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SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Central Division TOM
I'm playing on the Cubs and Cardinals to finish UNDER the total. After three straight high-scoring games to start this series, many will be expecting another high-scoring affair in this evening's series finale. However, I expect both starters to be effective and look for that to lead to a relatively low final combined score. Lilly was dominant in his last start, as he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He finished having allowed just one hit through 6 2/3 shutout innings, striking out eight during that stretch. Lilly has also enjoyed plenty of success against the Cardinals. In fact, he's 6-2 with a stellar 2.99 ERA and 1.062 WHIP in 11 starts against them. Not surprisingly, seven of those games stayed below the total, including each of the last three. Wellemeyer also comes off an excellent start. He allowed just one run over seven innings in a 2-1 win at Arizona. Wellemeyer has allowed three earned runs or less in all four of his career starts vs. the Cubs, recording a solid 3.32 ERA. Three of those games stayed below the total. The Cards are averaging 5.9 runs per game so far this season. However, they're only averaging 4.2 when matched up against southpaws. They've seen the UNDER go a profitable 64-44-9 against left-handers the past few seasons and I look for those numbers to improve here. *Central Division TOM
I'm laying the price with TEXAS. The Royals come in as the hotter team and they also bring the hotter pitcher to the mound. While the Royals are going to be improved this year, it's important to remember that its a long season. It's also important not to completely ignore history. Give Davies credit for getting off to a great 2-0 start. However, he's never fared well vs. the Rangers. His team's (KC and Atlanta) are 0-4 in his four starts vs. the Rangers. He'll face a Texas lineup which is potent at home, yesterday's game notwithstanding, and which will be looking to pound someone, after getting blanked yesterday. Now 4-4 at home, the Rangers' four home victories have come by a combined score of 48-20. All three victories came by a minimum of three runs and two of them came by eight or more. Padilla has gotten off to a slow start. Unlike, Davies, he's had some success vs. KC. He's won each of his last two starts vs. the Royals and the Rangers are 3-0 the last three times that he started against them. In his last two home starts against the Royals, he didn't allow a single earned run (1 unearned) through 11 complete innings. He had 13 K's and only two walks and allowed just six combined hits. Look for things to return to "normal" (at least for this afternoon) as the Rangers bounce back and avoid being swept at Arlington for the first time since 2003.
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Hornets at Nuggets
Pick: Hornets +6.5
New Orleans limped down the stretch but the playoffs provide a fresh start. The Hornets also got back their starting center, Tyson Chandler, in their regular-season finale, a spread cover in an OT loss at San Antonio. They won at Denver earlier this season and have compiled a 7-2 spread record in their last nine games against the Nuggets in the Mile High City. Give me Chris Paul and Co. as underdogs!
Re: SUNDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
1000* - Orlando Magic
500* - Denver Nuggets
500* - Colorado w/Jimenez over McDonald
Both teams closed poorly, the Sixers losing 6 of their last 7, the Magic dropping 4 of their final 6, but my belief is Orlando was just going through the motions, knowing they would be locked into the 3rd spot, while Philly nearly dipped to 8th with their end of the season swoon.
I don't like the matchups at all for the 76ers in this series, as Orlando won and covered all 3 in this year's season series, and they have won 4 straight, and 8 of the last 9 series meetings, covering the last 4, and 6 of the last 8.
Orlando finished the regular season 32-9 straight up at home, going 23-18 against the spread, while Philadelphia went just 17-24 straight up on the road, and 18-23 against the spread in those road games.
I am fully expecting an Orlando blowout win tonight.
1000♦ - Orlando Magic
Denver finished as the # 2 seed in the West, and a quiet # 2 seed at that, as I don't here much talk surrounding George Karl's team. In the past, the Nuggets defense would do them in come the post season, but the addition of stopper Chauncy Billups has given Denver a little toughness they haven't had in the past, and I expect the Nuggets to open at home with the win, and cover over the Hornets.
New Orleans has played an injury-ravaged regular season, and while CP3 is a man among men, the fact remains the Hornets closed with losses in their last pair, and 6 of their final 8, going just 3-5 against the spread in those setbacks!
Denver has had some flameouts early in the postseason in the past, but I don't think tonight is going to be one of them. The Nuggets did close the regular season with series wins, and covers in 2 of the last 3 meetings against the Hornets.
I like them to make it 3 of 4 with the win, and cover tonight.
500♦ - Denver Nuggets
In baseball, take the Rockies to avoid the sweep at Chavez Ravine.
Los Angeles has won 7 straight, and they have yet to lose at home at 5-0. One of the Dodgers 3 losses came with rookie McDonald on the hill, as the young righty allowed 5 runs in just 2 innings of work against Arizona.
While you can expect the rookie to be better today, I don't see him outdueling Ubaldo Jimenez for the "W". Jimenez is making his 3rd straight road start, and he is off to a 1-1 start, but coming off a loss at the Cubs.
Jimenez is 3-0 over his last 5 starts against the Dodgers, and I like him today to cool off the sizzling start LA has gotten off to.
Take the Rockies in the small underdog role.
500♦ - Colorado w/Jimenez over McDonald
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