Thursday Service Plays

Thursday Service Plays

Jimmy The Moose

Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Prediction: Chicago White Sox

The White Sox have been playing playoff baseball for the last two games needing two big wins to make it to the playoffs. Chicago is 11-1 in their last 11 playoff games. In their last 6 road playoff games the White Sox are 6-0. In their last 14 games following an off day they are 10-4. Vazquez takes the mound this afternoon and although he's struggled over his last few starts expect a big game from him. Tampa is a young team and expect the inexperience in playoff action to get to them today. They will be a nervous bunch and it will show. Play on the Chicago White Sox +.

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SPORTS ADVISORS

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Pittsburgh (3-1, 0-4 ATS) at (10) South Florida (5-0, 1-3)

South Florida finally gets around to its Big East opener when it plays host to Pittsburgh at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

The Bulls pounded the ACC’s North Carolina State 41-10 Saturday, getting their first spread-cover of the season as a 10-point road chalk. QB Matt Grothe (20 of 29, 259 yards, 1 TD) was sharp, but USF’s ground game was the real difference-maker, grinding out 245 rushing yards. The Bulls also forced two safeties and won the turnover battle, 3-0.

The Panthers rallied past Syracuse 34-24 in their Big East opener last week for their third straight win. However, they came up short as a 14-point road favorite, failing to cash for the fourth straight week – all as a favorite. Pitt dominated the stat sheet against the Orange, finishing with a 407-263 yardage edge, including 241 rushing yards, with LeSean McCoy netting 149 yards on 28 carries, and the Panthers nearly doubled Syracuse in time of possession (38:20-21:40).

South Florida has won and cashed in the last two meetings in this rivalry, following a 2-0 SU and ATS run by Pitt. Last year, USF posted a 48-37 road win giving nine points.

Although the Bulls have failed to cover in four of their last five games, they still carry positive pointspread streaks of 6-1 in Big East matchups at home and 9-3 overall at Raymond James. The Panthers are on a 4-1 ATS run as a road ‘dog, but they are in ATS funks of 1-5 on Thursday, 3-9 after a non-cover, 4-10 against winning teams and 4-9 in conference play.

The over for South Florida is on streaks of 7-1-1 overall, 5-0 at home and 4-0 against winning teams, but the under is 8-2 in Pitt’s last 10 lined games overall and 5-2 in its last seven Big East contests.

ATS ADVANTAGE: SOUTH FLORIDA


Memphis (2-3, 2-2 ATS) at UAB (1-4, 2-2 ATS)

Memphis hits the road to take on Alabama-Birmingham in a meeting of the bottom two teams in Conference USA’s East Division.

The Tigers topped Arkansas State 29-17 Saturday as a 1½-point home underdog and have now cashed in two straight lined games. RB Curtis Steele was the key, racking up 203 yards and a TD on just 22 carries (9.2 ypc) in helping Memphis to a 453-352 edge in total yards.

The Blazers are coming off Saturday’s 26-13 loss to South Carolina, but easily covered as a heavy 26-point road pup despite finishing with just 209 total yards while giving up 353. Also, the Gamecocks held the ball for 10 more minutes than UAB.

Last year, Memphis topped UAB 25-9 as a 9½-point favorite, snapping the Blazers’ seven-game winning streak (6-0-1 ATS) in this rivalry. The underdog is 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight series clashes.

The Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last six on the highway, 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 after a spread-cover and 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine against losing teams. On the flip side, the Blazers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 overall and are on additional pointspread slides of 4-10-1 at home, 2-5 in Conference USA play and 2-7-1 after a spread-cover.

The under is 9-3-1 in UAB’s last 13 games overall, 6-2-1 in its last nine conference affairs and 8-3 in Memphis’ last 11 following a spread-cover,

ATS ADVANTAGE: MEMPHIS and UNDER


Oregon State (2-2 SU and ATS) at (15) Utah (5-0, 2-1-1 ATS)

Coming off an incredible home upset against top-ranked USC, Oregon State steps out of the Pac-10 when it travels to Salt Lake City to take on 15th-ranked Utah of the Mountain West Conference.

The Beavers opened up a 21-0 halftime lead against the No. 1-ranked Trojans a week ago, then held on for a 27-21 victory as a massive 24-point home underdog in a prime-time Thursday game. Oregon State rode the legs of diminutive freshman running back Jacquizz Rodgers, who rushed for 186 yards and two TDs on 37 carries. The Beavers also forced two turnovers, committing none and outgained USC 343-313, including 176-86 on the ground.

The Utes had no trouble with Division I-AA Weber State on Saturday, rolling 37-21 in a non-lined home game. Utah, which led 37-7 early in the fourth quarter, got a solid start from QB Brian Johnson (18 of 22, 194 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT), and the Utes also ran for 180 yards while yielding just 56 on the ground.

Utah is looking to avenge last year’s season-opening 24-7 loss at Oregon State, which easily covered as a 5½-point home chalk. In that contest, the Utes lost Johnson and RB Matt Asiata in the first half, helping the Beavers outscore Utah 17-0 in the second half.

The Beavers are on a 9-3 ATS run overall and are on further pointspread streaks of 4-0 after a SU win, 4-1 against the Mountain West and 39-17 after a spread-cover. Likewise, the Utes are on several ATS tears, including 8-3-1 overall, 8-4 at home, 7-2 as a double-digit favorite and 24-8-1 in non-conference games.

The over for Oregon State is on stretches of 4-0 on the road and 5-2 against winning teams, while Utah has topped the total in five straight games overall, six straight non-league contests and 20 of its last 28 at home. However, last year’s meeting in Corvalis, Ore., easily stayed under the posted total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


N.L. DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

Milwaukee (0-1) at Philadelphia (1-0)

After carrying the Brewers to their first playoff berth in 26 years, CC Sabathia (11-2, 1.65 ERA) takes the mound on three days’ rest for the fourth consecutive start when he opposes the Phillies and Brett Myers (10-13, 4.55) in Game 2 of the best-of-5 NLDS at Citizens Bank Park.

Philadelphia continued its season-long dominance of the Brewers in Wednesday’s series opener, holding on for a 3-1 victory for its first playoff win since 1993. The Phillies are on a 14-3 overall run, going 7-0 against the N.L. Central, and they’ve won 19 of their last 25 at Citizens Bank Park. Additionally, since losing the season’s first meeting in Milwaukee, Philly has now won six straight games against the Brewers, including all five at home. Those six wins have come by the combined tally of 32-12, and the Phillies have held Milwaukee to three runs or fewer in each victory.

Milwaukee, which played its first playoff game Wednesday since the 1982 World Series, is 2-9 in its last 11 on the road, 3-12 in its last 15 against winning teams and has lost eight straight contests to N.L. East foes. On the bright side, the Brewers are on positive runs of 6-1 overall and 4-0 against right-handed starters.

Including the Game 1 result, Milwaukee is now 5-16 all-time at Citizens Bank Park, including 1-9 in the last 10.

Sabathia capped his incredible two-month regular-season run with the Brewers with Sunday’s complete-game 3-1 victory over the Cubs that allowed Milwaukee to clinch the N.L. wild card. The big lefty gave up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk in the victory, his seventh complete-game win in 17 starts with the Brewers. Milwaukee is 14-3 in those 17 outings, with Sabathia allowing two earned runs or fewer 14 times.

Sabathia went 5-2 with a 1.47 ERA in seven road starts with the Brewers, and in two interleague starts against the Phillies when he was with the Indians, Sabathia went 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA. On the downside, the reigning A.L. Cy Young winner made three starts with the Indians in last year’s playoffs, going 1-2 with an 8.80 ERA, allowing 15 runs in 15 1/3 innings.

Myers blew up in his final two regular-season starts, giving up 16 runs (14 earned) on 19 hits in just 8 1/3 total innings, losing 14-8 at Florida and 10-4 to the Braves at home. Prior to those two ugly efforts, the veteran right-hander had been on a roll, going 7-2 with a 1.80 ERA in 11 starts.

Myers was 7-5 with a 3.01 ERA in 14 starts at home, including 1-2 with a 3.92 ERA in his final three at Citizens Bank. However, the one victory was a complete-game, 6-1 rout of the Brewers on Sept. 14, as he scattered just one run on two hits and a walk in the victory. With that effort, Myers improved to 4-1 with a 1.77 ERA in eight career appearances (four starts) versus Milwaukee. Finally, Myers’ playoff experience is limited to two relief appearances last year against Colorado, when he gave up two hits and struck out three in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

The over is 5-3-1 in the last nine meetings between these teams. The over is also 10-5-1 in Philadelphia’s last 16 home games and 5-3-3 in Milwaukee’s last 11 on the highway. On the flip side, the under is on streaks of 6-1-1 with Sabathia on the mound, 7-3-1 with Myers on the hill and 16-6-2 when the Phillies face N.L. Central foes.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


L.A. Dodgers (1-0) at Chicago Cubs (0-1)

Facing a must-win situation after dropping Game 1 of this best-of-5 series Wednesday, the Cubs turn to ace Carlos Zambrano (14-6, 3.91), while the Dodgers will counter with Chad Billingsley (16-10, 3.14).

Los Angeles socked three home runs, including a fifth-inning grand slam by James Loney and a solo shot by Manny Ramirez, en route to Wednesday’s 7-2, Game 1 victory at Wrigley Field. The Dodgers, who fell behind 2-0 before scoring seven unanswered runs, are on hot streaks of 20-8 overall, 11-5 on the road, 6-0 against winning teams and 4-1 behind Billingsley. Also, last night’s victory was just their second in their last 14 postseason games since 1993 and snapped a four-game playoff road losing streak.

Chicago, which is now 55-27 at Wrigley Field this season, has lost seven straight playoff games overall and six consecutive postseason home games going back to 2003. On the positive side, the Cubs are on runs of 39-19 against right-handed starters, 22-10 against the N.L. West, 7-1 on Thursdays and 8-3 with Zambrano on the hill.

Prior to Wednesday’s win, Los Angeles had lost five of seven meetings to the Cubs in the regular season, including getting swept in a three-game set at Wrigley Field in late May by the combined tally of 8-3.

Zambrano rode a roller-coaster ride down the stretch, giving up five runs or more in five of his final eight starts, but yielding a combined four runs in his other three outings, including his first career no-hitter on Sept. 14. The burly right-hander followed up the no-no with two terrible starts against the Cardinals and Mets, allowing a combined 13 runs (all earned) on nine hits and seven walks in just 6 1/3 innings (18.47 ERA).

Despite the horrendous outing against the Cardinals at Wrigley on Sept. 19, Zambrano finished 7-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 14 home starts this year. He’s also 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 12 career appearances (eight starts) against the Dodgers. He faced them twice in a 10-day span this year with completely different results, first allowing one run on six hits in eight innings of a 2-1 home win, then getting rocked for seven runs on 13 hits in 6 2/3 innings in Los Angeles, losing 7-3.

Billingsley pitched two scoreless innings of relief in Saturday’s 2-1 win at San Francisco, while his final regular-season start was a dominating 10-1 home victory over the Padres on Sept. 23, as he surrendered a run on nine hits in six innings. Billingsley gave up three earned runs or fewer in 17 of his final 19 starts, lasting at least six innings in 14 of those outings.

Billingsley went just 6-6 on the road despite a solid 3.33 ERA, with the Dodgers losing 10 of his 16 starts on foreign soil. Also, Billingsley’s two career starts against Chicago came this year, and he went 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA, with L.A. losing 3-1 in Chicago and 5-4 at home.

While this is Billingsley’s first career playoff start, he did make two relief appearances in the 2006 divisional round versus the Mets, giving up a run while striking out three in two scoreless innings. Meanwhile, Zambrano has made four postseason starts (three in 2003, one last year), going 0-1 with a 4.37 ERA.

The over is 4-0-1 in Billingsley’s last five starts overall, 4-1-1 in his last six on the highway, 9-2 in Zambrano’s last 11 outings overall and 5-1 in Big Z’s last six at Wrigley Field. The over is also on runs of 8-3 for Chicago in the playoffs, 6-1 for Chicago in playoff home games and 6-2 for Chicago overall. However, the under is 6-3 in the last eight Cubs-Dodgers battles overall, including 4-1 at Wrigley Field.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


A.L. DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

Chicago White Sox (89-74) at Tampa Bay (97-65)

After getting three wins in three days against three different teams to capture the A.L. Central crown, the White Sox now begin their quest for their second World Series title in four years when they travel to Tropicana Field to face the surprising Rays. Chicago will hand the ball to slumping Javier Vazquez (12-16, 4.67) in Game 1, while Tampa Bay counters with James Shields (14-8, 3.56).

The White Sox extended their season by beating the Indians 5-1 on Sunday, topping the Tigers 8-2 in a weather-related makeup game Monday and edging the Twins 1-0 in Tuesday’s one-game playoff for the divisional crown. The three victories came on the heels of a five-game losing skid and a 2-8 slump, pushing Ozzie Guillen’s team back into the postseason for the first time since winning the 2005 World Series.

Chicago went 11-1 in the 2005 postseason, including 6-0 on the road. However, the Pale Hose are on current slides of 1-4 on the road, 1-7 on Thursdays, 4-10 against clubs with a winning record, 2-6 behind Vazquez overall and 1-10 when Vazquez faces the A.L. East.

Tampa Bay captured its first-ever A.L. East crown, thanks in large part to an incredible 53-17 record in their last 70 home games. The Rays are also on runs of 40-11 at home against right-handed starting pitchers, 8-3 after an off day, 14-5 with Shields on the mound and 21-7 when Shields pitches at home.

Chicago went 6-1 against the Rays in 2007, then won three of the first four meetings this year, all at Tropicana Field. However, Tampa Bay won five of the final six clashes of the season, holding the White Sox to seven runs in those five victories.

Vazquez went 2-1 with a 1.83 ERA in his first three September starts, then collapsed in his final three outings, going 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA in blowout losses to the Yankees (9-2 on the road), Twins (9-3 on the road) and Indians (12-6 at home). The veteran right-hander really struggled on the highway at 5-9 with a 5.10 ERA in 17 starts.

Vazquez was solid against the Rays in three starts this year, posting a 3.54 ERA but losing two of the three contests. For his career, he’s 5-4 with a 4.36 ERA in 12 starts versus the Rays (3-2 with a 4.40 ERA in seven outings at the Trop). Also, Vazquez’s postseason experience is limited to three games (one start) with the Yankees in 2004, and he went 1-0 with a 9.53 ERA, allowing 12 runs on 16 hits (four home runs) in 11 1/3 innings.

Shields started Sunday’s regular-season finale at Detroit, but was lifted by design after just one perfect inning. The right-hander went 5-1 with a 3.34 ERA in 11 starts over the final two months of the season, with Tampa winning eight of those 11 outings. Shields was the Rays’ best starter at home this year, going 9-2 with a 2.59 ERA in 17 starts, 14 of which Tampa Bay won.

Shields, who just completed his third big-league season, dominated the White Sox on May 30 at home, allowing just a run on seven hits in six innings but getting a no-decision in his team’s 2-1 victory. However, in two starts against Chicago last year, Shields gave up a total of nine runs and 19 hits in 14 innings, with the Rays losing both games.

For Chicago, the over is on streaks of 5-1 in the playoffs, 5-0 on Thursdays and 7-3 after an off day. Meanwhile, Tampa’s over runs include 5-1 overall, 16-5 at home, 4-1 on Thursdays, 7-2 against the A.L. Central, 20-6 versus right-handed starters, 5-2 with Shields on the bump and 4-1 when Shields pitches at home.

On the other hand, the under is 12-3 in the last 15 series meetings between these squads and 21-5 in the last 26 clashes at Tropicana Field.

ATS ADVANTAGE: TAMPA BAY

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BRAD DIAMOND SPORTS

20* Milwaukee (C. C. Sabathia) over Philadelphia

This is one of the few times we get to use the lefty over the righty in a road setting that fits in our reverse angle criteria. Not only that, but the Brewers are in must win situation and can't afford going 0-2 against the big bats of the Phillies. Thus far this season the Phillies have not faced the veteran Sabathia. Historically, that usually plays well for a team like Milwaukee, especially with their emotions amped up.Take Milwuakee to come up big emotionally on Thursday!

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Marc Lawrence

Play On: Tampa Bay w/Shields

The Rays host the White Sox in a long awaited playoff game in Tampa this afternoon when they send James Shields to the hill against the Pale Hose. Shields has been terrific at home this season, going 14-3 with a 2.59 ERA. That's more than 2 runs per game better than his 4.82 ERA on the road. With Javier Vazquez in rotten current form and owning a 5.10 ERA on the road and a 5.39 ERA at night his season, look for Shields and the Rays to grab this series opener here this afternoon.

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Jim Feist

CHW White Sox / TB Rays
Take Under

If the Rays had known that a change in name for 2008 would change their fortunes and end a decade of fumbling and bumbling, they might have done this ages ago. The previously know Devil Rays shortened their names and garnered their first ever divisional title and playoff spot. "Believe it or not, I kept on saying last year we had something special," said first baseman Carlos Pena, a grizzled veteran at age 30 who led the team with 30 home runs and 102 RBIs. The Rays occomplished this despite having the second lowest payroll on opening day. Their strong pitching staff (3.82 era) was third best in baseball. James Shields, today's starter, was a big reason for the excellent staff. Shields was 14-8 with a 3.56 era and went 10-3 with a 3.30 era his final 19 starts. At home he was almost unbeatable, going 9-2 with a 2.59 era. The White Sox trip to the post season wasn't as easy as the Rays. The Sox had to overcome a late slump, winning their final three games and a makeup on Monday against the Tigers just to force a one game playoff with the Twins on Tuesday. Jim Thome provided all the offense needed to propel the Sox to the ALDS with his solo home run in the 7th to catapult the Sox into the playoffs. "We bounce back every time we are against the wall," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. The White Sox will play the post season without arguably their best player, Carlos Quentin (broken wrist) and third baseman Joe Crede (back problems). Javier Vazquez starts today for Chicago against the Rays. Vazquez has been on a bad streak, losing his last three starts, allowing 18 eared runs in just 12 innings (13.50 era). Vazquez is 1-2 against the Rays this year with a 3.54 era and respectable .208 opponent batting average. This will be a well rested Rays staff going against a travel weary White Sox team. Look for the Sox to get little if any runs here in a low scoring game.

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THE GOLD SHEET

*SOUTH FLORIDA 26 - Pittsburgh 17—Bulls a solid investment at Tampa recently, covering 8 of their last 11 as host. And resourceful USF jr. QB Grothe rates MAJOR edge over limited Pitt counterpart Stull (only 2 TDP TY). Veteran Panther stoppers no pushovers, however, holding 9 of last 10 foes to fewer than 28 points. Visitor should hang inside roomy spread behind rushing of star soph RB McCoy. TV-ESPN (07-S. Fla. 48-PITT 37...P.20-18 S.44/193 P.34/95 P.24/38/3/298 S.17/23/0/159 S.2 P.0)
(07-Usf -10 48-37 06-USF +4' 22-12 05-PITT -1' 31-17...SR: South Florida 3-2)


*Memphis 34 - UAB 24—Blazers’ versatile jr. QB Webb possesses a few weapons, especially with speedy soph WR/return man Forrest expected back after sitting out last week. Too bad UAB defense (466 ypg) can’t hold up its end. Tigers’ deep cast of rangy WRs and emerging juco RB Steele (203 YR in win over Ark. St.) will eventually overwhelm hapless host (only 4 covers last 15 at mostly-empty Legion Field). (07-MEMPHIS 25-Uab 9...M.25-23 M.43/265 U.30/105 M.14/28/0/298 U.25/39/2/233 M.0 U.0) (07-MEMPHIS -11 25-9 06-UAB -5' 35-29 05-Uab +2' 37-20...SR: UAB 7-3)

*UTAH 31 - Oregon State 16—Dr. Phil is probably jumping up and down at the dynamics associated with this “psychology play” deluxe, as OSU off emotional mega-upset of top-ranked SC, while Utah chomping at the bit in revenge mode after LY’s opening-game loss at Corvallis when QB B. Johnson & RB Asiata were both KO’d. Stout Ute rush “D” well-equipped to slow betweenthe- tackles runs by frosh RB “Quizz” Rodgers that befuddled Trojans, and more-refined components on Utah attack capable of extending margin. (07-ORE. ST. 24-Utah 7...O.18-12 O.44/241 U.30/18 U.17/37/0/178 O.12/30/2/129 O.0 U.0) (07-OREGON STATE -6' 24-7...SR: Oregon State 9-4-1)

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JEFFERSONSPORTS

NCAA FOOTBALL EARLY RELEASE
UAB +4

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Bankroll Sports Picks

BREWERS / PHILLIES Under 8

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Jorge Gonzalez

Best Bet! MEMPHIS -3

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Dave Cokin

LA Dodgers / CHC Cubs
Take LA Dodgers

It's been 100 years since the Cubs won the World Series. If Game One of their series with the Dodgers is an indicator, make that 101. The Cubs were extremely tight in the series opener and I'm not sure the volatile Carlos Zambrano is clutch enough to rely on in what looms as a must win game. Chad Billingsley is the best of the Dodgers starters and if he's got his good control, he's a real handful for opposing hitters. LA has zero pressure on them off the impressive Game One win, and I think they're worth a play as good sized dogs in this game.

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Dunkel

Game 305-306: Pittsburgh at South Florida
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 83.239; South Florida 100.687
Dunkel Line: South Florida by 17 1/2; 44
Vegas Line: South Florida by 13 1/2; 48
Dunkel Pick: South Florida (-13 1/2); Under

Game 307-308: Memphis at UAB
Dunkel Ratings: Memphis 72.301; UAB 72.452
Dunkel Line: Even; 60
Vegas Line: Memphis by 3 1/2; 57
Dunkel Pick: UAB (+3 1/2); Over

Game 309-310: Oregon State at Utah
Dunkel Ratings: Oregon State 91.694; Utah 105.447
Dunkel Line: Utah by 14; 49
Vegas Line: Utah by 11; 53 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Utah (-11); Under

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NCAAF
Long Sheet



Thursday, October 2

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PITTSBURGH (3 - 1) at S FLORIDA (5 - 0) - 10/2/2008, 12:00 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
S FLORIDA is 2-0 against the spread versus PITTSBURGH over the last 3 seasons
S FLORIDA is 2-0 straight up against PITTSBURGH over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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MEMPHIS (2 - 3) at UAB (1 - 4) - 10/2/2008, 8:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
MEMPHIS is 7-22 ATS (-17.2 Units) after 2 or more consecutive straight up wins since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
MEMPHIS is 1-0 against the spread versus UAB over the last 3 seasons
UAB is 1-1 straight up against MEMPHIS over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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OREGON ST (2 - 2) at UTAH (5 - 0) - 10/2/2008, 9:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
UTAH is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points over the last 3 seasons.
UTAH is 38-22 ATS (+13.8 Units) in non-conference games since 1992.
OREGON ST is 69-46 ATS (+18.4 Units) after playing a conference game since 1992.
OREGON ST is 32-15 ATS (+15.5 Units) off a win against a conference rival since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
OREGON ST is 1-0 against the spread versus UTAH over the last 3 seasons
OREGON ST is 1-0 straight up against UTAH over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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ARMVIN SPORTS

MLB
10/2/2008 CHICAGO WHITE SOX 171

CFB
10/2/2008 MEMPHIS at
UAB Under 57

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Hondo

Hondo started the postseason in absolutely miser able fashion yesterday, going double-draino with the Brewers and Cubs, those lovable losers, to lower the earnings to 720 molitors.

Today, Mr. Aitch will try to make some serious series hay with the Rays over the Chisox - 10 units. Also, he doesn't think the big fat guy's out of gas yet - 10 on Sabathia to put his stamp on the Philate lists. And, finally, the one and only Jimmy Shields is no fool on the hill, so he'll pepper the Rays with an other 10.

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Tom Freese

Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs
Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles is 9-0 in Game 2 of a series and they are 6-0 their last 6 games vs. winning teams. The Dodgers are 12-4 when their opponent allowed 5 or more runs in their last game and they are 12-3 after allowing 2 or less runs in their last game. Chicago is 3-11 in the last 14 home starts made by Carlos Zambrano vs. winning teams. The Cubs are 0-7 their last 7 Playoff games. PLAY ON LOS ANGELES
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Karl Garrett

Los Angeles at CUBS

Tonight I am backing another OVER at Wrigley Field when the Dodgers take on the Cubs.

Last night LA plated 7 runs, as they used a huge James Loney grand slam to pace the attack. I have a feeling Carlos Zambrano's dead arm is going to be a real problem for Lou Piniella's team this evening, as Big Z didn't exactly close the regular season blazing, allowing 13 runs over his last 7 innings of work.

I have to believe Zambrano is just not over the tired arm issues that shut him down for a start in the last month of the regular season.

Chad Billingsly's last road start did see 6 runs score in just 5 innings of work, and this will be the youngsters first taste of postseason action, so you can expect the butteflies to be fluttering for him.

The G-Man likes the hitters to get the better of the pitchers tonight, and for this game to head OVER the posted total.

3♦ OVER
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Bobby Maxwell

Oregon State +11' at UTAH

Didn't we just see these Beavers on a Thursday night upset the best team in college football? And now they're back on Thursday night trying to pull off another upset, this time in Utah against the Utes.

While they might not pull off the outright upset, they will keep it close and make this a tough one on Utah, so we'll grab the points with Oregon State for the second straight Thursday. The Beavers beat Southern Cal 27-21 as a 24-point home underdog last week using RB Jacquizz rodgers for 186 yards and two TDs. They outgained the Trojans 343-313 and outrushed them 176-86. They did it against the tough USC defense, they can do it to Utah.

Utah beat up on in-state Division I-AA Weber State Saturday, getting a 37-21 win in a non-lined contest.

Oregon State beat the Utes last season in the opener, 24-7, cashing as a 5 1/2-point home favorite. So it will be no surprise for the Beavers with what the Utah offense is going to do. The Beavers are on ATS runs of 9-3 overall, 4-0 after a straight-up win, 4-1 against Mountain West teams and 39-17 after an ATS win.

We're not predicting an outright upset, but Oregon State is going to fight this thing down to the wire. It's going to be decided in the final two minutes and we're grabbing the points with the Beavers.

3♦ OREGON STATE
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Sports Gambling Hotline

Oregon State at UTAH -11

Looks to us like the linesmakers are setting the general public up for a sucker play on Oregon State tonight, as the knee-jerk reaction is to look at this line, and grab the Beavers plus the points, as State comes into this one fresh off their stunning upset of the USC Trojans their last time out.

We say, not so fast, as there is a reason this line is where it is, and tonight we feel the Utes will step up, and blast this Beavers team.

Utah lost a 24-7 decision on the opening week of the season last year at Oregon State. In that game, they lost both their starting quarterback Johnson, and their starting running-back Asiata to injuries.

The Utes have been itching for a payback, and tonight they get their chance at home, where they are 8-4 against the spread their last 12. Utah is also a profitable 7-2 their last 9 as a double digit favorite, while Mike Riley's Beavers are only 2-5 against the spread as a double digit road dog, and 1-5 versus the line their last 6 in non-conference play!

Blowout in the cards tonight in Salt Lake City.

Play on the Utes!

3♦ UTAH
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Drew Gordon

Oregon State at UTAH -11'

Tempting isn't it? After watching the Beavers do the improbable, upsetting USC 27-21 in Corvallis last Thursday, it might "seem" like siding with Oregon State in this spot is the smart thing to do. But mark my words, the only smart play here is Utah and here's why:

First, this is a HUGE letdown spot for the Beavers, who expended a season's worth of emotions in last Thursday's shocker. Its never easy regaining focus after a big-time win like that one, but especially in this spot, on the road versus a team seeking revenge. Oregon State took advantage of injuries to Johnson and Asiata last season, and rolled 24-7 in Corvallis... Payback's a bitch and the Beavers are about to find that out the hard way!

Second, have you seen this Beavers team play on the road this season? Let's see, a road loss at Stanford (36-28 as 2'-point favorite) and an ass-whuppin' at Penn State (45-14 as 15'-point dog) tell me everything I need to know about Oregon State's road play! Not only that, but with their PAC-10 slate on deck, I see a very unfocused Beavers team coming into this contest.

While USC may have overlooked pint-sized Jacquizz Rodgers last week, you best believe the Utes will not make that same mistake tonight. Rodgers was the key to that contest, and while Utah is no Southern Cal, they do stop the run extremely well, allowing only 60 rushing yards per game! Pop in the tape of the Air Force game, where the Utes allowed the Falcons just 1.3 yards per carry, and you'll see a team built to stop the run.

Finally, besides the revenge factor, the Beavers piss-poor road play, and the Utes ability to stop the run, the last thing I want to talk about is this Utah offense. Led by a now healthy Brian Johnson and backs Mack and Asiata, the Utes are averaging almost 40 ppg at home on 445 yards of total offense. After watching what Stanford and Penn State did to this Beavers defense on the road, there's no doubt Johnson and company take care of business tonight at home!

Take Utah comfortably over Oregon State in this college football match up.

4♦ UTAH
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Jorge Gonzalez

Play Utah -11

The Utah Utes will have revenge on their minds when the Beavers from Oregon State come to Ogden for this Thursday Night showdown on ESPN. In last year’s game, The Beavers easily took care of the Utes 24-7 on opening day. The Oregon State Beavers are coming off a huge 27-21 win over then top ranked Southern Cal. Fifteenth ranked Utah is coming off an easy 37-21 victory over FCS opponent Weber State. Utah rested all of their starters after three quarters of play. The Utes are off to their best start star since going 12-0 in 2004. The Utes started the season off by going into Ann Arbor and upsetting the Michigan Wolverines. This game is big for quarterback Brian Johnson. Johnson was injured and lost for the season in last year’s game against the Beavers. Johnson has been very impressive this season completing 69% of his passes for 1129 yards and 8 touchdowns. The Utes are also sporting one of the toughest defenses in the country. The Utes have the best defense in the Mountain West allowing just 231.4 yards per game. The Utes are especially stingy on the ground allowing a miniscule 60.2 yards per game. The Beavers have a short week and have to deal with distractions on and off the filed that come with pulling the biggest upset of the season. The Utes are a very good team that is extremely motivated in this spot. Take Utah -11.
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Jeff Scott Sports

4 UNIT PLAY

Memphis -3.5 over UAB

Tigers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games, while the Blazers are 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 home games and 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games in October. The Memphis Tigers defense had it's problems in the first 2 games of the season as they allowed 41.5 ppg and 434 ypg, plus they allowed 13 of 24 (54.1 %) 3rd down conversions during the 2 games, but since then this unit that returns 9 starters has allowed just 306 ypg, 14.7 ppg and 11-37 (29.7%) 3rd down conversions. The Memphis offense has been very good this year as they come in ranked 14th overall, 17th in passing and 32nd in rushing. They are just 62nd in scoring, but are taking on the 104th ranked scoring defense. UAB had 1 good defensive game and that was vs a FCS team as they allowed just 10 points abd 276 yards to Alabama State. That was their only win on the year so far. UAB is 0-4 vs FBS teams and their defense has been shredded in those games as they have allowed 514 ypg and 38.8 ppg over that stretch. They have also been outscored by 20.8 ppg in the 4 games vs FBS teams. Overall this offense is 66th in totall offense and 81st in scoring, while the defense is 116th overall and 104th in scoring. Memphis is clearly the better team and even though they have a 2-3 record, they have outgained all 5 of their opponents this year. Look for the Tigers to score often on this UAB defense, while the Blazers will have problems putting points on the board vs this rejuvenated Tigers' defense. Memphis by at least 14 here.


2 UNIT PLAY

3 Team 6 Point Teaser--- Pittsburgh/ South Florida Under 54.5, Utah -5 over Oregon State, Utah/ OSU Under 59


1 UNIT PLAY

UTAH/ Oregon State Under 53

The Under is 4-1 in Beavers last 5 non-conference games and 4-1 in their last 5 Thursday games, while the Under is 8-2 in Utes last 10 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game and 9-3 in their last 12 vs. Pac-10. Last week the Beavers shocked the CFB world by beating the Trojans and it was mostly due to a defense that just shut the Men of Troy down. OSU checks in with the 41st ranked defense overall and the 27th ranked D vs the pass. The Utah defense is ranked 6th overall, 5th against the run and they allow just 19.8 ppg. The Utes offense has been able to score at will in their last 4 games (41.8 ppg and 444 ypg0, but the level of competition has really been week.The only good defense they have played this year was the opener vs Michigan and they put up just 25 points and 341 yards. Oregon state has a defense that should slow them down enough to get the Under here.
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LT Profits

Philadelphia Phillies +125

C.C. Sabathia is actually getting some Cy Young Award consideration despite pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers for just half a season, but he may be vulnerable here after some overuse and his mound opponent, Brett Myers of the Philadelphia Phillies, has dominated the Brewers.

Yes, Sabathia is 11-2 in a Brewers uniform and Milwaukee as a team is 14-3 in all of his starts. However, this is his fourth straight start on three days rest, which is unheard of in this day and age. Yes, he has been magnificent and shown no signs of wear and tear lately, but he is now coming off of an outing where he threw 122 pitches.

That represents the second most pitches he has thrown in any game this season, and when you factor in his continual short rest lately, if there was ever a start where he figured to not be at his best, today is the day.

The problem is that Sabathia must be near his best if Myers duplicates his past performances vs. the Brewers. Myers faced Milwaukee once this season, but that outing was a couple of weeks ago during a Phillies four-game sweep where he tossed a Complete Game two-hitter in a 6-1 victory. That marked the fourth time in four career starts vs. the Brewers that Myers allowed two run or less!

Myers also pitched much better the second half of the year after Philadelphia gave him a reality check by ending him to the minors, and we look for he and the superior Phillies bullpen to key the upset here.

Pick: Phillies +125
---------------------------------------------------------------

Erik Scheponik

Oregon State vs. Utah
Play: Utah -11

Beavers primed for a letdown off of monumental USC upset and will be walking into a beehive tonight in Salt Lake City. Utes will be in revenge mode for season opening loss last season, a game in which they lost QB Johnson and others to injury. Utah was one of the nation's most injury-riddled teams last season, and with those players back, they are more experienced than the 14 returning starters that they list coming ito the season. They are 9-1-1$ as home favorites of 11 >, and have dominate a decent schedule including at Michigan and at Air Force. They are a more experienced team than OSU and hold a big special teams advantage in this game. I think they will jump out early and never look back against a Beavers squad that is a bit nicked up on defense, and in a bad fundamental spot after shocking the world last Thursday. Mountain West continues to be underrated despite 7-2 bowl record last 2 seasons, and a nice OOC resume this season. Utah by 14
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Bob Harvey

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs
Play: Los Angeles Dodgers +157

It’s happening again to the Cubs; The Jinx, the Curse, Steve Bartman, etc. One can only imagine what Cubbie fans are thinking after their club got whacked by the Dodgers in the opener of their NLDS. Sure they can bounce back, win three straight and move on to the NLCS. Maybe I’m starting to believe in this curse thing. Enough so in fact, that I’m taking the Dodgers and Chad Billingsley in Game 2. Billingsley blossomed this year, winning a team and personal best 16 games. He also led the Dodgers in strikeouts and along with Derek Lowe, carried the club over the last month of the season. Granted Billingsley didn’t have good numbers against the Cubs during the regular season (0-1, 4.91 ERA) that was “Pre Manny”. The Dodgers are a much better club offensively and Man Ram has added a swagger to a team that appeared dead in August. The Cubs will counter with Carlos Zambrano who’s had a real Jekyll and Hyde last few weeks. He no-hit Houston on September 14th, but since then he’s been spanked. He’s lost twice, allowing eight runs in just under two innings against St. Louis and he gave up allowed eight runs on six hits in just under two innings against St. Louis and tanked again in a 4 2/3-inning stint in which he was knocked around for five runs on three hits. I’m going with the hotter team and certainly the hotter pitcher in Game 2.
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Jeff Alexander Sports

Oregon State vs. Utah
PLAY Oregon State +11.5

I don't foresee a letdown out of Oregon State here, rather a more confident team following a dominant performance against USC last week. Oregon State is 6-0 ATS off a close win by 7 points or less over a conference rival over the last 3 seasons and 31-15 ATS after 2 or more consecutive wins against the spread since 1992. The Beavers are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games overall and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a SU win. Take the points.
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Vegas Experts

Oregon State at Utah

The Beavers are 23-16-1 all-time vs. current MWC members, including a 24-7 win over these same Utes in 2007 as OSU held Utah to just 196 total yards (only 18 rushing). Oregon State is a perfect 6 for 6 vs. the number when coming off a conference win by seven points or less. Due to the public's belief that the Beavers are due for a letdown, we can now grab double-digits with the visitor and this is a team that since 1992 has gone 32-15 ATS when coming in off BB covers!

Play on: Oregon State
----------------------------------------------------

JB's Computer Picks

Tampa Bay Rays -180
Philadelphia Phillies +125
Chicago Cubs -160

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Triple Threat Sports

SERIES PLAY

3* Tampa Bay (-160) over Chicago

White Sox got here thanks to being very good at home. Problem is, they are on the road for three games of this series, and the Rays were the best team in the majors at home this year, going 57-24. Also, the field at The Trop is turf, and the White Sox are 4-16 on carpet this year, 1-3 here in Tampa. Finally, Chicago shot all of its bullets to get here, as three consecutive pitchers went on three days rest to get the Pale Hose to this spot, whereas Joe Maddon was able to rest starters and get things set up for this.
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Brandon Lang

10 Dime Pittsburgh

5 Dime Oregon State

FREE - Memphis
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BIG AL

At 6:05pm our selection is on the Milwaukee Brewers over the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies drew first blood in game one behind a brilliant pitching performance by lefthanded ace Cole Hamels. But perhaps lost in that game was the fact that the Philly bats barely got the job done. There is plenty of reason for optimism on the part of Milwaukee as in that first game, 2nd-year starter Yovani Gallardo only gave up three hits in four innings and the three runs he surrendered were unearned. The Brewer bullpen completely shut things down in the last four innings, yielding only one additional Philly hit. In fact, had Ricky Weeks not committed his ghastly error earlier in the contest, the Brewers might have taken game one in what would have been a huge upset. If Philadelphia thought it had a tough time hitting Gallardo, wait until it has to face what is probably the best pitcher in baseball as CC Sabathia will take to the mound on only three days rest. If anyone can come back in a situation like this, it's the big (6'7", 290 lbs) lefthander who pitched the Brewers' last game of the regular season, putting them in a position to be the latest team to ruin the Phillies' postseason aspirations. If Sabathia can beat the Phils and their very inconsistent righthanded starter Brett Myers, then they only need to split the next two games and they will be in the position they desparately want: to have Sabathia available for the fifth and deciding game. Take the Brewers. As always, good luck...Al McMordie. And don't miss my Daytime Totals Winner (we cashed yesterday on the 'under' in Milw/Phil), or my two Football plays (we cashed our FB play last night on Boise St).

At 2:30pm our selection is on the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays 'over' the total.

At 9 pm, our selection is on the Utah Utes over Oregon State. Last week, we had the Beavers over USC as our Thursday Night Game of the Month for September, and Mike Riley's men rewarded us with an upset 27-21 win over the Trojans as 25-points underdogs.
--------------------------------------------------------

BEN BURNS

BLUE CHIP TOTAL

WHITE SOX / RAYS UNDER


CUBS

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BEN BURNS

BIG EAST GOY

I'm taking the points with PITTSBURGH. I have a lot of respect for South Florida but I also believe that Pittsburgh is much better than most people think. Keep in mind that the Panthers entered the season with a top 25 ranking and were being hailed as one of Pittsburgh's best teams in several years. Many bettors are very down on the Panthers, as they have gotten off to an 0-4 ATS start this season. However, a closer look shows that they're still 3-1 SU and that the lone loss came in their first game and was by only 10 points. Yes, that was a devastating loss in the opener but the Panthers have bounced back with three straight "character" wins. Looking back to last year and we find that the Panthers are 6-5 SU their last 11 games but that NONE of their five losses came by greater than 11 points. Given their tendency to avoid getting blown out, it's no surprise to find that they are 5-1 ATS the last six times that they were listed as underdogs of greater than eight points. The Bulls do come off an impressive beatdown of NC State, which has helped to keep tonight's line generously high. However, it should be noted that their three previous games were all decided by eight points or less. The Bulls beat a Sun Belt Conference team (Florida International) which was winless at the time, by only eight points. They were also taken to overtime by a Central Florida team which has been outscored by a 92-20 margin by Boston College and Utep in two games since that time. The Bulls' lone home game vs. a 1-A team (they did blowout 1-AA Tennessee Martin) resulted in a 3-point win over Kansas. These teams have met five times since 2001. South Florida has won three of those games, including each of the last two. However, none of the Bulls' three victories came by greater than 11 points. Conversely, Pittsburgh's two victories (2004 and 2005) both came by a minimum of 14 points. While the Panthers have now gone 0-5 ATS their last five September games, they typically tend to get going as the weather gets a bit cooler in October. In fact, they're 9-2 ATS their last 11 games played in October. While they didn't cover the spread last week at Syracuse, the Panthers can take some positives from the game. That's because they were trailing 24-16 in the fourth quarter. Faced with a fourth-and-inches at their 33, the usually conservative coach Dave Wannstedt elected to go for it. The gamble paid off and Pitt. never looked back, outscoring Syracuse by an 18-0 margin in the fourth quarter. It was the biggest deficit that the Panthers have ever overcome under Wannestedt and it gives them plenty of confidence, as does the fact that they were a healthy 11 of 18 on 3rd down. In fact, it should also be noted that the Panthers were also 4-for-4 on fourth down against Iowa the previous week, although all of those fourth down plays came while on the Hawkeyes' side of the 50. Either way, I believe that those are the type of things that build positive momentum and I expect the Panthers to carry that momentum into this evening's extremely important game. Note that the Panthers are 3-1 ATS the last four times they were coming off a victory over a conference opponent and is a profitable 27-15-2 ATS their last 44 in that situation. Look for them to build on those stats as they take this evening's game down to the wire with a solid shot at the upset. *Big East GOY


ANNIHILATOR

I'm laying the points with UTAH. I was on Oregon State in its victory over USC, so I do have a healthy respect for the Beavers. However, I expect the venue and the situation to prove too much for the still relatively young Beavers to handle. For starters, it's a natural letdown spot after recording one of the biggest upsets in team history. Additionally, the Beavers have already lost both their road games, most recently getting crushed 45-14 at Penn State. While they don't get nearly as much recognition as the Nittany Lions, the Utes are also a very strong team. They're already 5-0 including a victory at Michigan. Looking back to last season and we find that the Utes have won 13 of their last 14 games (including the win over Navy in the bowl game) with the lone loss coming at BYU. Last season, Utah began the year with a loss at Oregon State, suffering key injuries in the game. The Utes followed that up by losing their home opener vs. Air Force the following week. However, they have responded by winning seven straight games here with each of those victories coming by a minimum of 16 points. The Utes believe that they have the talent to go undefeated this season and get to a BCS Bowl game. They do still have tough games vs. TCU and BYU on tap but they get both those games at home. The win over Michigan was a big help to their case and they know that a convincing blowout win over the Pac-10 team that defeated #1 USC will also go a long way. The fact that the Beavers beat them last year and the fact that the Beavers beat USC last week will ensure that the Utes are fully focused on the task at hand. The Utes have been excellent as favorites of this size in recent seasons. In fact, they're a perfect 6-0 ATS the last six times that they were listed as favorites in the -10.5 to -21 range. This is a chance to get revenge from last year and make a statement nationally. Look for them to respond with a convincing double-digit victory. *Annihilator

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Bob Balfe

Phillies/Brewers Under 8
Myers/Sabathia

Cubs -165 over Dodgers
Zambrano/Billingsley

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Maddux Sports

3 units on Chicago Cubs -165
3 units on Chicago & Tampa Bay Under 8.5
3 units on Tampa Bay -180

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Charlies

500* South Fla -13½
30* Memphis -3
20* Oregon St +11
20* White Sox @ Tampa Bay Under 8½
10* Cubs -160
COMP Milwaukee -135

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