Saturday Service Plays

Saturday Service Plays

Wunderdog

Chicago at Boston
Pick: Boston -8.5

The Celtics' chance of a repeat took a blow when it was confirmed that Kevin Garnett would miss this series, and likely the rest of the playoffs altogether. That isn't the death blow for the Celtics - at least in this series. In fact, as everyone counts them out now, I look for the rest of the players to step things up and make a statement in this first game. The Bulls did a good job down the stretch as they closed at 12-4 to finish at .500. However, the biggest obstacle for the Bulls is in front of them. They are a terrible road team (13-28 on the season). They finished just 3-17 SU during the regular season on the road against this year's playoff field. That included losses here in Boston by 16 and 18 points. This series reminds me a lot of last year where the Celtics struggled on the road vs. the Hawks, but beat them to a pulp in Boston by an average count of over 25 points per game. The Bulls have not fared well on the road, but have dominated at home lately, much the same as the Hawks from a year ago. Boston is 56-35 ATS over the past two seasons vs. teams that allow 100+ points per game. They are also 53-34 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points and 55-40 ATS at home over that span. I look for the Celtics to win big at home here and will lay the points.

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Tony George

Detroit Pistons vs. Cleveland Cavaliers    
Play: Cleveland -12

Cannot doubt the Cavs with Garnett out for Boston as the front runner in the East here. They have won the last 3 times against Detroit and in their last meeting the Cavs won by 6 shooting 38% from the floor overall, getting outrebounded by 10, and shot 20% from beyond the arc and STILL WON! That rarely happens, it just shows the distance between these 2 teams. Rarely do I lay double digits in an NBA game in the playoffs, even for a free play, but the Cavs are clearly the better team in every aspect of stat handicapping. The Pistons dropped their last 3 games, and 6 out of their last 10 and come into a strong home court for Cavs limping at best. The favorite in this series is a solid 8-1 ATS the last 9 times, and I sniff a blowout here in Cleveland Saturday!

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SPORTS ADVISORS

(7) Chicago (41-41, 42-39-1 ATS) at (2) Boston (62-20, 43-39 ATS)

The Celtics begin defense of their NBA championship, but do so without injured All-Star Kevin Garnett, when they host the Bulls in Game 1 of a best-of-7 series at TD Banknorth Garden.

Boston enters the postseason having won eight of its last nine. Despite Garnett’s absence, the Celtics’ offense has been clicking, scoring 99 points or more in their last eight wins and averaging 105.3 ppg in those contests. Boston has won nine straight at home, but has cashed in just four of those games. The Celtics played 22 of their last 26 games without Garnett, who is likely out for this entire series, and went 15-7 SU but only 9-13 ATS.

Chicago’s regular season ended with a 109-98 home loss to Toronto on Wednesday as a 10½-point chalk, halting a five-game SU winning streak and forcing the team into the No. 7 seed. The Bulls are a mediocre 4-5 ATS in their last nine overall, and they’ve dropped nine of their last 12 on the highway (5-7 ATS). However, they’ve topped the century mark in 16 of its their 21 games, averaging 107.1 ppg during this stretch.

The Bulls beat the Celtics 127-121 as a 1½-point home underdog on March 17, snapping a six-game SU and seven-game ATS losing skid to Boston. Still, the Celtics are 4-0 SU and ATS in the last four meetings in Boston the past two seasons, winning by margins of 18, 16, 23 and 25 points. Also, the favorite is 6-1 in the last seven series meetings.

For the season, the Celtics are 35-6 SU at home (21-20 ATS), while Chicago is 13-28 on the highway (20-20-1 ATS).

On their way to their 17th NBA championship last year, the Celtics went 16-10 SU and 14-12 ATS, but they covered in their final seven postseason contests and finished the playoffs with a 13-1 home record (8-5 ATS). In the first round last season, Boston needed seven games to oust the eighth-seeded Hawks, going 4-0 SU and ATS at home but 0-3 SU and ATS on the road.

The Bulls are back in the playoffs for the third time in the last four years, but they missed the postseason in 2008. Since winning the third of their three consecutive NBA titles in 1998, Chicago has advanced past the first round just once, which was in 2007 when it swept the then-reigning NBA champion Heat. The Bulls are 7-2-2 ATS in their last 11 first-round playoff games.

Chicago is on ATS hot streaks of 12-3-1 against wining teams, 12-3 after a SU defeat, 6-2 as an underdog, 4-1 as a road pup and 21-7 when coming off a double-digit defeat. Boston is riding pointspread streaks of 7-3 overall, 22-9 on Saturday, 5-2 as a favorite and 11-5 when playing on two days’ rest, but it is 1-5 ATS in its last six against the Central Division and 5-11 ATS in its last 16 at home, all as a chalk.

The Bulls are on “over” stretches of 6-2 on Saturday, 4-1 in first-round playoff games and 13-6 as an underdog, while Boston carries “over” runs of 6-1 overall, 20-6 at home, 4-1 in first-round playoff contests and 13-3-1 when going on two days of rest. Finally, five of the last seven Bulls-Celtics battles in Boston have topped the total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


(8) Detroit (39-43, 34-48 ATS) at (1) Cleveland (66-16, 50-32 ATS)

LeBron James and the Cavaliers will try to turn the best record in the NBA into a lengthy playoff run when they host the Pistons in the opener of this best-of-7 series inside Quicken Loans Arena.

Detroit closed the season with three straight losses after clinching its spot in the postseason on April 10, including Wednesday’s 102-96 overtime setback at Miami as two-point road favorites. The Pistons failed to cover in any of their last four games and went just 2-6 ATS in their last eight overall.

Cleveland lost for just the second time this season at home on Wednesday, falling 111-110 in overtime to the Sixers as a three-point underdog, though James and most of the team’s starters rested. That loss snapped a five-game winning streak (4-1 ATS) for the Cavs.

The Cavaliers took three of four head-to-head matchups this season (2-2 ATS), including a 79-73 home win on March 31, coming up short as 10-point favorites. Cleveland is 11-5 ATS in the last 16 meetings with the Pistons and 5-2 ATS in the last seven at home. The chalk is 8-1 ATS in the last nine overall.

James and the Cavs reached the Eastern Conference semifinals last year where they lost a thrilling seven-game set to the Celtics. They beat the Wizards in six games in the opening round (4-2 ATS) and they went 10-3 ATS in the playoffs last season, including 5-1 ATS at home. Cleveland has advanced past the first round of the playoffs in each of the last three seasons.

The veteran Pistons have reached the Eastern Conference finals each of the last six years, including last season when they fell to the Celtics in six games (3-3 ATS). They played the Cavaliers in the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals, losing in six games and failing to cash in each contest. Detroit is 4-1 ATS in its last five first-round playoff games while Cleveland is 6-2 ATS in its last eight first-round contests.

Detroit was just 18-23 away from home this season (13-28 ATS), while the Cavaliers posted the best home mark in the NBA at 39-2 (28-13 ATS).

The Pistons are on several negative ATS slides, including 1-7 after a straight-up loss, 1-4 on the road, 1-6 against Central Division teams and 1-5 as a pup. Cleveland is 0-5 ATS in its last five games after getting two days off, but it is on a host of ATS runs, including 30-13 as a home favorite, 53-25-1 after a straight-up loss, 7-1 as a playoff favorite and 5-2 at home overall.

Detroit is on “over” streaks of 14-6-1 overall, 7-3-1 on the road and 11-4-1 against Eastern Conference teams, but the under is on swings of 18-7-1 in its last 26 playoff games as a ‘dog and 24-9-1 when it gets two days off. The Cavaliers have gone over the total in five of their last eight overall and eight of their last 11 on Saturday, but otherwise it’s all unders for them, including 22-8 after a spread-cover, 6-1-1 at home, 4-1 on two days of rest, 7-3-1 as a favorite and 39-19-1 at a home chalk. In this rivalry, the under is 29-6 in the last 35 meetings and 18-5 in the last 23 meetings in Cleveland.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


WESTERN CONFERENCE

(6) Dallas (50-32, 40-42 ATS) at (3) San Antonio (54-28, 40-40-2 ATS)

This Lone Star battle tips off tonight when the Mavericks travel to the AT&T Center in San Antonio to meet the Spurs in Game 1 of a best-of-7 Western Conference matchup.

Dallas won seven of nine (5-4 ATS) to close the season, including Wednesday’s 95-84 home win over the Rockets, cashing as a one-point underdog. The Mavs won just one of their last four road games (SU and ATS), but they did win six straight at home (4-2 ATS).

San Antonio closed the regular season with four straight wins (2-2 ATS), including a 105-98 overtime home victory over the Hornets on Wednesday, coming up short as a nine-point chalk. The Spurs’ defense is key to their success as they didn’t allow an opponent to reach triple digits in any of their final six games.

These rivals split their four regular-season games, with each getting a home and road win. San Antonio’s home win came on Feb. 24 with a 93-76 victory as a five-point favorite. The road team is 14-6 ATS in the last 20 series clashes and the underdog is 15-5 ATS in those 20. Dallas is 17-8 ATS in the last 25 meetings, including 9-2 in the last 11 in San Antonio.

Dallas is in the postseason for the ninth straight season, however it has failed to get out of the first round the last two years, losing to Golden State in six games (1-5 ATS) in 2007 and then falling to New Orleans in five games (2-3 ATS) last season.

The Spurs are in the playoffs for the 12th straight year and they’ve gotten past the first round in eight of those seasons. They ousted Phoenix in five games in last year’s opening round (2-2-1 ATS) then needed seven games to get past New Orleans in the semifinals (4-3 ATS) before losing to the Lakers in five games (2-3 ATS) in the conference finals.

San Antonio was 28-13 at home this season (17-23-1 ATS), but Dallas was just 18-23 on the highway (21-20 ATS).

The Mavericks are 4-1 ATS in their last five Saturday games and 11-2 ATS in their last 13 playoff games as ‘dogs, but they are on ATS slides of 5-12 after a spread-cover, 2-7 in opening round games and 3-7 against Southwest Division foes. The Spurs are 18-4-2 ATS in its last 24 playoff games as favorites and 4-0 ATS in their last four Saturday games, but they are just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 home games an 1-5 ATS in their last six after a straight-up win.

For Dallas, the under is on runs of 12-4 on the road, 12-2 as a ‘dog, 10-3 as a road ‘dog and 13-6 against Southwest Division teams. For the Spurs, the over is on runs of 5-1 at home and 6-1 after a non-cover, but the under is 4-0 in their last four playoff games as a favorite. In this rivalry, the under is 5-1 in the last six meetings in San Antonio.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


(5) Houston (53-29, 40-1-1 ATS) at (4) Portland (54-28, 46-36 ATS)

The Trail Blazers are back in the postseason for the first time in six years and they play host to the Rockets for Game 1 of this best-of-7 series inside the Rose Garden.

Portland won six straight to end the regular season (5-1 ATS), blowing out its final three opponents – the Clippers, Thunder and Nuggets – by margins of 15, 20 and 28 points, respectively. The Blazers didn’t allow a team to get more than 98 points in any of the six wins.

The Rockets had a five-game winning streak snapped in Dallas on Wednesday, losing 95-84 as one-point favorites, costing themselves the Southwest Division crown and a No. 3 seed in the playoffs. They averaged just 85 points in their final two contests and four times in their last seven they failed to get more than 93 points in a game.

The host won all three meetings between these two this season, with the Blazers going 2-1 ATS in the process. Houston has won seven of the last eight against Portland (4-4 ATS), including three of the last four played in Oregon (2-2 ATS).

The Rockets are in the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, but they have lost six straight playoff series and haven’t gotten out of the first round since 1997. They were eliminated by the Jazz in six games last season (3-3 ATS) and they are just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 first-round playoff contests.

In addition to not making the postseason for six seasons, Portland hasn’t advanced out of the first round since 2000.

The Blazers were certainly tough at home, going 34-7 (27-14 ATS) while the Rockets went 20-21 SU and ATS on the highway.

Houston is on ATS slides of 2-5 as a playoff underdog, 1-5 on the road and 0-5 on the road against teams with winning home records, but it is on ATS positive streaks of 4-0-1 after getting two days off, 6-2 on Saturdays and 4-1 after a straight-up loss. Portland is on a plethora of positive ATS trends, including 13-3 overall, 21-8 as a favorite, 20-8 after a straight-up win, 7-3 in first-round playoff games, 7-1 after getting two days off, 6-0 at home and 5-1 on Saturdays.

The Rockets are on a host of “under” streaks, including 9-3 on the road, 12-4 after a non-cover, 5-2 as playoff ‘dogs, 6-1 as a pup and 4-1 after getting two days off. For the Trailblazers the over is on runs of 6-2 at home, 4-0 against teams with winning records and 11-5 as a favorite of up to 4 ½-points. In head-to-head matchups, the over is on a 4-0 streak.

ATS ADVANTAGE: PORTLAND


NATIONAL LEAGUE

St. Louis (8-4) at Chicago Cubs (6-4)

Two fierce N.L. Central rivals continue their four-game weekend series at Wrigley Field, with the Cardinals sending Kyle Lohse (2-0, 1.12 ERA) to the hill opposite Chicago’s Ryan Dempster (1-0, 4.50).

The Cubs got a two-run home run from Alfonso Soriano in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally past St. Louis 8-7 on Friday after the Cardinals won the series opener 7-4. Chicago is now 56-27 in its last 83 at Wrigley Field and 4-1 in its last five on Saturday, and the Cubs have won 18 of the last 27 clashes against the Cardinals at home.

St. Louis had a two-game winning streak halted with yesterday’s loss, but is still 7-2 in its last nine. Going back to last season, the Redbirds are on solid runs of 14-4 overall, 5-1 against Central division foes, 7-2 against right-handed starters and 21-9 on Saturday, but they’re now 6-15 in their last 21 road games.

Lohse has surrendered a combined three runs (two earned) on eight hits and a walk while striking out eight in his first two outings, leading St. Louis to home wins over the Pirates (9-3) and Astros (3-0). The veteran right-hander has recorded a quality start in eight of his last nine outings, giving up three runs or fewer in all nine contests. The Cardinals are 5-0 in Lohse’s last five starts overall and 4-0 in his last four against N.L. Central opponents, but 1-5 in his last six on the road.

Lohse was 7-4 with a 4.43 ERA in 15 road starts last year and 0-1 with a 6.38 ERA in three contests against the Cubs. For his career, he’s 1-2 with a 5.15 ERA in seven starts versus Chicago, but 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA in two games at Wrigley.

Dempster picked up an 8-5 win at Milwaukee on Sunday despite giving up four runs in six innings. He’s making his first start of the season at Wrigley Field, where he was 14-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 20 regular-season starts last year. With Dempster on the bump, Chicago is on streaks of 17-5 at home and 4-0 on Saturday.

Dempster faced St. Louis three times last year, going 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA, with both wins coming at home. The veteran right-hander is 6-5 with a 4.65 ERA and 15 saves in 37 career appearances (11 starts) against the Cardinals.

For St. Louis, the over is on streaks of 12-3 overall, 7-1 against right-handed starters, 35-16-3 on Saturday and 3-1 with Lohse facing the Cubs, while Chicago has topped the total in four of its last five against the N.L. Central and five of Dempster’s last seven outings at home.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER

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Carlo Campanella

Cleveland Indians at NY Yankees

After the slow start, Cleveland has finally woke up and started to play some baseball in New York. They spoiled the Yankees home opener in the new stadium by shelling NEw York, 10-2. In the second meeting New York struggled to hold on to a 6-5 victory and now enter game 3 on Saturday on the wrong side of a Pitching MisMatch. The Yankees start Wang on the mound, who;s already been shelled for 15 Earned Runs in just 4.7 Innings Pitched this season! Cleveland has beaten Wang in 2 of his last 3 starts against them, so we're calling for Cleveland to pull the upset in the third game of this 4 game series.

Play on: Cleveland

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Vegas Experts

Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers

While it's true that the Blazers are inexperienced, it's also true that they are an incredible home team. They finished the regular season 34-7 SU at the Rose Garden and maybe even more impressive is that they covered 26 of those games. Home team won all three head-to-head meetings this season. Portland is a perfect 8-0 ATS this season when coming off a home win by 20 or more points and a perfect 9-0 ATS if they allowed 85 points or less in their previous game.

Play on: Portland

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Game Time Sports Advisors

Milwaukee Brewers vs. New York Mets    
Play: New York Mets   

This is about as heavy a fave as we will lay, and this is a low Santana number. Youngster Gallardo is not yet proven. Still, the Mets are 11-2 in his last 13 starts, and 6-1 last 7 home starts. Santana will do his part giving up 2 runs, and the Mets offense should be able to muster some runs here. And if they don't look for Santana to start his whining like he usually does after a loss pointing fingers.

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Craig Trapp

Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs    
Play: Over 185.5

It's back, NBA Playoffs!! Can anyone stop the Cavs or Lakers? We are about to find out about all of these questions and so many more!!

Today we look at a once proud champion and a billionair owners toy team. Texas twosome here and we have the free winning total today. Lets take a look at the records and trends in this matchup!!

Records

Dallas Mavericks 50-32 overall 40-42 ATS

San Antonio Spurs 54-28 overall 40-40-2 ATS

Total Betting Trends

-Over is 4-1 in Mavericks last 5 playoff games as an underdog.

-Under is 12-4 in Mavericks last 16 road games.

-Over is 5-1 in Spurs last 6 home games.

Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in San Antonio.

SA Spurs are not the once proud defensive team they used to be. In fact this is the first time in the last 5 years that they let teams shoot over 45% from the field. If that is not enough they don't have Ginobli and now have to play a much worse defender. SA can score with most teams but can't lock teams down. Dallas is not a defensive team and they can't win playing half court they must push the ball. High scoring game here easy cover on the total. SCORE DAL 101 - SA 99

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Alex Smart

Houston Astros -126

The Houston Astros host the Cincinnati Reds in the second game of this 3 game series this Saturday night in Minute Maid Park. A hair raising comeback led the Cincinnati Reds to victory in their series opener in Houston on Friday night .Now with redemption on their agenda the Astros will come out here primed to perform. Who better to take their frustrations out on than Reds starting pitcher Aaron Harang who in two starts against Houston last year went 0-2 along with a ugly looking 9.00 ERA. During his career the Reds righty has proven he does not like facing Astors hitters as is evident by allowing 23 home runs in 19 starts. Final notes & Key Trends: Reds are 2-10 in Harangs last 12 road starts. Houston is 10-3 L/13 as home chalk. Play on the Houston Astros

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James Patrick

Rockets vs. Trailblazers

Game #1 in Western Conference action pits the Rockets at the Rose Garden as hosts of Portland. This series has gone Over the Total in 4 straight meetings and the Blazers are Over the Total in 6 of 8 ATS as both a home favorite and in home games. Big Game James Patrick's complimentary selection in NBA Playoff Opening Round action is #Houston-Portland Over the Total.

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Marc Lawrence

Play On: Florida w/Johnson

The Marlins continue to swim in winning waters thanks in part to their domination of the Nationals this season. With Josh Johnson 5-0 in his career team starts with a 2.64 ERA against Washington, look for Florida to improve to 19-3 in this series as the Marlins continue their early season assault here this afternoon.

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Dave Cokin

CINCINNATI REDS VS HOUSTON ASTROS
Take: CINCINNATI REDS

Wandy Rodriguez can be very tough at home, but the one thing the Astros almost never get from Rodriguez is lots of innings. Wandy rarely last seven frames and managed to go eight innings just once last season. That means the Houston bullpen is going to get involved here and that's good news for the Reds, particularly with closer Jose Valverde mired in an early season slump. Aaron Harang has been very impressive thus far and appears to be back to 100%. Harang is one of those April go with pitchers, as he's a robust 13-6 lifetime in the season's opening month. Off the dramatic comeback win Friday night, I think the Reds are worth a play today.

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Scott Spreitzer

Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins
Prediction: Over

These two ought to knock each other's staffs all over the Metrodome again tonight. Darrin Oliver has been rocked at this venue with a hefty 6.83 ERA in five tries. He's facing a lineup that clocked southpaws in home night action a season ago. One scary thought for Mike Scioscia is his bullpen. Thought to be the one savior while his starters get healthy, the pen has taken their lumps through the first 11 days of the season, getting crushed again last night. I also expect the Halos to plate their share of runs. Kevin Slowey has not found much success against LAA and he's a notoriously slow starter, sporting a career 8.36 ERA in the month of April going into this season. Well, he's been "better" this April, posting a 7.94 ERA and 2.03 WHIP in two trips to the bump. Look for another high-scoring battle and for this contest to sail Over the total.

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Jimmy The Moose

Calgary Flames at Chicago Blackhawks
Prediction: Calgary Flames

The Flames blew it last in Game 1 and a controversial goal in OT cost them the game but tonight it will be diiferent. Calgary will be a desperate team tonight and they'll overwhelm a young Chicago team. The Blackhawks have owned the Flames winning the last 5 meetings between the clubs but tonight that winning streak is snapped. Look for a lot better game from Calgary to tie up the series. Play on the Calgary Flames +.

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Big Al Mcmordie

Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics
Prediction: Boston Celtics

At 12:30 pm, our complimentary selection is on the Boston Celtics minus the points over Chicago, as Boston falls into a 35-13 system of mine, as well as a 30-8 ATS angle. Granted, the Celtics will be hard-pressed to win the title this season without Kevin Garnett on the floor (though I'm certain he will attempt to suit up at some point in the post-season). But they're certainly good enough to win at home, in Game 1 of the Playoffs vs. these Baby Bulls. After all, this is the same Chicago team that, in a game it sorely wanted to win on Wednesday vs. Toronto, was blown out by the Raptors. And that game was on Chicago's home court. Look for an old-fashioned blowout in Beantown this afternoon. Lay the points.

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Nick Parsons

Montreal Canadiens @ Boston Bruins

The Canadiens showed they weren't physically intimidated by the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal, but coach Bob Gainey said the team will have to tap into its reserves for Game 2 and come up with more offense; this is something I expect them to do as I believe we are getting fantastic value here. It's interesting to note that Montreal is in fact a great 16-11 its last 27 after allowing 4 goals or more! I recommend a value play on MONTREAL!

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Jimmy Boyd

1 Unit on Arizona D-backs +145

Lincecum has struggled early on in the season and therefore is not worthy of the hefty juice odds makers are asking bettors to lay on him. In fact, last year's Cy Young winner brings a 7.56 ERA into this contest. The Giants have lost 6 of their last 7 games and they will face a tough task tonight as division rival Arizona will be hungry for a win after getting shut out yesterday. The Giants are 0-7 in their last 7 during game 2 of a series and 0-4 in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400. The Giants have struggled in the second game of a series no matter who is on the hill as they are 1-4 in Lincecum's last 5 starts during game 2 of a series. The Diamondbacks are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in this series and are showing excellent value today. Take the Snakes.

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Jeff Benton

For the second day in a row, the Padres rallied from a big deficit as a huge underdog, this time beating the Phillies on Friday and giving me my seventh straight free-play winner, all in baseball. Not only that, but I’ve hit 16 of my last 22 freebies! Let’s keep it rolling on Saturday as we back the Reds as a small road ‘dog at Houston.

Cincinnati got two runs in the top of the ninth inning yesterday to stun the Astros 2-1, improving to 4-1 in its last five games. Today, the Reds are going with ace Aaron Harang, who looks to have bounced back from a rough 2008, as he’s pitched two gems to start the season. He was a tough-luck 2-1 loser on Opening Day against the Mets and Johan Santana, giving up just a run in five innings, then followed that with Sunday’s 2-0 complete-game shutout victory over the Pirates, scattering three hits, walking none and striking out nine in the nine innings.

Tonight, Harang goes up against an Astros offense that’s been held to three runs or fewer in seven of its 10 games, including scoring two runs or fewer five times. Also, Harang has enjoyed pitching at Minute Maid Park the last few years, giving up just 14 earned runs in his last five starts in Houston covering 44 2/3 innings (2.82 ERA), with the Reds going 4-1.

At the same time, with lefty Wandy Rodriguez on the Hill, Houston has lost four straight home games to Cincinnati, including a pair of 2-1 decisions last August. Throw in the Reds’ 11-4 record in their last 15 starts against southpaw starters and their 21-10 mark in their last 31 when Harang is an underdog, that’s good enough for me. Take the Reds as your eighth consecutive free-play winner!

4♦ CINCINNATI REDS

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Matt Rivers

For Saturday take the coin with the Diamondbacks.

There are certainly some factors going against us today but neither Tim Lincecum nor the Giants right now can be laying a big price.

Last year's Cy Young winner has been flat out awful this season. I watched Lincecum get blasted in San Diego last time out as he just did not have it at all. That may have even been the better outing of his two so far on the young season.

Doug Davis is certainly nobody that I would put my mortgage on or fully trust but he is a lefty and the way the Giants have been hitting, or not hitting I should say, I'll take my chances with the veteran Southpaw.

Both teams have underachieved mightily this season and have yet to really get going. But when it comes to the better overall squad that title clearly belongs to the visiting Diamondbacks as Byrnes, Reynolds, Drew, Hudson and the Snakes are a team that can win the NL West whereas the Giants' ceiling is probably around the .500 mark. San Fran is better than they have shown but me and 10 of my best friends are better than what they have shown so even with some improvement they are not all that at all.

At some point Lincecum will rebound and show that he is great but until he does that I can't pass up this handsome price!

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Jake Timlin

Destined for another trip to the NBA finals I look for the Cavaliers to open up the playoffs with a blowout.  Yes, now that Boston is going to be without Kevin Garnett - possibly for the entire postseason - the Cavaliers are going to have an easy go of it starting today against a Detroit team they owned this season.

Cleveland has not only won 11 of the last 16 meeting straight-up, including three in a row, but the Cavs have also covered eight of the last nine clashes. Plus, given their 39-2 SU mark at home this season it’s easy to expect Cleveland to continue their dominance here today.

The Pistons closed the regular season by losing six of their last 12 on the floor and 10 of their final 14 versus the oddsmakers. Even worse, they went 1-5 SU/ATS in their final six road outings.

There's not much hope for Detroit in this series and with Cleveland looking to open the postseason with a bang, I expect nothing short of a blowout as the Cavaliers open with a 20-point rout.

PICK: Cleveland Cavaliers

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Re: Saturday Service Plays

Tony Weston

Today's Selection:

The Rangers get their asses handed to them yesterday and snaps our three-game winning streak.

That’s fine as we’re getting back on the winning today as we’re headed to the hardwood where we’re taking the Boston Celtics at home against the visiting Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA postseason.

In their last 8 games against Chicago, Boston is on a 7-1 ATS winning streak and has taken 6 of their last 7 SU against the Bulls. Also, over that 7-game stretch the Celtics have outscored the Bulls, on average, 109.1-94.7.

Today, Boston is installed as a favorite of about 8 1/2 points. And in this series the favorite has covered 6 of the last 7 meetings and the home team is on a 5-1 ATS run.

Keep in mind, too, that the Bulls have failed to cover in each of their last 4 games in Boston and have covered in only 12 of their last 37 against the Atlantic Division.

Boston is 7-3 ATS its last 10 games overall and will cover once again against the visiting Bulls. Take the Celtics easily in this one.

3♦ CELTICS

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