Sunday Service Plays

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Nostradamus

Angels -150
Florida +130
Cards/Cincy Over 9
White Sox -115

Tampa Bay -2

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Cappers Access

Marlins

A's

Buccaneers

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Bobby Maxwell

New England at TAMPA BAY -2 

Tampa Bay has a hex on the Patriots in August, having beaten New England six straight times in the exhibition campaign.

New England lost to Baltiimore at home in the opening week, 16-15, upset as a 4 1/2-point favorite. The Patriots are just 3-4-1 ATS in their last eight August road games and 2-3-1 ATS as an exhibition underdog.

The Bucs beat the Dolphins 17-6 a week ago as a two-point underdog is 14-8 SU and 13-7-2 ATS in the last five-plus preseasons, and 4-1 SU and ATS dating back to last year. And since John Gruden took over for Tampa Bay this team has gone 9-3 ATS as a preseason favorite and 7-4-1 ATS at home.

Even with Jeff Garcia sitting out tonight for Tampa Bay we like the QB rotation for the Bucs with Brian Griese starting and giving way to Luke McCown for the second quarter. Then Chris Simms will play the entire second half and he plays his way back into shape after missing more than a season with injury. These are all guys that have started in this league and know how to play. No rookie mistakes should be made.

New England didn't play the magical duo of QB Tom Brady or WR Randy Moss in last week's loss but both should be in the lineup for a series or two tonight. But you know they won't be going full speed. Then Brady hands to ball to Matt Cassell, rookie Kevin O'Connell and Matt Gutierrez. Not exactly household names, any of them.

Tampa is 5-0 SU and ATS in preseason action against New England and scored a 13-10 win as 2 1/2-point favorites a year ago. Play the Bucs again in this one.

4♦ TAMPA BAY

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John Fina

Milwaukee/Los Angeles Under 8

Put us down on the Milwaukee Brewers/Los Angeles Dodgers Under 8 for our Free MLB Selection on Sunday. Today we see a low-scoring game as the Milwaukee Brewers do battle with the Los Angeles Dodgers. One reason why we see a low-scoring game is because both these teams will be sending to the mound solid starting pitchers. This says it all... The Milwaukee Brewers Starting Pitcher (Jeff Suppan) has a 2.05 ERA in his last 3 starts, while the Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Pitcher (Clayton Kershaw) has a 1.89 ERA in his last 3 starts. As you can see, both these starting pitchers have been pitching very good as of late. To say the least, we see these teams playing a low-scoring game today! Take the Milwaukee Brewers/Los Angeles Dodgers Under 8!

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DUNKEL

Chicago White Sox at Oakland   
The A's look to take the rubber game of the series and build on their 23-14 record at home when the total is listed from 8 to 8 1/2.  Oakland is the underdog pick (+110) according to Dunkel, which has the A's favored straight up by 1.  Dunkel Pick: Oakland (+110).  Here are all of today's games.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 17

Game 901-902: Chicago Cubs at Florida
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Dempster) 16.541; Florida (Volstad) 15.624
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-135); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (-135); Under

Game 903-904: St. Louis at Cincinnati
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Lohse) 15.512; Cincinnati (Volquez) 14.598
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-110); 9
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (+100); Over

Game 905-906: NY Mets at Pittsburgh
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Santana) 15.219; Pittsburgh (Karstens) 13.448
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-200); 8
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (-200); Under

Game 907-908: San Francisco at Atlanta
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Lincecum) 14.578; Atlanta (Morton) 13.085
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-150); 8
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-150); Over

Game 909-910: Colorado at Washington
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Cook) 13.960; Washington (Perez) 12.650
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Colorado (-150); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (-150); Over

Game 911-912: Arizona at Houston
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Johnson) 16.292; Houston (Oswalt) 14.582
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Houston (-110); 8
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+100); Over

Game 913-914: Philadelphia at San Diego
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Hamels) 14.507; San Diego (Baek) 15.603
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-185); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+175); Over

Game 915-916: Milwaukee at LA Dodgers
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Suppan) 17.223; LA Dodgers (Kershaw) 16.018
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-140); 8
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+130); Under

Game 917-918: Kansas City at NY Yankees
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Bannister) 13.972; NY Yankees (Mussina) 14.952
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-250); 9
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-250); Under

Game 919-920: LA Angels at Cleveland
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Saunders) 16.688; Cleveland (Sowers) 15.277
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-145); 9
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-145); Over

Game 921-922: Baltimore at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Olson) 15.105; Detroit (Miner) 15.923
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1; 11 1/2
Vegas Line: Detroit (-155); 11
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-155); Over

Game 923-924: Toronto at Boston
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Marcum) 15.536; Boston (Beckett) 16.220
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Boston (-210); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-210); Under

Game 925-926: Seattle at Minnesota
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Feierabend) 15.128; Minnesota (Perkins) 17.613
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 2 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Minnesota (-230); 9
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-230); Over

Game 927-928: Chicago White Sox at Oakland
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Vazquez) 14.438; Oakland (Gonzalez) 15.208
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-120); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (+110); Under

Game 929-930: Tampa Bay at Texas
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Kazmir) 16.589; Texas (Nippert) 15.034
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

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JEFF BONDS

HOUSTON ASTROS -110 (2 DIME) & +185 R/L (1DIME)

CINCINNATI REDS -110 (1 DIME)

WASHINGTON NATIONALS +135 (2 DIME)

KANSAS CITY / NYY OVER 8.5  (1 DIME)

PHILADELPHIA -185 (2 DIME)

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Jeff Alexander Sports

1 Unit on St. Louis Cardinals -102

The Cards have won 4 straight on the road and are 10-2 in their last 12 versus a team with a losing record.  The Cardinals are 4-1 in Lohse's last 5 starts vs. the National League Central.  The Reds are 3-13 in their last 16 home games, 0-8 in their last 8 home games vs. a right-handed starter, and 0-5 in their last 5 Sunday games.  On top of that, they are just 1-5 in Volquez's last 6 home starts.  The Cards have taken 6 of the last 7 in this matchup and they'll keep adding to their domination of Cincy here.

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SPORTS ADVISORS

NFL PRESEASON

Detroit (1-0, 0-0-1 ATS) at Cincinnati (1-0 SU and ATS)

The Lions look to start off the preseason 2-0 for the second straight year when they visit the Bengals.

Detroit held off the Giants 13-10 in its preseason opener nine days ago, pushing as a three-point home favorite. The Lions, who got outgained 310-298 last week, are 3-2 in August (1-3-1 ATS) since coach Rod Marinelli took over last year, but 0-2 on the road (1-1 ATS). In fact, Detroit is mired in preseason ATS slumps of 4-12-1 overall, 2-8 on the road and 3-9 as an underdog.

Cincinnati spotted Green Bay a 10-0 first-quarter lead Monday, then rallied for 17 second-quarter points en route to a 20-17 victory, cashing as a three-point road underdog. The Bengals gave up 383 total yards (271 passing), but they forced three turnovers. Despite the win over the Packers, Cincinnati is still only 11-10 SU and 12-9 ATS since Marvin Lewis took over as coach in 2003, but 7-3 at home (6-4 ATS).

After being on the field for only about 10 snaps in Week 1, the Lions’ starters on both sides of the ball are expected go a bit longer tonight, with Marinelli anticipating 18 to 22 snaps for his first-stringers. That includes top QB Jon Kitna, who will be followed by Dan Orlovsky and Drew Stanton.

It’s unknown how long the Bengals’ starters, including QB Carson Palmer, will be on the field tonight, as Lewis didn’t make his plans public. Last week, Palmer played into the second quarter and went 5 of 9 for 33 yards and a touchdown. If Lewis sticks to the same rotation as last week, Ryan Fitzpatrick will replace Palmer, followed by Jeff Rowe. Palmer’s brother, Jordan, may see mop-up action.

The Bengals traveled to Detroit in Week 1 of last year’s preseason and lost 27-26, but covered as a three-point underdog.

The over is 3-1 in Detroit’s last four preseason road games and 4-1 in Cincy’s last four overall in the summer.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


New England (0-1 SU and ATS) at Tampa Bay (1-0 SU and ATS)

The Buccaneers try to continue their preseason dominance of the Patriots, whom they’ve defeated six straight times in August, in a nationally televised clash at Raymond James Stadium.

With stars like Tom Brady and Randy Moss on the sidelines throughout, the Patriots dropped a 16-15 decision to Baltimore in Week 1, getting upset as a 4½-point home favorite. New England – which went 2-2 SU each of the previous three exhibition seasons – has been a bad bet on the road in August recently, going 3-5 SU and 3-4-1 ATS, including 2-3-1 ATS as an underdog. One positive for the Patriots: They’re 3-1 ATS in their last four preseason games following an outright loss.

Tampa Bay had no trouble with in-state rival Miami a week ago, throttling the Dolphins 17-6 as a two-point road underdog. The Bucs are now 14-8 SU and 13-7-2 ATS in the last five-plus preseasons, including 4-1 SU and ATS going back to last year. They’ve also been tremendous at home in August since coach Jon Gruden arrived (9-3 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) and they’re 9-3 ATS as a preseason chalk dating to 2005.

On the downside for the Bucs: They’ve lost three straight Week 2 preseason games, going 0-3 ATS.

Tampa Bay QB Jeff Garcia will sit out for the second straight week because of an injury, leaving the starting chores in the hands of veteran Brian Griese. Once Griese departs, Luke McCown, who started last week’s game, will take over for the rest of the first half, with Chris Simms playing the majority of the second half.

As usual, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was tight-lipped about playing time for tonight’s contest. However, Brady most likely will start under center but probably will play only a couple of series. From there, the three QBs battling to be Brady’s backup – Matt Cassell, rookie Kevin O’Connell and Matt Gutierrez – will divvy up the snaps.

These teams opened the 2007 preseason against each other, with the Buccaneers pulling out a 13-10 win, barely cashing as a 2½-point home favorite. Going back to 1999, Tampa is 5-0 SU and ATS in preseason action against New England.

The under is 4-2 in New England’s last six preseason road games (2-0 last year) and 3-1 in Tampa’s last four at home in August.

ATS ADVANTAGE: TAMPA BAY and UNDER


NATIONAL LEAGUE

Chicago Cubs (75-48) at Florida (64-60)

The Marlins send impressive rookie pitcher Chris Volstad (4-2, 3.03 ERA) to the mound in the rubber match of a three-game series against the Cubs and Ryan Dempster (13-5, 2.92).

Chicago had its five-game overall and nine-game road winning streaks snapped in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Marlins. Despite that setback, the Cubs have still won eight of 10 and 15 of their last 19 to build a commanding lead in the N.L. Central. They’re on further streaks of 5-1 against the N.L. East, 4-0 on Sundays and 17-8 with Dempster on the hill.

While the Cubs have been surging, the Marlins have been floundering, losing four of their last six overall and five of their last seven at home. They’re also 1-4 in their last five against a right-handed starter and 2-5 in their last seven versus the N.L. Central. On the bright side, Florida is now 13-3 in the last 16 meetings with Chicago, including 7-1 in the last eight played in South Beach.

Dempster has been rock-solid for Chicago virtually all season, including recently as he’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in five straight starts (1.65 ERA) and seven of the last eight, with the Cubs going 5-3 during this stretch, including 3-0 on the road. However, for the season, the veteran right-hander is only 2-3 as a visitor despite a 3.17 ERA.

Dempster held the Marlins to a run on two hits and six walks in six innings back on July 25, but the Cubs lost 3-2 at home. It was Dempster’s first career start against Florida, but including 10 relief appearances, he’s 1-1 with a 2.40 ERA against the Fish.

Volstad got his fourth major-league win Tuesday, yielding three runs on five hits in five innings of a 4-3 home victory over St. Louis. The right-hander has allowed three earned runs or fewer in five of his six outings, and he’s surrendered just one home run in 38 2/3 innings. At home, though, he’s 1-2 with a beefy 5.62 ERA in three starts.

For the Cubs, the over is on streaks of 6-1 overall, 19-8 on the road, 4-0 on Sundays, 5-1 against the N.L. East, 8-2 against winning teams and 4-0 when Dempster works on the highway. Also, the over is 18-9 in the last 27 series meetings between these clubs and 8-3 in the last 11 in Florida. Conversely, the under is 7-2 in the Marlins’ last nine home games and 6-0 in Volstad’s first six big-league starts.

ATS ADVANTAGE: CHICAGO CUBS and OVER


Milwaukee (71-53) at L.A. Dodgers (63-60)

The streaking Dodgers hand the ball to 20-year-old rookie Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 4.56) as they wrap up a three-game series against the Brewers and Jeff Suppan (8-7, 4.56) at Dodger Stadium.

Milwaukee pulled out a 4-3, 10-inning victory on Saturday to improve to 9-2 in its last 11 games. The Brewers are also on runs of 7-2 against the N.L. West, 14-4 on the highway, 6-1 versus lefty starters, 8-2 on Sundays and 6-1 in Suppan’s last seven starts.

Los Angeles had a five-game winning streak snapped with last night’s defeat. However, the Dodgers are still on surges of 7-3 overall, 13-4 at home (7-1 in their last eight), 8-4 against the N.L. Central and 5-1 on Sundays. Also, L.A. is 42-21 in the last 63 meetings with Milwaukee (3-2 this year), including 21-9 against the Brew Crew in the past 30 battles at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw has been brilliant over his last four starts, going 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA. He got a no-decision Tuesday against Philadelphia, giving up three runs in six frames, with the Dodgers prevailing, 4-3. The southpaw is 1-2 with a 3.08 ERA in seven home starts and 2-2 with a 1.97 ERA in six daytime outings.

Suppan has been lights out over his last three starts – all on the road – going 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA, including an impressive 5-2 win in San Diego on Monday as he yielded just two runs and four hits in eight innings. With his last three victories, Suppan is now 6-5 with a 4.79 ERA outside of Milwaukee.

Today marks Kershaw’s first career start against Milwaukee, but Suppan has faced the Dodgers nine times in the regular season, going 4-4 with a 4.02 ERA. Throw in a playoff start when he was with the Cardinals in 2004, and Suppan has allowed three earned runs or fewer in eight of his 10 outings against L.A.

The under is 9-3-2 in the Brewers’ last 14 games overall, 12-2-1 in their last 15 road tilts, 3-0 in Suppan’s last three starts overall and 10-4 in Suppan’s 14 road starts this year (4-0 last four). For Los Angeles, the under is on streaks of 10-5-1 overall, 20-9-1 at Dodger Stadium, 4-0 on Saturdays, 17-7 against the N.L. Central, 5-1-1 when Kershaw pitches at home and 5-0 in Kershaw’s five daytime starts.

ATS ADVANTAGE:L.A. DODGERS and UNDER

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Karl Garrett

Detroit +3' at CINCINNATI 

The G-Man's general rule of thumb in the preseason is to not lay too many points, as there are just too many variables to say for sure the favorite is not going to get back-doored.

That happens to be the case tonight, as Cincinnati looks to be laying a few too many in this evening's home opener against Detroit.

The Lions were a 13-10 winner against the Giants to open the preseason, and they have had a few extra days to prepare for this one, as they last played on Thursday, August 7th, while the Bengals just played on Monday night in their underdog win at Green Bay.

Have to believe the Bengals are feeling good about their comeback win at Lambeau, and while they may be able to edge the Lions in this one, I don't see them covering.

G-Man taking the points and Detroit in the NFL tonight.

1♦ DETROIT

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Sports Gambling Hotline

Kansas City at NY YANKEES -250 

Right now the New York Yankees couldn't hit their way out of a wet paper bag. That being the case, we are forced to play this Kansas City-New York game UNDER the posted total.

KC has played UNDER the total in 4 of their last 5 games, while the Yanks are now on a 7-3 UNDER clip, their last 3 games all staying LOW.

It will be Bannister against Mussina, and while Bannister has an over 7 road ERA this year, we think he will be able to keep the weak-hitting Yankees at bay in this one.

Mike Mussina continues to be stingy when on the mound, as he has allowed just 4 runs over his last 21 innings of work, and over his last 3 starts against the Royals, he has allowed just 5 runs in 22 innings of work.

These teams have now played 9 times this year, and 7 of the 9 have stayed UNDER the posted total.

This one will as well.

Play on the UNDER.

4♦ UNDER

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Drew Gordon

Chi. White Sox at OAKLAND

The White Sox won a rare game at McAfee Coliseum yesterday, thanks in large part to the A's inability to hit lefties, but look for much different results this Sunday afternoon and here's why:

Like what I saw from the young lefty Gio Gonzalez in his last start, limiting the Rays to 1 run on 5 hits over 5 innings, striking out 5 for his first career Major League win. Looking for him to build off that effort today, as the White Sox have issues hitting lefties away, batting just .255 and averaging a paltry 4.1 runs per game in that spot!

Herein lies the problem for Chicago, as yesterday the lefty Danks controlled the A's meager offense, but this afternoon will not be nearly as easy with the righty Javier Vazquez on the mound. Vazquez is coming off an excellent start, but before you go jumping ship on the A's, remember he's 0-2 with a 7.13 ERA in 4 career start in Oakland! Not to mention, he's 2-5 with a 5.10 ERA over his last 9 starts... Overestimate him at your own risk, as he's been consistently below average for almost 2 months now!

Finally, its hard to argue against the White Sox futility in Oakland, going just 7-28 over their last 35 meetings there! Chicago is also 3-7 over their last 10 road games, and 3-7 following a win, so again, don't go overestimating this White Sox team just because Oakland has struggled. In the end, the A's have the pitching edge, a much better offensive match up facing a road-weary righty, and a bog edge in the bullpen (White Sox 'pen 5.33 ERA L3 vs. A's bullpen 3.83 ERA L3). A's protect their house, like they usually do against the White Sox, in this Sunday afternoon showdown!

Take Oakland behind Gonzalez over the Chicago White Sox and Vazquez in this MLB match up.

3♦ OAKLAND

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VEGAS EXPERTS

Los Angeles Angels at Cleveland Indians

The Angels are simply a vastly superior team when compared to the Indians and a 24-9 record not only in day games, but vs. southpaws as well, justifies them as a play this afternoon. Huge pitching mismatch here as well with Joe Saunders taking on Jeremy Sowers, who has not won a home start in over two years. The Halos have won all five of Saunders' starts since the All-Star Break.

Play on: LA Angels

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Tom Stryker

LAA Angels vs. Cleveland Indians    
Play: LAA Angels   

Without question, the Angels are the best team in baseball and I'll side with the Halos in the rubber match of this series.

On the bump for LA will be southpaw Joe Saunders. Backing this former Virginia Tech graduate shouldn't be a problem for anyone. Overall this season, Saunders has tossed 152.2 frames and been touched for only 52 earned runs and 134 hits. That shakes down to a strong 14-5 record and a respectable 3.07 ERA. Joe's efforts with the sun shining are noteworthy too. With 43.2 daytime innings in the bank, No. 51 has surrendered just 16 earned runs and 49 hits. That's good enough for a stellar 5-0 mark and a decent 3.30 ERA!

Cleveland will counter with lefty Jeremy Sowers. So far this year, Sowers efforts have been average at best. With 77.1 innings on the books, Jeremy has been tagged for 54 earned runs and 92 hits. That adds up to a woeful 1-6 record and a lofty 6.28 ERA! To make matters worse, the former Vanderbilt Commodore hasn't won in the city of Cleveland since knocking off Detroit back on August 25th, 2006!

Technically speaking, this is a phenomenal spot for Los Angeles. The Halos have cashed 23 of their last 31 facing southpaws and nailed 39 of their last 54 with Saunders on the mound. Meanwhile, with Sowers pitching, the Tribe has dropped eight of their last nine provided they're matched up against a greater than .500 foe.

The Angels own a huge edge on the mound and they'll scoop up this victory. Take LA with listed pitcher Saunders.

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TONY WESTON

Even though the Royals come into this game as a huge dog, consider that they've played the Yankees nine times this season and are a very respectable 5-4 against the Evil Empire. And of those five wins the Royals were dogs in each and every game, including two of the last three that have been played in New York.

Over their last three meetings in the Bronx, the Royals have been installed as dogs each time out. On June 9 the Royals were installed at +206, then Friday night they were +191 and both times they won. And last night, Kansas City was set at +163 and barely lost 3-2 in extra innings.

Also consider that of the four losses the Royals have against the Yankees this season, two have been by one run. Also, the last time they faced New York scheduled starting pitcher Mike Mussina, the Royals beat the Yankees 4-3 on June 9 in New York.

The Royals will continue their success against the Yankees and get over on Mussina today. Go with the huge dog and take Kansas City on the road.

3♦ ROYALS

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JAKE TIMLIN

Sunday selection is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Short and sweet with this selection all thanks to the Buccaneers preseason dominance of New England. You see for Tampa Bay if August games counted they would be one amazing team as the Buccaneers have been able to beat New England six straight times in the preseason, including a 13-10 cover win last season. Well thanks to being at home and facing a New England team that like to rest it's star players look for Tampa Bay to continue to own the Patriots in the preseason. After all thanks to being on a run of 9-3 ATS as a preseason chalk it is clear that Tampa Bay is focused when it comes to preseason games.

Easy call Take the Buccaneers minus the home chalk

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Sean Michaels

25 DIME PLAY

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

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JEFF BENTON

Although it scored a shaky 13-10 win over the Giants last week at home pushing as a three-point favorite Detroit remains one of the worst bets in preseason football over the last several summers. The Lions are 4-12-1 ATS in their last 17 exhibition games, 2-8 ATS in their last 10 on the road and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 as an underdog.

If that's not enough, Lions coach Rod Marinelli has said his starters will see limited action tonight (about 20 plays), meaning we're going to get a heavy dose of Detroit's crappy backups, including unheralded QBs Dan Orlovsky and Drew Stanton.

As for the Bengals, with this being a home game, I bet we see Carson Palmer and the No. 1 units longer than normal (and they played into the second quarter in last week's 20-17 win over Green Bay). Also, Cincinnati has won and covered two of its last three Week 2 exhibition games, and the Bengals are on a 7-3 roll at home in August (6-4 ATS) and 4-2 ATS in their last six as a favroite.

Throw in a very reasonable pointspread, and I?ll back the host in this one.

3♦ CINCINNATI BENGALS

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LT Profits

Cincinnati Reds -105

Edinson Volquez of the Cincinnati Reds appeared to regain his great form in his last start, which is bad news for the St. Louis Cardinals here today.

Volquez may have been the favorite to win the Cy Young Award at the All-Star break, but he has now probably fallen out of contention due to a poor second half. However, he was given a couple of extra days off prior to his last start, and he responded by allowing just one run and five hits in 6.2 innings vs. the Pirates. Volquez should be doubly tough on a St. Louis lineup that has yet to face him.

Meanwhile, Cardinal starter Kyle Lohse continues his descent after pitching over his head ealier in the year. Lohse has now gone four consecutive starts without recording a Quality Start, posting a dreadful 7.48 ERA over those outings. In fact, he has struggled on the road all year despite his 6-3 record, as he has a 5.40 ERA and a poor 1.66 WHIP away from home.

Not only do the Reds have the better starting pitcher here, but they also have the better bullpen, ranking sixth in the majors with a 3.49 pen ERA. Thus, this seems like a modest price at home.

Pick: Reds -105


Tampa Bay Buccaneers -2.0

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots have opposite philosophies when it comes to preseason, and because of this look for the Bucs to come out on top in this contest broadcast nationally on NFL Network Sunday night.

The Patriots are now 7-8 against the spread in preseason since 2004, including their opening 16-15 home loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week. Coach Belichick oftentimes holds out his stars in these games for precautionary reason, such as with Tom Brady last week.

Brady is expected to play the entire first quarter this time around, but the rest of the contest could be an adventure as none of the three backup quarterbacks distinguished themselves last week. That trio of Matt Cassel, Matt Gutierrez and Kevin OConnell collectively completed just 17 of 33 passes with two interceptions.

Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia and starting running back Earnest Graham are both expected to see their first action of the preseason this week, and this game actually means something to the Bucs. After all, it would be a major morale booster if they can beat the Super Bowl favorites in front of their home fans and a national TV spotlight.

Finally, somewhat surprisingly, Tampa Bay has flourished as preseason favorites, going 9-3 against the spread in this role the last five years

Pick: Buccaneers -2

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Locksmith Sports

1 Unit on Atlanta Braves +125

The Braves finally picked up a home win yesterday and I like that momentum to carry over to today's game.  We'll bet the Braves showing great value in the home dog role.  The Giants are just 1-5 in their last 6 overall, 1-6 in their last 7 road games, and 1-7 in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.  The Giants are also just 5-12 in the last 17 meetings in Atlanta .  I know Lincecum is on the hill today, but the Giants haven't been able to support their pitchers consistently enough all season long and I don't see it happening here.  The Braves are a dominant 35-16 in their last 51 home games vs. a team with a losing record and yesterday's win gets them back on track.  Bet the Braves.

mvbski
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Re: Sunday Service Plays

Scott Delaney

I know this is an absolute shot in the dark, but I looked at this game and said to myself: Everyone will have the Giants with Tim Lincecum and his 7-1 road mark against the Braves and Charlie Morton, who is 0-5 at home with a 9.00. Why wouldn't they Lincecum has been the breath of fresh air for the Giants, posting an 11-3 mark on the year, a 2.68 ERA and he's 3-0 in his last three starts against Atlanta, including an Aug. 6 outing in Frisco, where he allowed two earned runs over eight frames.

On top of that, the Braves slumped into this series, they've looked terrible and Morton is no saving grace for the hapless National League tribe. That being said, ever heard the phrase too good to be true That's what we have here a gut instinct and that's why I am taking a shot with an underdog no one expects to win today. Play the pup, and shock everyone else who will have Frisco and Lincecum.

1 DIME BRAVES

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