Thursday Service Plays
Re: Thursday Service Plays
NLDS Game of the Year 20*
Maybe the Cubs are destined to NEVER win? The Cubs became the first franchise to win back-to-back World Series titles in 1907 and 1908, but haven't won since. However, the Cubs were the NL's best team in 2008, winning 97 games while batting .278 as team and scoring an NL-high 855 runs (5.31 per). The Cubs opened the NLDS on Wednesday having gone 52-26 in Wrigley Field this season, outscoring opponents 5.60-to-4.19 RPG. They were facing LA's veteran righty Derek Lowe, whose road ERA (4.42) was more than two runs higher than his home ERA (2.30), which fit perfectly for Chicago, as the Cubs were 40-20 in Wrigley vs right-handers, averaging 5.2 RPG. Pitching for Chicago was Ryan Dempster, who was 14-3 with a 2.86 ERA at home in '08, with the Cubs going 16-4 in his 20 home starts. The Dodgers were just 36-45 on the road this year (outscored 4.31-4.73) and only 53-56 on the season vs right-handers (4.0 RPG). That includes going 22-33 vs righties on the road, averaging 3.7 RPG. So what happens? The Cubs took a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning but Dempster was hardly sharp for the Cubs. Dempster's lack on control finally caught up to him that inning (he would walk seven batters in 4.2 innings, tying a career high), when James Loney's hit a grand slam in the fifth. For good measure, Manny Ramirez would add his 25th career postseason HR and Russell Martin had a solo HR in the ninth. The Cubs out-hit the Dodgers 9-8 but Soriano (batting leadoff) was 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and Fukudome (batting second) went 0-for-4 with one strikeout. The Cubs haven't had a postseason win since Game 4 of the 2003 NLCS against Florida. Chicago lost the final three games of that series and was swept last year by Arizona in the NLDS. That makes seven straight postseason losses. As for LA, it was just the team's second postseason win in 14 games since 1988. Obviously, Game 2 is a "must win" game for the Cubbies. Carlos Zambrano gets the start for Chicago and he's NEVER won a postseason game. He threw Chicago's first no-hitter in 36 years on September 14 against Houston in a game moved to Milwaukee due to Hurricane Ike, striking out 10 Astros. However, in his two starts since, lasted only 6.1 innings while allowing nine hits and 13 ERs for an 18.47 ERA. Zambrano went 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA two starts versus the Dodgers this season, allowing 19 hits in 14.2 innings. In three career starts at Wrigley Field vs LA, he's 0-2 with a 5.12 ERA. None of those numbers inspire confidence but then no one saw his no-hitter coming, either. Chad Billingsley opened the '08 season 0-4 with a 6.87 ERA but wound up as LA's best pitcher this year. He finished 16-10 with a 3.14 ERA, allowing three ERs or less in 22 of his last 28 starts. However, he's in just his third season and let's note that LA was just 6-10 in his road starts TY. I'm backing the veteran Zambrano pitching for a DOMINANT home team in a "must win" game.
NLDS Game of the Year 20* Chi Cubs
Re: Thursday Service Plays
Real Animal COMP
2* South Florida -13 1/2
Pick Date: 10/02/2008
I tried to make a case for Pittsburgh today. But the Panthers are 0-4 ATS this year if you count them as a closing 2-point chalk against Iowa. Coach Wannstedt is not exactly one of my favorite mentors in the game. Meanwhile Coach Leavitt is 8-0 ATS as a home favorite of 7 ½-14 points with the Bulls. Pitt QB Stull has thrown just two TD passes on the year so something stinks in the Steel City. The problem here is if Pitt falls behind early, they may abandon the running game with talented back McCoy. That will leave it to Stull, who has been known to be rattled in the past. He’ll be throwing against a USF defense that is far more aggressive at home than on the road. Plus it bothers me that Pittsburgh actually trailed Syracuse 24-13 last week in the 3rd quarter before scoring the final three touchdowns of the game. A 2nd straight road game for Pittsburgh in a hostile environment and you know the Bulls won’t take this one for granted after seeing Pitt upset West Virginia on the highway late last season. Pitt is 2-6 ATS playing weekday football and I don’t like visitors off short weeks especially if they were on the road the previous Saturday. Many times the visiting team has off the previous Saturday. Now you are asking a coach Wannstedt, who hasn’t had a winning year yet now in his 4th season, to play two road games in five days. Plus consider this number: Last year in the regular-season finale Pitt was +29 ½ at West Virginia. Now they are getting less than two touchdowns against South Florida, which beat West Virginia in Tampa last year 21-13. QB Stull didn’t play against the tougher teams last year. Backup Pat Bostick faced West Virginia and South Florida in 2007. The only thing that bothers me about the Bulls is their defense is hurting. Four starters, linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, defensive end George Selvie, safety Carlton Williams, and nose tackle Terrell McClain are all banged up and either out or questionable. Because of that and that alone, USF is our free pick.
Re: Thursday Service Plays
UAB 31 Memphis (-3.5) 30
UAB quarterback Joe Webb has run for 465 yards on 64 rushing plays this season (7.3 yprp) and he’ll run all over a poor tackling Memphis team that has allowed 5.5 yards per rushing play this season to teams that would average 4.6 yprp against an average team. Webb is 0.5 yards per pass play below average but he should also have success throwing the football against a Tigers’ stop unit that is 0.8 yppp worse than average. Memphis has been good offensively, rating at 0.3 yards per play better than average when starting quarterback Arkelon Hall is on the field and UAB has been among the nation’s worst defensive teams through 5 games – allowing 7.0 yppl to teams that would combine to average just 5.2 yppl against an average team. That unit played surprisingly well last week at South Carolina, holding the Gamecocks to just 353 yards at 4.5 yppl and I certainly see the Blazers being better defensively with their top two defensive backs now healthy (CB Springs missed two games and 1st Team All-CUSA S Dunbar missed one game – both started last week for the first time together). I’ll call for a minor upset with UAB
S. FLORIDA (-13.5) 28 Pittsburgh 15
South Florida finally played a good all-around game last week and I was on them as a Best Bet. However, I still think the Bulls are overrated, as their defense has not played up to last year’s high standards. In fact, the USF defense has barely been better than average in allowing 4.8 yards per play in 4 games against Division 1A opponents that would combine to average 4.9 yppl against an average defensive team. Pitt is a bad offensive team (5.0 yppl against teams that would allow 5.7 yppl to an average attack) and the best part of the Panthers’ attack – their mediocre rushing attack – is likely to get stuffed by a South Florida run defense that has yielded just 3.0 yards per rushing play to teams that would average 4.3 yprp against an average team. South Florida’s pass defense has been the problem so far this season (6.1 yards per pass play allowed to teams that would average only 5.5 yppp against an average team), but Pitt’s Bill Stull (5.2 yppp against teams that would allow 6.5 yppp) doesn’t appear capable of taking advantage of that weakness. Stull will have a bit more time to find receivers if South Florida’s All-American DE George Selvie misses his second straight game with an injured ankle and DB Carlton Williams is also listed as questionable. Pitt’s defense has been great against the pass (4.8 yppp allowed to teams that would average 6.1 yppp) but the Panthers have been soft against the run (5.0 yprp allowed to teams that would average 4.8 yprp) and USF quarterback Matt Grothe (286 yards on 47 rushing plays) and the Bulls’ stable of running backs should post pretty good rushing numbers. Grothe is 0.7 yppp better than average, but he probably will have just modest stats against Pitt’s good pass defense. My math model favors South Florida by only 8 points in this game, but the Bulls are 10-0 ATS all-time as a home favorite from 7 to 14 points and they are also 11-0 ATS at home after a double-digit win when not laying more than 14 points. This looks like a good game to pass.
Re: Thursday Service Plays
Utah -11 (POD)
This might be the most interesting line movement of all. The line opened up at -8.5 and has quickly jumped to -11 and -11.5. This in part due to Utah needing a big win over Oregon State as the Beavers did beat USC to pad their own resume for a BCS birth. After all, Utah is competing the likes of BYU and Boise State for a BCS Birth coming from a school that is not one of the more well known conferences. I won't too much in detail about this game, but the long story short, do you really think Oregon State to get fired up and do well this game? This is the same Oregon State team that lost on the road to Stanford despite being favored by roughly a field goal. This is the same Oregon State team that lost to Penn State by five possessions. This is the same Utah team that drills teams at home and I think Oregon State has a big let down today. Look for Utah to absolutely pummel this team on national television to make a stronger case for a BCS Bowl Birth bid. I would not want to be a Beaver fan today. I think the Utes might just kill them.
The total for this game opened up at -4 and has actually gone down slightly to -3 in favor of the home dog UAB. There is no real line movement on the total, although with the line moving towards the home dog, it usually means an over. But, a bit more research needs to be done on this game before coming to that conclusion. This is an interesting game from the Conference USA. After all, Marshall leads the East portion of the Conference at 2-0 and Rice leads the West portion of the conference at 3-0. Memphis ranks top 20 on the nation in offense and top 75 roughly in defense. Yet, this is a game that UAB could do very well in. I understand that most of the public is on Memphis here to the tune of 63%. Why? Because they are 2-4 as compared to UAB being 1-4? In this early part of the season, just because a team has one more win before conference play has really started makes no sense. Do you realize how tough it is to win on the road in College Football - especially in conference play? Extremely tough. Just ask the USC Trojans who played Oregon State. UAB lost to this Memphis team 9-25 last year so they do have revenge and they come home after a tough loss to the Vols on the road. I wouldn't be surprised to see UAB win this game outright.
Re: Thursday Service Plays
vegas-runner | CFB Side Double-Dime Bet
309 Oregon St. 11.5 (-110) Bodog vs 310 Utah
** 2* WAGER **
Thu, 10/02/08 - 9:00 PMvegas-runner | CFB Total Double-Dime Bet
310 Utah / 309 Oregon St. Under 53.5 Sportsbetting.com
** 2* TOTAL **
I am hoping that with more and more money coming in on the OVER...we are able to get an even higher number to go UNDER with...Because of the early start in MLB (Mil/Phi), I had to Upload the play now, but I just wanted to stress that we are definately holding out for the best number possible, and will jump on UNDER 54 immediately if available...VR
Thu, 10/02/08 - 8:00 PMvegas-runner | CFB Total Double-Dime Bet
308 UAB / 307 Memphis Over 57.5 BetUS
Analysis: ** 2* TOTAL **
Thu, 10/02/08 - 8:00 PMvegas-runner | CFB Side Double-Dime Bet
308 UAB 4.0 (-120) Bodog vs 307 Memphis
Analysis: ** 2* WAGER ** (Buy the 1/2 Point)
Thu, 10/02/08 - 7:45 PMvegas-runner | CFB Side Triple-Dime Bet
306 South Florida -13.5 (-110) Sportsbetting.com vs 305 Pittsburgh
Analysis: *** NCAAFB "Prime-Time" 3* BEST BET OF THE DAY ***
Thu, 10/02/08 - 6:05 PM vegas-runner | MLB Money Line Double-Dime Bet
957 MIL (-122) SportBet vs 958 PHI
** 2* ML WAGER ** (Sabathia vs Myers)
Many are saying that CC has to be tired pitching on 3 days rest...but if you look closely you will notice that during the final stretch, the Brewers were already conditioning him for exactly this situation...and I expect him to come in ready to go...
Yesterday in the forums I covered some of the factors for this match-up...So rather than go over them again today, let's instead see where and why things may change this evening...
Yesterday was on the 2nd time Lidge had to throw more than 30 pitches in an inning, and although the Brewers didn't get to him, they did make him go deep in the count...That may really play a crucial role in this one because after throwing 35 pitches, without a night off like the last time he did it...The Brewers should come to the park feeling that this time they will get to the Phils pen...
Finally, the way the Phils scored their runs yesterday is another reason the Brewers should be feeling they can get the split on the road...and with their Ace on the mound...I see no reason why that won't happen...
The books I've spoken to are much heavier on the Phils for this one, as was expected when you make them a home dog...and the number should continue dropping as more of it comes in...Now I know from experience that many of the outfits will be buying up some dog money because they absolutely love a home dog anytime they can get it...so it's more of a situational play for them, much more than it is a capped play...because I am sure that their ratings come up with many of the same numbers that I do, which is also evident by the oddsmakers who brought the Brewers out as a fav...So in this spot, I have never feared hearing the outfits may be looking to back the dog...
So let's see if we can pick up 2 Units in this one and have them go back to Milwaukee with a 1-1 series tie...VR