 (all in relief), going 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA. Now KC has some good young pitchers but this guy is NOT one of them! In his '08 debut (Friday at Minnesota), he allowed 10 hits and four ERs in 6.1 innings of a 4-3 loss. Look for the Yankee bats to 'wake up' vs Bale and for Pettitte to be his"usual self" vs the Royals. Pitching Mismatch of the Week on the NY Yankees (6*).


TV Game of the Week

REASON FOR PICK: With Atlanta likely to make the playoffs in the East with a sub-.500 record, one can only imagine the frustration felt by the Nuggets and Warriors, who both enter this game at 47-31, knowing that one of them will likely be left out of the West's playoff 'picture." Golden State ended a 12-year playoff drought last year, sneaking into the postseason with a 42-20 record (which included a pathetic 12-29 road mark). It's seems rather ironic that the Warriors, who are so much better this year at 47-31 (that's a .603 winning percentage compared to LY's .512), could actually find themselves "sitting home" next weekend. The Warriors have dramatically improved on the road this season (21-19) but have not played at as well at home (26-12 so far), especially ATS (14-24)! Despite its poor ATS mark at home, I'm backing the Warriors in this one, as Denver is no bargain on the road (16-23 SU and 18-21 ATS). The Nuggets still depend too much on Iverson (26.3-7.3 APG) and Carmelo (26.1-7.4) and certainly have shown some real weakness lately, losing back-to-back games at home to Sacramento on Saturday (118-115 as 13 1/2-point favorites) and at Seattle on Sunday (151-147 in OT as 12 1/2-point favorites). A 117-99 win in LA over the pathetic Clippers is hardly a "buy signal!" The Nuggets rank No. 2 in scoring (110.7) and 29th in PPG allowed (106.9), while the Warriors are No. 1 scoring (110.8) and 30th in PPG allowed (108.3), so this will NOT be a defensive battle. As I've said many times, Camby's (9.3-13.3) reputation as a great defensive player is a pure myth (he was voted defensive P-O-Y last season), as the reason he makes so many blocks is, that opponents are NOT afraid to challenge him! The Warriors have a terrific perimeter group in Davis (22.0-4.7-7.6), Ellis (20.1-4.9-3.8) and swingman Jackson (20.1-4.4-4.1). While Ellis is more of a jump-shooter, both Davis and Jackson will "take it to the hole" vs Camby and the Nuggets. Inside, Harrington (13.7-5.5) and Biedrins 910.3-9.5) have both had solid seasons, with Azubuike (8.6-4.0), Barnes (6.8-4.5) and the now healthy Pietrus (7.1) adding excellent frontcourt depth. These teams met March 29 at Denver in a game which saw many ebbs and flows. Denver held on for a seven-point win and it's Golden State's 'turn' here, although I believe the margin will be closer to 15 points. TV Game of the Week on the GS Warriors (6*).


Las Vegas Insider

REASON FOR PICK: The Blue Jays caught a "tired" Boston Red Sox team last weekend in Toronto, sweeping a three-game series from the defending champs. If Toronto thought that the A's, who opened the season against the Red Sox with a two-game set in Japan on March 25 and 26, would also be "tired," they were wrong. In fact, the A's have won back-to-back games in Toronto the last two days, both times winning in the ninth! However, expect the Blue Jays to bounce back tonight. The A's will send lefty Dana Eveland to mound, while Toronto will counter with Shaun Marcum. Eveland made 27 relief appearances fro Milwaukee in 2005 and then the last two years (one with Milwaukee and the other with Arizona ), made just 14 appearances (six starts). He entered this season with a career mark of 3-3 and an ERA of 7.55. He looked very sharp in his 2008 debut, allowing six hits and just one ER (seven innings) in beating the Indians last Saturday (in Oakland). However, he's on the road here, vs a team that DOMINATED lefties in the Rogers Centre last year, going 18-5, including 15-3 at night. Shaun Marcum began last season in the bullpen for the Jays but was given his first stat on May 13. He never left the rotation. He finished the season with a 12-6 (4.13) record in 38 appearances. That included 25 starts, in which the Jays went 15-10 and Marcum posted a 3.91 ERA. Marcum faced the A's once last year and it wasn't pretty, as he allowed nine hits and six ERs in just three innings. However, this is a confident pitcher who pitched very well for the Jays last season, after gaining a regular spot in the rotation. He opened the '08 season with a solid effort in beating the Red Sox last Friday (7 IP / 3 hits / 3 ERs) and I see no reason for him not to pitch well here. Expect the Jays to avoid the dreaded "home sweep" here, as they make life awfully tough on Eveland, an unproven young lefty. Las Vegas Insider on the Tor Blue Jays (8*).

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Winning Points Online

NY YANKEES (Pettitte) -155 over KANSAS CITY (Bale)

The Yankees will send Andy Pettitte to the hill tonight with the task of salvaging one game and avoiding a 3 game sweep by the lowly Royals. Pettitte has had much success against Kansas City in his career earning an 11-3 record in 17 starts. We expect the Yankees offense to come alive against John Bale who has been used primarily as a reliever in his career.

NBA.

**PREFERRED
Utah over Dallas* by 5

Two games ago, Utah clinched a post-season berth.One game ago, Utah clinched their division. On the other hand, Dallas hasn't clinched anything yet.

So, Utah (17-22 SU on the road) should have a letdown and Dallas (32-7 SU home) should come out and play with incredible purpose and run the Jazz out of the arena, right?

Not necessarily. Utah has clinched its division, all right,and the seed-number next to them says #4 right now,But...not so fast, my friends! They will be the #4 seed that is forced to yield home-court advantage to a #5 seed in the first round unless they finish with a better record than that #5 seed team. NBA playoff rules state that while a division winner can be slotted no lower than # 4, it yields home-court advantage to the #5 seed if its record is inferior to the #5 seed.

As far as straight-up record is concerned, Utah is currently one full game behind Houston, and a half-game behind Phoenix, so unless they leapfrog those teams,they will open the post-season with two games in places where they have historically struggled -- anywhere away from Salt Lake City. They have plenty of motivation, and the Mavericks are so far removed from being the West's #1 seed as they were a year ago. With Jason Kidd's bricks now on board, it will be no surprise if Dallas actually falls to #9 from their current #7 spot when all is said and done. Dirty Dirk Nowitzke hammered Andre Kirilenko with a suspension-earning blow the last time the teams met, knocking him from the game early, but Utah won it anway. Now, the more physical Utah team, back at full strength after Kirilenko and Ronnie Brewer returned from minor injuries on Tuesday, can apply some of the muscle that just held San Antonio and New Orleans to 60s outputs. UTAH, 95-90.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

INDIAN COWBOY

Reds -106 (POD)

Nearly always I prefer to do the POD in NBA as compared to baseball, but I don't like the NBA card too much but nearly took the Lakers on the road against the Clippers on a bounce-back. However, I will gladly take the Reds with their ace on the mound here at this price against Villa of the Brewers. The Brewers are a solid team and a great contact hitting team and they come off a pounding by the Reds last night. Having said that though, the Reds bats can explode especially against young pitchers, don't forget Villa gave up 8 hits in 5 inns and that was against the poor hitting Giants, opponents are batting .385 against Villa and Harang looks for his first win. I'll take the ace, with a solid offense looking for his first win today against a newbie that frankly was a bit fortunate against the Giants. Reds are 15-3 in Harang's last 18 road starts and Harang is 10-1 when the total is set at this range.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Rocketman

3* Lakers
3* Red Sox


kbhoopsfanatics

4 unit MLB POD Milwaukee Brewers +100
4 unit MLB POD Colorado Rockies -102

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Game Time Sports Advisors

3* Reds

compplay
Cubs

Mr.Bojangles
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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Info Plays

3* on Oakland A’s +134
(Listing Eveland and Marcum)

Oakland is this year’s sleeper team in the AL West division and they have proven it to start the year with nice wins over the Red Sox, Indians and now the Blue Jays for a 5-4 start to the season.  Dan Eveland picked up one of those victories and has a 1-0 record with a 1.29 ERA to start the year.  The 24-year-old lefthander picked up a win last Saturday, allowing one run and six hits in seven frames while striking out seven.  Shaun Marcum has had a hard time against the A's in his short career, allowing eight runs and 14 hits in 7 2/3 innings over two starts.  Oakland is 14-5 (+13.1 Units) against the money line vs. an excellent bullpen whose ERA is 3.00 or better over the last 3 seasons.  Toronto is 9-24 (-17.5 Units) against the money line in home games vs. AL teams allowing 3.7 or less runs/game on the season since 1997.  Bet Oakland showing great value on the road.

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