Monday Service Plays

Monday Service Plays

Houston (54-26, 46-32-2 ATS) at Utah (53-27, 45-35 ATS)

In a likely preview of a first-round Western Conference playoff series for the second straight year, the Rockets visit the Jazz inside EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.

Houston appears locked into the No. 5 spot in the playoffs while Utah will likely end up with the fourth spot. These two played a memorable seven-game first-round series last year (Utah won 4-3 SU and 5-2 ATS) with the home team winning every game except Game 7, when the Jazz went to Houston and prevailed 97-89 as 5½-point ‘dogs.

The road team has won and covered both meetings between these teams this season. The Jazz are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings overall, including 5-1 ATS in the last six in Salt Lake, and the straight-up winner has cashed in nine of the last 10 series clashes.

Rick Adelman’s Rockets come into this one off Sunday’s 111-94 loss at Denver, falling well short as 6½-point pups and ending a five-game SU and ATS winning streak. Despite that setback, Houston is 37-17-1 ATS in its last 55 games overall and 16-7 ATS in its last 22 on the highway.

Utah has won eight of its last 10 SU and ATS, including Saturday’s 124-97 blowout of Denver as a six-point favorite. Jerry Sloan’s squad is on ATS runs of 6-0 overall, 10-1 against Southwest Division opponents, 21-7 against the Western Conference and 36-15-1 at home.

The under is 4-1 in the last five series clashes in Utah, 4-0 in Utah’s last four overall, 9-1-1 in Utah’s last 11 against the Southwest Division, 4-1 in the Rockets’ last five overall, 9-1 for the Rockets against the Northwest Division and 15-7 for the Rockets on back-to-back nights.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UTAH and UNDER


Golden State (48-32, 34-46 ATS) at Phoenix (53-27, 38-39-3 ATS)

No longer in control of their own playoff destiny, the Warriors are still in a must-win situation when they visit the Suns inside US Airways Center.

Golden State must win tonight and on Wednesday at home against the Sonics and hope the Nuggets fall to the Grizzlies on Wednesday to earn a spot in the Western Conference playoffs. A Denver win Wednesday renders the Warriors’ game that night against the Sonics meaningless.

Don Nelson’s Warriors just haven’t had the late-season magic of a year ago, as they’ve lost five of their last nine (3-6 ATS). They did beat the Clippers 122-116 at home Saturday but came up well short as 16-point favorites.

Phoenix has won six of its last nine (5-4 ATS) and seems destined for the No. 6 spot in the playoffs and a likely first-round matchup with the Spurs. The Suns have been off since Friday’s 101-90 road loss in Houston, failing as a three-point road chalk.

The home team has won six straight series matchups and eight of the last nine, with the Suns 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings with the Warriors in the desert. These two squared off in Phoenix a month ago with the Suns scoring a 123-115 victory and narrowly covering as 7½-point favorites. Finally, the straight-up winner is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 series clashes.

Golden State is in ATS ruts of 9-30 following a SU victory, 2-9 against Pacific Division foes and 1-4 as an underdog. On the flip side, Mike D’Antoni’s Suns are on ATS runs of 10-3-1 against the Western Conference, 7-1 at home and 9-3-1 as a favorite.

The over is 5-0 in the last five head-to-head meetings between this division rivals, 39-12 in the Warriors’ last 51 Monday tip-offs and 10-4 in the Suns’ last 14 as a home favorite. However, the under is on streaks of 4-1 for the Suns overall, 8-3 for the Suns as a favorite and 7-1 for Golden State on the highway.

ATS ADVANTAGE: PHOENIX

Boston (7-6) at Cleveland (4-7)

The Red Sox and lefty Jon Lester (1-2, 4.50 ERA) visit the Indians and Jake Westbrook (1-1, 2.76) in a rematch of last season’s American League Championship Series at Progressive Field.

Boston rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat Cleveland in the ALCS, and then went on to sweep the Rockies and win their second World Series crown in four years.

The Red Sox come into this series after taking two of three against the rival Yankees over the weekend, including Sunday night’s 8-5 victory. After registering just two hits in losing Friday’s series opener 4-1, Boston rallied to win both weekend games, scoring 15 runs in the process.

Cleveland snapped a three-game losing streak with Sunday’s 7-1 home victory over Oakland, the Indians first home win in three tries this season.

Lester got roughed up in his last start, giving up four runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 7-2 home loss to the Tigers. In his two road starts this season he’s allowed four runs on eight hits in 10 2/3 innings against the A’s, first in Japan (5-1 loss) and then in Oakland (5-0 win).

Last July, Lester went to Cleveland and gave up two runs on five hits in six innings as Boston got a 6-2 victory. The Red Sox are 12-4 in Lester’s last 16 starts overall, 8-3 in his last 11 on the highway and 9-2 in his last 11 against a team with a losing record.

Westbrook went the distance Tuesday at the Angels, allowing three runs on seven hits in a 4-3 win in Anaheim. In two starts this season, the veteran right-hander has allowed five runs on 13 his in 16 1/3 innings. The Tribe has struggled with Westbrook as a favorite, though, going just 1-4 in his last five as a chalk.

Westbrook saw the Red Sox twice in the ALCS, including the deciding Game 7. In Boston, he allowed three runs on nine hits in six innings of work but the Red Sox went on to blow out the Indians 11-2. Earlier in the series he held them to two runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 4-2 Cleveland win.

The Red Sox are just 2-9 in their last 11 games as a ‘dog and 1-5 in their last six against right-handed starters. Conversely, Cleveland is on runs of 22-7 at home, 17-6 as a home favorite and 9-2 against a southpaw.

The over is 5-1-2 in the last eight series meetings, however the under is 4-1-2 in the last seven matchups in Cleveland, 4-1 in Westbrook’s last five at home against the Red Sox and 17-4 in Westbrook’s last 21 as a home favorite. The under is also 20-7-1 in Boston’s last 28 games on Monday and 6-2-1 in its last nine when they face a right-handed starter.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


L.A. Angels (7-6) at Texas (5-7)

After taking two of three in Anaheim in the opening week of the season, the Rangers and starter Jason Jennings (0-2, 7.45 ERA) welcome the Angels and Ervin Santana (1-0, 3.00) to the Ballpark at Arlington for a brief two-game set.

Texas got swept at home against the Blue Jays over the weekend, concluding with a 5-4 10-inning loss Sunday. The Rangers are 7-1 in the last eight head-to-head meetings with Los Angeles, including 5-1 in Texas. They’re also 4-1 in their last five matchups against Santana and 4-0 when they Santana in Texas.

The Angels salvaged the final game of a three-game set in Seattle Sunday, cruising to 10-5 win.

Jennings has been beaten up in his first two starts as a Ranger, giving up four runs on five hits in five innings of a 4-1 loss in Seattle on April 2 and then yielding four runs on seven hits in 7 2/3 innings in Tuesday’s 8-1 home loss to the Orioles.

While with the Astros last season, Jennings faced the Angels once and gave up five runs (four earned) in 5 2/3 innings of a 9-5 Houston victory.

Santana has allowed just four runs on 10 hits in 12 innings of work this season as the Angels are 1-1 in his two starts. He faced the Rangers four times last season and got beaten up in the final three, allowing 17 runs (15 earned) in 16 1/3 innings as the Rangers won all three, all in Arlington.

The Angels are 15-5 when Santana pitches against division rivals and 13-5 with him favored, but just 4-11 in his last 15 starts on the road.

The Rangers are 17-7 in their last 24 home games but just 6-16 in their last 22 as an underdog and 1-4 in their last five Monday starts. Meanwhile the Angels are 6-2 in their last eight Monday games, but they’re mired in slumps of 1-4 in the opener of a series and 1-5 against A.L. West foes.

The over is 22-7-3 in Santana’s last 32 road starts, 6-1 in his last seven road outings in Texas, 5-1 in the Angels’ last six overall, 10-4 in the Angels’ last 14 series openers and 8-2-1 the last 11 times these teams have met.

Conversely, the Rangers have stayed under the total in seven of their last eight as a home pup, and the under is 24-7 in their last 31 at home and 24-8-1 in their last 33 against a right-handed starter.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER

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VEGAS EXPERTS TIP OF THE DAY

Pittsburgh Penguins at Los Angeles Angels

Pirates starter Zach Duke owns a hideous 3-21 team start record in the road underdog role. His TSR against the Dodgers is just 1-3 and his ERA, 7.99. Los Angeles took five of seven meetings with Pittsburgh last year and the offense should get back on track against a Pirates staff that allowed 61 runs in its first nine games, including 10 or more three times. Starters accounted for just one win during that stretch while posting an ERA of 5.40. We don't think they'll have an answer for Hiroki Kuroda either.

Play on: LA Dodgers

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Dave Cokin

Rockets @ Jazz

Play: Jazz -8.5

Utah continues to be a monster at home, and they're catching the Rockets just right Monday evening. That high altitude is particularly rough late in the season when teams are playing on tired legs. With Houston coming into Salt Lake off a Sunday night tilt in Denver, they could be gassed for this game and the Jazz are killers in the host role. I'll spot the points with Utah.


Marc Lawrence

Play On: Seattle vs Greinke

Note: Mariners open a two-games set with against Zach Greinke and the Royals this evening knowing they've won 12 of the last 14 games at home in this series. In addition, Greinke is 0-3 in his career team starts in Seattle and also 3-9 during April since 2005. With Kansas City taking to the road after having been camped at home all last week, we'll back the homestanding M's here tonight.


Great Lakes Sports

Boston at New York
Play on: Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are an amazing 51-28 ATS this year, and are 27-13 ATS when playing on the road this year. The Boston Celtics are also 11-2 ATS vs division opponents the second half of the season, and 25-11 ATS vs teams with losing records this year. We look for the Boston Celtics to roll over the New York Knicks for the road ATS Win & cover tonight.


James Patrick Sports

Warriors vs. Suns

A track meet under the disguise of a basketball game is scheduled in Phoenix on Monday as the Suns and the Warriors hook up in NBA action. First team to 130 points will be declared the winner. Our Monday complimentary selection in NBA action is #513 Warriors-Suns OVER the TOTAL.

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Big Al Mcmordie

Game: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants
Prediction: over

Reason: At 10:15pm ET our member selection is on the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants 'over' the total. Veteran lefthander and certain Hall-of-Famer Randy Johnson has not pitched in a Major League game since last June due primarily to his sore back, but all systems are apparently a "go" to bring him off the DL and he will get his first start of the season tonight in San Francisco. Johnson pitched last Tuesday in a minor league game and his fastball apparently only reached 92 MPH, certainly not the kind of velocity we would have expected out of him a few years ago. One has to wonder whether this is a wise move by the Diamondbacks since they seem to be winning at will right now and don't need much help with their pitching. If Johnson comes back for a while but then lands back on the DL, you would have to think that the D-Backs might regret getting him off the DL and into the rotation at this stage of the season. This game will feature two lefthanded starters whose ages are 19 years apart as southpaw Jonathan Sanchez will take the mound for the Giants. Sanchez was only six years old when Johnson made his Major League debut in 1988. And Sanchez is 5 years older than perhaps the hottest hitter in the Majors right now, that being 20 year old Arizona outfielder Justin Upton. The Total on this ballgame opened at 8 but has been bet down to 7.5 runs. Especially with this 1/2 run move, I think there's value in playing the 'over', as I'm looking for a high scoring game. Take the 'over'.

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Jimmy The Moose

Game: Pittsburgh Penguins at Ottawa Senators
Prediction: over

Reason: The over is 1-1 in the two games played so far in the series. The Penguins are doing their part on offense averaging 4.5 GPG. The Senators have to start scoring goals if they hope to get back in this series. Gerber has played well for Ottawa between the pipes but the Senators offense needs to wake up and expect that to happen at home tonight. The team's have played over the total in 3 of the last 4 meetings overall. The over is 4-1 in the Penguins last 5 trips to Ottawa. Play the over.

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Sportsbettingstats

Boston Red Sox (7-6) at Cleveland Indians (5-7)

Boston comes into this game after winning 2 of 3 from the New York Yankees including the series finale 8-5. Cleveland comes into this game after beating the Oakland A's 7-1. After getting 2-hit in their first series against the Yankees Boston dropped below .500 and things were not looking good in Beantown. In the last 2 games of the series the Boston bats awoke and they had a couple of solid pitching outings to win the last two games and get above the .500 mark. Cleveland has been struggling in the early part of the season and has not looked like the team that many had picked to win the AL Central. Taking the mound for the Red Sox is Jon Lester (1-2 4.50 ERA), who in his last outing lasted only 5 innings giving up 4 earned runs in a loss. In the last game against the Yankees the Red Sox scored 8 runs off 11 hits and left 7 men on base. On defense the Red Sox gave up 4 runs off 8 hits to the Yankees. Taking the mound for the Indians is Jake Westbrook (1-1 2.76 ERA), who in his last outing pitched a great game going 9 innings giving up only 3 earned runs getting the win. In their win against Oakland the Indians scored 7 runs off 8 hits and left 8 men on base. On defense the Indians gave up only 1 run on 3 hits to the A's.

Staff Pick: This is a match up of two teams heading in different directions as the Red Sox won their last 2 games against their rival New York, while Cleveland, even though winning their last game, is 3-7 in their last 10 games. The Indians need to start playing better, as they do not want to keep dropping back in the AL Central, as they are currently 2 ½ games out of first place. They hope that Jake Westbrook pitches like he did in his last outing going the distance in the victory. Boston is riding high after taking the last 2 games from the Yankees, but now have to depend on the bottom of their rotation for this game, which has let them down so far in the young season. Cleveland is not hitting well (.240) or pitching well (4.74 ERA), 2nd worst in the American League, and are playing a hot hitting team, which is not a good combination. However, Jake Westbrook will get the Indians back on track and pitch a solid game and the Indians should score just enough runs to get a victory in a close game in the series opener.

Indians 5 Red Sox 4

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DCI Pro Hockey

Playoffs: 9-5 (.643)
Season: 423-328 (.563)

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game 3, best-of-7
Pittsburgh vs. OTTAWA: TOO CLOSE TO CALL

Western Conference Quarterfinals
Game 3, best-of-7
COLORADO 3, Minnesota 2
Detroit 3, NASHVILLE 2

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JEFFERSONSPORTS

NBA EARLY RELEASE
TORONTO-17.5

This overnight line opened at 19 and has quickly been bet down to 17.5. The early action is coming in on Miami at a huge rate. 75% to 84% of the early bets are coming in for Miami. I think this opening line was right. You may even be able to get this line even smaller by tomorrow. Toronto has serious concern with the way they are playing right now. Miami could not be in a worse spot. First of all they played a really tight game most of the way with Cleveland yesterday before they ended up losing by 8. Toronto has pounded the Heat all year by an average of 33 points per game. Usually I would lay off this high line with revenge but the motivation and focus for the Raptors should be at a peak level. The Heat do not match up well with the Raptors at all. Bosh is averaging over 30 points a game vs the Heat. Riley is known for not liking to double team and Toronto will make you pay with their 3 point shooters if you do. The Raptors were emberrassed as the Piston bench played the last quarter basically and won the game yesterday. Toronto knows they matchup better vs Orlando than they do Detroit in the first round of the playoffs so the motivation to be the 6th seed and not the 7th seed in the East will be big. I think we get a pissed off and motivated bunch of Raptors tomorrow.

TORONTO-17.5

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Jim Feist.

SAN Spurs and SAC Kings.
Take SAN Spurs

Heading into the weekend, 3 teams had 25 losses in the West, battling for the top seed -- the Lakers, Hornets and Spurs. The Spurs are playing like a motivated team, winning 10 of 12 games. Sacramento doesn't have much rebounding muscle up front, and none of the games against the Spurs have been close this season. San Antonio won 2 of the meetings by 16 and 13 points. A great spot for the motivated road team. Play the Spurs!

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Cappers Access

Indians
Angels
Suns

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MLB DUNKEL

Kansas City at Seattle   
The Royals snapped their three-game skid yesterday behind a complete game from Brian Bannister and look to stay in the win column today in Seattle behind starter Zack Greinke, who has been nearly unhittable (0.60 ERA) in his first two starts.  Kansas City is the underdog pick (+105) according to Dunkel, which has the Royals favored straight up by 1.  Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (+105).  Here are all of today's games.

MONDAY, APRIL 14

Game 901-902: Pittsburgh at LA Dodgers
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Duke) 14.846; LA Dodgers (Kuroda) 14.536
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-160); 8
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+150); Under

Game 903-904: Arizona at San Francisco
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Johnson) 15.770; San Francisco (Sanchez) 14.931
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Arizona (-125); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (-125); Over

Game 905-906: Boston at Cleveland
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Lester) 14.806; Cleveland (Westbrook) 15.025
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-115); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-115); Under

Game 907-908: Toronto at Baltimore
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (McGowan) 16.155; Baltimore (Albers) 15.017
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Toronto (-130); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-130); Under

Game 909-910: Minnesota at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Blackburn) 15.661; Detroit (Bonderman) 13.976
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Detroit (-160); 9
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+150); Under

Game 911-912: NY Yankees at Tampa Bay
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Kennedy) 15.333; Tampa Bay (Sonnanstine) 15.878
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-115); 10
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (+105); Under

Game 913-914: LA Angels at Texas
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Santana) 15.366; Texas (Jennings) 15.182
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-110); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-110); Under

Game 915-916: Oakland at Chicago White Sox
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Smith) 15.618; White Sox (Buehrle) 15.157
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-140); 9
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (+130); Over

Game 917-918: Kansas City at Seattle
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Greinke) 15.301; Seattle (Washburn) 14.563
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Seattle (-115); 8
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (+105); Over

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NHL DUNKEL

Detroit at Nashville
Trailing the Red Wings 2-0 is nothing new for the Predators as they were in the same situation in 2004.  They proceeded to win the next two at home before losing in six.  With their backs to the wall at home again tonight, Nashville is the underdog pick (+125) according to Dunkel, which has the Predators favored straight up by 1/2 a goal.  Dunkel Pick: Nashville (+125).   Here are all of today's games.

MONDAY, APRIL 14

Game 59-60: Pittsburgh at Ottawa
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 11.361; Ottawa 11.758
Dunkel Line & Total: Ottawa by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-130); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Ottawa (+120); Under

Game 61-62: Detroit at Nashville
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 11.180; Nashville 11.611
Dunkel Line & Total: Nashville by 1/2; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit (-145); 5
Dunkel Pick: Nashville (+125); Over

Game 63-64: Minnesota at Colorado
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 11.926; Colorado 12.183
Dunkel Line & Total: Colorado by 1/2; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Colorado (-145); 5
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (-145); Over

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NBA DUNKEL

Golden State at Phoenix
The Warriors bring a 1-6 ATS record for April into Phoenix tonight against a Suns team that is 5-2 ATS over its last seven games.   The Suns are the pick (-5) according to Dunkel, which has Phoenix favored by 9.  Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (-5).  Here are all of today's games.

MONDAY, APRIL 14

Game 501-502: Indiana at Washington
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 118.890; Washington 120.556
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 1 1/2; 207 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 503-504: Miami at Toronto
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 104.336; Toronto 120.237
Dunkel Line & Total: Toronto by 16; 180
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto by 19; 184 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+19); Under

Game 505-506: Cleveland at Philadelphia
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland 116.933; Philadelphia 122.436
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 5 1/2; 183
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 507-508: Boston at New York
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 127.091; New York 114.814
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 12; 193
Vegas Line & Total: Boston by 5 1/2; 200 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-5 1/2); Under

Game 509-510: Chicago at Milwaukee
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 111.427; Milwaukee 114.339
Dunkel Line & Total: Milwaukee by 3; 207 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 511-512: Houston at Utah
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 122.174; Utah 131.049
Dunkel Line & Total: Utah by 9; 189
Vegas Line & Total: Utah by 8 1/2; 193 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Utah (-8 1/2); Under

Game 513-514: Golden State at Phoenix
Dunkel Ratings: Golden State 119.233; Phoenix 128.269
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 9; 228
Vegas Line & Total: Phoenix by 5; 232
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (-5); Under

Game 515-516: San Antonio at Sacramento
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 122.175; Sacramento 120.347
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 2; 190
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

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Tom Freese

Orlando Magic at Chicago Bulls

Orlando is 26-9-1 ATS off an ATS loss and they are 29-14-2 their last 45 road games. The Magic are 8-3 ATS when playing with one day of rest and are 24-13 ATS as favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points. Chicago is in a 65% ATS Play Against System that says to go against home teams with revenge from a 20 point road loss vs. an opponent that is off a loss where they were a favorite.

Play on: Orlando

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Alex Smart

Chicago White Sox -147

The White Sox (7-4) and Athletics (8-5) go head to head tonight in what in the recent past been a heated rivalry. The Pale Hose will send left-hander Mark Buehrle, who is off a top notch performance in his last outing on April 6 against the Tigers, allowing two runs , including one earned on seven hits in seven innings in a 13-2 win. The White Sox lefty has not faired well as a visitor to Oakland, going 0-6, but is much better at home, registering a 3-3 record along with a 2.76 ERA in seven starts and two relief appearances at U.S. Cellular Field, vs the Athletics. Greg Smith goes for Oakland, while making just his second career start. The 24-year-old left-hander pitched six innings in his major league debut on Wednesday, allowing three runs , but was less than perfect, suffering some control problems, that looked to be centered around a weak release point, that I feel ,will once again , have an effect on his performance tonight in the cool confines of South Side Chicago. Final notes & Key Trends: The Pale Hose have won 5 of the L/6 meetings in this series here in this park. Play on Chicago WS

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Matt Fargo

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Los Angeles Dodgers     
Play: Pittsburgh Pirates   

Pittsburgh came to Los Angeles last year roughly around the same time but unlike this season, the Pirates were reeling. They had gone 3-8 in their previous 11 games but now they come in with a three-game winning streak after sweeping their series with the Reds. The Dodgers meanwhile came into that series a season ago on an 11-3 run and that is hardly the case this season as they limp into this one losing five of their last six. We are basically dealing with the exact opposite of last year and what do we get?

We get a line similar to last season showing it is made up on name and public perception. Who in their right mind would back the Pirates here? Well I know I am and for very good reason as we get extraordinary value as well as the fact that the public remains on the side of the Dodgers. Los Angeles has scored more than five runs only twice all season long and it is coming off yet another dismal performance at the plate. Until this starts winning consistently, no one should be backing them at this kind of price.

Coming off a year in which he was plagued by injuries and control issues, Zach Duke allowed just seven runs in his five spring outings while posting a 3.32 ERA. Most impressive were the zero walks he issued. In his first regular season start, he allowed two runs against the Braves. He bettered that by allowing only one run in seven innings last time out against the Cubs. And again, most impressive were the two total walks issued. His career numbers against the Dodgers are awful but this is no longer that same pitcher.

Los Angeles counters with Hiroki Kuroda and he will be making his much anticipated home debut so there will be some pressure on him here. He looked strong in his first two outings against the Padres and Diamondbacks although the second one did have some issues. He did allow nine hits in 5.2 innings and he fell short of a quality outing. He threw 108 pitches in that contest after throwing only 77 in his first start that covered seven innings. The Pirates are 5-2 this season against right-handed starters. Play Pittsburgh Pirates 1 Unit

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MONEY LOCK OF THE DAY


JUNIOR'S PICK

Utah Jazz -9 over Houston Rockets


DIGGER'S PICK

Yankees / Devil Rays over 10 runs


HAWKER'S PICK

Boston Redsox +110 over Cleveland Indians

Minnesota Twins +150 over Detroit Tigers

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Players of America

3* Seattle Mariners

1* Boston Celtics/New York Knicks UNDER

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CAJUN SPORTSWIRE

Play: 2* Boston Celtics -5.5

Comments: This Monday night match up doesn’t provide us with any postseason drama but it may well provide an opportunity for a successful investment. The Celtics have already secured home-court throughout the playoffs but they are playing for the season sweep against the Knicks. This is something that hasn’t been accomplished by a Celtics team since 2002 when they were able to win all four contests that season. For the Knicks this only means they are possibly one game closer to getting rid of their Coach, if you can call him that? The Knicks had a rare winning streak snapped on Friday night when they lost to the Atlanta Hawks 116 to 104. The Knicks do need one more win this season to keep from tying a team record of 59 losses; this mark was set by Coach Larry Brown’s only Knicks team two seasons ago. Although the Celtics are the wrong team to need a win against since they have averaged defeating this Knicks team by 23 points per game this season. They have proven also they can beat teams handily even when their starters only play part of the game. The Celtics Big 3 played less than 25 minutes each in their 1-2 to 86 win over Milwaukee on Friday night. The next night they played the Hawks and the Big 3 played only 3 of the 4 quarters and they got the win by 10, 99 to 89. Also Coach Doc Rivers is not one to lie down at any point and this has been a part of the Celtics success this season along with the obvious. Lay the short price here as the men in Green put an exclamation mark on their meetings with the Knicks this season.

PREDICTION: BOSTON CELTICS -5.5

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Re: Monday Service Plays

Jeff Alexander Sports

1 Unit on Minnesota Twins +146
(listing Blackburn and Bonderman)

The 2-10 Tigers are 0-6 at home this season.  We'll make a small play on the Twins here showing great value.  The Tigers are 3-13 in their last 16 games vs. a right-handed starter and 0-5 in their last 5 home games vs. a right-handed starter.  The Tigers are 1-8 in their last 9 games as a favorite and 1-8 in their last 9 vs. American League Central.  The Tigers are 0-6 in Bonderman's last 6 home starts and 3-9 in Bonderman's last 12 starts period.  The Tigers are just 4-9 in Bonderman's last 13 starts vs. Twins.  Take the Twins!

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