MONDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Re: MONDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Tom Freese

Boston Bruins at Edmonton Oilers
Prediction: Boston Bruins

Boston is 6-1 vs. a team that allowed 5 or more goals in their last game and they are 5-2 after scoring 5 or more goals in their last game. The Bruins are 5-2 their last 7 road games vs. a team with a win percentage of over 60%. Edmonton is 0-8 vs. the Northeast Division and they are 0-6 their last 6 games vs. the Bruins. PLAY ON BOSTON

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Re: MONDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Drew Gordon

Tampa Bay at PHILADELPHIA -180 

Sorry Rays-backers, but your fairytale has come to an end, as the Phillies take care of business in Monday's elimination game at Citizens Bank Park and here's why:

First and foremost, they have the ideal pitching match up with their ace, Cole Hamels, on the hill for this one. Besides being great throughout the regular season, Hamels has taken it to another level in the postseason, going 4-0 with a lockdown 1.55 ERA! With Hamels pitching we can count on 2 things: A. He'll deliver 7+ strong innings, handing it off to the Majors best bullpen. And B. He'll stifle an already ice-cold Rays offense, which has had issues all season on the road against lefties.

Its no secret the Rays DO NOT hit lefties well on the road, batting .231 on the road against southpaws this season. They average just 3.6 runs per game in that spot, and even worse, are batting just .187 as a team in the Series... A match up against the red-hot Hamels is the LAST thing they need!

Guys, after watching the Phillies score 10 runs yesterday, powered off of 4 dingers, is there any question who's offense has the edge at Citizens Bank Park? Despite hitting terribly with runners in scoring position, the Phillies have managed to produce, thanks in large part to their power-based offense playing at the launching pad they call home.

While there's no doubt Scott Kazmir was rock-solid for the Rays this season, his postseason efforts have been only average, going 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in 4 starts. The fact he's matched up against Hamels makes his room for error next to nothing, as we saw in Game 1. Also, unlike the Rays, the Phillies do hit lefties well, batting a solid .276 against them at Citizens Bank Park, averaging a hearty 5.6 runs per game in that spot!

Bottom line, say hello to your 2008 World Series Champs - the Philadelphia Phillies, as they do what they do best, win at home (6-0 there this postseason) behind their ace Monday night. Price is steep, but with good reason, as they've got all the necessary edges to finish off the sputtering Rays - home field, an offense thats found its swing again, their ace on the mound, and the Majors best bullpen.

Take Philadelphia behind Hamels over Tampa Bay and Kazmir in Game 5 of the World Series.

3♦ PHILADELPHIA

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Re: MONDAY SERVICE PLAYS

Michael Cannon

Indianapolis at TENNESSEE 

Take the over tonight in the Monday Night game between the Colts and Titans.

Indy obviously has the ability to put points on the board, but the Titans are coming off a 34-10 pasting of the Chiefs last week.  Not that the Chiefs are anything this year, but for Tennessee to put that up on the road is a sign that this offense is taking it to another level.

Let’s face it; Monday Night games have brought out the best in offenses this year, as the over is on an 8-0-1 run.

For the Colts, the over is 4-1 in their last five division matchups and 5-2 in their last seven after a non-cover.

For the Titans, the over is on runs of 21-10-1 in October and 6-1 in Week 8.

Take the over for your free winner.

3♦ OVER

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Re: MONDAY SERVICE PLAYS

LT Profits

Ottawa Senators +140

The Ottawa Senators have lost four straight games while the Buffalo Sabres are currently in first place, but we actually see value on the Senators at an inflated price.

First of all, the Sens played their best defensive game in a long time at Toronto on Saturday, albeit in a 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs. It could simply be that they are relieved to be on the road at this point after catching so much slack from their home fans lately.

They now visit a site in Buffalo where they have actually had success, as they won each of their last three visits here last season, with all three of those wins being by at least two goals. If they play defense tonight and check as well as they did on Saturday, we see no reason why the cannot extend that road success here.

Now the Sabres are 6-0-2, but keep in mind that each of their last four games have been decided either in overtime or in a shootout. In other words, Buffalo has been rather lucky, and they are bound to finally taste defeat sooner or later.

Now that the oddsmakers are starting to hang these big odds on the Sabres, why not tonight at a nice price?

Pick: Senators +140


Tampa Bay Rays @ Philadelphia Phillies Over 7.5

While Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies is one of the best pitchers in baseball, Scott Kazmir of the Tampa Bay Rays has not been as good on the road as he has at home, and playing in this bandbox of a ballpark makes the Over attractive at this low number at plus odds.

Kazmir has a losing 4-6 record on the road, and he was not even that sharp when he faced the Phillies at home in Game 1, although he did somehow escape with a Quality Start. Kazmir allowed three earned runs in six innings that night, which is the cheapest Quality Start possible, and he allowed 10 baserunners while laboring through 110 pitches.

Furthermore, the Phillies are finally heating up offensively, as they blasted four home runs while scoring 10 runs last night, and pitching in this stadium can be disconcerting to any road pitcher that does not pitch here regularly, which is obviously true of any American League hurler.

Now granted, Hamels has been dominant in the post-season, and he figures to come up big in this series deciding game. However, we would not be surprised to see the Phillies score about six runs themselves tonight, meaning that the Rays would only need to score a couple of runs to go Over this rather low posted total.

That is certainly conceivable, and the plus odds that the bookmakers have attached to this low Over makes it that much more attractive.

Pick: Rays, Phillies Over 7.5

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