Thursday Service Plays

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PowerPlayWins

MLB

Boston Red Sox -145

Florida Marlins +110


NBA

Celtics / Lakers Over 191

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THE GOLD SHEET'S LATE TELEPHONE SERVICE

BOSTON

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Seabass Hoops

200* Under
100* Celtics

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Bob Balfe

Lakers -7 over Boston

The Celtics have covered all three games so far in the NBA Finals and tonight I am expecting a good old fashion butt kicking. The Lakers found themselves down late in the game and staged a huge comeback in which they almost covered the spread. I think you are going to see a much improved Lakers team and Kobe will show you why he is the leagues MVP at home tonight. Look for a blowout. Take the Lakers.

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Bob Harvey Sports

Boston Red Sox -150 over Baltimore Orioles

Jon Lester looks to win his fourth straight start at Fenway and help the Red Sox improve the best home record in baseball when they wrap up a three-game series with the Orioles. Lester is 4-3 with a 3.50 era and is 3-0 with a 0.61 ERA in his last four outings at Fenway. In two starts this season against the Orioles - both on the road - Lester is 0-0 with a 4.09 ERA. He is 3-0 with a 3.41 ERA in five career starts against Baltimore. In addition Boston is 6-2 on this nine game homestand and 27-7 at Fenway this season. Jerremy Guthrie has been the Orioles best starter this season going 3-6 with a 3.40 era. He's allowed three runs or fewer in eight of his last nine starts while pitching at least six innings 11 times in 14 appearances. Lifetime against the Red Sox he's 1-0, with a 2.61.

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EZ Winners Night Card:

1* Minnesota (Action)
1* Oakland (Blanton Only)
1* Lakers

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Ted Sevransky 3*

Cincinnati has been nothing short of awful in the first two games of their series, getting outscored 17-2 in a pair of ugly losses. Even with those two losses, the Reds are still 11-3 in their last 14 at home, and I’m willing to lay a short price to back them here as they look to avoid the series sweep.

At some point –namely, today – I expect the injury bug that has bitten the St Louis Cardinals to begin to bring them back down to earth. This is not the most potent lineup in baseball by any stretch of the imagination, and the loss of their top offensive threat, Albert Pujols, will affect the St Louis attack in a significant way. It’s not uncommon for a team to play well in their first game without their superstar, as the Cardinals did yesterday, then suffer from his loss in subsequent games.

Cardinals starter Joel Pineiro is making his first start back off the DL. Pineiro is not a dominant starter to begin with, but he’s been rushed back to the rotation because of the Cards cluster injuries in their rotation. He threw seven innings of one hit baseball against the Reds at home back on April 29th, but he’s never pitched at the hitter friendly Great American Ballpark. I expect him to struggle today.

Bronson Arroyo is poised for a bounceback effort here after failing to last through five innings in each of his last two starts, both on the road. Arroyo pitched well in five straight starts previous to his last two outings, and he’s had success against this St Louis lineup before, beating them back on April 28th and dominating them repeatedly in nine starts against the Cards in ’07 and ’06. Look for the Reds to avoid the sweep tonight. 3* Take Cincinnati.

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Ted Sevransky 3*

To say that Jamie Moyer has dominated the Marlins is something of an understatement. Moyer has eight career starts against Florida, and he’s 8-0 in those games. In three starts down in Florida, Moyer’s got a 1.83 ERA against them. The crafty 45 year old isn’t just beating Florida – the Phillies are 5-0 in his last five trips to the mound; 9-4 in his 13 starts this season.

Scott Olson has no similar success against the Phillies. In two starts against them last year, Olson lasted only 9.1 innings, allowing eleven hits and eight runs, giving up three homers in the process. The Phillies have been destroying left handed pitching all year long, 13-5 in their last 18 games against southpaws. Dating back to the beginning of May, Philadelphia has scored a whopping 95 runs in 13 games against lefties, scoring five runs or more on ten different occasions.

Philadelphia has also performed extremely well off back-2-back losses – they’ve only lost three straight games once all year long, going 6-1 following two consecutive defeats. The Phillies are one of only three teams in the big leagues with a winning record on the highway in 2008 and they haven’t been swept on the road all year. Look for that trend to continue tonight as the Phillies avoid the sweep down in Marlin country. 3* Take Philadelphia.

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Ted Sevransky 4*

The betting marketplace has adjusted the Lakers significantly downward after their 0-3 ATS start to the NBA Finals, leaving us with a relatively cheap price to lay with LA in a game that I expect them to win.

The Celtics are a very banged up team right now. Paul Pierce finally showed the effects of his knee injury in Game 3, held to a miserable 2-14 shooting night after Phil Jackson adjusted his defensive rotations, putting first team All NBA Defensive Team Kobe Bryant on Pierce. Kendrick Perkins still isn’t back to 100% either. The latest Boston injury is to point guard Rajon Rondo, who turned his ankle in Game 3.

Rondo sparked the team with 16 assists in Game 2; neither Eddie House nor Sam Cassell provides Rondo’s defensive acumen. Boston head coach Doc Rivers: “Rondo’s value is extremely important to the team. We understand that. He gives us speed; he gives us great point guard play. He has the ability to pressure the ball. …He’s the one pure point guard on our team that has the ability to make plays….I’m concerned because if Rondo can play but he doesn’t have speed, then that’s a concern.” To call the Celtics offense ‘stagnant’ without Rondo in the game is something of an understatement – their 34% shooting performance in Game 3 was no accident.

Yes, Rondo is expected to play in Game 4, but he will not be at 100% and cannot be expected to play as much as normal. Considering that Cassell is shooting 33% for the series with a grand total of four assists, while House is shooting 25% for the series with two assists, the short turnaround time between Games 3 and 4 is problematic for Boston.

Boston’s injuries are only one part of the equation here. A bigger part is the performance of the Lakers supporting cast in Game 3. LA is in the NBA Finals for two reasons: the play of their superstar, Kobe Bryant, and the consistent play of Bryant’s supporting cast. In Game 3, Kobe showed, but the rest of the Lakers (other than Sasha Vujacic) did not. Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Vladimir Radmonovich, Luke Walton and Ronnie Turiaf combined to shoot 7-32 from the field, with as many turnovers (nine) as assists (also nine).

Kobe dished exactly one assist in Game 3, unable to get his teammates involved on the offensive end. Remember, Kobe has dished six assists or more a dozen times already in these playoffs, after averaging 5.4 assists in his MVP season. LA won the game, but they only scored 87 points.

The Lakers have scored 90 points or less only five previous times this season. Following each subpar effort, LA responded by winning and covering their next game, with the lone exception of Game 2 here in the Finals, when Boston played out of their minds for the first 40 minutes of the game. Even in that game, the Lakers cracked the century mark, putting up 102 points, a total that should be more than enough to win and cover on Thursday night.

LA is 9-0 SU, 6-3 ATS at home here in the playoffs, while the Celtics are just 2-8 SU, 3-7 ATS. This is not a ‘must win’ game for Boston; it is for LA. We’ve seen teams that ‘give one away’ like Boston did in Game 3 consistently come up short in their next outing throughout the 2008 playoffs. If there’s one game in this series where the Lakers are going take care of business, this one is it. 4* Take the Lakers.

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Billy Coleman

4* Under 191' Boston/Lakers
4* Yanks
3* Balt


CalSports
4* Lakers
4* Under Lakers

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ANTONWINS

5 unit play Boston Celtics +290

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Lenny Del Genio

15* Division Game of the Week

Phillies

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Vegas Runner

LAL -7.0 (-120) vs BOS  NBA FINALS 5* BEST BET

(Buy the 1/2 to -7)

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Rocco Vincintore

NBA CHAMPIONSHIP TOTALS PLAY WINNER

Boston / LA Lakers UNDER 191

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Wayne Root

Chairman- Lakers
Millionaire- A's

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Michael Cannon

25 Dime

LAKERS

Lay the points with the Lakers tonight in Game 4 over the Celtics.

Game 3 won’t be turning up on ESPN Classic anytime soon, but there was one thing that stuck out to me about that game.

The Lakers should have covered, and nobody seems to be talking about the biggest reason why they didn’t.

Look, arguments can be made on behalf of either team, but the truth is both sides played terrible.

But the one thing that stuck out to me was Kobe Bryant and his foul shooting.

If Bryant shoots 15-of-18 from the line instead of the 11-of-18 that he did, the Lakers cover that game. That’s not an outrageous statement, that’s a fact and it’s something I don’t see Kobe doing again tonight.

You give a superstar motivation, any motivation whatsoever, and he’s going to use it to his advantage.

I know Kevin Garnett is giving Pau Gasol fits right now, hell I predicted that would happen in my Game 1 analysis, but the Lakers are on the verge of a breakout game at Staples. If it’s going to happen anytime, it’s going to be tonight.

The Celtics are beat up right now and they haven’t been a good play on the road this postseason. They’re just 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS on the road this playoff season.

Los Angeles is 9-0 SU and 6-3 ATS at Staples during the playoffs. Going back to the regular season they are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 at home.

Lay the points with the Lakers as they even the series with the win and cover.


10 Dime

PHILLIES (With Moyer as listed pitcher)

Take the Phillies for the road win over the Marlins tonight.

It’s hard to argue with the success Philadelphia’s Jamie Moyer has had against Florida. The left-hander is a perfect 8-0 with a 3.51 ERA in eight career starts against the Marlins, including a win this season.

Maybe the Fins just have trouble hitting the soft stuff, but whatever the reason I can’t pass up the Phillies at this price.

Scott Olsen will start for Florida and he’s 3-4 with a 6.00 ERA in nine career games against Philadelphia.

Take the Phillies as they grab the road win.

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Vegas Runner

NYY (-113) vs OAK 3* BEST BET of the DAY

PHI (-120) vs FLA 2* ML WAGER

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