TheSpread is Pleased to Welcome GTBets as Our Newest Sportsbook Sponsor!
Limited Time Offer - Free $20 Bet Just for Signing Up! Don't Miss Out on Free Money, This Offer Will Expire Soon Click Here to Get Your Free $20 Bet
MONDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Re: MONDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Larry Ness' 7* Playoff Showdown (Chi/Bos)
Everyone saw what happened in Game 1. The Bulls "took it to" the defending champs, led by a rookie PG (Rose). Rose scored 36 points (matching Kareem's rookie scoring mark in a playoff debut) and added 11 assists, as Chicago won 105-103 in OT. The Celtics are without Garnett very likely for the entire playoffs, although Boston's 'stay' may not last very long, if the Celtics are not able to get a win here. Boston center Kendrick Perkins said of Rose, "Everybody has their night. I know it won't happen again. He'll never have another game like that against us." We'll see. All four of Chicago's other starters scored in double digits in Game 1, led by Gordon (20 points) and Noah (11 points / 17 rebounds). However, the Chicago bench contributed just 10 points. As for Boston, the Celtics shot only 39.4 percent from the floor (4-of-16 on threes). Ray Allen was an abysmal 1-of-12 from the floor and yet, if Pierce makes BOTH free throws at the end of regulation, the Celtics would be up 1-0. As well as Rose played, Boston PG Rondo (29-9-7) was almost as good plus look for Pierce and Allen to be MUCH better this time around. The Bulls are NOT a good defensive team (allowed 102.5 PPG in the regular season) and the Celtics shot 48.6 percent as a team, a far cry from the 39 percent they shot in Game 1. Yes, Garnett's absence is HUGE on defense but the Celtics finished with the third-best scoring defense in the league (93.4) plus the league's top-ranked defensive FG percentage (43.1) and that wasn't ALL about Kevin. The Celtics are a 'wounded' champion and that makes them very dangerous. Let's not forget, the Bulls 'earned' their 13-28 SU road record this year, the WORST of any team which qualified for the postseason.
7* Boston Celtics
7* Playoff Showdown (Dal/SA)
The Mavs were just 18-23 on the road this season, including winning just two of their final eight regular season games, entering the playoffs. Dallas entered its opening round series with the hated Spurs, having last won a road playoff game back on June 3, 2006, when it beat the Suns in Phoenix to advance to that franchise's lone NBA Finals. Dallas lost all three road games in that series to the Heat and followed that with thee road losses at Oakland in the '07 playoffs and three road losses in New Orleans in the '08 playoffs, for NINE consecutive playoff defeats away from home. So what happened on Saturday night? The Mavs won 105-97 at San Antonio, 'stealing' the home court advantage from the Spurs. Nowitzki failed to reach the 20-point mark (had 19) for the first time in 25 games but six players scored in double digits, led by Josh Howard's 25 (Dampier had a surprising double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds). The Spurs started quickly but faded in the second half, getting outscored 60-48. Parker had 24 points and eight assists while Duncan added 27 points and nine rebounds but the Dallas bench outscored San Antonio's, 39-14. So what about Game 2? Gregg Popovich is one of the league's premier coaches (owns four titles) and expect him to make make adjustments. Backup PG Berea hurt San Antonio but expect a much better job stopping his penetration tonight. I also expect the Spurs to change some of their defensive assignments, a Popovich staple. The Spurs are still capable of playing great defense (93.3 PPG ranked them No. 2 in the leaguethis regular season) and do not expect the Mavs to shoot 54 percent from the floor again.
7* SA Spurs.
Las Vegas Insider (4-0 TY!) MLB
The 4-7 Rockies and 4-8 D'backs meet tonight in Chase Field. These teams opened the 2009 season against each other, as the D'backs won 9-8 back on April 6, before the Rockies won 3-0 and 9-2 in the next two games, giving them a series win over the D'backs for the first time since September of 2007. The Rockies are hitting .230 as a team (26th) and the D'backs .215 (29th), which includes a ML-worst .211 with runners in scoring position. The Rockies were swept in a three-game series at Dodger Stadium this past weekend, batting only .214 as a team, while getting outscored 27-10. As for the D'backs, they were in San Francisco, where they played three consecutive 2-0 games with the Giants, losing two of the them. Colorado's dropped six of its last seven games, while Arizona gets set to open its second nine-game homestand of the young season (went 3-6 on the first). The starters will be Jason Marquis for Colorado and Jon Garland for Arizona (both new to their respective teams this year). Marquis opened his career in Atlanta (did little) but went 15-7 with 3.71 ERA with St Louis in 2004. His 13-14 (4.13 ERA) mark in 2005 was followed by a 14-16 (6.02) mark in 2006 and he was off to the Cubs. He went 12-9 (4.60) in '07 and 11-9 (4.53) in '08 for Chicago these last two seasons, as the team was 36-25 in his starts. He's off to a 2-0 (1.93 ERA) start in 2009 for the Rockies, beating the Cubs and Rich Harden this past Wednesday 5-2, after shutting down the World Champion Phillies in his first start (4/10). However, I need to see much more than two good starts before I believe Marquis will be a pitcher of note in 2009. Marquis is 0-3 in his career at Chase Field, although he owns a respectable 3.60 ERA. Jon Garland gets the call for the D'backs He pitched fairly well in his Arizona debut (4/10), beating the Dodgers 9-4 (7 IP / 5 hits / 3 ERs). However, on April 15 vs the Cards, he surrendered seven ERs and seven hits in only 3.2 innings of a 12-7 loss. Arizona began the season with a strong one-two punch at the top of its rotation with Webb and Haren but Webb quickly went on the DL. The D'backs are hoping that Garland, a free agent, will help solidify and give some depth to a starting rotation that fell apart at the end of last season. Garland was a fairly non-descript starter with the White Sox in his first five seasons but went 18-10 (3.50) when Chicago captured the World Series title in 2006 and followed in 2006 by going 18-7 (4.51). He fell out of favor in Chicago after going 10-13 in 2007 and signed with the Angels last year, going 14-8 with a 4.90 ERA. His high ERA could be a concern but let's note that these last four seasons, Garland's teams are 75-55 in his 130 starts (includes the postseason), after the Angels went 20-12 in his 32 starts last year. This will be Garland's first-ever appearance vs Colorado but it's in his favor that the Rockies were a dreadful 48-67 vs right-handers last season, including just 22-41 on the road, where they averaged 4.1 RPG. The Rockies have opened 2-5 vs righties in 2009, so little has appeared to change. Let's not forget that while Colorado took two of three here in Chase Field to open the season, the team's 3-0 win on 4/7 ended a seven-game losing streak by the Rockies in Arizona. The D'backs took 15 of the 18 meetings between the two clubs last season and I like Garland way better than Marquis in the starting pitching matchup.
Las Vegas Insider Ari D'backs (8*)
Re: MONDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
I'm laying the points with BOSTON. The Celtics clearly miss Kevin Garnett. However, they've still got plenty of talent. They're also still the champs (for now) and I expect Saturday's loss to be a real wake-up call. Note that the Celts are a highly profitable 31-13-2 ATS the last 46 times that they attempted to avenge a home loss. Additionally, note that they were 12-5 ATS (15-2 SU) this season after allowing 105 or more points in their previous game. Center Kendrick Perkins summed up the champs' mentality: "You've got to be angry. It's the playoffs and we were at home. I'm going to be mad all the way up until after we get the win." Yes, the Bulls Game 1 victory was impressive. Keep in mind that they were just 13-28 on the road this season though. Also, note that they typically don't play well after a big upset win. In fact, they're just 13-27-1 ATS (11-30 SU) the last 41 times that they were coming off a SU win when listed as an underdog. Sure, the Bulls would love to win. However, even if they don't win this game, they will have already "accomplished their mission" by having split these first two games. I expect the "angry" champs to elevate their level of play and I look for that to lead to a convincing win and cover. *Personal Favorite
Top Southwest Division Total
I'm playing on the Spurs and Mavericks to finish UNDER the total. After Game 1 finished above the total, we're now getting a little bit higher of an over/under line to work with. While that higher number provides us with some extra line value, I expect a much lower-scoring game. Even with the Game 1 result, the Mavericks have still seen the UNDER go 26-16 on the road this season. They've also still seen the UNDER go 11-6-1 their last 18 visits to San Antonio. Additionally, note that they've seen the UNDER go 18-10 after scoring 105 or more points in their previous game. Even with the Game 1 result, the Spurs have still seen the UNDER go 91-59 (excluding pushes) the last 150 times that they faced a team with a winning record. Now that they're trailing in a playoff series, I expect the Spurs to crank up the defensive intensity. Note that the UNDER is 21-7 the last 28 times that the Spurs were trailing in a playoff series. That includes a profitable 7-2 mark their last nine in that situation. Look for those numbers to improve and for the final combined score to finish below what I believe is a very generous total. *Top Southwest Division Total
I'm laying the price with PHILADELPHIA. In addition to pitching (starting and relief) hitting, matchups and various other factors, I believe that its important to consider "momentum" when handicapping baseball. The Padres entered yesterday's game with a ton of momentum, having won three straight and eight of nine. Conversely, the Phillies came in having lost three straight. It appeared that those streaks would continue as the Padres were up 4-0 after five innings. The champs battled all the way back for a 5-4 win though, winning the game with a two-run home run in the ninth. For a good team like the Phillies, that's the type of win that can get things turned around and which can lead to them stringing together a few victories. On the other hand, that type of loss can be deflating for any team, particularly one (like San Diego) which isn't used to dealing with success. Moyer gets the call for the champs and it's true that he's getting pretty ancient. However, it's also true that the Phillies are 14-6 the last 20 times that he took the mound. Moyer allowed four earned runs or less in 17 of those 20 starts, including both this season. Kevin Correia has gotten off to a "respectable" (0-1, 4.09 ERA) start. Before getting too excited about htat mediocre start, note that he was 3-8 with an awful 6.05 ERA and 1.71 WHIP last season. The Phillies are a profitable 27-8 (+14) the last 35 times that they were home favorites in this range. Look for them to build some positive momentum from yesterday's comeback as they hit Correia hard and close out the series with a victory.
I'm laying the price with CALGARY. The Flames could have easily earned (at least) a split in Chicago. They didn't though and that puts them in "must win" mode here. I expect this veteran team, which was built for playoff success, to respond with a huge effort. It's true that the Hawks have had some recent success here. However, as Chicago right winger Adam Burish noted: "We've been good there, but who cares now?" He went on to add: "It's a different beast. Calgary is always one of the hardest places to play...It's a crazy environment..." Despite their regular season success here, the Hawks were still just 22-19 on the road this season. The Flames, on the other hand, were 27-14 at home. Note that the Hawks are just 9-20 (-11.6) the last 29 times that they were coming off three or more consecutive home games, including a 3-8 mark in that situation this season. Looking back to last year's first round and we find that the Flames, who were facing a very good San Jose team, also started off on the road. They came back home for Game 3 and won by a score of 4-3. Look for another highly motivated effort from the Flames as they bounce back and improve to 6-3 the last nine times that they were trailing in a playoff series. *Annihilator
I'm playing on Boston and Montreal to finish UNDER the number. The first two games have both finished with six goals. Both could have easily finished with less. The sixth goal in the first game came on an empty net goal, off a give-away with 15 seconds left. The second game saw shaky goaltending from Montreal's Carey Price. Regardless of whether it's Price or Jaroslav Halak in the net, I expect Montreal to receive better goaltending tonight. Price has allowed three goals or less in 12 of his last 15 home starts. He's also allowed three or less in four straight home games vs. the Burins and eight of his last nine against them here. Halak has come confidence after stopping all five shots he faced in the third period of Game 2. He's also got a stellar 1.89 GAA in five previous games against the Bruins, four of which stayed below the total. The Bruins saw the UNDER go 18-13 this season when playing a road game with a total of 5.5. The Canadiens saw the UNDER go 16-11 when playing a home game with a line of 5.5. Looking back to last year's playoff series and we find that Game 3 finished with a score of 2-1. The score was 1-1 after regulation. I expect another low-scoring affair. *Blue Chip
I'm playing on MONTREAL. The Bruins won both games at Boston. The first one was very close and the second one wasn't. That convincing (5-1) victory has helped add to the impression that this is a very lopsided series. This, in turn, has given us a very generous line with the home underdog. Up 2-0, history tells us that Boston is likely to win the series. After all, teams holding a two-game lead in NHL playoff series have went on to win that series 87.3 percent of the time. Don't expect the Canadiens to just roll over and play dead though. Looking back to last year's first round playoff series and we find that the roles were reversed. The Canadiens were a big favorite coming into that series and they took care of business by winning the first two games at Montreal. When the series shifted back to Boston for Game 3, like tonight, it was the visiting team which was favored. However, the home underdog (Bruins) scored the "upset" that night, winning by a score of 2-1. While most had given them up for dead, the Bruins managed to take the series all the way to seven games. Note that the Bruins, already without defenseman Matt Hunwick, will be without Milan Lucic for this game, as he'll be serving a suspension. The Canadiens are 55-45 (+11.1) the last 100 times that they were coming off three straight losses. With the support of the home fans behind them, look for them to bounce back with a huge effort and get back in the series.
Re: MONDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Dallas at San Antonio
Pick: San Antonio -5.5
Analysis: The Spurs were in control of Game 1 against the Mavs, before Dallas caught fire, scoring 60 second-half points, as San Antonio looks to even up this series at a game apiece. The clear scoring advantage in the opening game went to the Mavs bench, as Jason Terry, Brandon Bass, and J.J. Barea combined for 39 points, while the Spurs bench combined for 14 points. Dallas struggled in the regular season on the road following a win, going 10-16 ATS, including a 3-9 ATS mark if that win was by single-digits. The Spurs are 11-1 ATS L12 after allowing 100 points or more in their last game, and 18-5-2 L25 games as a favorite in the postseason. I like San Antonio to come back and capture Game 2 of this series, and beat Dallas.
Re: MONDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Chicago at Boston
Play: Boston -8.5
The Bulls won game 1, but Ray Allen didn't play well for Boston and Derrick Rose had a career day for the Bulls. I don't expect Ray Allen to struggle again tonight and I certainly don't expect Rose to get to the basket at will tonight either. With all this talk floating around about how the C's are finished without Garnett, expect the defending champs to play with plenty of pride tonight, shutting down Rose and the Bulls to even this series with a double digit win. Plays on home favorites; a very good team (>=+7 PPG differential) against an average team (+/- 3 PPG differential), after a loss by 6 points or less are 28-6 ATS the last 5 seasons. Chicago is 7-21 ATS off an upset win as an underdog over the last 2 seasons. Saturday's loss marked the second straight time the Bulls have beat the Celtics and Boston is 17-6 ATS when playing with double revenge - 2 straight losses vs. opponent over the last 2 seasons, winning these games by an average of 12.2 points. Lay the points.
Re: MONDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Dallas at San Antonio
Play: Dallas +6.5
The zig-zag theory may work tonight in terms of the straight-up result, but I have zero confidence in laying points with San Antonio right now. Dallas looks like the better team right now regardless of the venue. Not only is Dirk Nowitzki playing at typical outstanding clip, but Josh Howard is filling it up as well, and how about Barera the other night?! Give me the Mavs plus the points as I give them at least a 50-50 shot to win outright.