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TUESDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Re: TUESDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Michael Cannon

20 Dime

PISTONS

Lay the points with the Pistons in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Magic.

Detroit just matches up too well with Orlando and with a chance of eliminating them on their home court, I think you’ll see a focused, determined Pistons squad tonight.

Chauncey Billups is still questionable with his strained hamstring, but even if he can’t go it still might work in Detroit’s favor in that the other players all know they have to step and in his absence.

It certainly worked for them in Game 4, when they won outright in Orlando despite being down by 11 points at halftime.

The Pistons are also a tough team to come back on when they get their third win in a series, going 14-3 in games immediately following.

I just think Detroit’s win in Game 4 really demoralized the Magic, and no matter what they might be saying in the papers deep down they know they can’t come back from down three games to one.

The straight-up winner is 21-1-1 ATS in Orlando’s last 23 games and 18-0 ATS in Detroit’s last 18.

The Magic are also just 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 as an underdog and 1-5-1 ATS as a playoff underdog catching between five and 10 ½ points.

The Pistons are 11-3 SUATS in their last 14 games going back to the regular season. They are also on a 5-0 ATS run as a chalk, 13-3 ATS at home and 4-1 ATS after a victory.

Lay the points with Detroit as they close the series out with the win and cover.


10 Dime

HORNETS

Take the Hornets as the small chalk tonight over the Spurs.

I think coach Byron Scott will have his Hornets ready to go for this game after they looked lost in their 20-point Game 4 loss.

The Hornets allowed the Spurs to control the pace and tempo of both games in San Antonio and they lost both as a result.

Tonight in front of the home crowd, I think you’ll see the same Hornets team that won the first two games of the series.

The home team has won the last six meetings between these two both SU and ATS. The straight-up winner is 12-2 ATS in the last 14 head-to-head games, including 8-0 ATS this year. And lastly, the chalk is 11-4 ATS in the last 15 meetings, including a perfect 4-0 ATS mark in this playoff series.

The Spurs are on ATS slides of 1-7 on the road, 1-5 as an underdog (all on the road), 0-4 as a playoff underdog of less than five points and 3-13 as a dog of less than five points.

Take the Hornets as they grab the win and cover in Game 5.


5 Dime

ROYALS (With Greinke as listed pitcher)

Take the Royals for the home win tonight over the Tigers.

Zack Greinke will get the start for Kansas City and he’s emerging as the ace of the staff. The right-hander is 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA on the season. He’s pitched at least seven innings in each of his last three starts and six times in seven overall starts this year.

Greinke has also had good success against the Tigers in his career, going 7-3 with a 3.15 ERA in 14 games.

The Tigers will counter with Nate Robertson, who is 1-4 with a 6.64 ERA on the season. The left-hander has given up at least four runs in all seven of his outings this season, and he’s failed to last six innings in any of his three road starts.

Robertson is also 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA and four homeruns allowed in his last three starts against Kansas City.

Take the Royals as they grab the home win.

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Re: TUESDAY SERVICE PLAYS

JEFFERSONSPORTS

MLB EARLY RELEASES

OAKLAND-102
KC-120
WASHINGTON+180
CHIC CUBS-160
PITTSBURGH+140

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John Ryan

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins
Play: OVER

Ai Simulator 3* graded play OVER Toronto/Minnesota – Supporting this graded play is a system that has gone 73-28 for 72% since 2002. Play over with road teams and with a good bullpen whose ERA is 3.75 or better on the season and with a hot starting pitcher sporting a WHIP <= 0.800 over his last 3 starts. Here is a second system that has gone 61-26 for 70% since 2002. Play over with road teams where the total is 9 to 9.5 with a hot starting pitcher whose WHIP <= 0.800 over his last 3 starts. Both starters are not in good form. Jesse Litsch has a 13.51 ERA in his lone dome start this season and Kevin Slowey sports an 8.11 ERA in his lone dome start. Moreover, Slowey has posted a 6.48 ERA and yielded 3 HR in this last 3 starts. He is simply grooving pitches and is far too focused on NOT walking anyone – he has not walked a batter in 8.3 IP. It is easy to see why he has adopted this first pitch – do not walk anybody - mindset. After an 0-1 count batters are hitting 167 and after a 1-0 count they are batting 357. Now, the hitters will adjust to attack earlier in the count knowing he will be in the strike zone. Same for Litsch as batters hit 333 after 1-0 count and just 224 after an 0-1 count. Take the OVER 

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Tony Mathew's

Matchup: Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers

Selection: Texas Rangers +105

Explanation: We will side with the Texas Rangers as they face-off against the Seattle Mariners in Tuesday's MLB contest.

The Seattle Mariners will use starting pitcher Felix Hernandez. Felix Hernandez has struggled as of late. In fact, Felix Hernandez has a 7.13 ERA in his last 3 starts. We see Felix Hernandez having another bad game today.

The Texas Rangers will use starting pitcher Kason Gabbard. Kason Gabbard has pitched very well this season. In fact, Kason Gabbard has a 1.85 ERA on the season. In addition, Kason Gabbard has a 1.54 ERA in his last 3 starts. We see Kason Gabbard having another great game today.

The Texas Rangers are 37-15 in their last 52 meetings against the Seattle Mariners (when playing in Texas), and should be able to get another win tonight.

Take the Texas Rangers!

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Mr. A's

Oakland Athletics (23-16) at Cleveland Indians (19-19)

The Oakland Athletics have won four of the last six battles against the Cleveland Indians and will send Justin Duchscherer to square off against Cleveland and Paul Byrd tonight at Progressive Field. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA. Duchscherer allowed one run in five innings, in a 6-3 win against Byrd on April 4. He is 1-3 with a 4.73 in nine appearances (1 start) against the Indians. Cleveland counters with Paul Byrd. The right-hander was dreadful his last time on the mound, allowing five runs, three home runs and eight hits over 6 1/3 innings in a 6-3 lost against the Yankees on Thursday. He is 3-6 with a 5.77 ERA in 12 career starts against the A's.

Take the A's. Justin Duchscherer pitched sound in his last start. He allowed two runs and just four hits against Baltimore last Tuesday. Look for Duchscherer to grab another win against the shaky Paul Byrd.

Oakland Athletics + 120


NBA

Detroit Pistons - 6½
New Orleans Hornets - 3½

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LARRY NESS

New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays
PICK: New York Yankees

REASON FOR PICK: The Yanks have traditionally enjoyed their visits to the Tampa area in the past but things are much different this year. The Yankees had swept a two-game set in Tropicana Field last month, giving them all-time mark of 54-32 against the Rays, in their own home park. However, Tampa won 7-1 last night, for the team's 10th consecutive home win (first three came at Disney World), moving six games over .500 for the first time in club history at 22-16. The Rays have now won 14 of their last games 19 overall, closing with a half-game of the Red Sox in the AL East (Tampa leads the Yankees by 3 1/2 games!). All that said, I'll back the Yanks tonight. Edwin Jackson gets the call for the Rays and I just don't trust this guy. He began his career with the Dodgers and they had high hopes for him but he never fulfilled their hopes. He came to Tampa in '06 going 0-0 with a 5.45 ERA in 23 appearances (just one start). He worked his way into the starting rotation last year but was dreadful, going 5-15 with a 5.76 ERA (allowed 195 hits in 161 innings). Tampa was 8-23 () in his starts, including 4-10 (6.55 ERA) here at home. He's been either VERY good of VERY bad so far in 2008. His overall mark is 2-3 with a 4.04 ERA in seven starts (team is 4-3) but in the four wins he's allowed just two ERs (total) in 29 innings (0.62 ERA), while in the three losses he's allowed 17 ERs in just 13.1 innings (11.48 ERA). He's faced the Yankees twice this year, beating them 6-3 at The Stadium (6 IP / 5 hits / 1 ER) but losing to them 5-3 here in Tampa (5 IP / 4 hits and 4 walks / 5 ERs). Jackson is not the type of pitcher one can rely on. On the other hand, New York's Wang is EXACTLY the type of pitcher you can rely on. He's gone 19-6 and 19-7 the last two seasons, with the Yankees going 44-22 in his starts (including the postseason). He's 6-1 with a 3.12 ERA in eight starts in '08, with the Yanks going 7-1 (plus-$566). Wang has won six of his last seven starts against Tampa Bay (2.03 ERA), including six shutout innings against the Rays in a 2-0 home victory on April 6. Take the Yankees.

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Re: TUESDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Stan Sharp

Spurs/Hornets under 187

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Bob Akmens

San Francisco Giants -125

This play is the result of a successful computer model that has allowed Bob Akmens Sports to finish in first-place in 162 different categories of documented monitored handicapping contests since 1978.

The computer models I’ve developed for each sport look at the most-predictive variables that go into the winning and losing of games.

Several interesting factors in today’s play are as follows (ATS = against-the-spread) –

Again, we have a line that does not accurately reflect reality.

While Houston has the better overall record, the ‘Stros and the Giants have identical .500 records where they are – away and home.

And I guarantee you this – as this season moves on, Houston’s road record will be appreciably lower than .500 and the Giants home-record should be decently above .500. Why? Because that’s the norm. Neither of these teams is exceptional.

Quite the contrary – each is very mediocre – which, by its definition, means middle-of-the-road. And that means each should be +/- some percentage points around .500 – overall, that is.

Face it – almost all people are mediocre. That’s not a knock – that just a fact. It implies that long term, we’re all going to be around .500 in win-lose situations. Economists have a term for this: regression to the mean. That mean being .500.

But mediocre teams like this generally may play .100-.150 points (or more) better at home than on the road. So, I look for both the Astros and the Giants to start regressing to their own home-away means which historically would occur with these sorts of teams.

So, why would I say the line here doesn’t reflect reality?

The starting pitchers. Brandon Backe is a terrible road pitcher. The Astros are 2-8 in his last 10 starts away from home. And Matt Cain? He’s 4-2 his last 6 decisions at home – with an other-worldly (these days, at least) ERA of 2.24 in those affairs.

All the more reason to pick SF here.

Go with the GIANTS as a short -125 favorite in this 10:15 PM ET matchup

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Sports Monitor

San Diego Padres (14-25) at Chicago Cubs (23-15)

Cubs -160

TRENDS

The Cubs are 15-6 at home. San Diego is 6-15 on the road.
San Diego has lost 19 of their last 25 games.

GAME SUMMARY

Chicago took care of the most difficult part of that stretch by sweeping a three-game series from the West-leading Diamondbacks over the weekend. With seven straight games against major league-worst San Diego (14-25) and Pittsburgh a team they are 6-0 versus this season - the Cubs have a golden opportunity to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the division.

SPORTS MONITOR PREDICTION

Cubs 6 Padres 4

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WUNDERDOG

Game: San Antonio at New Orleans
Pick: New Orleans -3

It is hard to ignore the fact that the top two teams in each conference has been covering at an eye-opening rate of 85% (17-3) at home in the playoffs. The Spurs have not had much success when they take to the road against top teams. They have been just 3-10 ATS in this situation since Valentine’s Day. They have put up 102.7 points per game at home in their last 11 against playoff teams, but just 88 ppg on the road. While just two of these opponents reached the century mark against them at home in the last 13, on the road seven of them have reached the century mark in the last 13. New Orleans is 4-1 ATS at home in the playoffs. New Orleans has been wiping-out all top teams at home as they have now won 13 of their last 14 at home over playoff teams and 11 of those have been by double-digits! San Antonio has now lost three straight on this court and they all have been ugly as the average margin has been over 20 points a game. New Orleans takes game 5.

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Ferringo

2-Unit Play. Take Arizona (-130) over Colorado
1-Unit Play. Take Arizona (-1.5, +160) over Colorado
2-Unit Play. Take ‘Over’ 9.0 Colorado at Arizona
I think the Diamondbacks have proven that they can hit Jeff Francis. They've already lit him up twice this year for 19 hits and 12 runs in 11 innings. They won both games. Arizona has been stellar against lefties this season and - especially at home - they are still an automatic play against southpaws. I would love to rate this play much, much higher but Randy Johnson really has looked like hell in his starts. But he's getting run support. And right now the D-Backs are still a strong, strong play at home. I'm looking at something around 8-5, Diamondbacks.

2-Unit Play. Take Los Angeles Angels (-130) over Chicago White Sox
1-Unit Play. Take Los Angeles Angels (-1.5, +145) over Chicago White Sox
2-Unit Play. Take 'Under' 9.0 Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are in kind of the same boat as the D-Backs. They're a little undervalued at the moment because they were swept on the road over the weekend. However, the Halos are still raking against lefties and are 7-1 in their last eight against a southpaw. Jared Weaver is a mess, but against a feeble White Sox lineup I think he's going to have a decent outing. This is going to be a low-scoring affair, but I'll side with the hometown boys and Vlad Guerrero, who is starting to get hot. When that happens: watch out. I'm looking for 4-2, Angels.

2-Unit Play. Take Chicago Cubs (-160) over San Diego
1-Unit Play. Take Chicago Cubs (-1.5, +120) over San Diego
The Cubs absolutely destroyed Randy Wolf yesterday – and he’s actually pitched in the Majors over the last couple years. Now Shawn Estes is up and I think he’s going to get rocked in his first start since 2006. The Cubs have scored the most runs in the league and are No. 7 in MLB against left-handed pitching. Jason Marquis has gotten rocked in his last two outings, but the Cubs are still 15-5 in his last 20 home starts and he is 3-0 against the Padres in his career as a home starter. The Padres are a wreck. And after a little scuffle there I think the Cubs are about to get hot again. They’ve won 21 of 29 home games and seven straight in Wrigley against a lefty starter.

2-Unit Play. Take Philadelphia (-125) over Atlanta
1-Unit Play. Take Philadelphia (-1.5, +160) over Atlanta
Between Atlanta’s road woes and Jo-Jo Reyes on the bump I’m not so sure about the Braves here. They had to scramble to get one game of a four-game set with Pittsburgh and after a doubleheader on Monday with travel in the evening you can forgive them for not being so sharp this evening. Also, Mark Teixeira may or may not be in the lineup because of back spasms. If he is out that’s a huge bat out of the middle of the order. Kyle Kendrick will get the ball for the Phillies and they are 10-4 in his last 14 home starts. He’s won four straight decisions and is 14-5 as a favorite. I think the Phillies have the home field, the better starter, and are a more well rested. They take Game 1.

1.5-Unit Play. Take Los Angeles Dodgers (-115) over Milwaukee
The Dodgers have dominated this series over the past decade, going 39-19 overall and 13-6 in the last 19 meetings. Brad Penny got rocked in his last outing, but I think he’ll be sharp with five days of rest. The Dodgers have won 14 of Penny’s 19 road starts, are 22-4 with him against a team with a losing record, and are 40-16 when he starts as a favorite. The Dodgers have some slump and injury issues, but the Brewers haven’t been lights out themselves. Milwaukee’s bullpen issues are a major concern, and I think the Dodgers find a way to get a win here. The pitching mismatch, at this price, is too good to pass up.

1-Unit Play. Take New York Mets (-1.5, +115) over Washington
1-Unit Play. Take Florida (+145) over Cincinnati

There is a remote chance that I may add a 1-Unit underdog play in the afternoon. But I think most o fyou will be more than secure with this much action. The way the Cubs, Angels and D-Backs hit lefties (never mind that they are all three clear-cut better teams) I think we have a really good chance at sweeping those three, but I'd be happy with two of three. The Phillies may be my favorite play on the board - it was my first reaction when I saw the lines - but I think within the next week or so they are due for a slide. Hopefully not here. The other three plays are system plays and, again, a sweep is possible and 2-of-3 pays the bills. Good luck.

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EZWINNERS

MLB

2 STAR: (975) DETROIT (+$111) over Kansas City
(Action)
(Risking $200 to win $222)

2 STAR: (978) MINNESOTA (-$118) over Toronto
(Listing Slowey only)
(Risking $236 to win $200)

2 STAR: (966) SAN FRANCISCO (-$124) over Houston
(Listing Cain only)
(Risking $248 to win $200)

1 STAR: (955) FLORIDA (+$149) over Cincinnati
(Listing Hendrickson only)
(Risking $100 to win $149)

1 STAR: (960) MILWAUKEE (-$110) over LA Dodgers
(Action)
(Risking $110 to win $100)


NBA

2 STAR: (519) SAN ANTONIO (+4) over New Orleans
(Risking $220 to win $200)

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Mike Rose

Los Angeles Angels -125

White Sox skipper, Ozzie Guillen, will send left-hander John Danks to the mound this evening for his eighth start of the season. He’s 3-3 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. In just under 40 innings of work, Danks has allowed 34 hits and 14 earned runs while striking out 30 and walking 10. The Angels have hit lefties better than righties this season (.285 vs. L compared to .263 vs. R), so he’ll have his work cut out for him. However, he’ll be up for the test in his first career start against this franchise knowing he’s allowed two earned runs or less in five straight starts.

Opposing him will be the Angels Jered Weaver and his bloated 5.59 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. He owns a personal mark of 2-5 on the year, but the Angels have dropped six of his eight total starts so far. He just got rocked in his last outing against the Kansas City Royals yielding 10 hits and eight earned runs in just 3 1/3rd innings pitched. It was his shortest outing in the big leagues since late April of last season. That said, he’s excelled against Chicago posting a 2-0 mark with a 0.77 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in two career starts.

Chicago is 3-6 as a road underdog between +100 and +125, and they’ve struggled under the evening lights losing 14 of their 22 games this season. The Angels have notched the win column in 6 of their 8 games against starting left-handed pitchers this year, and they’re 6-2 the L/8 times Weaver’s been installed a home chalk in the –110 to –150 range.

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Re: TUESDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Scott Rickenbach

Philadelphia Flyers Money Line (+) vs Pittsburgh

The Flyers are 4-1 at home in the postseason. They also were a perfect 4-0 at home against Pittsburgh in the regular season. Philadelphia comes into today?s crucial Game Three down two games to none in this series so they know it?s a must win. Playing without Kimmo Timonen has certainly hurt this Flyers club as he is arguably their top defenseman. The Flyers also just lost Braydon Coburn, another defenseman to injury. However, coming into this series, their depth on the blue line was one of their strengths and it will help them overcome this tough situation as the Flyers really ?pull together? for this critical home game tonight as they look to climb back into the series. Note that the Flyers have given up the majority of Pittsburgh goals in this series as a direct result of mistakes. Playing at home tonight, Philadelphia will not make such costly errors and they also could possibly get the better end of the penalty calls.

There have been some questionable calls so far in this series. This of course is not all that unusual but Pittsburgh did seem to have a decided edge in the penalty call department and this did not sit well at all with Philadelphia. This has been vocal enough that one might expect a little better ?balance? in the officiating now that this series has shifted to Philly. While the Flyers were settled in and had a good practice yesterday, the Penguins practiced early in the day in Pittsburgh and then endured some rough travel in stormy weather heading from West to East across the state. The Flyers will continue their strong home ice postseason play and they?ll also continue to their home dominance of the Penguins as they win their fifth straight home game over the Penguins. Play Philadelphia on the money line as a regular selection.

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Re: TUESDAY SERVICE PLAYS

MONEY LOCK OF THE DAY

DIGGER'S PICK

LA DODGERS -110


2-Minute Warning

New Orleans Hornets

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Re: TUESDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Ben Burns

Houston vs. San Francisco
Pick: Under

Despite yesterday's game finishing above the total, the 'under' remains a profitable 15-7 when the Astros have played on the road this season. That includes a 3-1 mark when they were listed as road underdogs in the +100 to +125 range and also a 3-1 mark when they played on the road with an over/under line of either eight or 8.5. Its true that Backe hasn't pitched well on the road. However, the UNDER is still 3-1 in his four road starts and is now a profitable 8-1-1 in his 10 road starts since 2006. Additionally, Backe has pitched well against the Giants, recording a 2.03 ERA in three career starts.

While he wasn't his best last time out, Cain still has a stellar 2.81 ERA his last four starts. Three of those games fell below the total. That brings the UNDER to 14-6 his last 20 starts, dating back to last July. All things considered, I feel the current number offers solid value. Consider a play on the UNDER.

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Re: TUESDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Bob Akmens

3* ACTION: PITTSBURGH / PHILADELPHIA OVER 5.5

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Re: TUESDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Will Cover

3* Detroit Pistons -6.5

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