Sunday Service Plays

Sunday Service Plays

SPORTS ADVISORS

NBA PLAYOFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE

(5) Miami (3-3 SU and ATS) at (4) Atlanta (3-3 SU and ATS)

After yet another blowout win in this series, this time by the Heat, this first-round matchup comes down to a deciding Game 7 with Hawks serving as host at Philips Arena and the winner headed to the second round to face the top-seeded Cavaliers.

Miami plowed past Atlanta 98-72 Friday night in Game 6, easily cashing as a five-point home chalk to snap a two-game SU and ATS skid in this series. Dwyane Wade went off for 41 points, and rookie Michael Beasley came off the bench to add 22 points and 15 rebounds. The Heat outshot the Hawks 47.3 percent to 37 percent and outrebounded Atlanta 47-36.

Atlanta got 20 points from Mike Bibby, and 13 apiece from Joe Johnson and Flip Murray, but no other Hawk scored more than seven points. Atlanta also made just 11 of 18 free throws (61.1 percent), while the Heat went 21 of 24 from the foul line (87.5 percent).

The Hawks still hold a 6-4 SU edge against Miami for the season, and the two teams have split the cash in those 10 meetings. However, going back further, Miami is 24-11 ATS in its last 35 battles with Atlanta, including 8-4 ATS in the last 12 clashes at Philips Arena. In this playoff series, all six games have been decided by double digits -- including five by 15 points or more -- and the SU winner has cashed every time.

Atlanta is 33-11 (24-19-1 ATS) at home this season, and Miami is 16-28 (21-22-1 ATS) on the road.

The Heat are on a 5-2 ATS run following a day off, but they remain on pointspread slides of 3-6 in first-round playoff games, 2-6 after a SU win of more than 10 points, 8-18-1 on Sunday and 21-44-3 coming off a SU victory.

The Hawks are on ATS dips of 3-7 against winning teams and 7-16 after a SU loss of more than 10 points, but they still sport positive pointspread streaks of 10-4-1 as a home chalk, 11-5-1 playing on one day of rest and 4-0 on Sunday.

The under for Miami is on rolls of 9-2 against winning teams, 5-0 coming off a SU win, 5-2 in the Southeast Division and 5-2 in first-round playoff games. Likewise, the under for Atlanta is on tears of 6-2 overall, 8-2 against winning teams, 5-0 on Sunday, 4-1 after a SU loss and 6-2 against Southeast Division foes.

Finally, these rivals have stayed low in eight of 10 meetings this year, with Friday’s contest falling well short of the 182-point posted price.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


WESTERN CONFERENCE

(6) Dallas (4-1 SU and ATS) at (2) Denver (4-1 SU, 5-0 ATS)

Two teams that rolled through their respective first-round playoff series will open second-round play at the Pepsi Center, where the torrid Nuggets will host the surging Mavericks.

Denver pounded the seventh-seeded Hornets, beating the spread in every game en route to a 4-1 series victory, including a 121-63 Game 4 wipeout in New Orleans that tied the NBA record for largest margin of victory in a playoff game. Denver finished things off with Wednesday’s 107-86 Game 5 rout as a 10-point home chalk.

The Nuggets’ lone loss to New Orleans was a tightly contested, 95-93 road setback in Game 3, but they still cashed as a 4½-point pup. The Nuggets averaged 108.4 ppg and allowed a stingy 84.2 ppg in the series, and their four wins came by an even more whopping average of 31 ppg (112.5-81.5). Carmelo Anthony (24.0 ppg) and Chauncey Billups (22.6 ppg) led the Nuggets in the first round, and Denver heads into the second round on an 18-4 SU tear (14-8 ATS).

Dallas knocked out the third-seeded Spurs, stealing home-court advantage with a 105-97 Game 1 win as a four-point road underdog. The Mavs dropped Game 2, then won and cashed in the last three games of the series, including Tuesday’s 106-93 road victory as a five-point ‘dog to close it out.

The Mavericks averaged 96.4 ppg against San Antonio, a few points below their season average of 101.4, but they held the Spurs to just 90.4 ppg, seven points below San Antonio’s season average. Dallas’ four wins came by eight points or more, with Dirk Nowitzki (19.2 ppg) and Josh Howard (18.8 ppg) leading the way. The Mavs are on an 11-3 SU run (9-5 ATS) in their last 14 starts.

Denver is 7-1 SU and ATS in its last eight meetings with Dallas, including 4-0 SU (3-1 ATS) this season. The Nuggets won three of those four games by a combined total of seven points, including a 103-101 road win catching 3½ points in their most recent battle on March 27. Denver is 5-2 ATS in the last seven clashes at the Pepsi Center, but the underdog is on a 6-1 ATS run in this rivalry, and the road team has cashed in five of the last seven clashes.

The Nuggets are 36-8 SU (26-17-1 ATS) at home this year, and Dallas is 20-24 SU (23-21 ATS) on the road.

Coming off their 5-0 ATS run against New Orleans, the Nuggets are on pointspread rolls of 13-4 overall, 13-3 against the Western Conference, 12-3 against winning teams, 7-1 as a favorite, 7-0 against the Southwest Division and 4-0 on their home court. The Mavericks are also on several ATS upswings, including 5-1 overall, 17-5 as a playoff pup, 6-1 as a ‘dog of five to 10½ points, 4-1 after a SU win and 5-2 in second-round playoff games.

The over is on streaks of 8-3 for Denver at home (all as a chalk), 5-0 for Dallas on the road, 7-1 with the Mavs as a playoff pup and 20-8 for Dallas in second-round playoff games. However, the under hit in the last three games of the Nuggets-Hornets series and is 5-2 in Denver’s last seven starts, and the under for Dallas is 61-29 in its last 90 games against Northwest Division opponents.

Finally, the under is 14-6 in the last 20 meetings in this rivalry, with the last three in a row staying low.

ATS ADVANTAGE: DENVER


NATIONAL LEAGUE

N.Y. Mets (10-13) at Philadelphia (12-10)

The Phillies and Mets conclude their first series of the season with John Maine (1-2, 1.34 ERA) scheduled to take the ball for New York against Joe Blanton (0-2, 8.41) at Citizens Bank Park.

The teams have split the first two games of this weekend set, with New York winning 7-4 on Friday and Philadelphia getting a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 10th inning Saturday to earn a 6-5 victory. The Phillies have won six of their last eight and are on additional positive runs of 36-16 overall, 31-14 at home, 6-2 against N.L. East foes and 60-29 on Sunday.

The Mets are now 4-8 in their last 12 games, and they’ve lost five of their last six on the road. Additionally, they’re in slumps of 0-6 on Sunday and 3-7 against right-handed starters. On the bright side, New York is still 8-5 in the last 13 meetings with the Phillies, including winning five of its last seven games at Citizens Bank Park.

Maine is coming off by far his best outing of the season, as he gave up just one unearned run on one hit in six innings, beating the Marlins 7-1 at home Monday. Prior to that victory, New York had lost five straight games with Maine on the mound going back to last season. With the victory Florida, New York improved to 24-7 in Maine’s last 31 starts against N.L. East rivals.

Maine is 0-1 with a 5.91 ERA in two road starts (both Mets losses), and the right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.54 ERA in nine career starts against the Phillies, with New York going 8-1 in those nine contests (3-0 in Philadelphia).

With Blanton on the hill, Philadelphia is on runs of 9-2 overall, 8-1 at home, 5-0 on Sunday and 5-1 against the N.L. East. That includes a 13-11 come-from-behind home victory over Washington on Monday, with Blanton getting off the hook despite giving up six runs on eight hits (three home runs) in just 4 1/3 innings. With that poor effort Blanton is now 0-1 with a 10.05 ERA in three home starts.

Blanton faced New York twice in interleague play with Oakland in 2005 and 2007, pitching 15 scoreless innings while yielding eight hits and one walk against 10 strikeouts. However, in his first start with the Phillies after being traded from Oakland last summer, the burly right-hander got rocked for five runs in six innings in New York, but the Phillies won 8-6.

The over is 11-5-3 in Maine’s last 19 starts overall, 4-1-1 in Blanton’s last six starts overall and 6-1 in Blanton’s last seven at home.

As a team, the Mets are on “under” streaks of 4-2-2 overall, 4-0 on Sunday and 7-3-2 against right-handed starters, and the under is 4-2-1 in Philadelphia’s last six at home. However, the over for the Phillies is on runs of 13-5-2 overall, 7-2-2 against the N.L. East and 5-1-1 when hosting the Mets.

ATS ADVANTAGE: N.Y. METS and OVER


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Boston (15-9) at Tampa Bay (10-15)

The Red Sox send struggling veteran Brad Penny (2-0, 8.66) to the mound at Tropicana Field in the finale of their four-game weekend series against the Rays, who will counter with James Shields (2-2, 3.74).

Boston pounded out a 10-6 victory on Saturday after getting drubbed in the first two games of this series by a combined score of 19-2. The Red Sox are still just 2-3 (all on the road) since ripping off an 11-game winning streak and they’ve lost 24 of their last 34 games on artificial turf. Still, Terry Francona’s troops remain on positive runs of 8-2 against A.L. East rivals, 9-3 versus right-handed starters, 7-3 as an underdog and 5-1 in the rare finale of a four-game series.

Despite winning two of three in this series, Tampa Bay is still just 4-12 in its last 16 games. However, the Rays come into today on runs of 62-26 at home, 50-21 as a home favorite and 4-2 against right-handed starters, but they have lost seven of their last 10 on Sunday.

Tampa Bay still holds a 4-2 edge against Boston in the season series. After struggling for years against the Red Sox, the Rays have had the upper-hand in this rivalry of late, winning 15 of the last 22 meetings overall and 13 of the 17 in Tampa Bay.

Penny lasted just 2 2/3 innings at Cleveland on Tuesday, giving up seven runs (four earned), but got a no-decision as the Red Sox lost 9-8, the first time in four Penny starts that Boston came up short on the scoreboard. Including Tuesday’s debacle against the Indians, the beefy right-hander is 1-0 with a 7.27 ERA in two road games. Also, in four career interleague appearances (three starts) against the Rays, Penny is 1-2 with a 5.49 ERA, though he last faced them in 2004.

Shields was a tough-luck loser in his last two starts, allowing a total of four runs in 14 innings, but losing 1-0 at Seattle and 4-3 at Minnesota. In his only home start in 2009, Shields picked up a 6-5 win over the White Sox despite getting torched for five runs in 7 1/3 innings.

Behind Shields, Tampa Bay is on positive streaks of 21-5 at home, 26-8 as a favorite and 7-0 on Sunday. However, the Rays have lost eight of his last 10 starts against Boston, including two playoff defeats last October and the 5-3 loss at Fenway Park on Opening Day, with Shields yielding all five runs. In nine regular-season starts against the Sox, the right-hander is 2-5 with a 5.59 ERA.

The Rays have stayed under the total in six of Shields’ last eight starts overall, five of his last six against A.L. East foes and four of his last five against the Red Sox, but his last six Sunday outings have hurdled the total. Meanwhile, all four of Penny’s starts for Boston have gone over the total.

The under is 8-1-1 in Boston’s last 10 on Sunday. Otherwise, though, the over for the Sox is on streaks of 15-5 overall, 9-2 on the road, 13-6-2 as an underdog and 6-1 against right-handed starters. Similarly, the over for Tampa is on stretches of 7-3 at home, 37-17 against right-handed starters and 22-7 as a home chalk.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON and OVER

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DUNKEL

Dallas at Denver   

The Nuggets host Game One of the series and look to build on their 24-5-1 ATS record in their last 30 games as a home favorite between 5 and 10 1/2 points.  Denver is the pick (-6) according to Dunkel, which has the Nuggets favored by 9 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Denver (-6). 

Game 579-580: Miami at Atlanta
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 119.744; Atlanta 122.223
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 2 1/2; 178
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 5 1/2; 181 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+5 1/2); Under

Game 701-702: Dallas at Denver
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 119.772; Denver 129.059
Dunkel Line & Total: Denver by 9 1/2; 202
Vegas Line & Total: Denver by 6; 206 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Denver (-6); Under

MLB

Cleveland at Detroit

The Indians look to bounce back from last night's 9-7 defeat and build on their 7-1 record in their last 8 games following a loss, while the Tigers are just 2-7 in Justin Verlander's last 9 starts after scoring 5 runs or more in the previous game.  Cleveland is the underdog pick (+105) according to Dunkel, which has the Indians favored by 1.  Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+105). 

Game 951-952: Houston at Atlanta
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Rodriguez) 14.618; Atlanta (Reyes) 16.017
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Houston (-120); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (+110); Under

Game 953-954: Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Cueto) 16.317; Pittsburgh (Karstens) 15.100
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-130); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-130); Under

Game 955-956: NY Mets at Philadelphia
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Maine) 14.404; Philadelphia (Blanton) 15.623
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1; 10
Vegas Line: NY Mets (-110); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-110); Under

Game 957-958: St. Louis at Washington
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Lohse) 15.735; Washington (Lannan) 14.956
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1; 8
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-125); Under

Game 959-960: Arizona at Milwaukee
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Petit) 14.639; Milwaukee (Bush) 16.059
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-145); 9
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-145); Over

Game 961-962: Florida at Chicago Cubs
Dunkel Ratings: Florida (Nolasco) 14.643; Cubs (Zambrano) 13.987
Dunkel Line: Florida by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-165); No Run Line
Dunkel Pick: Florida (+155); N/A

Game 963-964: Colorado at San Francisco
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Hammel) 14.536; San Francisco (Zito) 15.508
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-120); 9
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-120); Under

Game 965-966: San Diego at LA Dodgers
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Gaudin) 14.500; LA Dodgers (Billingsley) 13.518
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 7
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-230); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+210); Under

Game 967-968: LA Angels at NY Yankees
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Saunders) 15.021; NY Yankees (Hughes) 15.552
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-150); 10
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-150); Under

Game 969-970: Cleveland at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Lee) 16.287; Detroit (Verlander) 15.275
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Detroit (-115); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+105); Under

Game 971-972: Baltimore at Toronto
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Guthrie) 15.198; Toronto (Richmond) 14.660
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Toronto (-120); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (+110); Over

Game 973-974: Boston at Tampa Bay
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Penny) 15.099; Tampa Bay (Shields) 16.033
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-155); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-155); Under

Game 975-976: Kansas City at Minnesota
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Meche) 16.886; Minnesota (Baker) 15.745
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Minnesota (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (+115); Over

Game 977-978: Oakland at Seattle
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Outman) 14.805; Seattle (Jakubauskas) 16.311
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Seattle (-115); 9
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-115); Under

Game 979-980: Chicago White Sox at Texas
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Danks) 15.963; Texas (Harrison) 14.529
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-125); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (-125); Under

NHL

Carolina at Boston
The Bruins are coming off a 4-1 win in the opener and look to take advantage of a Carolina team that is just 3-9 in its last 12 games following a loss by 3 or more goals.  The Bruins are the pick (-200) according to Dunkel, which has Boston favored by 1.  Dunkel Pick: Boston (-200). 

Game 11-12: Anaheim at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: Anaheim 11.283; Detroit 11.784
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit (-240); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-240); Under

Game 13-14: Carolina at Boston
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 11.721; Boston 12.494
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 1; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Boston (-200); 5
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-200); Over

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Steve Merril

Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays    
Play: Boston Red Sox +1.5

The Red Sox go for a series split on Sunday when they play game four at Tropicana Field against the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay sends James Shields to the hill to try and get the 3-1 edge in this series. Shields is 2-2 with a 3.74 ERA so far on the year, but he has struggled at home in his lone start with a 6.14 ERA. He absolutely hates facing the Red Sox, going 2-7 with a 5.13 ERA against them. The team is 2-9 in those starts as well. Boston hits .282 against him with David Ortiz (.471), JD Drew (.353), Mike Lowell (.375), Julio Lugo (.333), and Dustin Pedroia (.500) having great success. The Red Sox send new acquisition Brad Penny to the mound who is struggling with life in the AL. Penny is 2-0 with an 8.66 ERA this year. Penny is getting plenty of run support, getting 25 runs in his last three starts from the Red Sox lineup. The burly righthander hasn’t faced the Rays since 2004, going 1-2 with a 4.50 all-time against Tampa. Only five hitters have faced Penny with Pat Burrell getting the most at-bats and checking in at .238. Solid value with the Red Sox +1½ on the runline today.

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Cajun Sports

St Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals   
Play: St Louis Cardinals     

Nationals Park will be the site of today’s final game of this four-game set between the host Washington Nationals and the visiting St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards took the first two games in the series by scores of 9 to 4 on Thursday and 6 to 2 on Friday before the Nationals got a win on Saturday in game three with a final score of 6 to 1. St. Louis will send Kyle Lohse to the bump on Sunday, Lohse is the team leader in ERA with a 1.97 and WHIP with a 1.031 respectively on the season. Washington is 6-27 W/L vs. a NL starting pitcher whose ERA is 3.50 or better the last 2 seasons. Lohse is 3-0 W/L this year and has managed a winning record versus the Nationals (2-1 W/L) even though his ERA is 5.46 when he faces them. The Cards are 5-1 W/L when Lohse takes the bump versus Washington overall. St. Louis is averaging 5.7 runs per game on the road with a batting average of .256 and OBP of .336. With Washington’s starter for Sunday only averaging a little over five innings per start the key for today’s matchup may fall into the hands of each team’s bullpen. The Cards have the edge in this department with a road bullpen ERA of 4.06 while the Nationals home bullpen ERA is 6.06. Washington will send John Lannan to the hill with an ERA of 4.61 and a record of 0-3. Lannan is 9-27 W/L (team record) in all games the last 2 seasons. The Nationals bullpen has come into play when he takes the mound and has cost him a couple of wins this season. Over his last three starts he has an ERA of 1.96 and a record of 0-1 W/L. The Nationals are 4-14 W/L when facing a right-handed starter and average 4.2 runs per game with a batting average of .261 and an OBP of .352. St. Louis is 11-2 W/L vs. an NL team with an on base percentage of .340 or better this season. The Cards are 12-3 W/L when the money line is +125 to -125 this season. Lay the price with the visitor as the Cardinals take this series in our Nation’s Capital 3 games to 1 with a win on Sunday afternoon.

Graded Selection: 2* St. Louis Cardinals 5 Washington Nationals 4

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Craig Trapp

Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers    
Play: Chicago White Sox   

Craig has his free play on Sunday in the ESPN MLB game of the night. The last three weeks Craig has picked the ESPN Sunday game of the week in his free play going 2-1 in that time period. Craig has good trends on his side for today's free play. Check out the records, trends, free breakdown, and winner!

Records

Chicago White Sox 12-11, 6-5 away Danks (2-1, 2.74 ERA)

Texas Rangers 11-12, 7-6 home Harrison (1-2, 7.89 ERA)

Betting Trends

White Sox are 5-2 in their last 7 games as a road favorite.

Sox are 7-3 in their last 10 road games vs. a left-handed starter.

Rangers are 2-7 in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.

White Sox are 2-5 in the last 7 meetings in Texas.

CWS have not been good in TEX last 2 years but have split the first two game and really need a win on Sunday. CHW look to the ace of their staff with Danks going for them Sunday. Danks is coming off a rough start in SEA giving up 5 runs in 4 innings. But he rarely has two games in a row that are poor. TEX has to score big to win as their starting pitching is horrible!! Today CHW holds them under 5 and wins going away. SCORE CHW 8 - TEX 4

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Marc Lawrence

Play On: Kansas City w/Meche

The upstart Royals conclude their weekend series with the Twins today when they send Gil Meche to the hill in the Metrodome. While Meche enters off losses in his last two starts the fact of the matter is he has been in commanding form on the road this season where he's issued 2 walks against 19 strikeouts. With Meche undefeated lifetime in his career team starts against the Twins, look the Royals to improve to 5-1 on the Sunday road here today.

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James Patrick Sports

Carolina vs. Boston

Goaltender Cam Ward has won himself one Stanley Cup and is normally an established, cool & collective team leader between the pipes BUT we'll use our Sunday NHL Playoff complimentary selection on Boston - Carolina Over the Total as the Bruins are 5-1 ATS Over the Total in Sunday action and this series has played Over the Total in 4of 5 match ups.

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Scott Rickenbach

Detroit vs Anaheim
Play Under 5.5

The value of getting a 5.5 here is big because five of the Ducks first six post-season games have tallied five goals or less. As for the Red Wings, four of their first five post-season games have tallied five goals or less! Indeed, it's "playoff hockey" and, even though the Red Wings have been scoring a lot of goals, it's their defense and goal-tending that has been most impressive.

Other than one five-goal outburst by the Blue Jackets in Detroit's series with Columbus, the Red Wings have only allowed 1.25 goals per game in the other four games. As for the Ducks, we trust Jonas Hiller between the pipes and we know that Anaheim will have made some defensive adjustments for this game after leaving too many "openings" in their end of the ice in Game One. What does all of this spell? UNDER!

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Rocketman

New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies
Play: NY Mets

NY Mets bullpen has been solid with a 3.18 ERA overall this year. Joe Blanton is 0-2 with an 8.41 ERA overall, 0-1 with a 10.05 ERA at home and 0-2 with a 6.61 ERA his last 3 starts. John Maine is 5-0 with a 2.54 ERA overall vs Philadelphia since 1997 and his team is 8-1 in those starts. Mets are 20-9 in their last 29 games as an underdog. Mets are 24-7 in Maines last 31 starts vs. National League East. Mets are 5-2 in the last 7 meetings in Philadelphia. We'll recommend a small play on the NY Mets today!

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MTi Sports

Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays
Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays

The Orioles have lost five straight and they held the lead in each one of the five games. As we wrote yesterday, The Jays love the opportunity to beat up on a team that is on a losing streak. Toronto is a reliable 15-1 at home vs a team that has lost at least their last four games. In addition, the Blue Jays are 21-1 as a home favorite after a single-digit win in which they left 18+ men on base and it is not the first game of a series, including 13-0 their last thirteen. Also, Toronto is 16-1 at home when they are off a win in which they came back from a deficit and had more than ten hits, as long as it is not the first game of a series. The Jays are 11-0 their last eleven in this situation.

Complementing this last trend in performance nicely is the fact that the Orioles are 1-16 as a dog when they are seeking immediate revenge for a loss in which they held the lead. Baltimore is also 4-18 after a loss in which they used 5+ pitchers, 3-19 after a loss in which they allowed 5+ walk and 4-21 as a dog when seeking revenge for a loss in which they were tied at the end of 6 innings.

Finally, the last game of a road series is not a situation where the Orioles are a good investment. Baltimore is 0-12 as a dog in the last game of a road series, as long as they are not on a one-game losing streak. Baltimore has lost these dozen games by and average of 4.8 runs and in their two active dates so far this season, they lost 19-6 in Texas and 12-1 in Boston.

With 3-0 Scott Richmond going, why aren't the Jays -165? Grab the short price and check out the run-line as well.

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JIM FEIST

HOUSTON ASTROS / ATLANTA BRAVES
Take HOUSTON ASTROS

Astros occupy the cellar right now in their division. Part of the problem is their hitting where as a club they are batting .245 and have 20 home runs in 23 games. C Ivan Rodriquez came over in the off season but has yet to return to the form he once showed with the Tigers. Rodriquez is hitting just .236 with three homes runs and eight RBI. Carlos Lee leads the team in RBI (17) and is tied with Lance Berkman for HR's (5). The pitching staff has been good with a team ERA of .391 and WHIP of under 1.5. In fact, the relievers and starters both have been keeping the Astros in games and from having a worse record. Wandy Rodriquez gets the start today and he's 2-2, but could easily be 4-0 with his 1.69 ERA and 1.031 WHIP. Rodiquez has allowed just two earned runs in his last 20 innings while walking six and striking out 19 during that span. Jo-Jo Reyes gets the start for the Braves and he is 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA. Reyes has started two games with one very good start against the Cards and one poor start against the Pirates. Sense of urgency here for Reyes with lots of young prospects on this Atlanta club. Too many more poor outlings like that against the Pirates and he could find himself out of the plans of this Braves fanchise. Neither team is big hitting so don't expect a lot of runs here on Sunday, however, Rodriquez is by far the better starter and will keep the Astros in a position to win this game.

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DAVE COKIN

CHICAGO WHITE SOX / TEXAS RANGERS
Take CHICAGO WHITE SOX

John Danks hasn't been quite as sharp as his numbers over his first few starts would indicate and he was drilled last time out. But the White Sox ace still owns a nice edge here over Matt Harrison, who may have the phoniest 10-5 career record I've ever seen. I'll spot the price with Danks and the White Sox.

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Anaheim at Detroit
Play Under 5.5

The last 23 meetings in Detroit have produced 16 unders, 5 overs and 2 pushes. Detroit has played 8 unders and 2 overs in their last 10 games on Sunday. The last four Anaheim scores are 3-2, 4-1, 3-2 and 4-0. Look for under on Sunday.

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Re: Sunday Service Plays

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Miami at ATLANTA

We hit our 3rd straight comp play release as Chicago-Boston OVER comes through in Game 7.

Today, we will play the UNDER in Game 7 of the Miami-Atlanta series.

Friday night's 6th game stayed well UNDER the posted total to make it 4 of the 6 games played in this series UNDER the total.

In fact, the LOW has cashed in 8 of the last 10 in this series, and the UNDER has also come through in 6 of Atlanta's last 8 at the Philip's Arena.

Since this is the 7th game, you can expect some tentative play early on from these teams, and another series UNDER come the end of this playoff battle.

24 of the 44 of Atlanta's home games this season have gone UNDER, and this one will too.

Play on the LOW.

2♦ UNDER

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Karl Garrett

Dallas at DENVER

For Sunday in the NBA, I feel the total in this Dallas-Denver game is a little low.

Recent series numbers show 3 straight series UNDERS, but the G-Man is thinking OVER all the way today.

Dallas did finish their series with San Antonio with OVERS in the last 2 games, and 4 of the 5 games played overall.

Denver was UNDER in their final 3 in their series with the Hornets, but don't blame them, as the Nuggets did ring the bell for triple-digits in the last pair of games.

The Nuggets have gone OVER in 8 of their last 11 home games, and Denver has also been HIGH in 9 of their last 13 games when favored.

Both teams should be quite fresh, and ready to put some points on the board at the Pepsi Center on Sunday.

G-Man going HIGH in Game One.

1♦ OVER

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Jeff Benton

St. Louis -130 at WASHINGTON 

Now on a 23-14 roll with free plays after the Phillies squeaked one out against the Mets in 10 innings. For Sunday’s freebie in baseball, we’ll lay some chalk with the Cardinals at Washington.

St. Louis on Saturday got a look at what life is like without Albert Pujols in the lineup, and it wasn’t pretty. With baseball’s fiercest hitter and home-run leader enjoying a scheduled day off, the Cardinals lost 6-1 to the Nationals, managing just that one run on five hits against somebody named Shairon Martis, who entered yesterday with 6.20 ERA, then went out and tossed a complete game.

Prior to Saturday, with Pujols in the lineup, the Cardinals had scored 15 runs in two games against the Nationals (and Prince Albert went deep in each game). What’s more, prior to yesterday, the Cardinals had scored at least five runs in 12 of their past 16 games – and yes, Pujols played in every one of those. I think you get the picture.

Today, Pujols will be back in the lineup and facing lefty John Lannan, who has a 4.61 ERA in five starts (with the Nationals losing all five). Not only that, but Lannan has served up SEVEN gopher balls in 27 1/3 innings. On the other hand, Lannan’s mound opposition today is Kyle Lohse, who is off to a phenomenal start (3-0, 1.97 ERA). And in contrast to Lannan, Lohse has allowed just one home run in 32 innings.

Lastly, despite yesterday’s result, the Cardinals are still 7-2 against Washington since the start of last season, they’ve lost back-to-back games just once all season and the Nationals (6-17) have won consecutive contests just once this year. Pretty easy call here. Lay the price with Pujols and the Redbirds.

5♦ WASHINGTON

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Drew Gordon

Houston -115 at ATLANTA 

In years past, I'd be extremely reticent in backing Wandy Rodriguez on the road, and especially at Turner Field, where he's had some issues in the past. But I believe Rodriguez has really turned a corner this season, going 2-2 with an outstanding 1.69 ERA thus far! What's even more promising, is he's kept his ERA way down on the road, posting a 2.77 ERA on the highway thus far. Look for more of the same, as Rodriguez builds off the last time he saw the Braves, allowing just 1 unearned run over 7 innings back in September!

On the flip side, I know plenty of Atlanta-backers were happy to see Jo-Jo Reyes pitch so well in his last start, but I'm not convinced. Allowing 1 run over 7 innings at the Cardinals is noteworthy, but its also important to note that he hasn't beaten an NL team in exactly one year to the day! Guys, don't be fooled by one nice start, Reyes was a disaster in the start prior to the Cardinals (got rocked at PNC Park) and was horrendous in his last home start, allowing 5 runs in 3 1/3 innings to the Mets! Point being, trust Reyes at your own loss!

Also, although they didn't score a ton of runs against lefties last year, the Astros did bat a solid .271 against them. Its still early on this season, but they are averaging a healthy 4.6 runs against southpaws thus far, and a juicy match up against an inconsistent Jo-Jo Reyes is just what the doctor ordered to build off a nice offensive effort yesterday. In the end, Rodriguez has been too damn good to ignore at this price and in this spot.

Take Houston behind Rodriguez over Atlanta and Jo-Jo Reyes in this MLB match up.

3♦ HOUSTON

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Bobby Maxwell

Colorado +120 at SAN FRANCISCO 

Today's FREE winner comes from San Francisco as we play the Rockies to get the best of the Giants in this N.L. West matchup.

The Rockies dominated the Giants on Saturday afternoon and look for them to do the same to San Francisco lefty Barry Zito today.

Zito (0-2, 5.24 ERA) just hasn't been very good since joining the Giants and this season they are 2-2 and he's allowed 22 hits in 22.1 innings. Last time he faced the Rockies was last September when he allowed three runs on six hits in eight innings but lost 3-1 in San Francisco.

For the Rockies, it's Jason Hammel on the mound today making just his second start for them this season. He got roughed up by the Padres on Monday, giving up five runs in three innings but his offense bailed him out and won the game 12-7.

It's been all about the offense for the Rockies lately as they've won four of their last six and scored five runs or more in each of the four wins.

We're counting on Colorado and its offense to get to Zito in this one. Grab the plus money and play the Rockies today.

4♦ COLORADO

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Scott Delaney

Take the Dodgers on the Run Line tonight against San Diego, as the winning continues at Chavez Ravine for the team with the best record in baseball.

The Dodgers have now won three straight overall, and nine in a row at Dodger Stadium, the first time that's occured since the franchise was in Brooklyn.

And with Chad Billingsley on the bump, this should be a dominating blowout win.

Lay the run line and bank the men in blue.

L.A. DODGERS RUN LINE

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Matt Rivers

For Sunday take the Angels at Yankee Stadium.

Why would I back Anaheim today? For one, I do not buy into Phil Hughes and for two, I do not buy into these Yankees. Besides that though that's a tough question!?!?!?

Obviously Mike Scioscia's Angels are not all that right now without their main man in Vlad Guerrero but Joe Girardi's club has just not impressed me at all without their big gun in Alex Rodriguez. The New Yorkers look old and just not that good. Guys like Brett Gardner, Jose Molina, Ramiro Pena, Angel Berroa and others are not your typical Bronx Bombers. Even veterans like Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon are older and mediocre at the very best. Only Mark Teixeira scares me a bit and I guess Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada have been alright at times so far this season.

The Yankee bullpen is young and inexperienced, save the great Mariano Rivera and I do not see Phil Hughes repeating that very solid first outing of the season in Detroit. Sure Hughes has some quality stuff and may put it all together at some point but the righty was in the minors for a reason and one start does not make a good pitcher.

Joe Saunders had a great 2008 season and has looked pretty good at times this season. The lefty is not going to wow you with electric and overwhelming stuff at all but he gets the job done a lot more than he doesn't and plus some money here makes me say why not!?!?!?

K-Rod is gone which hurts but all in all I am all about the Halos at the Stadium today!

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