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Thursday Service Plays

Thursday Service Plays

Marc Lawrence

Tampa Bay Rays @ Minnesota Twins
PICK: Minnesota Twins

REASON FOR PICK: Play On: Minnesota w/Bonser
Note: Twins close out this two-game set with the Rays in Minnesota tonight behind Boof Bonser knowing he is 5-1 in his career team starts on Thursdays.

He's also in solid KW form with 12 strikeouts and 2 walks in his three starts this season. Look for the Twins to improve to 13-2 as a host in this series behind Bonser tonight.

We recommend a 1-unit play on Minnesota.

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Jimmy The Moose

Game: Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs
Prediction: Cincinnati Reds

Reason: The Reds were blown out last night but they hope to get back on the winnning side with one of their young arms taking the mound. Volquez, 1-0, with a 0.87 ERA will be pitching for the Reds tonight. His last start was cut short by the weather but this kid can pitch and he'll show it this afternoon. The Cubs counter with 0-2 Ted Lilly and his horrible 9.95 ERA. Lilly hasn't looked good on the mound and the Cubs have lost 2 of his 3 starts this season. The Cubs have lost 5 of his last 6 starts. Chicago has lost 3 of Lilly's last 4 starts vs. the Reds. Play on the Cincinnati Reds +.

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VEGAS EXPERTS TIP OF THE DAY

Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians

The Indians haven't looked very good at all lately, but both they and starter Fausto Carmona are due here. Carmona owned the Tigers last year, compiling a 4-1 team start record against the division rival. Meanwhile, Justin Verlander has just looked awful for Detroit, who has lost all three of his starts this season. He owns a TSR of just 6-12 vs. division opponents and has an ERA approaching 7.00 against Cleveland.

Play on: Cleveland

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BRAD DIAMOND SPORTS

Play on: New York (Mussina) over Boston (Beckett)

Veteran Mike Mussina (4.15) of New York has surely lost his velocity going back to his days in Baltimore, but the veteran still knows how to pitch and should benefit being at home on Thursday. With the Yankees off back-to-back losses versus the Bosaux, I like our chances going up against ace Josh Beckett who seemingly does not yet have the strength go 7 or 8 solid innings. Remember Beckett still exhibits a 6+ ERA overall, despite the recent up-tick in control. The Yankees have won 45 of 65 at home and show with a nice 7 of 10 mark against this talented and hated visitor. Finally, we find New York 4-0 L4 meetings versus Boston in Yankee Stadium.

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Matt Fargo

Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics
Play: Seattle Mariners   

I grabbed Seattle in a great spot last night and I will hold on again tonight. As mentioned yesterday, it has been up and down for Seattle so far this season and we look to be once again catching it in an upward turn. The Mariners had a run of 0-4 and then won four of five before losing two in row on Sunday and Monday. The Mariners have now won two straight and look to sweep this short two-game set before heading to Anaheim for another big divisional series over the weekend.

While Seattle is in an upward move, the A’s are heading down. Oakland started the season surprisingly hot and had won eight of ten games before dropping its last two contests. They are just 2-4 at home and the offense continues to struggle which does not come as a surprise from this end. Oakland has scored a total of six runs in the last four games combined and it has scored two runs or less in seven of its last 16 games. Dating back to last season, the A’s are 4-11 in their last 15 home games.

Carlos Silva is not going to blow hitters away so facing potent offenses is usually his downfall. Well, he does not have to worry about that tonight facing Oakland as the A’s are hitting just .241 on the season including .221 at home. Despite allowing 11 hits against the Angels in his last start, Silva still tossed a quality outing as he was efficient and limited his pitch count. He has started against Oakland eight times and has posted a 3.12 ERA and 0.99 WHIP with six of those games quality starts.

Oakland sends Lenny DiNardo to the hill who will be making his second start of the season for the injured Rich Harden. It was a very solid effort against the Indians but I do not expect a repeat of that tonight. He has struggled with inconsistency since coming over from Boston and facing the Mariners again will not help matters. He has started two games against Seattle including one last season where he allowed seven runs in just three innings. Seattle is hitting .303 against lefties on the season. Play Seattle Mariners 1.5 Units

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Big Al Mcmordie

Game: Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles
Prediction: Baltimore Orioles

Reason: At 7:05pm ET our member selection is on the Baltimore Orioles over the Chicago White Sox. After a red-hot start, the Orioles have started to cool off a bit, going 2-6 in their last eight games and falling out of first place in the AL East division. Having said that, the O's have to continue to be thrilled about their pitching thus far. Last Saturday, their talented, but inconsistent starter Daniel Cabrera pitched a gem and limited the Tampa Bay Rays to only one ER in 6 2/3 innings. Then on Monday, Matt Albers shut down Toronto in his first start of the year as the O's beat the Jays 4-2. And yesterday, lefthander Adam Loewen (the heir-apparent to recently-departed, fellow Canadian Erik Bedard) gave up three ER in the first inning before blanking this Chicago team over the next five innings in a tough 3-1 loss. Now it's time for the new Baltimore ace, righthander Jeremy Guthrie to try and build on this optimistic start to the season for the O's hurlers. After getting roughed up on opening day by the Rays, Guthrie settled down in his next two starts and gave up only four ER in 13 1/3 innings against the Rays and Mariners. Take the O's.

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VEGAS SPORTS PICS

Chicago Cubs (Lilly) -120** over Cincinnati (Volquez)    
   
N.Y.Yankees (Mussina) / Boston (Beckett) OVER 9 (-125**)    
   
Detroit (Verlander) +115* over Cleveland (Carmona)    
   
Chicago White Sox (Floyd) -105** over  Baltimore (Guthrie)    

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DCI

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Game 5, best-of-7
MONTREAL 3, Boston 2
Game 4, best-of-7
Washington vs. PHILADELPHIA: TOO CLOSE TO CALL

Western Conference Quarterfinals
Game 5, best-of-7
MINNESOTA 3, Colorado 2
SAN JOSE 3, Calgary 2
Game 4, best-of-7
Anaheim vs. DALLAS: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
Reply With Quote

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Jim Feist

DET Tigers and CLE Indians
Take "Under".

Both teams have struggled with the bats early in the season, which was not expected. Cold weather in the Northeast hasnt helped the bats. The Indians had to battle 38 degree weather in a game this week at home. Detroit comes to town averaging just 3 runs per game on the road. A pair of hard throwing hurlers won.5?t help the bats this game with Verlander against Carmona. Dont look for an offensive show in Cleveland. Play the Tigers/Indians under the total!

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Dave Cokin.

SEA Mariners and OAK Athletics.
Take "SEA Mariners".

Carlos Silva has some flaws to be sure, but he's generally good for six or seven innings and does well enough to give his team a chance to win the game. The same cannot be said for Lenny DiNardo, who usually goes five or six tops, meaning much more work for the bullpen. The Mariners are off back to back solid wins, so I'm looking at them as a decent play to get past the A's in this series windup."

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Matt Rivers

I do not love Gavin Floyd and am definitely not under the belief that the righty has all of a sudden found himself after that phenomenal last home start against the Tigers where he had a no-hitter in the 8th inning before Edgar Renteria's single. But at this price to get what is the clear better team in Ozzie Guillen's Sox is well worth the price of admission.

Congratulations to the Orioles for the first few solid weeks to the season but when push comes to shove this team is still one of the weaker teams in baseball. The O's do have solid veterans like Millar, Roberts, Mora, Markakis and others and when getting a handsome takeback are not a terrible risk but at this price I will gladly grab the higher upside of Thome, Konerko, Pierzynski, Crede and the Sox.

Jeremy Guthrie is not bad at all and could hold his own here but many more times than not the superior visitors win this game and yet that is not reflected in the number.

Floyd should be alright and give five or six decent enough innings and the ChiSox offense will flex their muscles a bit and help take care of business.

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Karl Garrett

It took a while, but it finally looks like the New York bats have come to life. With last night's Red Sox-Yankees game going OVER the posted total, the Yanks have now played on the high side in 3 of their last 4 games.

Boston has also been involved in OVERS in 3 of their last 4 games, and the last time Beckett faced Mussina over the weekend, the hitters did account for 7 runs combined against the starters although the game did land just UNDER the total.

With the quick turnaround, look for the hitters to have the advantage in seeing these hurlers again in less than a week - that certainly was the case last night against Buchholz and Wang! - and look for this game to head OVER the total as the teams conclude their brief 2-game set.

Beckett's ERA is up over 6 for his first pair of starts, while Mussina's ERA is over 4 for his 3 starting assignments.

Hitters rule the roost again in this one.


3* OVER (on a 1* to 5* basis)

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Alex Smart

Game: Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres
Prediction: San Diego Padres

Reason: Jake Peavy (3-0 , 1.64 ERA), the NL's reigning Cy Young Award winner, looks to continue his top tier performances as he goes for his fourth straight win to start his 2008 campaign this Thursday when the Padres close out a three-game series with the visiting Rockies. After getting buried 10-2 yesterday ,the Padres will be very motivated to get some redemption, and have the edge with their ace on the hill. Note: The Rockies will send Jeff Francis (0-2, 9.53) to the mound in return . Francis is fast becoming notorious for early season struggles, and has continued down that path this season, as was the case in both of his starts. Final notes & Key Trends: Francis went (1-3, 6.61 ERA in five starts) vs the Padres last year. Play on San Diego

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MLB DUNKEL


Detroit at Cleveland   
Justin Verlander is looking for his first win of the season (0-2, 6.51) and should benefit from a Tiger attack that has suddenly come alive during a three-game winning streak.  Detroit is the underdog pick (+115) according to Dunkel, which has the Tigers favored straight up by 1.  Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+115).  Here are all of today's games.

THURSDAY, APRIL 17

Game 951-952: Houston at Philadelphia
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Backe) 14.366; Philadelphia (Myers) 15.342
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-160); 10
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-160); Under

Game 953-954: Milwaukee at St. Louis
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Parra) 15.190; St. Louis (Lohse) 15.081
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: St. Louis(-120); 9
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+110); Under

Game 955-956: Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Volquez) 14.802; Chicago Cubs (Lilly) 15.628
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1; 12
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-125); No Run Line
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (-125); N/A

Game 957-958: Atlanta at Florida
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Smoltz) 15.117; Florida (Nolasco) 14.244
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-160); 9
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-160); Under

Game 959-960: Washington at NY Mets
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Lannan) 13.120; NY Mets (Figueroa) 15.247
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 2; 8
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-160); 9
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (-160); Under

Game 961-962: Colorado at San Diego
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Francis) 15.172; San Diego (Peavy) 14.542
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: San Diego (-185); 7
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+175); Over

Game 963-964: Chicago White Sox at Baltimore
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago White Sox (Floyd) 15.682; Baltimore (Guthrie) 14.738
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-105); 9
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (-105); Over

Game 965-966: Detroit at Cleveland
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Verlander) 15.088; Cleveland (Carmona) 13.808
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+115); Over

Game 967-968: Boston at NY Yankees
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Beckett) 15.242; NY Yankees (Mussina) 15.929
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Boston (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (+115); Over

Game 969-970: Texas at Toronto
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Padilla) 14.675; Toronto (Halladay) 16.430
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 2; 10
Vegas Line: Toronto (-195); 9
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-195); Over

Game 971-972: Tampa Bay at Minnesota
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Hammel) 15.471; Minnesota (Bonser) 14.922
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Minnesota (-120); 9
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (+110); Under

Game 973-974: Kansas City at LA Angels
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Tomko) 15.105; LA Angels (Garland) 15.532
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-150); 9
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-150); Under

Game 975-976: Seattle at Oakland
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Silva) 15.401; Oakland (Dinardo) 14.861
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Seattle (-110); 9
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-110); Under


NHL

Colorado at Minnesota
After three straight overtime games, Colorado broke out with a 5-1 win over the Wild in Game Four to even the series up a 2-2.  Having already stolen one game in Minnesota, the Avs look to repeat the feat tonight and are the underdog pick (+105) according to Dunkel, which has Colorado favored straight up by 1.  Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+105).  Here are all of today's games.

THURSDAY, APRIL 17

Game 7-8: Washington at Philadelphia
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 11.582; Philadelphia 12.510
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia (-130); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-130); Under

Game 9-10: Boston at Montreal
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 10.789; Montreal 11.936
Dunkel Line & Total: Montreal by 1; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Montreal (-220); 5
Dunkel Pick: Montreal (-220); Under

Game 11-12: Colorado at Minnesota
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado 12.525; Minnesota 11.584
Dunkel Line & Total: Colorado by 1; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota (-125); 5
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+105); Under

Game 13-14: Anaheim at Dallas
Dunkel Ratings: Anaheim 11.887; Dallas 11.584
Dunkel Line & Total: Anaheim by 1/2; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Dallas (-125); 5
Dunkel Pick: Anaheim (+105); Over

Game 15-16: Calgary at San Jose
Dunkel Ratings: Calgary 11.559; San Jose 11.866
Dunkel Line & Total: San Jose by 1/2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: San Jose (-190); 5
Dunkel Pick: San Jose (-190); Under

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Tony Mathews

Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Selection: St. Louis Cardinals -120

Explanation: We will side with the St. Louis Cardinals (-120) as they face-off against the Milwaukee Brewers in Thursday's MLB contest.

The Milwaukee Brewers will use starting pitcher Manny Parra. Manny Parra has struggled so far this season. In two starts, Manny Parra already has a 4.82 ERA. To say the least, we see the St. Louis Cardinals being able to score many runs off Manny Parra.

The St. Louis Cardinals will use starting pitcher Kyle Lohse. Kyle Lohse has pitched well this season. Kyle Lohse is a Perfect 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA (giving up only 2 runs in 17.1 innings pitched). It's safe to say that the Milwaukee Brewers will struggle to score runs off Kyle Lohse.

The St. Louis Cardinals have proven they can beat the Milwaukee Brewers. In fact, the St. Louis Cardinals are 9-2 in their last 11 meetings against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Take the St. Louis Cardinals!

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Bobby Maxwell


Big plus-money we're jumping on with this one and all the numbers point to the Royals to get the job done in Anaheim.

Kansas City has won the last six matchups with the Angels, including Wednesday's 3-2 victory. They've won their last four games played in Anaheim and they've got a great shot to get this one tonight. Brett Tomko (1-1, 2.08 ERA) goes for the Royals against the Angels' Jon Garland (1-2, 5.50).

Tomko has been spectacular in his first two starts of the season, blanking the Twins on six hits for five innings in Minnesota and then allowing two runs through six innings at home against the Twins.

On the complete opposite end, Garland has been horrible for the Angels. he gave up seven runs on eight hits in five innings of a 10-4 home loss to the Rangers on April 6 and then gave up six runs on 12 hits in five innings of an 8-3 loss at Seattle on Saturday.

The Royals are 8-3 in their last 11 games as a 'dog and for some reason really like playing in the Angels' stadium. Grab the plus money and take a shot with Kansas City in this one.

3* KANSAS CITY

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Drew Gordon

With Seattle heating up, and Oakland unable to produce, there's no question you've got to like the Mariners in this one. Got to like what you've seen from this Mariners club over their last 6 games (4-2 over that span), with their only poor outing coming against the Royals surging Zach Greike. Ibanez, Beltre, and Suzuki (among others) are all swinging the bat well of late, and that's bad news for the A's Lenny DiNardo in this one.

Speaking of DiNardo, he has no record against Seattle, but has posted an ugly 5.52 ERA in 5 career appearances (2 starts) against them. In his last start against them, back on July 29th of last season, he got massacred for 7 runs over just 3 innings in one of his worst starts of 2007. Again, with Seattle's batting order starting to heat up, DiNardo will find himself in trouble once again tonight.

Opposing DiNardo is the Mariners Carlos Silva, who's not only pitched well in his 3 starts this season (2-0, 3.27 ERA), but also had plenty of success against the A's, going 3-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 9 career appearances (8 starts). He was rock-solid in his last one against them (as a member of the Twins), limiting the A's to 3 runs over 6 2/3 innings back on July 14th of last season.

Bottom line, the way Oakland is swinging the bats right now (batting .246 L10 games), there's little hope of keeping pace with a Seattle offense that crushed DiNardo the last time they saw him. Let's not forget the Mariners have taken 15 of the last 20 games from Oakland, and there's little reason to believe that's going to change tonight.

Take Seattle behind Silva over Oakland and DiNardo in this MLB match up.

3* SEATTLE

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TONY WESTON

Were sticking with the National League and focusing on some NL Central action as the Cincinnati Reds play at the Chicago Cubs.

The Cincinnati Reds are mired in a five-game losing streak, including two straight against the Chicago Cubs.

But that streak will come to an end today and that?ll be due to Cincinnati Reds up-and-coming stud Edinson Volquez. While most of the attention this season has been on Reds gem Johnny Cueto, Volquez has been very overlooked.

Hes pitched in the big leagues the last four seasons, but only this year has he broken out.

In two games this year Volquez is 1-0 with one no decision. He?s given up only eight hits in 10 1/3 innings pitched and allowed only one earned run in those two games.

Volquez will get the Reds back on the winning track and shut down the Cubs.

Take Volquez as your starting pitcher and take the Reds to win on the road.

3* REDS (1* to 5* Scale)

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Brandon Lang

20 Dime - Indians

10 Dime - Red Sox

Free Pick - Twins

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John Fina

Selection: San Diego Padres -1.5 Runs +135

Today the Colorado Rockies will be on the road as they take on the San Diego Padres. We will lay 1.5 Runs with the San Diego Padres. The San Diego Padres will be sending to the mound the much superior pitcher. The Colorado Rockies send to the mound Jeff Francis. In two starts, Jeff Francis has only pitched 11.1 innings and has given up 12 runs (9.53 ERA). Jeff Francis has also been known to struggle against the San Diego Padres. This is shown by the Colorado Rockies (when Jeff Francis is starting) being 3-8 in their last 11 meetings against the San Diego Padres. On the other hand, the San Diego Padres will send to the mound star pitcher Jake Peavy. Jake Peavy is a Perfect 3-0 on the season with a solid 1.64 ERA (giving up only 4 runs in 22 innings pitched). In addition to having the better starting pitcher on the mound, the San Diego Padres also have the better offense and defense. Since this is the case, we will gladly lay the 1.5 runs with the San Diego Padres. Take the San Diego Padres -1.5 Runs!

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