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THURSDAY SERVICE PLAYS
Re: THURSDAY SERVICE PLAYS
Chicago at Minnesota
Pick: Minnesota -144
The noose is tightening around the necks of the White Sox as their lead is down to just a half game over the Twins. The Twins have taken the first two games and are playing loose and free. This is the pivotal game. If the Twins lose they are two back with three to play. The White Sox are 10 games under .500 on the road while the Twins are 25 over at home, but barely over .500 against right hand pitching. Kevin Slowey has been a full 1.5 runs better at home, 3.04 vs. his road ERA of 4.52, and the Twins are now 7-1 in his last eight home starts. Gavin Floyd has a road ERA of over four, and the Pale Hose are just 7-7 in his last 14 road starts. Minnesota has been 32-10 over their last 42 at home, and I like them to take over first place in the AL Central with the win here.
USC at Oregon State
Pick: Oregon St. +25
We're 8-2 thus far on our mid-week CFB plays. We look to take that to 9-2 with this pick. The Trojans take their #1 ranking to Corvallis to take on the Beavers of Oregon State, a team no one things can hang. USC has been impressive in their first two games, outscoring the opponents 87-10. Heck, they beat Ohio State by more than this spread. But, I like the home team in this spot. USC seems to always be one of those teams that throws up a stinker or two every year. No better spot than here. The Trojans have to be drinking their own koolaid and how can they get up for this game after their big game vs. Ohio State. If ever there's a spot for overconfidence, this is it. The USC talent is rich, but they take parts of games off, and appear disinterested at times. Who could forget a loss at home last year as a 39 point chalk to lowly Stanford. Then just two years ago, running off to a 6-0 start and looking like they were gonna run the table, they come to Corvallis as a double-digit chalk and lose the game outright. They don't show for the trivial games, and as a double-digit road chalk over the last three years they have managed just a 4-8 ATS record. Oregon State has enough offense to find the endzone a couple times and make this one stay within a lofty number. Sure, a few Beaver turnovers and this could get out of hand. But, on the flipside, a few USC mistakes and covering 25 on the road starts to look difficult. The Beavers have had two weeks to prepare for this and you know they and their fans will be up for this. Under Mike Riley, this team is 9-2 ATS coming off their bye week! If history repeats, USC will show a lack of interest in covering. Oregon State has covered five of their last six games as a home dog to a Top 10 team and USC is just 1-6 ATS in their last seven Pac-10 road openers. I'll ride the big number on the Beavers at home.