FRIDAY SERVICE PLAYS

FRIDAY SERVICE PLAYS

SPORTS ADVISORS

NBA PLAYOFFS

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

(3) San Antonio (8-5, 7-5-1 ATS) at (1) Los Angeles (9-2, 7-3-1 ATS)

Two days after rallying from a 20-point second-half deficit to win Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, the Lakers return to Staples Center hoping to making things easier on themselves when they host the defending NBA champion Spurs in Game 2 of this best-of-7 set.

Los Angeles trailed by 20 points midway through the third quarter on Wednesday, but caught fire from there, outscoring San Antonio 44-20 down the stretch, including 24-13 in the fourth quarter, to pull out an 89-85 victory. The Lakers have now won 13 straight home games, including all six in the playoffs. The only negative: They failed to cash as a 7½-point chalk in Game 1, falling to 1-3-1 ATS in their last five contests, including consecutive non-covers at Staples Center.

Kobe Bryant paced the Lakers with 27 points, nine assists and five rebounds on Wednesday, but 25 of his 27 points came in the second half as he took just three shots in the first 24 minutes of play. Pau Gasol added 19 points and seven rebounds for L.A., which shot just 43.2 percent from the field.

Not only did San Antonio manage just 13 fourth-quarter points, but it missed 21 of its 24 shot attempts in the quarter, going 1-for-9 from three-point range. On the bright side, Tim Duncan finished with games highs of 30 points and 18 rebounds, while Tony Parker had a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists, but Manu Ginobili (3-for-13, 10 points) was a non-factor for Gregg Popovich’s club.

Wednesday’s victory means the Lakers have a ton of history on their side. They’re 52-7 in playoff series when winning Game 1 of a best-of-7 set, and coach Phil Jackson is 40-0 in his career when his teams open a best-of-7 with a victory. Also, Los Angeles has eliminated the Spurs seven times in the last 10 postseason head-to-head matchups, going 3-0 in conference finals.

Los Angeles now holds a slim 3-2 edge over San Antonio this season, with the home team going 5-0 SU, but the Spurs are 4-1 ATS.

Since the start of the conference semifinals, home teams are now 23-4 SU and 16-10-1 ATS, but underdogs are 2-1 ATS in this round.

Despite Monday’s spread-cover, the Spurs are still in the midst of ATS downturns of 3-8 on the highway, 2-4 as an underdog (all on the road, and all in the playoffs) and 3-5-1 against Pacific Division opponents. The lone positives: San Antonio is 4-1 ATS in its last five on Fridays and is now 13-3 ATS in its last 16 conference finals games, including 6-1 ATS in the last seven.

The Lakers, who had covered in eight straight games before their current 1-3-1 ATS slump, continue to sport positive pointspread streaks of 6-2 at home, 9-1-1 after a SU win, 5-1-1 when playing on one day of rest, 4-1 after a non-cover and 7-3 as a favorite. However, L.A. is just 2-9-1 ATS in its last 12 games against teams from the Southwest Division and 0-4 ATS in its last four conference finals contests.

Wednesday’s game stayed under the total, making the under 7-3 in the last 10 series meetings between these clubs, including 3-1 in the last four at Staples Center. The under is also on streaks for the Spurs of 6-2-1 overall, 5-1 on one day of rest, 14-6-1 as an underdog and 30-14-1 on the road against teams with winning home records.

Conversely, for the Lakers, the over is on runs of 3-1 overall, 14-6 after a non-cover, 38-17 as a favorite of five to 10½ points and 11-4 on Fridays.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


NATIONAL LEAGUE

St.  Louis (28-21) at L.A. Dodgers (25-21)

Fresh off a three-game home sweep of the Reds, the Dodgers welcome Albert Pujols and the Cardinals to Los Angeles for a three-game series. Struggling right-hander Derek Lowe (2-4, 5.34 ERA) is set to toe the rubber for L.A. against Adam Wainwright (3-2, 3.25).

The Dodgers pounded Cincinnati by a combined score of 15-8 en route to the three-game sweep, and they’re now 6-2 in their last eight games following a five-game losing skid. L.A., which was idle yesterday, is on rolls of 11-5 at Dodger Stadium, 5-0 against the N.L. Central and 10-4 as a chalk.

St. Louis enters this contest after taking two of three in San Diego, including an 11-3 rout on Wednesday. The Cardinals have followed up a 2-8 slump by winning four of their last five. Also, Tony LaRussa’s club is on streaks of 12-4 against winning teams and 6-1 after an off day, but is just 9-19 in its last 28 on Friday, 3-6 in its last nine on the road and 8-20 in its last 28 as a road pup.

St. Louis has owned the Dodgers in recent years, going 37-18 in the last 55 meetings, including 6-2 in their last eight visits to Dodger Stadium. Last year, the team’s split their six contests, with each taking two of three at home.

Lowe is coming off his worst outing of the season, as he yielded seven runs (all earned) on 10 hits in Sunday’s 10-2 interleague loss to the Angeles. Over his last four starts, Lowe is 0-3 with a 9.28 ERA, giving up 22 runs in 21 1/3 innings. That includes a 7-1 home loss to Houston on May 9 when the right-hander got touched up for six runs in 5 1/3 innings, dropping to 2-1 with a 3.70 ERA in four outings this year at Dodger Stadium.

Lowe is 1-4 with a 5.93 ERA in five regular-season starts against the Cardinals, giving up between four and six runs in each of those five contests. Last year, Lowe faced St. Louis twice, winning 9-7 at home (four runs allowed in 5 1/3 innings) and losing 6-1 on the road (five runs allowed, three earned, in six innings).

In his first seven trips to the mound this year, Wainwright recorded six quality starts (at least six innings pitched and three earned runs or less allowed). However, in two outings since then, the young right-hander has gotten rocked for 12 runs (10 earned) on 12 hits in 11 2/3 innings. He lost 8-3 at Milwaukee on May 12, then got a no-decision in the Cardinals’ 9-8, 10-inning come-from-behind win over Tampa Bay on Saturday.

The Cardinals are 6-3 in Wainwright’s nine starts this season, but only 1-3 on the road, where the hurler has a 4.00 ERA. Also, Wainwright’s only two career starts against L.A. came last year, and he went 0-2. He gave up eight runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings of a 9-7 road loss, then surrendered two runs on six hits in a complete-game 2-1 home defeat.

The over was 4-2 in last year’s six head-to-head battles, including 3-0 in Los Angeles. The over is also 9-3 in the Dodgers’ last 12 on Fridays, 11-5 in their last 16 against winning teams and 9-4 in the Cards’ last 13 against the N.L. West.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Boston (31-19) at Oakland (25-23)

The streaking Red Sox take a seven-game winning streak to the West Coast to begin a weekend series with the A’s, with knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (3-2, 4.33) set to oppose Oakland’s Rich Harden (2-0, 2.91).

Boston completed a perfect seven-game homestand with Thursday’s 11-8 victory over Kansas City. The Red Sox have averaged exactly seven runs per game during the winning streak, tallying five or more in six of the contests. However, Terry Francona’s squad, which kicks off a 10-game road trip tonight, is only 10-14 away from Beantown in 2008, including a current four-game slide on the highway.

The A’s took Thursday off after pounding the Rays 9-1 on Wednesday, halting a three-game losing skid. Despite Thursday’s win, Oakland is only 3-9 in its last 12. Also, the A’s are 2-9 in their last 11 following an off day, but they’re 7-2 in their last nine against the A.L. East, 37-15 in Harden’s last 52 starts overall and 39-14 in Harden’s last 53 as a chalk.

These teams opened the 2008 season against each other in Tokyo, splitting a pair of games. A week later, they resumed their series in Oakland, with Boston winning both contests by scores of 2-1 and 5-0. Going back to last year, the Red Sox are on a 6-1 roll against the A’s.

Wakefield lasted just 5 1/3 innings against the Brewers on Saturday, giving up three runs on six hits, getting a no-decision in Boston’s 7-6 victory. The veteran right-hander has allowed three runs or fewer in seven of his nine starts, however he’s just 1-1 with a 4.40 ERA in five road games.

Wakefield is 9-5 with a 4.03 ERA in 35 appearances (24 starts) against the A’s. Going back to 2003, he’s faced Oakland five times, giving up three earned runs or fewer and pitching at least six innings in all five, but Boston is just 3-2 in those contests (0-2 in Oakland).

Making just his second start since a five-week stint on the disabled list, Harden was sensational on Saturday at Atlanta, yielding just a run on four hits and a walk over seven innings, striking out eight in a 5-4 victory.

Harden’s first two starts of the season came against the Red Sox, one in Japan and one at home. He gave up a combined one run and seven hits on seven walks with 15 strikeouts in 11 innings, winning 5-1 in Japan and getting a no-decision in a 5-0 loss at home. In his two other career appearances against the Sox, Harden got blasted for 15 runs in 7 2/3 innings, losing both games at Fenway Park.

The under is 43-18-5 in Wakefield’s last 66 road starts, 13-3-1 in his last 17 as an underdog, 6-0 in his last six starts in Oakland and 4-1 in Harden’s last five outings at home.

The under also is 6-2-1 in the last nine series meetings between these clubs, 6-1 in the last seven battles in Oakland and 11-5-2 in the A’s last 18 overall. However, the over is 4-1-1 in Boston’s last six on the highway.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON and UNDER

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Jimmy the Moose

Cincinnati Reds at San Diego Padres

Two struggling teams meet up in San Diego tonight. The Reds have lost 3 straight while the Padres have dropped 7 of their last 10 games prior to last night's meeting between the clubs. The big edge the Reds have over the Padres tonight is starting pitching. The Reds send Volquez, 7-1 with a 1.33 ERA to the mound while the Padres send veteran Estes to the mound to make his 2nd start of the year. The Reds Volquez has looked great and he will contain a Padres offense that hasn't been very good this season

Play on: Cincinnati

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Mike Rose

Pittsburgh Pirates +155

Carlos Zambrano will make his 11th start of the season amidst rumors of him having problems with his throwing shoulder. He’s vehemently denied the rumors all week long, but his last outing leaves cause for concern after getting yanked after just four innings of work against these same Pirates who tagged him for seven hits and five runs (four earned). He enters this start with a solid 6-1 record and 2.45 ERA, but the Cubs have managed to win just six of his 10 overall starts. He had won his previous two starts against Pittsburgh before last weeks no decision, and is 9-5 with a 3.59 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in 19 career starts against the Pirates.

Opposing him will be left-hander Zach Duke who will be facing the Cubs for the second consecutive start and will take the same approach into this outing as he did into the last. Duke mixed up his pitches and limited the number of first-pitch fastballs he threw in order to keep the free-swinging Cubs off balance. He didn't pick up a decision in the start even though he settled down after allowing three early runs to allow just one more tally in his final five innings of work. Overall, Duke’s 2-2 with a 4.23 ERA, but he’s 2-1 at home and his ERA drops almost a full point to 3.42. Duke’s 4-3 against Chicago with a 2.84 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 11 career starts.

Chicago’s 11-1 the L/12 overall meetings with their division rivals, and they’re a solid 10-5 against left-handed starters this season. However, Chicago’s only managed to beat the Pirates in two of Zambrano’s L/8 starts against them. Chicago’s dominated at home this year, but their fortune on the road has been a different story. The return on Pittsburgh at home is worthy of a $$$-Line wager in this spot when taking Chicago’s road woes into consideration.

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Matt Fargo

Boston Red Sox vs. Oakland Athletics    
Play: Boston Red Sox   

Besides the White Sox, the Red Sox are the hottest team in baseball with seven straight wins and don’t think any travel is going to take away from this momentum. Boston is just 10-14 on the road this season but the winning streak at this point takes away its current four-game losing skid away from Fenway. The offense is hitting fire as it has averaged seven rpg during this current streak and despite a lackluster performance last night from the bullpen, the pitching has allowed four rpg over this string as well.

Oakland is having its troubles right now and even though it is coming off a win, the day off after Wednesday definitely did not help any momentum. The A’s had dropped nine of 11 prior to the latest victory as the offense has cooled considerably. The bats are averaging just 3.7 rpg during the last 12 games and it has gone over four runs only four times over that stretch. Facing the Red sox, who have taken six of the last seven meetings certainly is not going to help matters.

Tim Wakefield continues to simply get the job done. With the exception of two bad outings this season, he has been very consistent, allowing three runs or fewer in all seven of his other starts. After issuing 21 walks in his first six starts, Wakefield has walked just five batters over his last three outings and that makes a huge difference in his game. Prior to the game at Minnesota, it was four straight quality outings on the road and he now faces the A’s who he has dominated five straight times, posting a 2.86 ERA.

It has been up and down for Rich Harden as injuries once again are the story. He started the season with back-to-back games against the Red Sox and was very strong in both but a strained right shoulder sidelined him for over a month. He was shelled against the Rangers in his first outing back and while his latest start against the Braves was a gem, it is a tough sell saying he will repeat that. His 1.43 WHIP is troublesome against an offense that is clicking right now. Play Boston Red Sox 1.5 Units

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Nelly

St. Louis (Wainwright) + over LA Dodgers (Lowe)

The Cardinals have won six of the last eight meetings in Los Angeles and Adam Wainwright has been a highly effective pitcher for the Cardinals. St. Louis is 6-3 in his nine starts this season and he has only had one bad outing all season long. Derek Lowe has been a great pitcher in the last decade and he typically is undervalued but this season Lowe has struggled and his name recognition garners some higher prices. Lowe has allowed 22 runs in his last 21 innings pitched and he owns a 1.51 WHIP. St. Louis continues to swing hot bats with a .306 team average in the last ten games, trumping decent numbers from the Dodgers. The Cardinals have great numbers on offense across the board in every situation and they should find success against Lowe, who is allowing a great deal of hits. Both teams are playing well right now but St. Louis has the edge on the mound and the Cardinal offense has been more consistent.


Marc Lawrence

Play On: Toronto w/Halladay

Note: When the Blue Jays host the Royals in Game One of this weekend series they send ace right-hander Roy Halladay to the mound knowing he is in terrific KW form with 3 walks and 21 strikeouts in his last three starts. He's also 9-3 in his career team starts against Kansas City and 13-3 in his last 16 team starts in May. Can't fade numbers like those and we won't. Back Halladay and the Blue Jays here this evening.


Dave Cokin

Phillies @ 960 Astros
Play: Astros -120

Safe to say neither Adam Eaton nor Brandon Backe will be appearing in this year's All Star game. But I think one of these pitchers is worth backing Friday night as the Phillies and Astros continue their series. In his first seven starts this season, Brandon Backe really struggled with his command, sporting a mediocre 25/25 BB/K ratio. While Backe hasn't exactly overwhelmed the opposition subsequently, he's improved dramatically to 4/17 in his last three starts. That's a good indicator that he's coming around, as the walks are way down and he's also missing his share of bats. Adam Eaton can't say that. He's been consistently lousy and there are no indicators that show he's about to reverse the trend. I think there's a substantial enough edge on the mound here to warrant a call on the Astros.


Tom Scott

San Antonio at LA LAKERS
Play ON: UNDER

There's an exciting team trend here that must be heeded. In their last 31 playoff games off a loss of 11 or less, the Spurs have battened down the hatches defensively and have sent the UNDER people to the cashier's window in 24 of those 31 games. San Antonio allowed 100 or more points only five times in those 31 games. Use those numbers with these: There have been 20 games this season in which the Lakers were held to less than 100. The UNDER cashed in 17 of those games. Make it 18 out of 21.

PREDICTION: TOTAL POINTS SCORED - 186


BRAD DIAMOND SPORTS

Play on: New York Yankees

Erik Bedard has one major issue to deal with out in Seattle and it’s the very inconsistent pen that must lend support, especially in big games. With the Mariners 0-5 at New York and 1-10 in road games, I’ll stay with the Bronx Bombers. Friday is Fan Appreciation Day, so I'll will release my sizzling "MLB Game of the Week" that's on an 80% run on this site. In addition, I am undefeated this week in baseball on the Playbook and set up Friday after winning again on Thursday with the Yankees our power angle of the week.

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Big Al McMordie

Arizona D-Backs vs. Atlanta Braves     
Play: Under   

At 7:30pm our selection is on the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves 'under' the total. We've already had one great story from a cancer survivor this week when on Monday night Boston lefthander and 2007 cancer patient (for a rare form of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma) pitched a no-hitter against the Royals. Now another lefty who even more recently has battled the often-deadly disease, Arizona's Doug Davis, will take the mound for his first game back from treatment for thyroid cancer in what is sure to be an inspirational and emotional night in Atlanta. Although thyroid cancer is one of the most treatable forms and it is not unusual for patients to be back at full speed relatively shortly after treatment, this is still a remarkable story, and made even sweeter by the Diamondbacks' run this season as one of the best teams in the NL and favorites for the World Series. Perhaps Davis' appearance will wake up the slumbering Arizona bats, which have been extremely quiet recently. The D-Backs are only 2-4 in their last six games, and a big reason is because they haven't been scoring runs. Only one of those six games has gone more than a total of five runs, and guys like Justin Upton and Connor Jackson will have to return to the form that made them major forces in the first month of the season. But that will be a tall order in a pitcher's park like Turner Field and against an Atlanta bullpen that has been one of the best in the league lately, with a relief ERA of 1.32 in their last three games. Take the 'under'.

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Gator Report 

MLB 70% Super Situations  (MLB Record 14-5 +845 units)

MLB (14-5 +845) Friday: Play Against MLB (NL) road teams with a team that averages 4.3 to 4.8 runs per game against a starter whose ERA= 5.20 to 5.70, with a starting pitcher who walks less than 1.75 batters per start.31-10 last 5 seasons (75.6%) 

PLAY: Los Angeles Dodgers -115

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Jim Feist.

STL Cardinals and LA Dodgers
Take STL Cardinals

St. Louis continues to impress, winning 4 of 5 games. Starter Adam Wainwright sports a 3.25 ERA and the Cardinals are 5-2 his last 7 starts. LA has been a .500 team this month, and it doesn't help that starter Derek Lowe has been inconsistent with a 5.34 ERA and a 2-4 record. The Dodgers are 1-3 in his last 4 starts and Lowe is 1-4 lifetime with a 5.93 ERA against St. Louis. A good spot for the visitors, play the Cardinals.

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PSYCHIC

NBA

5 units San Antonio +6.5
WISEGUY
2 units under 193

MLB

2 units Chicago White Sox -106


DA STICK

MLB

10 units Cincinnati Reds -129
10 units Cleveland Indians -160
10 units Seattle Mariners +108

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Vegas Experts

Cincinnati Reds at San Diego Reds

Despite last night's eight-run mini-explosion, we remain unsold on the Padres offense, especially when they must face a high quality arm like that of the Reds' Edinson Volquez, who is 7-1 on the year to go with a 1.33 ERA. In his last three starts, all wins, Volquez has allowed just three runs in 20 IP and the Padres are a miserabele 6-19 this season as underdogs. Cincy squares this series up.

Play on: Cincinnati

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Alex Smart

Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers
Prediction: Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers just finished sweeping the Seattle Mariners behind a red hot offense that pounded out 30 runs in 3 games on 44 hits.HC Jim Leylands Tigers team have finally awoken from and early season slumber, which makes them good bets , against ,just about anybody, right now, especially when playing at home in Motown, where they have averaged 5.6 RPG on the season. I also expect Tigers thrower Armondo Galarraga(3-1, 3.06 ERA) , to continue his consistent efforts, as is evident by his team winning 5 of his 6 starts. Final notes & Key Trends: The Tigers have won 4 straight at home in this series, and 11 of the L/15 overall meetings. The Twins are 4-11 in their L/15 road games, and have lost their starting pitchers (Sloweys) L/5 starts as an underdog. Play on Detroit

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Stan Sharp Triple Dime Bet

Lakers -6.5

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Jeff Alexander Sports

1 Unit on Cleveland Indians -1.5 +133

We have a good home team in Cleveland against a poor road team in the Rangers here.  We’ll take the Tribe on the run line to come up with a nice value winner.  The Rangers are 5-15 in their last 20 road games vs. a team with a winning home record, 15-40 in their last 55 road games vs. a team with a losing record, and 12-25 in their last 37 road games.  The Indians are 5-0 in their last 5 vs. the American League West, 6-1 in their last 7 home games, and 14-3 in Carmona’s last 17 starts vs. a team with a losing record.  The Indians are 8-1 in Carmona’s last 9 starts as a favorite of -151 to -200.  Bet the Tribe to win easily behind Carmona.

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Jack Clayton

Cardinals


Templer's Sports

Cleveland    


HotLocksports

San Francisco/Florida Under 9    


Bobby Bo

Spurs/Lakers Over 192.5


MadduxSports

Spurs/Lakers Under 192.5


RedZone Sports

Astros


ARTHUR RALPH

NY METS


PlusLineSports Daily Baseball Pick

Florida Marlins -1.5


Lock Line

Tigers


Will Sykes

Lakers -6.5


#1 Sports

White Sox


Computer Sports

Indians


Cappers Access

Spurs
White Sox


Totals4u

Red Sox/ As Over


Tv Hotline

Cubs


Mike Wynn

Royals


Scott Spreitzer

Indians


Dark Horse Sports

Giants


Glen Mcgrew

Nationals


Platinum Plays

White Sox


Pointspread Lightning

Oakland


Razor Sharp Sports

Padres


floridabookybusters

Mariners


Paul Leiner

10* Rays -130


Chris Winners

Atlanta Braves


Bob Donahue

Cards
Texas


The Scout

White Sox

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Big Al

SAN ANTONIO/LOS ANGELES GAME 2 WINNER

At 9 pm, our selection is on the San Antonio Spurs over the Lakers.  In getting out to a big lead on Los Angeles, San Antone did a lot of things right in game 1.  They defended the 3-point line, and forced the Lakers to shoot a lot of mid-range jumpers.  And, of course, they played great position defense, and refused to foul (the Spurs are the best team in the league at not committing fouls).  Kobe Bryant, for example, had just four free-throw attempts for the game, and he usually gets to the line an awful lot more.  Also big for the Spurs was Tim Duncan, who no longer has to go up against Shaquille O'Neal and Tyson Chandler.  Pau Gasol is a lot easier for Duncan to handle, and this was evident in Timmy's big Game 1 performance (30 points, 18 rebounds).  The key to the Spurs' loss was not, Kobe Bryant, as many have written, but Manu Ginobili.  The Spurs' Argentine guard was downright awful, with just 3 made shots of 13 taken, and four turnovers.  Even more glaring was his plus/minus figure of -19 (i.e., the Spurs were outscored by 19 points in the time he was on the court).  Compare that to Kobe Bryant's +/- figure of +2, and you can see how important Ginobili's terrible play was to the outcome of the game.  But one thing I have learned over the years is that Manu is the most competitive player in the league, and he will bounce back from this bad game.  Even if he doesn't score, he will be smarter enough tonight to let the game come to him, and he'll make the extra pass to get his teammates good shots.  In Game 1, he forced the action way too much and committed senseless turnovers.  Look for the Spurs to play another competitive game tonight. Take the points.


AMERICAN LEAGUE GAME OF THE WEEK

At 8:10pm our selection is on the Los Angeles Angels over the Chicago White Sox.  The White Sox are on fire lately, having won eight straight games.  What's amazing about Chicago being 26-20 at this stage is that they're doing it with the second-worst team batting average in the American League at .248.  This tells you that the White Sox probably cannot continue winning games at this pace, but they are sure going to enjoy it while it lasts.  Their batting average is even worse against lefties (.243) and tonight they face one of the best in the American League this season in the Angels' 26 year old Joe Saunders.  Saunders has done everything that's been asked of him this season and then some.  He is the prototypical "crafty lefty" who doesn't throw particularly hard (only 25 strikeouts in almost 62 innings) but knows how to change speeds and paint the corners effectively.  It also doesn't matter much where Saunders is pitching as he is 4-0 with a 2.72 ERA at home and an even more impressive 3-1 with a 2.13 ERA on the road.  The Angels are also slightly better on the road than at home.Take Los Angeles. 

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Sports Gambling Hotline

San Antonio at LAKERS -6½

On Wednesday we told you we felt the total in Game One was just too high, and indeed, these teams combined for an easy UNDER, and another comp play winner from the SGH.

It would be very easy to play the percentages and call for another UNDER in this game, but the fact the linemakers didn't really come down much from their Game One total tells us that they feel we have high-scoring potential on our hands in this Friday night battle, and we agree!

11 of the Lakers last 15 Friday night games have eclipsed the posted price, and we believe this game is going to feature a few more points than we saw in Game One on Wednesday.

The Lakers paltry 89-points was a playoff-low through their first 11 postseason games. Los Angeles has hit the century mark or better in 9 of their 11 playoff battles, and we think this game is going to see LA come close to cracking the 100-point plateau for sure in front of the home crowd.

We will be going against the grain in this game, and playing the OVER in Game Two of this best of seven series.

Play the over

1* OVER

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Bobby Maxwell

Seattle at N.Y. YANKEES -115

Today's play on the diamond comes from New York as we go with the Yankees to take care of business against the Mariners.

Seattle is absolutely lousy on the road and even though the Yankees haven't exactly been tearing things up we're siding with the Bronx Bombers to get this one against the lowly Mariners.

The Yankees have already swept the Mariners once this season and have won five straight against Seattle dating back to last season.

Lefty Andy Pettitte (3-5, 4.42 ERA) is on the hill for New York and he has had some very nice success against Seattle in his career. In his last nine starts against them, Pettitte has allowed three runs or less in seven of those nine. Last year he allowed two runs through 7.1 innings against the Mariners but his offense forgot to show up and they lost 2-1.

Eric Bedard (3-2, 3.24) has had success against the Yankees, but the Mariners have lost three of his last four outings and last time he was on the road he gave up six runs on seven hits in two innings of a 13-12 loss to the Rangers. In his lone outing against the Yankees this season he gave up three runs on four hits in seven innings of a 5-1 loss in New York.

The Yankees are 41-19 when Pettitte starts as a favorite and 61-26 as a home favorite. Seattle has lost its last five trips to New York and that streak won't end tonight. Play the Yankees to get the win behind Pettitte.

4* N.Y. YANKEES

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DCI

NBA

Western Conference Finals
Game 2, best-of-7
L.A. LAKERS 103, San Antonio 97


NHL

Stanley Cup Finals
Game 1, best-of-7
DETROIT 3, Pittsburgh 2

mvbski
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Re: FRIDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Carlo Campanella

Cincinnati Reds at San Diego Padres
Prediction: Cincinnati Reds

Reason: The Reds are Road chalk as they head to San Diego on Friday. It's no wonder, as Volquez starts on the mound. Cincinnati has won his last 3 trips to the mound and he's been awesome while holding those opponents to only 3 Earned Runs in his last 19 Innings Pitched. Things even look better on Friday as he takes on a San Diego squad that's lost 6 of their last 8 games.

7* Play On Cincinnati

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Re: FRIDAY SERVICE PLAYS

JEFF BENTON

For Friday, well switch things up a bit and go with an MLB total, playing the Dodgers-Cardinals game OVER the total.

This number is just way too low when you consider how bad both starting pitchers (L.A.s Derek Lowe and St. Louis Adam Wainwright) have been lately. Lowe is 0-3 with an ugly 9.28 ERA in his last four starts, and he doesnt have a single quality start in his last seven outings. As for Wainwright, hes surrendered 12 runs (10 earned) over his last two starts spanning just 11 2/3 innings and that was against two weak offensive clubs in the Brewers and Rays, both of whom finished with eight runs in their respective contests.

Also, take a look at what Wainwright did in his lone visit to Dodger Stadium just a little more than a year ago: eight runs, seven hits and four walks allowed in 2 2/3 innings, with L.A. winning 9-7. Meanwhile, Lowe is 1-4 with a 5.93 ERA in his Dodgers career against the Cardinals, with both of his home starts against St. Louis topping the total.

Finally, all three meetings between these teams topped the total last year, and with both of these offenses in fine form right now St. Louis is batting .306 over its last 10 games, while the Dodgers are batting .275 in their last 10 and .289 at home this season) I smell an offensive explosion. Play it OVER the total.

3* Cardinals-Dodgers OVER the total

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