Tuesday Service Plays

Tuesday Service Plays

Bryan Leonard

Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls
PICK: Milwaukee Bucks +6

The Bulls enter the season a banged up bunch as Larry Hughes leads the injured parade as he will miss two to four weeks with a dislocated shoulder. Likely to play but not 100% will be Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Ben Gordon and Tyrus Thomas. "With all the injuries, it's hard to get something engraved in stone," Coach Del Negro said. "We've had different mix-and-match lineups out there. The flexibility with the lineup needs to be there right now. Maybe it needs to be there all year. I'm not sure yet." The Bulls didn't play well in the preseason and they played five different starting lineups in the eight games. Chicago started slow last year and we can see another tough go early on until a rotation is set.In a poll of NBA general managers the Milwaukee Bucks were one of the teams voted to be the most improved coming into the season. They too have played poorly in the preseason as injuries have hurt team chemistry. Andrew Bogut has missed time and key spark plug Charlie Bell just made it back into the lineup.But the major reason we side with the underdog Bucks here is because of the coaching. Scott Skiles takes over in Milwaukee after having been fired by the Bulls last season. He knows the Chicago players better than anyone and he knows how to attack them. Plus you can bet he has a bitter taste in his mouth from his days in Chicago where high expectations didn't equal the proven talent on the team. The Bulls counter with Vinny Del Negro who has never been a head coach at any level.
PLAY MILWAUKEE

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SPORTS ADVISORS

Buffalo (3-4, 4-3 ATS) at Ohio (2-6, 4-2-1 ATS)

Ohio takes the field on a Tuesday night for the second straight week, this time at home as it hosts Buffalo in a battle of Mid-American Conference East Division rivals.

The Bobcats went to Temple a week ago and took a 10-0 lead into the fourth quarter before giving up two touchdowns in the final 11 minutes, including the clincher with 1:51 to go, to lose 14-10, pushing as a four-point underdog. Ohio, which has alternated SU wins and losses in its last five games, came up short despite allowing Temple just 143 total yards (64 rushing, 79 passing), but the Bobcats’ offense sputtered in netting just 267 yards (47 rushing) while committing the game’s only two turnovers.

Buffalo has been idle since Oct. 18 when it edged Army 27-24 in overtime, snapping a three-game losing skid but failing to cover as a 10½-point home favorite. It was the second straight overtime game for the Bulls, who have seen four of their last five contests decided on the final play. Buffalo is averaging 26.7 points and 326 yards in its last three outings, but giving up 28.3 points and 376.3 total yards during this stretch.

The Bulls (1-2 SU and ATS in MAC play) are in third place in the East Division, while Ohio is a half-game back and tied with three other squads at 1-3 (1-2-1 ATS).

This is the 10th consecutive year that these schools have faced each other, with the home team winning nine of the 10. That includes Buffalo’s 31-10 rout of the Bobcats as a four-point home underdog last season, ending Ohio’s three-game SU and ATS winning streak in this rivalry. The SU winner has cashed in each of the last five clashes, and the ‘dog is 4-2 ATS in the last six.

Going back to 1997, Ohio is 6-0 SU against the Bulls at home (3-1 ATS in lined contests).

Buffalo has cashed in five straight road games and is on further pointspread runs of 9-2 against teams with a losing record, 4-1 after a non-cover and 7-1 following a SU win. Ohio is on ATS streaks of 5-2-1 overall, 7-2 at home, 9-3-1 in October, 13-3 on grass and 6-1 after a SU defeat.

The over is 17-7 in Buffalo’s last 24 conference games, 7-3 in Ohio’s last 10 in MAC play and 5-1 in Ohio’s last six at home. Also, two of the last three head-to-head meetings have topped the total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OHIO and OVER


Houston (4-3, 2-4 ATS) at Marshall (3-4, 1-5 ATS)

Houston looks to keep pace with 19th-ranked Tulsa in Conference USA’s West Division when it travels to Marshall for a nationally televised league clash.

The Cougars are off to a 3-0 start in Conference USA action (2-1 ATS), most recently holding off SMU 44-38 on Oct. 18 but failing to cover as a 14-point road favorite. Houston’s three-game winning streak follows a three-game losing skid, and the Cougars are mired in a 2-9 ATS slump in lined games dating to last season.

Marshall suffered its third loss in a row and its first in conference play on Oct. 18, falling 23-21 at UAB as a 2½-point road favorite. The Thundering Herd are tied atop the East Division with East Carolina at 2-1 (1-2 ATS), but they’re 1-6 ATS in their last seven games dating to last year’s season finale.

These teams met last year in Houston, with the Cougars winning 35-28 but coming up short as a 12-point home chalk, thanks in part to the fact they committed the only two turnovers in the contest. The game featured 838 yards of total offense, with Houston piling up 472.

The Cougars have a massive offense edge coming into this one, putting up 39.3 points and 544.3 total yards per game (402.3 passing ypg), while Marshall manages just 19.1 points and 332.7 total yards per contest (205 passing ypg).

In addition to its ongoing 2-9 ATS funk, Houston is in pointspread ruts of 2-5 in Conference USA action, 1-5 on the highway and 2-5 against losing teams, but the Cougars are 4-1 ATS in their last five following a bye. Meanwhile, the Thundering Herd have failed to cover in six consecutive games on artificial turf and they’re 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight following a bye week.

For the Cougars, the under is on runs of 6-2 in conference games, 11-5 in October, 6-2 in conference action and 4-0 on turf. Meanwhile, Marshall is on under streaks of 4-1 overall, 4-1 at home, 6-2 in Conference USA play, 5-1 in October and 4-0 on turf. Finally, last year’s meeting in Houston stayed low.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


NBA

Cleveland (52-43, 47-48 ATS) at Boston (82-26, 65-40-3 ATS)

The Celtics begin defense of their NBA championship when they tip off the 2008-09 season at home against LeBron James and the Cavaliers in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals.

Boston added superstars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to its roster prior to last season, and the duo combined with Paul Pierce to post the NBA’s best regular-season record. The Celtics were tested in three rounds of the Eastern Conference playoffs, but rolled through the Lakers in six games to capture their 17th NBA title. Doc Rivers’ squad closed out the playoffs on a 7-0 ATS run, cashing in all six games of the NBA Finals.

Cleveland took the Celtics to seven games in the second round of last year’s playoffs, with the home team winning every contest. The Cavs cashed in six of the seven games against Boston (5-0 ATS in the last five), and they went 10-2 ATS in the postseason (5-2 ATS on the road). However, they closed out the regular season in a 3-9 ATS slump (2-4 ATS on the road).

Including last year’s playoff series, the host has won 12 consecutive meetings in this rivalry, but Cleveland is 9-2 ATS in the last 11, including 5-1 ATS in its last six trips to Banknorth Garden. Also, the underdog is on a 9-4 ATS roll in this series.

The Celtics cashed in 15 of their last 20 home games (playoffs included), and they went 18-5 ATS in their last 23 regular-season games. However, they’re mired in ATS slumps of 3-8 against Eastern Conference foes and 3-8 versus the Central Division.

Boston went 48-7 at home last year (34-20-1 ATS), while Cleveland was 20-28 on the highway, but 27-21 ATS.

For Boston, the under is on runs of 20-9 against Central Division foes and 5-2 on Tuesdays, while the Cavs are on under streaks of 13-6 overall (all against the Eastern Conference) and 8-3 against the Atlantic Division. Finally, the under is 5-3 in the last eight head-to-head meetings.

ATS ADVANTAGE: CLEVELAND and UNDER


Milwaukee (26-56, 34-47 ATS) at Chicago (33-49, 36-46 ATS)

Coming off one of their most disappointing seasons in years, the Bulls look to regain their playoff form when they open up by hosting the Bucks at the United Center.

Considered by many to be the favorite in the Eastern Conference heading into last season, Chicago fell flat, losing their first four games and 10 of their first 12 and never recovered, snapping a three-year playoff run. The Bulls ended the 2007-08 campaign in an 8-13 slump (9-12 ATS) and finished with a 20-21 home record (17-24 ATS). On the bright side, the franchise won the NBA draft lottery, and they used the No. 1 overall pick to select point guard Derrick Rose.

Milwaukee capped its fourth straight losing season with nine consecutive SU losses and five straight non-covers, a pair of losing skids that carry over to tonight. The Bucks finished with its fewest number of victories since the 1995-96 season and went just 7-34 on the highway (16-25 ATS).

The SU winner cashed in each of Chicago’s last nine games last spring, and the winner was 18-5 ATS in the Bucks’ last 23 games.

The Bulls are 7-1 SU against Milwaukee over the past two seasons, but only 4-4 ATS. In fact, the Bucks cashed in three of the four series meetings a year ago, the lone exception being a 151-135 loss as a one-point home favorite in the second-to-last game of the season. Finally, in this rivalry, the visitor is 6-1 ATS in the last seven battles.

Chicago covered in eight of its last 11 against the Central Division, while Milwaukee enters this season is in ATS funks of 3-9 on the highway and 7-19 against the Eastern Conference.

The Bulls ended last year on a 6-1 “under” streak, but the over was 24-16-1 in their 41 home games and 10-4-1 in their final 15 divisional contests last year. For Milwaukee, the over is on runs of 24-9-1 overall, 9-4-1 on the road, 17-6-1 against the Eastern Conference, 7-2 in divisional games and 31-12-1 on Tuesdays. Lastly, the over is 6-2 in the last eight series meetings between these division rivals (3-0 last three) and 5-0 in the last five clashes in Chicago.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


Portland (41-41, 43-39 ATS) at L.A. Lakers (71-32, 56-44-3 ATS)

The Lakers begin their quest to repeat as Western Conference champs when they host Greg Oden and the upstart Trail Blazers at the Staples Center in Hollywood.

Los Angeles rolled through the Western Conference in last year’s postseason, going 12-2 SU and 10-4-1 ATS. However, Kobe Bryant and Co. were no match for the Celtics in the NBA Finals, losing in six games while going 0-6 ATS. The Lakers closed out the regular season by winning eight of their last nine games, but they went just 4-7 ATS in their last 11.

The Blazers were one of the NBA’s biggest surprises last year, but they struggled over the final 2½ months of the season, losing 21 of their final 34 games to miss out on the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. However, they did close on a 16-10 ATS run, going 5-1 ATS in the last six.

The home team dominated this rivalry last year, winning all four games, but the Blazers cashed each time. In fact, Portland is on a 21-5 ATS roll against the Lakers, including nine consecutive spread-covers going back to March 2006, all as an underdog. Furthermore, the pup is 22-4 ATS in the last 26 series clashes. Finally, L.A. is 12-2 SU in the last 14 meetings at Staples Center, but the Blazers are 5-0 ATS in their past five trips to Hollywood.

The Lakers failed to cover in five of their last seven home games (all in the playoffs), but they enter this season on pointspread streaks of 12-4-1 against the Western Conference, 7-2-1 versus the Northwest Division and 11-5 on Tuesdays.

Los Angeles went 40-12 at Staples in 2007-08, but 25-26-1 ATS. Meanwhile, the Blazers were dismal on the highway last year, finishing 13-28 SU, but they cashed at a 21-20 clip.

Portland begins the year on under streaks of 10-3 overall, 17-5-1 on the road, 36-15 against the Western Conference and 5-1 versus the Pacific Division. Also, the under is 8-3 in the Lakers’ last 11 overall and 5-1 in their last six at home. Lastly, seven of the last 10 battles between these teams in Los Angeles have stayed low.

ATS ADVANTAGE: PORTLAND and UNDER

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Jim Feist

MILWAUKEE BUCKS / CHICAGO BULLS
Take: CHICAGO BULLS

It's not like new coach Vinny Del Negro walked into a rebuilding situation. The Bulls have a lot of talent, with rookie guard Derrick Rose, 6-10 Drew Gooden and Luol Deng locks to start. Bucks center Andrew Bogut missed Friday's exhibition finale with an ankle injury, but coach Scott Skiles said Bogut is expected to play Tuesday. Consistency has not been a strong point for the Milwaukee Bucks, going 1-6 in the exhibition season. For coach Scott Skiles, it was more of the same for the Bucks in their 95-76 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night at the Target Center. The Bucks played well early and led by 13 points late in the second quarter. In the second half, however, they let Minnesota dominate on its way to a lopsided victory. The Bucks shot only 36.3% and have had trouble playing defense the last two years. The more talented home team rolls, play the Bulls!

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Jimmy The Moose

Boston Bruins at Vancouver Canucks
Prediction: Vancouver Canucks

Prior to last night's game in Edmonton the Bruins had dropped 4 of their last 5 games. The Bruins have lost 5 of their last 7 games. Boston is 5-13 in their last 18 road games. In their last 21 games playing the back end of a back-to-back they are 5-16. Vancouver is also struggling but will play a good game at home. The Canucks are 8-3 in their last 11 games vs. Northeast opponents. Vancouver will be better rested and will take this one. Play on the Canucks -.

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Big Al McMordie

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls
Play: Under     

At 8:35 pm, our complimentary selection is on the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks 'under' the total. Scott Skiles, the ex-Chicago coach, is now the top man in Milwaukee, and I expect him to imprint the Bucks with his trademark hard-nose style of play. Look for the offenses to be a bit out of synch in Game 1 of the season, as over the past 18 years, the 'under' has been a 57% ATS play in the first game for each team. Take Milwaukee + Chicago 'under' 194.5.

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Jeff Hochman

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers    
Play: Los Angeles Lakers -7.5

The Lakers are a team on a mission this season, and with a healthy Andrew Bynum back this team is loaded. Not just loaded, Super Loaded! Portland Center Greg Oden begins his sophomore season although it's really his rookie year after missing all of 2007-08. He will show some rust and nerves in his first NBA game of meaning. Portland will get better and better as the season goes along. This is not a good spot for them on TNT.

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Sean Higgs

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls    
Play: Milwaukee Bucks +6

Opening night finds GREAT VALUE on the hardwood. I have a BEST BET LOCK going tonight, but for the FREE MONEY, why don't you unload on the Bucks. Milwaukee is 5-2 ATS last 7 in Chicago. The underdog is 4-1 ATS last 5, and the road team 6-1 ATS last 7. We will stick with those trend and take the Bucks.

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Karl Garrett

Buffalo +1' at OHIO 

In college football, I will side with Buffalo to come through against Ohio.

Not at all impressed with what I saw from Frank Solich's team last week in their come-from-ahead loss to the Temple Owls, a team Buffalo did beat earlier this year.

Buffalo came into coach Turner Gill's third season with a 9-5 spread mark as a road dog, and they have covered all 3 games this season in the dog role, covering at Pittsburgh, Missouri, and Central Michigan already.

No reason the Bulls can't take this game outright, as Ohio just hasn't looked like a team that can be counted on to come through when the chips are down.

I also found a stat that shows the Bobcats are 0-8-1 against the spread the week before taking on Bowling Green. Guess who Ohio U has on deck? You got it, a home date with Bowling Green!

Take Buffalo plus any points available.

1♦ BUFFALO

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Bobby Maxwell

Cleveland at BOSTON -6' 

The defending world champs open defense of their title at home tonight against the Cavs and if there was one thing we could count on last season was betting Boston when they were in front of the home fans. We think it'll continue that way for a while and we'll lay the chalk with them tonight.

The Celtics went 15-5 in their final 20 home games last season, including the playoffs, and they were 48-7 SU (34-20-1 ATS) at home last season. Boston was 18-5 ATS in their last 23 regular season games but they were just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 against teams from the Eastern Conference.

The Cavaliers took Boston to seven games in the second round of the playoffs with the home team winning every game. In this rivalry, the home team has won 12 straight meetings.

Cleveland has added Mo Williams to the lineup to go alongside LeBron James and center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. I still don't see a lot of scoring coming from the Cavs. Meanwhile the Celtics will be getting their rings tonight and celebrating a championship. They won't let the crowd down and the Big Three of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will deliver a big win. Play Boston.

2♦ BOSTON

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Sports Gambling Hotline

Portland +7' at LA LAKERS 

Opening night in the NBA, and we will take the generous points with the Portland Trail Blazers, as Portland takes on the Lakers at the Staples Center.

Of course the Lakers will benefit from having a healthy Andrew Bynum clogging up the middle, but the same can be said for Portland having Greg Oden finally playing in his first official NBA game.

The Blazers made some noise last season, and we think coach Nate McMillan will have this young team making some noise again this season.

Portland has had nice success in recent meeting with LA, as the Blazers have won 4 of the last 7 series tilts outright, and they have covered in ALL 7 of those meetings dating back to 2006.

The points seem quite generous to us, especially with Kobe Bryant not dealing at 100%.

Play on Portland plus the points in this one.

2♦ PORTLAND

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Tony Weston

We’re coming at it tonight with our first NBA action of the season as The Association tips off the 2008-2009 season. We’re coming at it with an easy winner as we’re taking the Bulls over the Bucks tonight.

Both Milwaukee and Chicago come into tonight looking to take that next step this season and finally make into the postseason. At least for Chicago last season ended on a solid note as the Bulls won three of four SU and ATS the final four games of the season. The Bucks, on the other hand, went 0-8 SU and 2-6 ATS to finish the season and lost five consecutive games ATS.

The Bulls ended up going 8-3 ATS their last 11 games against the Central division, while the Bucks went 3-9 ATS their last 12 on the road and were 7-19 their last 26 games against the Eastern Conference.

Chicago has a lot of upside this season and will start the season with an easy win over the Bucks.

Take the Bulls at home tonight.

3♦ BULLS

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DUNKEL

Cleveland at Boston
The defending champs open up at home where they are 10-5 ATS over the past three seasons when favored between 6 1/2 and 9 points.  Boston is the pick (-6 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Celtics favored by 8.  Dunkel Pick: Boston (-6 1/2). 

Game 501-502: Cleveland at Boston
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland 121.876; Boston 130.154
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 8; 176
Vegas Line & Total: Boston by 6 1/2; 179 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-6 1/2); Under

Game 503-504: Milwaukee at Chicago
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee 106.849; Milwaukee 113.986
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 7; 197 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 6; 194 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-6); Over

Game 505-506: Portland at LA Lakers
Dunkel Ratings: Portland 119.562; LA Lakers 124.443
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 5; 191 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: LA Lakers by 7 1/2; 196 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Portland (+7 1/2); Under


NHL

Colorado at Calgary
The Avalanche started the season with three straight losses, capped by a 5-4 defeat at Calgary on October 14.  But Colorado will be looking for some revenge tonight as the Avs return to the Saddledome with a five-game winning streak.  Colorado is the underdog pick (+120) according to Dunkel, which has the Avalanche favored straight up by 1.   Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+120).   

Game 1-2: Nashville at Washington
Dunkel Ratings: Nashville 11.168; Washington 12.222
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Washington (-155); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-155); Under

Game 3-4: Philadelphia at Atlanta
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia 12.691; Atlanta 10.665
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia (-125); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-125); Under

Game 5-6: Carolina at Montreal
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 11.355; Montreal 12.721
Dunkel Line & Total: Montreal by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Montreal (-190); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Montreal (-190); Under

Game 7-8: Tampa Bay at Toronto
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay 10.622; Toronto 12.016
Dunkel Line & Total: Toronto by 1 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Toronto (-145); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-145); Over

Game 9-10: Colorado at Calgary
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado 13.232; Calgary 11.918
Dunkel Line & Total: Colorado by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Calgary (-140); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+120); Over

Game 11-12: Boston at Vancouver
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 10.929; Vancouver 12.235
Dunkel Line & Total: Vancouver by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Vancouver (-140); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Vancouver (-140); Over

Game 13-14: Pittsburgh at San Jose
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 12.904; San Jose 11.570
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: San Jose (-170); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+150); Over


NCAAF

Buffalo at Ohio
The Bulls come into the contest with a 16-8 ATS record as an underdog over the last three seasons, including 3-0 this season.  Buffalo is the underdog pick (+1 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Bulls favored straight up by 2 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (+1 1/2). 

Game 301-302: Buffalo at Ohio
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 78.475; Ohio 76.021
Dunkel Line: Buffalo by 2 1/2; 46
Vegas Line: Ohio by 1 1/2; 50 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (+1 1/2); Under

Game 303-304: Houston at Marshall
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 84.325; Marshall 78.152
Dunkel Line: Houston by 6; 55
Vegas Line: Houston by 8; 62 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Marshall (+8); Under

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Locksmith Sports

1 Unit on LA Lakers -7.5

The Lakers will waste no time washing the sour taste of a NBA Finals defeat out of their mouth tonight.  While Portland gets to have Greg Oden on the court this season, he will be neutralized tonight by the twin towers of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.  And then there's Kobe Bryant, who the Blazers will have no answer for tonight.  Portland scored just 92.9 points per game on the road last season while LA averaged 109.2 at home.  The Blazers don't have the explosiveness to stick with LA tonight.  Lay the points.

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Jeff Alexander Sports

1 Unit on Houston/Marshall UNDER 63

While Houston both scores and gives up a lot of points, odds makers have set the bar too high here. Marshall has been very good defensively at home this season, allowing just 19.7 ppg. The result has been a 2-0 Unders mark in Marshall's only two lined home games this season. In last season's meeting, the total was set at 65.5 and Unders players cashed with the final score totaling 63 points. Interesting that that is the total we see here. Last year's game was at home for Houston and the Cougars will not score as many points on the road. We'll take the under as this one doesn't make it out of the 50's.

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Tom Freese

Game: Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs
Prediction: Toronto Maple Leafs

Tampa Bay is off to a terrible start going 1-6 their first 7 games. The Lightning are 15-30 off a home game and they are 17-38 off one or more losses. Toronto is 15-3 their last 18 games vs. the Lightning including 4-0 their last four meetings. PLAY ON TORONTO

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Alex Smart

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics
PICK: Cleveland Cavaliers +6.5

The defending NBA champion Boston Celtics open up defense of their title this Tuesday night in the TDBanknorth Garden against super star LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. The Celtics are once again the most loaded team in the East and are the early season front runners for another 1st place finish.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers after taking the Celtics to 7 games in last years playoffs, are now ready, to contend for Eastern conference dominance themselves. With James coming into his prime, and the off season acquisition and addition of top tier offensive component Mo Williams to the line up , the Cavaliers become an extremely dangerous adversary for all comers.

Look for these two rivals to go head to head in a hard fought closely contested battle this evening.

Final notes & Key Trends: Cleveland has covered 5 straight meetings in this series, and 5 of of the L/6 here in Beantown. The underdog is 10-4 ATS L/14 meetings.

Projected score: Boston 90 Cleveland 89 – Cavaliers to cover 

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Larry Ness

Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls
PICK: Chicago Bulls -6

The Bulls finished with the third-best record in the Eastern Conference two years ago and had high expectations for last season. However, they finished just 33-49, hitting an NBA-worst 43.5 percent on FG attempts while ranking 18th in points scored (97.3 per). Scott Skiles was let go during the season (fired last Christmas Eve, after Chicago struggled to a 9-16 start) and interim coach Jim Boylan was not retained. The Bulls eventually hired Vinny Del Negro out of the Phoenix front office, giving him his first coaching job (good idea or bad?). Chicago native Derrick Rose was the NBA's overall No. 1 pick in last year's draft and will make his Bulls debut tonight. It looks like Ben Gordon will continue to come off the bench to add a scoring boost, with Hinrich (off his worst season as a pro) starting alongside of Rose in the backcourt. Deng, Thomas and Gooden will start up front, with Nocioni getting plenty of time as well. The new-look Milwaukee Bucks will visit the United Center tonight and former Bulls coach Scott Skiles will be on the bench. No longer with Milwaukee are Yi Jianlian (team's first-round pick from LY), Desmond Mason, Bobby Simmons and Mo Williams. New to the Bucks are All-Star forward Richard Jefferson (Nets), RG Luke Ridnour (Sonics) plus draft picks Joe Alexander and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Ridnour will take over for Williams at the PG position (huge drop-off!), joining Redd in the backcourt. Jefferson is terrific and will join Villanueva and Bogut up front. Skiles is known as a defensive-oriented coach and he'll have is work cut out for him as Milwaukee ranked 23rd scoring defense (103.9 PPG) last season. Jefferson was quoted as saying, "It's a matter of us all pulling together, believing in his system and working to see how quickly we can get our chemistry right." Good luck! The Bulls have won five straight home games over the Bucks and 12 of the last 14 meetings between the two teams here at the United Center. Lay the points.

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Nostradamus

Buff/Ohio Over 51
Milwaukee +6
Portland +7.5
Atlanta +105
Nash/Wash Under 5.5 +100
Montreal -200
Col/Calg Over 5.5 -135
Pitt/SJ Over 5.5 -110

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LT Profits

Buffalo U +1.5

Very little separates the Buffalo Bulls and the Ohio Bobcats statistically, but the one major difference is at quarterback, and that is where we expect Buffalo to win this game on the road.

The Bulls are piloted by Drew Willy, who has completed 62.8 percent of his passes while averaging 7.41 yards per pass attempt, tossing 14 touchdown passes against just four interceptions.

As a result, Buffalo is averaging a very commendable 27.0 points per game, and if the Bulls could open up a lead here, Ohio is not particularly equipped to come from behind. That is exactly what happened last season when Buffalo beat these Bobcats at home by a 31-10 count.

Ohio has gotten erratic quarterback play from Boo Jackson, who has almost as many interceptions (eight) as he does touchdown passes (nine). As a result, the Bobcats are 1-6 straight up vs. Division 1A competition this season, which in itself makes them vulnerable as small favorites.

The Bobcats managed just 10 points at Temple last week, and a repeat performance should mean another loss vs. this Buffalo offense.

Pick: Buffalo +1.5


Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics Under179.5

The World Champion Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers played a slew of low-scoring games last season, and we do not see tonight being any different.

These clubs faced each other 11 times including their seven-game playoff series, and those 11 meetings averaged only a combined 177.5 points. Furthermore, the six meetings here in Boston averaged just 168.8 points.

Of course, one reason that the Celtics won the title was that they played some of the best defense in the league, and this was especially true in Beantown, as they limited their home opponents to a miniscule 87.9 points per game during the regular season with the Under going 23-16-2, 59.0 percent.

Then again, another reason these teams played so many low-scoring games was that the Cavaliers were also an Under-friendly team. The Cleveland peripheral players had a very bad habit of feeding the ball to :LeBron James and then standing around and watching him in admiration, so when King James is a bit off, the Cavs offense becomes very stagnant.

The Celtics ate expected to make his job as uncomfortable as possible tonight, so look for yet another low scoring affair.

Pick: Cavaliers, Celtics go Under 179.5

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Re: Tuesday Service Plays

Rocketman

Buffalo @ Ohio 
Play: 1* Ohio

Buffalo is 0-3 on the road this year.  Ohio is scoring 39.5 points per game at home this year.  Ohio is 6-0 SU at home vs Buffalo since 1992.  Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.  Bobcats are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a SU loss.  Bobcats are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.  Bobcats are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games on grass.  Bobcats are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.  Bobcats are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 home games.  Bobcats are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 games in October.  Bobcats are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.  Bobcats are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.  Home team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.  We'll recommend a small play on Ohio tonight! 

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