SUNDAY SERVICE PLAYS

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Jim Feist

KC Royals and ARI D'backs
Take Over

Arizona doesn't always hit on the road, but at home the offense is terrific, averaging 5.5 runs per game. That's not surprising as it's a good hitter's park. Kansas City comes to town and starter Gil Meche has been terrible, a 3-8 record with a 5.25 ERA. Arizona starter Micah Owings has also been struggling, at 0-3 his last 3 starts with a 9.22 ERA. In fact, Arizona is 3-0 over the total his last three starts. Look for plenty of runs in this indoor game, Play the Royals/Diamondbacks over the total!

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Rocco Spacamuro

50* Portugal +127

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LT Profits

Oakland Athletics @ San Francisco Giants Under 8.5

The Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants combined to score six runs on Friday and four runs yesterday, and we feel that another low scoring game is in store today.

The Giants have scored just one run in their series, and we don’t expect the San Francisco offense to suddenly have a revival today. Oakland southpaw starter Dana Eveland has been very Under-friendly this season, with nine of his 13 starts staying below the total and another pushing. The highly regarded youngster has a nice 3.76 ERA overall and he has allowed three earned runs or less in six of his last seven starts.

Now Kevin Correia is making his first start since April for the Giants, but this is not exactly a powerhouse Oakland lineup that he is making his return against. The Under is 8-3 in the last 11 Athletics road games, and while a lot of that has to do with some fine young pitching, another piece of the Under puzzle has been a weak lineup that is hitting just .235 vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games.

Finally, the Under is 7-2 in Correia’s last nine home starts, as well as 35-17 in the last 52 head-to-meetings in the Bay Series.

Pick: Athletics, Giants Under 8.5


Atlanta Braves +130

The Atlanta Braves have had their struggles on the road, but you would not know it from the first two games of this series with the Los Angeles Angels and the Braves now look to complete the sweep at another nice price in the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game.

Angels starter Joe Saunders was off to a fantastic start this season, but he has tailed off considerably in his recent starts with a 7.56 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP in his last three outings. He has allowed at least four runs in each of his last three starts, and he was lit up for eight earned runs and nine hits in just 4.2 innings in his last appearance on Monday.

Meanwhile, Atlanta is 4-1 in all games started by Jorge Campillo this year, as he has allowed three runs or less in four of his five starts. That has translated to a sparkling 2.15 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 46 innings. Now granted, the Braves bullpen has been a bit of an adventure lately, but that unit has performed well in this series and Atlanta does still rank seventh in the Major Leagues with a 3.33 pen ERA.

Considering the current form of the pitchers here, we see good value on Atlanta at this price as they go for their first road sweep of the season.

Pick: Braves +130

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Wunderdog

Boston at Los Angeles Lakers
Pick: First Half UNDER 95.5 -110

Boston gave up 58 in the first half in game four and it still nearly went UNDER. That won't happen again. Boston is 14-10 UNDER in the first half in the playoffs, allowing 43.6 ppg. The Lakers are averaging just 47.2 ppg in the first half the past five games, while holding opponents to 45. Boston is 17-5 UNDER in the first-half this season when in the underdog role as they come out focused in these games on what they do best - play defense. We also expect the Lakers to play intense defense to open the game. They are 21-9 UNDER in the first-half the past three seasons revenging a home upset loss.

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BRAD DIAMOND

The Phillies were in negative form yesterday offensively "chasing" hurler Lohse low and inside for the most part. But, we can fully understand the down turn off a 20 run outing on Friday evening. On the board Sunday we find umpire Tim McClelland doing business behind home plate with a fantastic 18-4-2 OVER run in that role. The players in this set have captured the OVER in 6 of the last eight in the series. At St.Louis the two combatants have gone OVER in 5 of 6. RHP Boggs (1-0, 3.86)has looked solid in the early going, but experiences where limited time and scope. Realize too, Brett Meyers has a tendency to throw "Unders" on Sunday, but the facts and circumstances are much different today.

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Ben Burns

Boston Celtics @ Los Angeles Lakers
PICK: Los Angeles Lakers

REASON FOR PICK: While I was on the wrong side of the Lakers' Game 4 collapse, I expect them to bounce back with a massive effort for tonight's Game 5 clash. While many will likely view things differently, I believe that Thursday's "monumental meltdown" has actually worked in our favor here. For starters, it's caused the majority of the betting public to favor the Celtics, which has given us the lowest line on the Lakers for any of their three home games in this series.

Additionally, off one of the greatest comebacks in playoff history, I feel that an emotional letdown will be difficult to avoid for the Celtics. Although they would never admit this, probably not even to themselves, the Celtics figure to be feeling that they've already "accomplished their mission" by winning a game here at LA. They know that they're in great shape, even if they lose here - and wouldn't it be that much sweeter to win the series in front of the Boston fans?

Perhaps most importantly, the Lakers embarrassed themselves in the second half of Game 4. As Kobe put it: "we wet the bed..." They really don't want to go out on that note.

Odom had this to say: "We know who we represent—our franchise, our city. We damn sure don't want to lose here." Let's not forget that this team is still 15-1 its last 16 games on this floor. They're also 11-4-1 ATS the last 16 times they were attempting to avenge a home loss. Consider laying the points.

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Carlo Campanella

Oakland Athletics at San Francisco Giants

Oakland finds themselves as slight road Favorites on Sunday as they head to San Francisco. The Giants have dropped 3 of their last 4 games and start Kevin Correia on the mound. We'll back teh A's in here as they're 6-1 during their last 6 trips to San Francisco and we find these Giants at 1-12 during their last 13 games against A.L. teams allowing 4.2 Runs per Game!

Play on: Oakland

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Drew Gordon

If there's one thing the Blue Jays don't do well, its hit lefties, especially at the Rogers Centre, where they bat just .223 against them, averaging a meager 3.7 runs per game in that spot! They're just 3-6 at home against southpaws this season, and a match up against the Cubs Ted Lilly doesn't bode well this afternoon.

Speaking of Lilly, he rebounded nicely from an ugly effort against the Rockies May 30th, pitching well in his last two, allowing 5 runs over his last 14 innings of work, fanning 16 in the process! In fact, if you take away his atrocious first 4 starts of the season, Lilly is 6-2 with a rock-solid 3.88 ERA on the year. Look for another strong effort this afternoon, and the fact Vernon Wells may be held out of this one after feeling some tightness in his hand, only helps the Cubbies in this one.

Opposing Lilly is the Jays Jesse Litsch, who adimittingly looked great from late-April to late-May, but has tailed off considerably in June, going 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA. What's most concerning is the fact he's allowed 20 hits over his last 11 1/3 innings, and against an offense like the Cubs, that can get real ugly, real fast. Cubs offense hasn't exactly been on-point of late, but they're catching Litsch in the midst of some troubles, which makes the play here squarely on Chicago.

Finally, its important to note the Cubs are not only playing well, winners of 5 of their last 6 (as compared to the Jays, who've lost 7 of their last 10), but they've also had plenty of success over Lilly's last 8 starts, going 6-2 over that span! In the end, the Cubs take the series, capitalizing on the Jays inability to hit lefties, and Litsch sudden loss of focus.

Take the Chicago Cubs behind Lilly over Toronto and Litsch in afternoon MLB action

2* CHICAGO CUBS

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Matt Rivers

CELTICS / LAKERS UNDER

Once again I'm feeling like being in a giving mood so I'll give you the low right here in game five for free. The way the Celtics are playing defense and the way the Lakers have improved defensively, I just do not see all of a sudden an explosion. Plus I don't see Eddie House and James Posey being able to shoot like they did in that last game and that contest stayed under even with that. I will reiterate right here what I said before that last game. Boston has played phenomenal defense all season long and really do not look to fast break all that much. Even if the Lakers want to run and gun things are made a tremendous amount tougher when the opponent is not only extremely capable on the defensive end but does not really try to score all too quickly. The halfcourt game is perfectly fine with Doc Rivers and his squad and even on the road should be able to control most of the pace. Kevin Garnett was the defensive player of the year and all in all the C's may have been the best defensive team this season. Let's not forget about all of the garbage time Boston was involved in this campaign because they led so many games by so many points. That has skewed the stats a bit out of their favor not making people understand just how dominant defensively they have been. Kobe is a beast and the greatest player on the planet who could put up 40 against anybody. Shoot the guy scored 80 against the Raptors, I think, in one game a season ago. But a total around the 190's means that we should have a team hit the century mark and that is just asking too much. We may see a few more points today than that 87-81 LA win in Game three as that was tremendously under but in the end I do not see both teams getting above 90.

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Jeff Benton

I know Kansas City has been in a month-long funk, but it’s not like Arizona has been tearing it up either. After last night’s blowout loss to the Royals, the DBacks are 9-16 in their last 25 games. One reason for the DBacks’ struggles? Today’s starting pitcher, Micah Owings, has been terrible in his last three starts, posting a 9.22 ERA while losing two of the three contests. In fact, Arizona is just 3-6 in Owings’ last nine outings, including 1-3 at home. Meanwhile, I don’t mind Royals right-hander Gil Meche at all. The veteran has recorded four quality starts in his last six outings, and he’s allowed three runs or fewer in five of those six contests. Also, Meche has been solid on the road (3.95 ERA in seven starts) and he’s got great numbers in two career starts against Arizona. Granted, Meche been a tough-luck pitcher this year, as the Royals have lost his last five starts and 10 of his 14 this season. But if he continues to pitch well, the breaks will start falling his way. Also, it’s worth nothing that Meche has been a much better pitcher this year in day games (2-3, 3.99 ERA) than at night (1-5, 6.14 ERA). Solid underdog value with K.C. in this one.

3* KANSAS CITY ROYALS

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Tony Weston

The Yankees took the first two games of this series beating the Astros 2-1 Friday then 8-4 Saturday. That loss Saturday for the Astros puts them at 3-13 their last 16 games and puts them at 2-6 their last eight games at home.

The Yankees come into this game 11-6 their last 17 games overall and 7-3 their last 10 road games. New York turns to Chien-Ming Wang to make the start. So far this year he’s 7-2 with a 4.30 ERA. The Yankees are also 11-3 in his 14 starts this year and have won in his last four starts.

Wang will get another victory and the Yanks will destroy the Astros again.

Take New York on the road today.


3* YANKEES

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JR MILLER

LAKERS -7.0
Celtics/Lakers OVER 190.5

If you agree with one or both of these picks we think it's a good idea to get your money down early. Both these lines figure to move against us rather than toward us as game-time gets closer. We've had five bets so far on this series and all five of them have been based mostly on motivational factors rather than statistical factors. At this level of play the stats are pretty much equalized. It's the same for these two plays. We're expecting the Lakers to win this game by double digits, going away, and we think the game will go 'Over' 190 points a long time before the whistle blows. Can you say, "Blowout"? It's not that the Lakers are actually so much better than the Celtics, but we think in this particular game, they will be. All the psychological factors are favoring the Lakers. For one thing, look for the Celtics to "coast" in this game. They won't be bringing their 'A' game. At 3-1 for the series, the Celtics' players (and coaches) might easily be picturing winning the championship in front of their home fans. At the same time, the Lakers' players and coaches figure to be super-motivated by their embarrassment in their last game.

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Bob Harvey

Florida Marlins vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays-157

In this battle of Florida teams, the vastly improved Devil Rays get the nod as my pick to sweep the "Citrus Series". Florida has lost three straight games overall and 12 of its last 15 on the road. Second baseman Dan Uggla is 0-for-7 in this series, while shortstop Hanley Ramirez and former Tampa Bay slugger Jorge Cantu are both 1-for-8. Yes those players are do to break out of their respective slumps. Rays outfielder Jonny Gomes returned Saturday and homered in his first game back since serving a five-game suspension for his part in a bench-clearing brawl with Boston on June 5, Tampa Bay remains without Carl Crawford. The left fielder is serving the third game of his four-game ban for his part in the same incident.The Rays will give the ball to Edwin Jackson (4-5, 4.06 ERA), who tries to win consecutive starts for the first time since his first two outings of the season. He allowed four runs and a season high-tying 10 hits in seven innings Monday, but got credit for a 13-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. Ricky Nolasco will throw 'em down for the Fish and has fared well against the D-Rays. This is more of a momentum play. Jackson is an underated hurler and I think he matches up well with Nolasco. Tampa Bay gets the sweep.

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Dustin Hawkins

Colorado Rockies vs. Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox -1½ +138

Here on those Hot Sox, looking for another victory against Rockies!!! Jose "the horse" Contreras (3.18 ERA)!!! Chicago has had things going in the right direction!! Aaron Cook Stuggles on the road with 3.78 ERA and 1.45 Whip!!! Just a team the will out hustle the Rockies and scrap for a win!!! Take the White Sox to the Bank!!!

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Sports Gambling Hotline

Boston at LAKERS -7

Tough to make a case for the OVER in tonight's game, as 3 of the first 4 in this series have played UNDER the total.

ER in 6 of their last 8 playoff games, and they have also held LOW in 7 of their last 8 games when installed as the underdog.

Los Angeles is on an 8-1 playoff run UNDER the posted price, and 8 of their last 9 games played at the Staples Center have also stayed BELOW the posted price.

The linesmakers have dropped the total on this game by a few points, but we still think we are staring at another in the NBA Finals tonight.

Play on the LOW.

4* UNDER

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Jimmy The Moose

Game: Florida Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays
Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays

Reason: Florida is 3-7 in their last 10 games as a dog of +110 to +150. The Marlins are 2-6 in their last 8 interleague road games vs. a team with a winning record. Florida is 1-6 in their last 7 games overall. Tampa is 21-2 in their last 23 games as a favorite between -151 and -200. The Rays are 15-3 in their last 18 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Tampa is 17-7 in their last 24 interleague games as a favorite. Tampa is 8-1 in the last 9 meetings between the clubs. Play on the Tampa Bay Rays

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Tony Mathews

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Baltimore Orioles
Selection: Pittsburgh Pirates +115

Explanation: We will side with the Pittsburgh Pirates as they face-off against the Baltimore Orioles in Sunday's MLB contest.

The Pittsburgh Pirates will use starting pitcher Paul Maholm. Paul Maholm has pitched well as of late. In fact, Paul Maholm has a 2.95 ERA in his last 3 starts. We see Paul Maholm pitching another great game today.

The Baltimore Orioles will use starting pitcher Daniel Cabrera. Daniel Cabrera has been having pitching problems as of late. In fact, Daniel Cabrera has a 7.00 ERA in his last 3 starts. We see Daniel Cabrera pitching another bad game today.

The bottom line, the Pittsburgh Pirates should be able to beat the Baltimore Orioles today!

Take the Pittsburgh Pirates!

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John Fina

Selection: Oakland/San Francisco Over 8.5

Reason: Put us down on the Oakland Athletics/San Francisco Giants Over 8.5 for our Free MLB Selection on Sunday. Today we expect a high-scoring game as the Oakland Athletics do battle with the San Francisco Giants. One reason why we expect a high-scoring game is because both these teams will send to the mound struggling starting pitchers. This says it all... The Oakland Athletics Starting Pitcher (Dana Eveland) has a 7.36 ERA in his last 3 starts, while San Francisco Giants Starting Pitcher (Kevin Correia) has a 6.57 ERA in his last 3 starts. As you can see, both these teams will most likely give up many runs today. In addition, the "Over" has been a smart investment in games when the San Francisco Giants are underdogs. That's because the "Over" is 10-5 in the San Francisco Giants last 15 games as an underdog. We expect to see many runs scored once again today! Take the Oakland Athletics/San Francisco Giants Over 8.5!

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VEGAS SPORTS PICS

Toronto -110*

New York Yankees -120*

Arizons -150*

Los Angeles Angels -130**

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