Thursday Service Plays

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Vegas Experts

Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls

The defending champion Celtics are in trouble. We know this because the absence of reserve Leon Powe is even now cause for concern. That leaves Boston with three healthy big men. They have yet to cover in this series and we don't look for them to start doing so tonight as the Bulls are 18-9 ATS off a road loss and more importantly play an up-tempo game that the Celtics want no part of. In the last four meetings, Chicago has scored an average of over 113 points per game.

Play on: Chicago

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Undefeated's tools and consensus picks now on a
21 wins and 8 losses winning run

Today's picks are in the NBA -Pick Chicago Bulls -.5  (buy two points)
                                        Buy an OVER 199 on that Chicago game

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EZ'S FREE SELECTION

Game: Los Angeles Lakers @ Utah Jazz


(511) Los Angeles Lakers -2


The Lakers have been dominate in the first two games of this series and
I expect them to pick up the win here. Utah plays much better at home, but
that just gives us some nice line value for this game. I see a close game all
the way with Kobe and company pulling out the win late. Lay the points.


2009 Free Selections Record  61-50  (55.0%)


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Free Selection from Totals4U
Thursday's free selection: Texas/Toronto over 9

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Free Selection from Arthur Ralph Sports
250 - 161 run  60 %

Thursday  Chi White Sox

WED  Arizona D'Backs  TY Tues  ty  Red Wings

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Red Dog Sports

Philadelphia / Pittsburgh
Play: Under 5.5

In their last 35 road games, the Flyers have 23 unders, 9 overs and 3 pushes. Philadelphia has played unders in 6 of their last 8 games. The Penguin goalie Fleury has been hot. Look for a 3-2 game that goes under the total.

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Jimmy Boyd

1 Unit on Rays/Mariners UNDER 7.5

Expect a duel with Shields and Hernandez facing off tonight. Shields has a 2.12 ERA against the Mariners and Hernandez has a 2.54 ERA against the Rays. After an offensive explosion last night, I expect the Rays bats to cool off and our historical data supports that as Tampa Bay is 40-18 Under in road games after a win by 6 runs or more since 1997. The Under is 12-2 in Shields' last 14 starts as an underdog and 4-1 in Shields' last 5 starts with the total set at 7.0-8.5. The Under is 10-1 in Hernandez's last 11 starts vs. the American League East, 6-0 in Hernandez's last 6 Thursday starts, and 14-5-1 in Hernandez's last 20 starts after allowing 5 runs or more in their previous game. Bet the Under.

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Scott Rickenbach

Kansas City Royals @ Cleveland Indians
PICK: Kansas City Royals

It should be a pitchers paradise early Thursday in Cleveland at Progressive Field. The wind is blowing in, the air is chilly, and the edges should certainly reside with the moundsmen in this one. The key here is that Gil Meche rates significant edges over Anthony Reyes of the Indians. Even though Reyes has pitched “decent” so far this season, he still has two tendencies that hurt his odds of being a winner with Cleveland. One of those is that he still tends to get flustered when anything goes wrong and that’s why he’s proven so susceptible to the big inning throughout his career. He’s often pitched quite well in a start only to have it come unraveled by one bad inning. The other big negative against him is that, because he doesn’t have good command, he tends to build up pitch counts too quickly and this leads to early exits from his starts. This happened again in his most recent start – at the new Yankee Stadium – and this exposes a weak Indians bullpen.

So far this season, Cleveland’s bullpen ERA ranks the Indians as one of the worst bullpens in baseball. This gives a big bullpen edge to the Royals in this match-up and, with Meche on the bump this afternoon, they certainly have the starting pitching edge as well! The Royals Meche is simply rock solid. He’s faced some powerful lineups so far this season – White Sox, Yankees, Rangers – and yet Meche has compiled a 2.25 ERA so far this season. He continues to be both solid and dependable for the Royals. On a day when the weather dictates that the best pitching is likely to win this match-up, the road team certainly appears to have the big edges in this one and also, because of being on the road, the Royals offer great line value here. Consider a small play on Kansas City on the money line on Thursday afternoon.

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ROCKETMAN

Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians A
Play: Kansas City

Kansas City comes in with an 8-6 record on the season while Cleveland has been a disappointing 5-10 in the early going. Kansas City is 24-11 the past 3 years as a road underdog of +100 to +125. Kansas City is 5-1 this year against right handed starters. Cleveland is only 3-10 this year against right handed starters. Cleveland bullpen has gotten rocked this year as they have a 7.22 ERA overall and a 9.20 ERA at home this season. Gil Meche is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA overall this year and and 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA on the road this season. We'll recommend a small play on Kansas City

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Tom Freese

Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz
Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers

Utah is in a 40-19 ATS Play Against System that says to Go Against all teams when the line is +3 to -3 if they are off 3 or more straight losses in April. The Jazz are 3-13 ATS their last 16 games vs. winning teams. The Lakers are 6-1 ATS their last 7 Conference Quarterfinals games and they are 5-1 ATS their last 6 games as favorites. Los Angeles is 9-4 ATS off a straight up win and they are 11-5-1 ATS their last 17 meetings vs. the Jazz. PLAY ON LA LAKERS -

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Dwayne Bryant

TOR (+105) vs TEX

Nice price for the Jays at home against one of the worst bullpens in the league. Texas starter Kevin Millwood has been very strong to start this season, but it'll be tough to keep it going on the road against the good-hitting Jays. This will be Texas' first look at Toronto starter Scott Richmond. Richmond has pitched well this season and he has the advantage with Texas' lineup having never been in the box against him. I'll take Toronto and Richmond at +105 over Texas for a half-unit.

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GoodFella

BAL / CWS Over 10.5

Baltimore's team ERA is 6.25 & that number is significantly better than those Eaton (0-2, 11.25 ERA) has compiled in his first two starts with the Orioles. He arrived in Baltimore after spending part of last season with Philadelphia's Triple-A affiliate, and the right-hander has allowed 10 runs in eight innings, with opponents hitting .425. Thursday's start could be for his spot in the rotation. "I need to obviously step up and throw the way I'm capable of throwing," Eaton said. "We'll see what we do next outing." The White Sox send out Bartolo Colon, who had a tough outing his last start, Friday against the Rays, getting charged with five runs in 5 2-3 innings in the eventual 6-5 loss. I really expect both pitchers to get hit faily well here today, as the O's left-handed sticks (Scott, Markakis & Huff) all have had great success in their career vs Bartolo. Eaton is a disaster & so is Baltimore's bullpen. We just need 11 runs & I really think this play has a strong chance of cashing today.

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Ron Raymond

CLB / DET Under 5

The Detroit Red Wings have shown in the first 3 games, they are the superior hockey team in this series and the Blue Jackets are hopefully learning a valuable lesson for future playoff games. The good part about betting the UNDER in this game this evening, you know the Blue Jackets will want to go down fighting, which means Steve Mason will do his best to keep the Jackets in this game and I like this to be a low scoring affair.

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JACK JONES

Chicago White Sox -112 over Baltimore Orioles

Adam Eaton has been horrible this year in allowing 10 runs in eight innings with opponents batting .425 against him.  The Orioles offense has been terrible as of late too, scoring two or fewer runs in three of their last four games which has helped the O's lost six of their last seven.  The White Sox have gone 5-3 on the road this year, and are actually hitting a shade under .300 away from home.  I'll take the hotter team here as I think they continue to roll with a win today.

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Mike Rose

Boston Celtics @ Chicago Bulls Under 201

Boston really has to feel fortunate that it was able to come out of Game 2 with the victory. If not for Ray Allens second half efforts, they'd be venturing into hostile waters in a big hole. It really has been unbelievable how easily the Bulls have been able to carve their defense up throughout the first two games of this series. I know KG is the defensive court general, but come on! They've given up a total of 220 points throughout the first two games, and that's something that shouldn't have sat well with HC Doc Rivers. Everything in the papers has stated how Boston plans to be more physical with the Bulls in the UC. Bostons defense really stepped it up on the road this season evidenced by the fact that the under went a $$$-making 26-15 ATS in their 41 lined games.

As for Chicago, it has to be feeling really good about itself right about now. They were a clutch shot from Allen away from shocking the defending champs, and now get to play the next two in their own house. Chicago went a solid 28-13 SU & 22-19 ATS at home throughout the regular season, so the chance of them securing the win in Game 3 looks really good. The guard tandem of Ben Gordon and Derrick Rose has been sensational thus far, with Rose tallying 36 points in Game 1 and Gordon exploding for 42 in Game 2. The Bulls will need another solid outing from at least one of those two to keep the pressure on whats been a very porous Boston defense.

Boston knows its not going to win this series if it continues to falter on the defensive end of the court. While the over is 4-0 ATS in each of the L/4 meetings between these teams, the under is 5-1 ATS the L/6 times they've squared off in the United Center. These clubs have both stated they'll look to be more physical now; ok then, show me!

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Jeff Alexander

1 Unit on Toronto Blue Jays -104

The Jays are yet to drop a series in 2009 and I don't see it happening yet. While Millwood has been solid this season, he has struggled against the Jays to the tune of 1-3 with an ERA of 6.45 and a WHIP of 1.672. I expect Toronto's bats to win this matchup tonight and the numbers support this claim. Plays on home teams (TORONTO) - good power team - averaging 1.25 or more HR's/game on the season against an opponent with a hot starting pitcher- WHIP <= 0.800 over his last 3 starts are 33-14 the last 5 seasons. Plus, Millwood is just 19-35 against the money line vs. AL teams scoring 5.2 or more runs/game on the season since 1997. Bet the Jays tonight.

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Wunderdog

Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston
Pick: Houston +120

Wandy Rodriguez has always been considered to have plus stuff. Now, he has he finally matured and come of age on the mound, and harnessed that stuff. If his first three games are any indication, then the future looks bright. He has allowed just 11 hits with 18 Ks in his 19 innings so far this season, and pitching to a 1.89 ERA. He has allowed just four earned runs in three quality starts. Chad Billingsley has been an equally impressive 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA to start the season. He is a solid young pitcher, but has struggled on the road where the Dodgers were just 8-10 in his 18 road starts. Of his 16 wins a year ago, just six took place on the road. I will go with the Astros here as a live home dog.

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