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Suday Service Plays

Suday Service Plays

NBA PLAYOFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE

(4) Cleveland (47-38, 39-46 ATS) at (5) Washington (44-41, 47-38 ATS)

Having finally ended a long playoff losing skid to the Cavaliers, the Wizards now try to make it two in a row and even this best-of-7 series at 2-2 when they host Cleveland inside the Verizon Center.

Washington rebounded from an ugly 30-point loss at Cleveland in Game 2 by pounding the Cavs 108-72, easily cashing as a five-point home favorite. The Wizards shot 52 percent from the field (going 8-for-19 on three-pointers), held Cleveland to 39.7 percent shooting (including 2-for-16 from three-point land), forced 23 turnovers and outscored the Cavs by at least 10 points in each of the final three quarters.

With the Game 3 win, Washington not only snapped a three-game SU and ATS slide going back to the end of the regular season, but it ended an eight-game playoff losing streak to the Cavaliers, who have eliminated the Wizards each of the last two postseasons. Cleveland is still 6-3 ATS in the last nine playoff battles. Also, the home team has won seven in a row in this rivalry, and the favorite is 7-2 ATS in the last nine clashes.

Despite winning the first two games of this series, the Cavs are still only 7-8 in their last 15 games since mid-March (5-10 ATS). Also, Cleveland is just 3-10 in its last 13 road games (5-8 ATS).

For the season, Cleveland still holds a 4-3 SU and ATS lead against Washington this year, with the home team winning all seven contests (5-2 ATS). Finally, the favorite in this rivalry is on a 7-2 ATS run (playoffs included)

The Cavaliers are still 4-1 ATS in their last five first-round playoff games – all against Washington – and are 12-6 ATS in their last 18 as a playoff underdog and 31-16 ATS in their last 47 as a road pup. However, they carry negative ATS trends of 2-6 against teams with a winning record and 1-5 after a pointspread win.

The Wizards are on negative ATS runs of 2-4 against winning teams and 3-5 as a home favorite. On the bright side, they’re 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games played on two days’ rest and 12-4 ATS in their last 16 as a home chalk of five to 10½ points.

The under is 2-1 in this series and is on runs for Cleveland of 8-1 overall, 5-0 as an underdog, 6-0 as a pup of 5 to 10½ points, 14-3 as a playoff ‘dog and 47-22 on Sundays. On the flip side, for Washington, the over is on streaks of 13-3 at the Verizon Center, including 11-1 as a home chalk, 9-5 overall, 22-9 against the East and 6-4 in the playoffs (all against Cleveland). Finally, the over is 6-3 in the last eight clashes between these rivals in Washington.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


(2) Detroit (60-25, 46-38-1 ATS) at (7) Philadelphia (42-43, 45-37-3 ATS)

The 76ers, who entered this best-of-7 series as a heavy underdog, looks to take a commanding 3-1 series lead when they host the Pistons in Game 4 at the Wachovia Center.

Philadelphia bounced back from a 17-point Game 2 loss in Detroit with Friday’s 95-75 rout of the Pistons, cashing as a 5½-point home underdog. It was just the second win in the Sixers’ last seven games both SU and ATS, while the Pistons fell to 5-2 SU and ATS in its last seven. The winner has cashed in each team’s last 11 games.

Philly is now 4-3 SU and 5-2 ATS against the Pistons this season, including 4-1 SU and ATS in the last five meetings. Also, despite Friday’s outcome, the favorite in this rivalry is on a 13-7-1 ATS roll, and the road team is 8-4 ATS in the last 12 matchups.

Detroit, which has now lost six of its last seven playoff games, is in the midst of negative ATS trends of 6-12-1 in the playoffs (1-6 ATS last seven), 6-17-1 as a playoff chalk (1-8 last nine as a playoff favorite), 3-8 against the Atlantic Division, 4-11 as a road favorite and 2-8 overall on the highway.

Philadelphia remains on positive ATS runs of 15-7-1 as a pup, 9-3 against the Central Division and 7-1 as a home ‘dog of less than five. However, the Sixers are just 5-12-1 ATS in their last 18 playoff games as an underdog, 6-11-3 ATS in their last 20 in conference quarterfinal games, 4-7 ATS in their last 11 when catching less than five points and 2-4 ATS in their past six at home.

For Detroit, the under is on streaks of 11-4 overall, 10-3 as a favorite, 13-3 against the East, 5-0 as a road chalk and 7-1 on the highway. Philadelphia, meanwhile, has seen the over-under alternate in its last 10 contests overall, and the under is 5-1 in its last six at home.

ATS ADVANTAGE:               PHILADELPHIA and UNDER


WESTERN CONFERENCE

(3) San Antonio (59-26, 39-44-2) at (6) Phoenix (55-30, 40-42-3 ATS)

What was supposed to be the most competitive and compelling first-round playoff series in recent memory has turned into a one-sided affair, as the defending champion Spurs carry a 3-0 lead in today’s contest at the US Airways Center.

After escaping with two close wins at home, San Antonio went to Phoenix on Friday and pushed the Suns around all night, leading wire-to-wire in a 115-99 upset victory as a 7½-point road underdog. Tony Parker had a monster night with 41 points and 12 assists, and Tim Duncan (23 points, 10 rebounds) contributed a double-double as the Spurs shot 56.1 percent from the field.

Going back to the regular season, the Spurs have won five straight games, and they’ve followed up 2-6 ATS slump with back-to-back spread-covers. Also, going back to last year’s postseason, Gregg Popovich’s club has won nine straight playoff games (7-2 ATS), going 4-0 (3-1 ATS) on the road during this stretch.

Phoenix, which ended the regular season on a 15-5 romp, has dropped three in a row for the first time all season, and is 7-9 ATS in its last 16.

With Friday’s result, the underdog is now 6-1 ATS in this rivalry this season, going 5-2 SU. Also, San Antonio, which took out Phoenix in last year’s conference semis by winning the series 4-2 (3-2-1 ATS), is 10-4-1 ATS in its last 15 visits to the US Airways Center.

Despite their recent surge, the Spurs are in the midst of ATS funks of 2-4 against the Pacific Division, 4-8 as an underdog, 5-12 as a road pup and 1-4 on the highway. One positive for San Antonio is its 6-1 ATS run in first-round playoff games.

The Suns are still on positive pointspread trends of 8-3 at home, 12-6-1 against the Western Conference, 6-1 after a non-cover, 4-2 after a SU loss, 7-3 as a home favorite and 10-5-1 overall as a chalk.

The under cashed in all four regular-season meetings between these squads, but the over has been the play in all three games of this playoff series. Additionally, for Phoenix, the over is on runs of 5-0 in conference quarterfinal games, 11-4 as a playoff favorite, 10-4 against the Southwest Division and 12-5 as a home chalk. For San Antonio, the over streaks are 6-0 overall, 6-0 against the West, 5-0 following a SU win, 7-1 against the Pacific Division (including a current 5-0 run) and 8-2 with the Spurs catching points in the playoffs.

ATS ADVANTAGE: SAN ANTONIO and OVER


(2) New Orleans (58-27, 51-32-2 ATS) at (7) Dallas (52-33, 36-45-4 ATS)

After an impressive Game 3 win, the Mavericks will now attempt to even their best-of-7 series against the Hornets when the teams battle at American Airlines Center tonight.

With their backs against the wall after a pair of double-digit losses in New Orleans, the Mavs came home on Friday and responded with a convincing 97-87 victory, cashing as a six-point chalk. Dallas, which held New Orleans to just 38 percent shooting in Game 3, is still only 2-4 SU in its last six and 2-6 ATS in its last eight. Meanwhile, the Hornets are just 4-5 in their last nine (5-4 ATS).

The home team has won all seven head-to-head meetings this season, going 7-0 ATS in the process. In fact, the last five battles have been decided by double digits, and the favorite is 16-5-1 ATS in the last 22 series clashes, including 6-0 ATS in the last six.

The Hornets, who sported the league’s third-best ATS mark in the regular season, are still on a multitude of positive pointspread streaks, including 40-19-1 overall, 6-2 in conference quarterfinal games, 9-4 against the Western Conference, 20-10 as an underdog and 31-16-2 as a visitor. On the downside, they are on ATS slides of 3-8-1 as a playoff underdog, 2-6 as a road pup of any price and 1-6 as a road ‘dog of five to 10½ points.

Dallas’ last two home wins have come against the Hornets, but the Mavs are still on negative pointspread streaks of 5-10 against winning teams, 3-6 at home and 1-6 in first-round playoff games. On the positive side, Dallas is 38-17-1 in its last 56 against Southwest Division rivals.

The “over” trends run particularly heavy for New Orleans, including 4-1 overall, 7-2 as a road ‘dog of any price and 5-2 catching 5 to 10½ points on the road. For Dallas, the over is on streaks of a 4-2 overall and 5-2 against the Southwest Division. However, the under is on runs of 10-3 for the Mavs as a favorite, 9-2 for the Mavs as a playoff favorite, 7-2 for the Mavs at home, 20-7-1 for the Mavs on Sundays, 5-2 for New Orleans on the highway and 6-2 for New Orleans on Sundays

Finally, these teams stayed under the number in Game 3, ending a 4-0 “over” streak in this rivalry. The under is now 12-5-1 in the last 18 clashes between these rivals and is 8-1 the last nine meetings in Dallas.

ATS ADVANTAGE:               DALLAS and UNDER


NATIONAL LEAGUE

Arizona (17-7) at San Diego (10-15)

Two of the best pitchers in the game square off this afternoon at Petco Park, with DBacks ace Brandon Webb (5-0, 2.31 ERA) battling reigning N.L. Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy (3-0, 2.00) and the Padres.

San Diego halted a five-game overall and a five-game home losing skid – and snapped out of a serious offensive funk – by outlasting Arizona 8-7 in 13 innings yesterday. The Padres scored two more runs on Saturday than they had in their previous 66 innings at Petco. Still, San Diego remains just 2-9 in its last 11 and has produced three runs or fewer in 16 of their 25 games overal

Arizona continues to own baseball’s best record and is still 16-5 in its last 21. The DBacks have now scored at least four runs in 20 of their last 21 games, and they’re also 8-5 on the road this year.

Dating to last year, the Diamondbacks are on a 5-2 run against the Friars. However, San Diego is now 5-2 in the past seven meetings at Petco.

Webb, who won the 2006 Cy Young Award, has been outstanding so far, allowing two earned runs or fewer in four of his five outings. His most recent performance on Wednesday against San Francisco was his worst to date, as he surrendered three runs on nine hits in six innings, but still won 5-4.

Webb is 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA on the road this year after going 10-5 with a 2.88 ERA on the highway in 2007. The right-hander is just 4-7 despite a 3.78 ERA in 19 career starts against the Padres, including 2-3 with a 3.61 ERA in eight outings at Petco Park. Last year, he faced the Padres five times, going 1-2 with a 3.18 ERA.

Peavy is coming off his worst outing the season, giving up four runs on seven hits over six innings at Houston on Wednesday, getting a no-decision in San Diego’s 11-7 loss. The right-hander has been brilliant at Petco this year, posting a 2-0 record and a 0.38 ERA in three starts (one run and nine hits allowed in 24 innings). San Diego is 13-6 in Peavy’s last 19 trips to the hill, including 5-2 in his last seven at home.

Peavy battled Arizona five times last season, going 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA. He was awesome in three of the outings, giving up a combined one run and eight hits with 37 strikeouts in 24 innings, but terrible in the other two (13 runs allowed in 11 innings). For his career, he’s 10-9 with a 5.11 ERA against the DBacks, but the Padres are 8-1 in his last nine home starts versus the Snakes.

The under is 20-7-2 in Peavy’s last 29 starts in Petco Park. 6-2-1 in his last nine efforts on Sunday, 14-6-1 in Webb’s last 21 starts overall and 5-2 in his last seven on Sunday.

The over is 11-3-1 in Arizona’s last 15 overall, and 7-1-1 in the last nine series meetings between these teams. However, even though Saturday’s game easily hurdled the total, the under is still 10-4 at Petco Park this season, including 7-2 in the last nine, and the under is 8-3 in Arizona’s last 11 on Sunday.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ARIZONA and UNDER


AMERICAN LEAGUE

L.A. Angels (15-9) at Detroit (10-14)

Tigers ace Justin Verlander (1-3, 5.93) tries for his second win of the season when he goes up against Jered Weaver (1-3, 4.50) and the Angels in this nationally televised rubber match of a three-game weekend series at Comerica Park.

Detroit had a season-best four-game winning streak halted in Friday’s 4-3 loss to Los Angeles, but bounced back Saturday and prevailed 6-4. Since tallying 15 runs in losing their first six home games, the Tigers have rebounded to go 6-1 in their last seven at Comerica, scoring 63 runs.

Despite Saturday’s setback, Los Angeles is 9-4 in its last 13 games, including 6-2 on the road. For the season, Mike Scioscia’s club is 9-5 on the highway.

The Angels have flat owned Detroit over the years, winning 38 of the last 52 meetings, including nine of the last 13. They’re also 16-8 in their last 24 games at Comerica.

After four ugly starts to begin the season, Verlander settled down in Wednesday’s outing against Texas, giving up just a run on six hits in six innings, cruising to a 10-2 home win. That snapped Detroit’s five-game losing skid in games started by Verlander. Meanwhile, the right-hander is now 1-1 with a 4.58 ERA in three home starts, and Detroit is 23-9 in Verlander’s last 32 at home.

Verlander has faced the Angels twice – both in 2006 – and Detroit lost both games by scores of 7-2 at home, even though the righthander gave up just three earned runs in 13 innings (2.08 ERA).

Weaver got rocked at Boston on Wednesday, yielding five runs on 10 hits in five innings of a 7-6 loss, dropping to 0-2 with a 6.88 ERA in three road starts. The Halos are 1-6 in Weaver’s last seven starts dating to last season, including 0-4 on the road.

Weaver’s only two career starts against Detroit came last year at home, and the results weren’t pretty as he gave up a combined 13 runs (11 earned) on 18 hits in just seven total innings (14.14 ERA), but Los Angels managed to split the two games, losing 9-5 and winning 11-6.

The over is 2-0 in Weaver’s two starts against Detroit and 1-0-1 in Verlander’s two outings against Los Angeles.

The under has been the play the past two days after the over was 8-0 in last year’s eight meetings. The over is still 12-6-2 in the last 20 head-to-head clashes in Motown. However, as for recent totals trends, the under is 7-2-1 in L.A.’s last 10 overall and 5-2-1 in Detroit’s last eight overall.

ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. ANGELS

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James Patrick Sports

Hornets vs. Mavericks

Our Sunday selection in NBA Play-off action is Hornets – Mavericks OVER the TOTAL. This is going to be a hotly contested game and we look for the offenses to get it going in the Big “D”. Elsewhere on this Sunday, James Patrick is Red Hot in the NBA Play-offs and he is cashing winning tickets like a woman on a shopping spree runs up the bill.


Dave Cokin

Phillies @ Pirates
Play: Phillies -140

Going against Matt Morris for my NL Game of the Month was pretty much a no brainer at this point as the Pirates righty is basically toast as a big league starter. At least Morris was a terrific pitcher for quite some time, something that can't be said about lefty Paul Maholm. He'll have the occasional strong showing, but Maholm is mostly mediocre. He's also had his troubles with the likely Philly starters in this contest, who've hit him at a robust .442 clip. The probable Pittsburgh starters are only .239 hitters against Philly's Brett Myers and the road team is in much better current form. I'll spot the price with the Phillies.


Marc Lawrence

Play On: Cincinnati vs Zito

Note: Reds close out a weekend visit to San Francisco when they take on Barry Zito and the Giants Sunday afternoon. Aside from being in horrible KW form (9 strikeouts and 16 walks) in his last three starts, Zito has dropped 17 of his last 20 team starts in April, including 12 of his last 13 at home. He's also 1-6 in his last team starts on Sundays. The bottom line is Zito can't be trusted in his current condition here.

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Jimmy The Moose

Game: Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards
Prediction: Washington Wizards

Reason: Home team has dominated this series of late taking all 3 meetings in this series and 8 of the last 10 overall. The favorite is aslo 7-2 ATS last 9 meetings. Wizards comng off a 36 point win in Game 3 at home and will continue their home dominace over the Cavs. Play on Washington -.

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VEGAS SPORTS PICS

NBA

San Antonio Spurs + 4 over (at) Phoenix Suns
Defending NBA champ San Antonio up 3-0 figures to be looking to close out this series. The Spurs have won nine straight and 13 of their previous 14 playoff games.
   
Philadelphia 76ers + 5.5 over Detroit Pistons
Series underdog Philadelphia enters up a momentum building 2-1 off posting a 95-75 home win over Detroit in game three, a team which has played in the last four Eastern Conference finals.
   
New Orleans Hornets + 5.5 over (at) Dallas Mavericks
Dallas is 3-10 last 13 playoff games off posting a 97-87 home win over New Orleans in game three attempting 38 free throws vs. the Hornet's 13. Refs figure to slant that deal in Hornets favor this game. New Orleans up 2-1 in this series is 37-16 ATS last 53 games following a loss.
   
MLB

Detroit (Verlander) -130** over L.A.Angels (Weaver)
Detroit has picked up the pace going 5-1 last six games including a 6-4 win over the Angels on Saturday. The Tigers are 14-6 last 20 Verlander home starts off beating Texas 10-2 on 04/22.

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David Malinsky

San Antonio Spurs @ Phoenix Suns
PICK: San Antonio Spurs

After cashing an easy 4* ticket with the Spurs on Sunday night this one should not be coming as any surprise at all. The only surprise is that the market is allowing us to take a full +4, so let’s get to it while it is still there.

It took Gregg Popovich and the Spurs some time to figure out how to deal with the Phoenix defense with Shaq on the floor - they suffered two ugly regular-season losses, and then fell behind big at home in Game #1 of this series. But in the second half of that game it all started to make sense - there is absolutely nothing that the currently configured Suns can do about their pick-and-roll plays. Without Shawn Marion, who could try to lock up either Tony Parker or Manu Ginobli in the past, there is no one that can stop the dribbler man-to-man, and Shaq does not have the legs to stop penetration once the pick takes place. So San Antonio keeps doing it over, and over, and over again, and the series is now well in hand.

So what changes Sunday? Nothing. There was no mistaking the look in the eyes of the Phoenix players on Friday night, nor their post-game comments. They are a beaten team, and they know it, and at that mental state they would be the least likely to be able to make adjustments. The real key, of course, is that there are no adjustments to make anyway - that is all that Mike D’Antoni has to work with. Steve Nash was a below average defensive player at the peak of his career, and now is among the worst defenders at his position in the league; Grant Hill tries hard but is not 100 percent; and Amare Stoudemire brings no defensive savvy to the table at all. For a team that genuinely believed that a championship was attainable this season there is nothing at all motivating about merely saving some face in a series that they can not win.

And then there are the Spurs. A team loaded with playoff experience knows full well what a win here means - by becoming the first Western Conference team to clinch they can grab some extra time off before they take the floor again. As tough as the remaining opponents are going to be, that absolutely matters. We expect them to bring the right focus to take care of business here, and while the points being offered are a nice bonus, we fully expect them to win this outright.

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Stan Sharp Triple Dime bet

Wash/Clev over 189.5

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Purelock

Premium Play
ATLANTA @ NY METS
PLAY ON: ATLANTA (SMOLTZ/FIGUREOA) LISTED

Comp Play
HOUSTON @ ST LOUIS
PLAY ON: HOUSTON (BACKE/LOHSE) LISTED

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DCI

NHL

Eastern Conference Semifinals
Game 2, best-of-7
PITTSBURGH 3, N.Y. Rangers 2

Western Conference Semifinals
Game 2, best-of-7
SAN JOSE 3, Dallas 2


NBA

WASHINGTON 99, Cleveland 94
Detroit vs. PHILADELPHIA: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
PHOENIX 103, San Antonio 101
DALLAS 98, New Orleans 97

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THE POWER INDEX

NBA

Washington* 4.5 over Cleveland
Phoenix* 2 over San Antonio
Philadelphia* 1? over Detroit
Dallas* 2.5 over New Orleans

NHL

Pittsburgh* (-140) .5 over N.Y. Rangers (+140)
San Jose* (-110) even with Dallas (+110)

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Tom Scott
   
Cleveland at WASHINGTON

Play ON: UNDER the total points

After uncharacteristic splurges by both teams (Cleveland 116 in game two - Washington 108 in game three) look for a game closely resembling game one, a 93-86 Cleveland win. We're not saying the Cavs are going to win this one, although that's the way we lean. We're saying that defense will rule the court today on both sides and a grueling low scoring battle will emerge. The Cavs have held Washington to 86 twice and the Wizards held Cleveland to 72 in the last meeting. There is a nice grinder angle working here, too. When any playoff team is held to less than 75 and the Over/Under in its next game is higher than 177, the UNDER shows up more than 62% of the time. It's certainly worth a try here.

PREDICTION: Total Points Scored = 178

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BRAD DIAMOND

PLAY ON: PHILADELPHIA+ over Detroit

Not only has Philly regained the emotional edge in this series, but they catch the aging Pistons 1-8 ATS as a chalk in the most recent playoff rounds. Further to which, Philly has covered 4 of 5 in this series and plays on their home floor this evening. Please note, go to Brad's NBA, Philly and Detroit article referenced in these pages and you'll get a better idea of the set you're venturing into on Sunday.

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Hot Lock sports

Philadelphia Phillies vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates +121

The Phillies are swinging the bats well as expected with their potent lineup so why are we taking the Pirates here?

The Pirates are 5-0 in Maholms L 5 starts and the Home team is 4-0 in Tom Hallions L 4 behind home plate for Pitt.  The Phillies are 1-4 L 5 overall when Hallion is behind home plate.  We also have the Home Team Avoiding a Sweep at Home system that is a strong % play the last few years.We are taking the Pirates today for 2 units

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Karl Garrett

Strange series brewing between the Cavs and Wizards as we have had back-to-back blowout wins, one with Cleveland winning by 30, followed up in the last game with Washington winning by 36!

Today is the day we will see a tight contest and the underdog stay inside the number.
The G-Man feels the Wizards blowout win on Thursday is going to have a dual effect, as Washington win enter this one a little full of themselves, while Cleveland will enter this one looking to avoid another embarrassment.

Game One was decided by 7-points in Cleveland's favor, and that game did go back and forth before the Cavs were able to pull away late. The G-Man thinks this game is going to go back and forth as well, and in the end the Cavaliers will stay inside of this two basket impost.

Close one today after a pair of blowouts, take the points.

1* CLEVELAND

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Ross Benjamin

Colorado (Jiminez) @ Dodgers (Kuroda)
Play On: Colorado +135

The Rockies are a perfect 7-0 in their last 7 meetings with the Dodgers. Colorado is 10-2 in the last 12 as a road underdog of 1.50 or less. The Rockies are 13-5 in the last 18 on the road versus a team with a winning home record. The Colorado starting pitcher Jiminez was 3-0 in his 3 team starts versus the Dodgers in 2007. The Dodgers starter Kuroda enters this outing in bad form off his last 3 team starts going 0-3 with a 1.64 WHIP allowing 23 hits and 6 walks in just 17.2 innings. The value is with the underdog in this spot.Play on the Colorado Rockies

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TONY WESTON

Even with a 3-0 series lead and coming off a 16-point win, the San Antonio Spurs are still installed as underdogs at the Phoenix Suns.

After a strong Game 1 performance in San Antonio where they only lost by two points SU, the Phoenix Suns have looked old, lost and slow the last two games.

After winning by only two in Game 1, the Spurs won by six in Game 2 then by 16 in Game 3. They could be on their way to another double-digit rout.

San Antonio is 3-1 ATS its last four games, while the Suns are 1-3 ATS their last four.
The Suns have been outplayed in all three games by a much better team. Things won?t get any better today.

Take the points and take the Spurs on the road.

3* SPURS

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JEFF BENTON

I dont know that Im ready to proclaim that C.C. Sabathia is back to his old self. But after four disastrous starts to begin the season, the hefty lefty certainly looked like the reigning Cy Young winner on Wednesday at Kansas City, scattering four hits and two walks over six shutout innings while striking out 11 in a 15-1 victory. Granted, the Royals arent exactly an offensive juggernaut but neither are the Yankees, whose .265 team average rank in the middle of the pack in the big leagues. Not only that, but New York is hitting just .257 against left-handed starters, including less than .240 in their last 10 games against southpaws that includes getting handcuffed for 5+ innings yesterday.

Now, history will tell you that the Yankees own Sabathia, as theyre 7-1 against him in the regular season. However, those eight games were played between 2001 and 2004. In the one recent meeting, which came in the first round of last years playoffs, Sabathia was a bit shaky (three runs, four hits, six walks in five innings), but Cleveland pounded out a 12-3 victory. Who did the Tribe bash that night Chien-Ming Wang, todays starter for New York. Wang gave up eight runs (all earned) on nine hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. Then four days later in the clinching Game 4, Wang didnt even get an out in the second inning, allowing four runs on five hits in a 6-4 loss, raising his ERA to XX in his last three outings against the Tribe.Wang also has been shaky in his last two outings against the Red Sox and White Sox, yielding 11 runs and 19 hits in 10 innings of work. I look for him to struggle again today, and Im confident Sabathia can turn in another six or seven solid innings and guide Cleveland to a three-game sweep of the Pinstripers.


5* CLEVELAND INDIANS

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MATT RIVERS

For Sunday take the points with the 76ers.

Detroit was able to bounce back with a vengeance after the game one loss and are in the same situation here after falling badly on Friday but I do not see Philadelphia getting drilled now on their home floor.

Mo Cheeks' team has now taken two of the first three games in this series and have also beaten the Pistons in the regular season a few times as well and yet are still getting a very handsome price in this favorable home dog role.

Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala are very very good and Samuel Dalembert can bang down low with anybody. No doubt Flip Saunders' squad is the better overall team with more experience but these guys are not grinding things out like they are used to and Chauncey, Rip, Rasheed and Tayshaun are in some trouble in this series.

Detroit may even this series up at two but they are not going to just lace em up and win going away. Therefore I will gladly back the confident 76ers plus this sweet number in the City of Brotherly Love

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Sports Gambling Hotline

Tonight we take the points and go with the Philadelphia 76ers to once again play the Pistons tough. Philly's 20-point win on Friday has them leading the #2 seed in the East, two games to one, and now all the pressure in the world is on Detroit to equal the series with the win tonight.

They may get that win, but now the Sixers are not just thinking about competing, they are thinking they can win this series outright. Philly has gone 4-2 straight up in the 6 series meetings this year, and they are a lucrative 6-2 against the spread the last 8 times they have faced Detroit.

It is clear Philly is not intimidated by Detroit, and it is clear the matchups in this series are quite favorable for the 76ers.

Expect the home crowd to be rocking with their beloved Sixers having a chance to go up 3-1 in the series.

Play on Philly plus the points.

4* PHILADELPHIA

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The Phoenix Suns are going to come out and play their best game of the season tonight. This is a veteran team with its back against the wall and they know what has to be done. There will be no nervous play and you'll see Steve Nash show why he was back-to-back MVPs.

This team is not going to let Tony Parker score anywhere near 41 points again and basically have his way like it was a Sunday morning pickup game.

The Suns hadn't lost three straight all season and finished the regular season on a 15-5 run. And remember, the Spurs know they get two more games (at most) back at home so they know that this game doesn't mean a whole lot. They are on ATS slides of 4-8 as an underdog, 5-12 as a road 'dog and 1-4 on the road.

Meanwhile, Phoenix is on ATS surges of 8-3 at home, 12-6-1 against the Western Conference, 6-1 after they fail to cover, 7-3 as a home favorite and 10-5-1 overall as a favorite.

Look for big things from Nash and some deadly shooting from outside from all the supporting cast of the Suns. The Spurs know they have a game to play with to get back home so Phoenix gets this one easily, winning by double digits. Play the Suns.

3* PHOENIX

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JIM FIEST

ARI D'backs @ SDG Padres

Take Under

Handicappers know that San Diego is the best pitcher's park in baseball, great for those on the mound, tough on hitters. The Padres are 10-3 under the total at home. And look at this game: a pair of aces on the mound in Webb and Peavy. Both come into this one a combined 7-0 with ERAs of 1.86 and 1.20! Look for a lot of goose eggs on the scoreboard, play the D-Backs/Padres under the total

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