Monday Service Plays

Monday Service Plays

SPORTS ADVISORS

NBA PLAYOFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE

(3) Orlando (4-2 SU, 2-4 ATS) at (2) Boston (4-3 SU, 3-3-1 ATS)

The Celtics return to the court at TD Banknorth Garden just 48 hours after their Game 7 victory over the Bulls, this time hosting the Magic in the opener of a best-of-7 Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Boston survived a wild series with the young Bulls, winning 109-99 in Game 7 on Saturday and cashing as a 5½-point favorite. The Celtics played four overtime games (seven total overtime sessions) in the first six games of the series, but jumped out to a big halftime lead on Saturday and held on for the win and cover. Boston’s bench scored 30 points, led by Eddie House’s 16 points on 4-of-4 shooting from beyond the three-point line. The Celtics also held the Bulls to 39 percent shooting in the finale and outrebounded Chicago 45-40.

Orlando needed six games to dispatch of the Sixers, clinching the series in impressive fashion with Thursday’s 114-89 victory as a 5½-point pup, as the Magic prevailed without superstar Dwight Howard, who was suspended for the game. Rashard Lewis (29 points) led six Magic players in double figures, with backup center Marcin Gortat getting 11 points and 15 rebounds. Orlando shot 53.7 percent from the floor in the deciding Game 6.

These two teams split their four-game season series, with Boston getting the cash in three of the contests. After the Celtics took the first two meetings, Orlando came back and won the final two games: 86-79 in Beantown on March 8 as a 2½-point ‘dog and 84-82 at home on March 25 as a 3½-point favorite. The home team has won eight of the last 10 in this series and covered the number in 21 of the last 30. However, Boston has gotten the cash in six of the last nine overall and 12 of the last 15 in Boston.

Orlando is on ATS slides of 3-9 overall, 2-10 against teams from the Atlantic division, 1-5 on the road and 0-5 when playing after three or more days off, Conversely, the Magic are on positive pointspread runs of 36-16-3 as underdogs, 10-3 as road ‘dogs and 43-17-1 as a ‘dog of up to 4½ points.

The Celtics are just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 on Monday, 0-5 ATS in their last five conference semifinal games, and 6-14 ATS in their last 20 at home, but they are on positive ATS streaks of 8-3 after getting one day off and 5-1 against Southeast Division teams.

The Magic stayed under the total in four of their six games against Philadelphia in the opening round while the Celtics topped the total in six of seven against the Bulls. In this rivalry, the under is 4-1 in the last five overall, but the over has been the play in seven of the last 10 in Boston.

It’s been all “unders” for the Magic lately, including 4-1 overall, 8-3 on the road, 7-3 after a spread-cover, 7-2 on Mondays and 4-1 as an underdog. Boston has stayed under the total in 21 of 30 Monday contests, but the Celtics are on a plethora of “over” streaks, including 21-8 overall, 36-16-1 at home, 36-17 against the Eastern Conference, 17-4 as a favorite, 5-0 after getting a day off and 8-2 following a straight-up win.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ORLANDO


WESTERN CONFERENCE

(5) Houston (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS) at (1) L.A. Lakers (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS)

After winning their first playoff series in 12 years, the Rockets now travel to the Staples Center in Los Angeles to open their best-of-7 Western Conference semifinal series against the top-seeded Lakers.

Houston finished off the Trail Blazers in Game 6 on Thursday, winning 92-76 at home and cashing as a five-point chalk. The Rockets, who have won nine of 12 overall dating to the regular season (7-5 ATS), took control of their opening-round series with a dominating 108-81 Game 1 victory in Portland. In Thursday’s clincher. Ron Artest delivered a big game with 27 points while Yao Ming continued his consistent effort with a 17-point, 10-rebound performance.

Los Angeles needed just five games to beat the Jazz in the opening round, but the failed to cover big numbers in three of the final four contests. The Lakers, who have won 11 of their last 13 overall (7-6 ATS), have had a week off since eliminating the Jazz with a 107-96 home win in Game 5, narrowly missing as 12-point favorites. Kobe Bryant led the way with 31 points and got a lot of help from Lamar Odom (26 points, 15 rebounds).

The Lakers swept the four-game season series (SU and ATS) from Houston, including two easy wins inside Staples: 111-82 as a seven-point chalk on Nov. 9 and 93-81 as a 5½-point favorite on April 3. Los Angeles is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings overall and 5-1 ATS in the last six played in Hollywood. Finally, the chalk has gotten the money in four of the last five series clashes.

The last time these two met in the playoffs was in 2004 when the Lakers won a first-round series 4-1 (3-2 ATS) en route to their fourth straight trip to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Pistons in five games.

Houston is on ATS slides of 3-9 against the Pacific Division, 10-24-1 after a spread-cover and 2-6 on the road against teams with winning home records, but the Rockets are 6-2 ATS in their last eight as a playoff ‘dog of five to 10½-points. The Lakers are just 2-7 ATS in their last nine as a playoff chalk, but otherwise they are on ATS streaks of 4-1 against Southwest Division squads, 6-1 after three or more days off, 4-1 after a non-cover and 7-2-1 in conference semifinal action.

The Rockets stayed under the total in their final four games in the opening round against the Blazers, while the Lakers stayed low in their last three against the Jazz.

The Rockets have topped the total in four of their last five against Pacific Division teams and seven of their last 10 against teams with winning records, but they are on “under” runs of 4-0 overall, 4-1 on Monday, 7-3 as a road ‘dog and 9-4 on the highway against teams with winning records. The Lakers have gone over the posted mark in four of five conference semifinal games and five of six after getting three or more days off, but they are on “under” streaks of 20-9 overall, 9-4 as a home chalk, 11-3 at home against teams with a losing road record, 16-7 on Monday and 5-1 against Southwest Division teams.

ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. LAKERS


NATIONAL LEAGUE

Philadelphia (12-10) at St. Louis (17-8)

After both teams got rained out on Sunday, the Phillies and Cardinals open a brief two-game set at Busch Stadium in St. Louis with Philadelphia sending Joe Blanton (0-2, 8.41 ERA) to the mound to face red-hot Cardinals righty Kyle Lohse (3-0, 1.97).

The Phillies have lost two of their last three, but got a 6-5 extra-inning win over the Mets on Saturday before Sunday’s series finale was washed out. Away from home, the defending champs have won three straight and six of their last seven.

The Cardinals dropped a 6-1 decision in Washington on Saturday, ending a three-game winning streak. They just went 4-2 on their rain-shortened road trip, but they have been dominant at home this season, winning nine of their last 10 in front of the home crowd and 10 of 13 inside Busch this year.

With Blanton on the hill, Philadelphia is 2-2 this season but he has yet to hold an opponent to less than three runs in any of his four outings. A week ago he gave up six runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings at home against the Nationals, but his offense bailed him out with a 13-11 victory. In his only career start against the Cardinals, he gave up one run on four hits in seven innings.

Lohse has allowed two runs or less in four of his five outings, including Tuesday when he blanked the Braves on four hits through six innings in Atlanta but the Cardinals lost 2-1. The Cards are 3-0 when he pitches at home, and back on April 12 Lohse threw a complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits in a 3-0 win over the Astros. He is 2-1 in five career starts against the Phillies with a 2.20 ERA in 32 2/3 innings.

This is the first meeting between these two clubs this season, but the Phillies are 12-5 in the last 17 meetings in St. Louis and they won four of the last five clashes overall in 2008.

Philadelphia is on a plethora of positive streaks, including 36-16 overall, 57-27 in series openers, 6-1 on the road, 6-0 on Mondays and 10-3 against N.L. Central squads. The Cardinals are on several runs as well, including 23-8 overall, 20-7 at home, 9-2 against the N.L. East, 7-0 in series openers and 7-2 against teams with winning records.

The Phillies are on a host of “over” streaks, including 13-5-2 overall, 7-0-1 on the road, 8-3 on Mondays, 9-1 against teams with a winning record and 6-0-1 in series openers. St. Louis has been staying under the total lately, including runs of 4-1-1 overall, 20-8-3 at home against teams with winning records, and 4-1-1 against the N.L. East. However, the Cards have topped the total in 11 of their last 17 at home.

In this series, the under is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings.

ATS ADVANTAGE: PHILADELPHIA


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Boston (15-9) at N.Y. Yankees (13-11)

The Red Sox make their first visit to the new Yankee Stadium for the opener of a quick two-game visit to the Bronx, sending Jon Lester (1-2, 5.40 ERA) to the mound to face the Yankees and Phil Hughes (1-0, 0.00).

Boston comes north after dropping three of four in Tampa Bay, including Sunday’s 5-3 loss. The Red Sox won 11 straight through the end of April but have since lost four of six, and for the season they’re just 5-8 on the highway.

The Yankees got rained out on Sunday at The Stadium after taking two of three from the Angels, winning by scores of 7-4 on Thursday and 10-9 on Friday, before dropping Saturday’s contest 8-4. New York is 6-3 in nine home games this season, scoring five runs or more in each of the six wins.

In the season’s first meeting between these rivals, the Red Sox swept a three-game series from New York at Fenway Park from April 24-26, outscoring the Yankees 25-16. Prior to last weekend, the visitor had been on a 9-4 run in this rivalry and New York took seven of the last 10 meetings between these two last season.

Lester faced the Yankees back on April 24 and gave up two runs on seven hits in seven innings, getting a no-decisions as the Red Sox rallied for a 5-4, 11-inning victory. In five career starts against the Yankees, Lester is 2-0 with a 3.34 ERA in 32 1/3 innings of work. With Lester on the hill, Boston is on runs of 38-17 overall, 19-8 against A.L. East foes and 7-2 on Mondays.

Hughes was called up from Triple-A a week ago and made his 2009 big-league debut at Detroit on Tuesday, blanking the Tigers on two hits over six innings en route to an 11-0 win. In his only career starts against Boston, Hughes gave up seven runs (six earned) on six hits in two innings. With Hughes starting, the Yankees are 6-2 against the A.L. East but just 2-5 when he starts a series-opener.

Boston is on further runs of 13-4 overall, 17-5 in series openers, 8-3 on Mondays and 6-0 against teams with a winning record. New York positive streaks of 4-1 overall and 5-1 at home are offset by slides of 3-12 on Mondays and 3-7 after an off day.

The Red Sox have stayed under the total in 30 of their last 48 Monday contests, but otherwise they are on a plethora of “over” streaks, including 15-6 overall, 9-3 on the road, 13-4 on grass and 6-1 following a loss. The Yankees have stayed under the total in 10 of their last 13 after an off-day, but they are on “over” runs of 5-0 overall, 4-0 at home, 7-3 on Mondays, 8-3 after a loss.

Finally, the over is 6-4 in the last 10 Red Sox-Yankees clashes, with two of the three contests at Fenway last weekend topping the total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER

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DUNKEL

Orlando at Boston     
The Celtics look to take advantage of an Orlando team that is just 3-12 ATS in its last 15 games in Boston.  The Celtics are the pick (-2 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has Boston favored by 5 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Boston (-2 1/2).   

Game 703-704: Houston at LA Lakers
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 124.667; LA Lakers 128.895
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 4; 196
Vegas Line & Total: LA Lakers by 8 1/2; 193 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+8 1/2); Over

Game 705-706: Orlando at Boston
Dunkel Ratings: Orlando 118.672; Boston 124.120
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 5 1/2; 186
Vegas Line & Total: Boston by 2 1/2; 189
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-2 1/2); Under


MLB DUNKEL

Texas at Seattle
The Mariners are 5-0 in Felix Hernandez' last 5 starts and face a Texas team that is just 1-4 in Kevin Millwood's last 5 road starts against teams with a winning record.  Seattle is the pick (-145) according to Dunkel, which has the Mariners favored by 1 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-145).   

Game 901-902: Houston at Washington
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Moehler) 14.774; Washington (Lannan) 15.956
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Washington (-145); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-145); Over

Game 903-904: Milwaukee at Pittsburgh
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Gallardo) 14.283; Pittsburgh (Maholm) 15.769
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-145); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+135); Over

Game 905-906: Cincinnati at Florida
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Harang) 14.348; Florida (Johnson) 14.578
Dunkel Line: Florida by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Florida (-155); 8
Dunkel Pick: Florida (-155); Over

Game 907-908: NY Mets at Atlanta
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Maine) 15.404; Atlanta (Vazquez) 13.861
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (+115); Under

Game 909-910: San Francisco at Chicago Cubs
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Sanchez) 15.578; Cubs (Dempster) 16.053
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-180); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (+170); N/A

Game 911-912: Philadelphia at St. Louis
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Blanton) 15.623; St. Louis (Lohse) 14.735
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 913-914: Colorado at San Diego
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (De La Rosa) 13.866; San Diego (Correia) 14.202
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Colorado (-115); 8
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+105); Over

Game 915-916: Arizona at LA Dodgers
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Davis) 14.515; LA Dodgers (Stults) 15.816
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-145); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-145); Over

Game 917-918: Cleveland at Toronto
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Carmona) 16.109; Toronto (Tallet) 14.631
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Toronto (-115); 10
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+105); Under

Game 919-920: Boston at NY Yankees
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Lester) 16.691; NY Yankees (Hughes) 15.552
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1; 8
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 921-922: Baltimore at Tampa Bay
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Eaton) 14.427; Tampa Bay (Kazmir) 16.442
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 2; 10 1/2
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-230); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-230); Over

Game 923-924: Minnesota at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Liriano) 15.538; Detroit (Jackson) 16.544
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Detroit (-130); 9
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-130); Over

Game 925-926: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Colon) 15.619; Kansas City (Greinke) 15.093
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-180); 8
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+170); Under

Game 927-928: LA Angels at Oakland
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Saunders) 15.021; Oakland (Anderson) 16.433
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 929-930: Texas at Seattle
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Millwood) 14.872; Seattle (Hernandez) 16.483
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Seattle (-145); 8
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-145); Over


NHL DUNKEL

Pittsburgh at Washington
The Penguins are 2-5 in their last 7 games as a road underdog, while the Capitals are 5-1 in their last 6 games as a favorite between -110 and -150.  Washington is the pick (-125) according to Dunkel, which has the Caps favored by 1/2 a goal.  Dunkel Pick: Washington (-125).   

Game 15-16: Pittsburgh at Washington
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 12.140; Washington 12.571
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Washington (-125); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-125); Under

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Carlo Campanella

Houston Rockets at LA Lakers

Lakers host Houston on Monday for Game #1 of this second round Playoff series. Lakers match up extremely well against the Rockets, winning 4 straight games in this series, two at home by 29 & 12 points and two on the road by 5 & 6 points. This Lakers squad is 39-5 at home this season and expect them to roll over the Rockets in Game #1 to set the tone, especially since Houston has struggled on the road, owning a losing 21-23 road record including a 1-2 Playoff road record at Portland during the first round games. Lay the lumber as things heat up as round two begins.

Play on: LA Lakers

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Craig Trapp

Cincinnati Reds vs. Florida Marlins     
Play: Cincinnati Reds   

Rough day yesterday as Craig's NBA top 2 plays split 1-1. Don't miss out though Craig has really big day today with two 5 star Plays today with one NBA slam Dunk Winner and one MLB Grand Slam Play!! Get in now as Craig has them both for one low price!! Craig's free play is in the National League today between the Cincinnati Reds and Florida Marlins.

Records

Cincinnati Reds: 13-11 (9-4 Away) Harang 2-3 (3.09 ERA)

Florida Marlins: 14-11 (5-4 Home) Johnson 2-0 (2.60 ERA)

Betting Trends

-CIN are 9-2 in the last 11 meetings.

-Reds are 4-1 in their last 5 road games.

-Marlins are 3-10 in their last 13 overall.

-Marlins are 1-7 in their last 8 games vs. a right-handed starter.

Harang and the Reds are great on the road and Florida is average at home at best. Harang has been very good other than 2 starts and he has a ton of experience. If you take away the FLA hot start where they beat up on the bottom feeders of the league, they are way overbet so far. Love this play specially with the value in this game. Reds keep up the hot streak on the road and FLA stays cold as of late. SCORE CIN 6 - FLA 0

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James Patrick Sports

Penguins vs. Capitals

Be there for the opening face-off in game 2 of this Stanley Cup Playoffs Series as the Big Man at James Patrick Sports is releasing his Monday complimentary selection on the ice. The Big Man is as solid as they come in post season action so don't let the puck drop without this selection in your Monday game plan. The Penguins and Capitals are Over the Total in 10 of 12 in DC and the Capitals ar Over the Total in 7 of 10 in Monday action and our Monday complimentary selection in NHL Playoff action is Pittsburgh- Washington Over the Total.

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Marc Lawrence

Play On: Atlanta w/Vazquez

When the Braves send Javier Vaquez to the mound against the Mets tonight hey will do so knowing he is 5-3 with a 2.64 ERA in his home team starts against New York, with 6 walks and 64 strikeouts to show for his efforts. He's also in terrific current KW form with 2 walks and 25 K's in his last three starts. Look for Atlanta to improve to 12-1 as a host in this series here this evening.

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Jimmy The Moose

Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals
Prediction: Over

So far in the playoffs the teams have both been involved in far more lower scoring than higher scoring games. Both the Capitals and Penguins have very good offenisve clubs and the offense will have to show up sometime, and tonight's that time. The over is 10-2 in the Penguins last 12 trips to Washington. The over is a profitable 20-8 in the last 28 meetings between the clubs. Look for the offense to be the main attraction in tonight's game 2 battle. Play the over.

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Nick Parsons

Texas Rangers @ Seattle Mariners -140

Down by three runs twice, including in the 13th inning, the Mariners rallied time and again, ultimately scoring the win on 2B Jose Lopez's bloop single to left-center. Oakland appeared to have the game won when the A's scored three times in the 13th on a two-run double by C Landon Powell and a subsequent single by SS Orlando Cabrera. However, the Mariners have spent the first four weeks of the season successfully playing comeback baseball, and they did it again after loading the bases against LHP Geo Gonzalez. With Felix Hernandez hitting the mound for the M's tonight, I expect another strong performance from the home team; in his last start against Tampa Bay he pitched seven innings in a 1-0 win. He extended his streak to 19 scoreless innings against the White Sox. He is one of the top pitchers in the game right now and I expect a similar effort tonight. His counterpart, Kevin Millwood is 2-2 this season, and has been a workhorse thus far, however it's interesting to note that the Rangers are a poor 7-9 (-1.6 units) against 'right handed starters'! Great value on the home team; play on the MARINERS!

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Jeff Benton

Sunday’s free play on the Cardinals was rained out, so I remain on a 23-14 roll with freebies. For Monday, we’ll head to the NBA Playoffs and take the Magic plus the points in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against Boston.

Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where I’m coming from with this selection. The Celtics absolutely have to be out of gas after a grueling seven-game series against the Bulls – with six of the games being competitive down to the wire, five decided by three points or less and four requiring overtime to determine a winner. Yes, I know these are highly paid, finely tuned pro athletes we’re dealing with here, but the human body can only take so much. At some point, adrenaline gives way to fatigue, and I think the Celtics reach that point in Game 1 tonight.

While Boston was taken to seven games by the young, quick Bulls, Orlando needed six games to put away the 76ers – but the Magic won the last three in a row, including two in Philadelphia, capped off by Thursday’s 114-89 blowout as a 5½-point underdog with center Dwight Howard nowhere to be found because of an NBA-issued suspension. In fact, Orlando’s last two wins in the Sixers’ series were blowouts, meaning the Magic are so much more physically and mentally rested coming into this series than the Celtics are.

Finally, I have to mention the Kevin Garnett factor. With K.G. in the lineup, Boston rolled to a pair of double-digit wins over Orlando (107-88 at home, 90-80 on the road). Without K.G., the Celtics lost twice to the Magic in a two-week period in March, including an 86-79 defeat in Boston as a 2½-point favorite. Obviously, we know how much Garnett means to the defending champs, but you can multiply that ten-fold when they face Howard and the Magic.

Orlando has been an amazing underdog the last two-plus seasons (36-16-3 last 55 catching points and 43-17-1 last 61 when getting less than five points). On the flip side, Boston has failed to cover in 14 of its last 20 games both at home and as a favorite. Grab the points in this one, though I highly doubt we’ll need them as I see the Magic doing with the Bulls did in the opening round: stealing home-court advantage with a Game 1 win in Beantown.

4♦ ORLANDO MAGIC

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Matt Rivers

For Monday take the Rockets in Los Angeles.

This is obviously not the lock of my life as Kobe and the Lakers are awesome and can beat anybody anywhere by a lot but in this game one scenario I really believe that the Rockets have a shot to be in this thing until the end.

Houston lost Tracy McGrady earlier in the campaign and seemed to get better. These were awesome in game one in that blowout victory at the Rose Garden and continued to play really really good in the series win. Yao is an instant mismatch and Ron Artest can d up with the best of them. Sure it's almost impossible to completely stop Kobe as the guy is probably the greatest player on the planet but if you can slow him down a little this number will turn out to be just too freakin' much.

The Lakers have been off for a little while now after disposing of the underachieving Jazz and may not be as sharp as can be. You see it over and over and over again how game one seems to be the easiest to steal on the road. If you want examples just look last round at these same Rockets in Portland along with the 76ers as the 10 1/2 point underdog in Orlando.

Los Angeles probably will win this game as Bryant, Gasol, Odom and others are awesome but Andrew Bynum has been a disappointment of late and has no chance right now against Yao so to almost get double digits with an extremely competent squad that plays ferocious defense in this opener is certainly enough for me.

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Jake Timlin

Now opening up the second round with my freebies I like the Magic plus the points today.  In fact thanks to Orlando have a few extra days off I see outright for the Magic as they take full advantage of the Celtics down a few big guys down low.  You see for Orlando with Howard they are one of the better rebounding teams in the league and with Garnett and Powe out of the playoffs I see the Magic having their way down low in this series. In fact given that Orlando won the final two regular season series meeting when Garnett was out with his knee injury, including a 7 point outright win at the Garden I fully expect for the Magic to win the whole damn series.  So taking advantage of a tired and banged up Boston team I look for the Magic to open up tonight’s series win a win as they make it four straight wins in the postseason.

PICK: Orlando Magic

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Sports Gambling Hotline

Orlando at BOSTON 

4th straight winner on Sunday as Miami-Atlanta UNDER comes through with ease!

For winner # 5 in a row, let's play Orlando-Boston OVER the total in Game One of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

True, the last 3 season series meetings between the teams did stay UNDER the posted total, but we feel the absence of Garnett has made Boston a more offensive team, and the fact they played 4 straight OVERS, and OVERS in 6 of 7 in their opening round series against Chicago is proof enough of that fact.

Boston has gone 17-4 OVER the total when installed as the favorite, and 7 of the last 10 series meetings in beantown between the teams have also gone OVER the posted price.

We expect those HIGH trends to continue tonight, and look for the Magic and Celtics to play a HIGH-SCORING Game One on the parquet floor this evening.

Play on the OVER.

3♦ OVER

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Karl Garrett

Houston at LA LAKERS -8 

Another playoff total for you this evening, as the Rockets and Lakers hold true to recent form, and stay UNDER the posted total.

Houston comes into Tinsel Town having played LOW in their last 4 playoff games against Portland, and the Rockets have also been UNDER in 6 of their last 8 games dating back to the regular season.

Los Angeles meanwhile, played their last 3 playoff games against Utah UNDER the posted price.

In the season series, the last pair of meetings, and 4 of the last 7 have held LOW.

The UNDER has also held form in 7 of Houston's last 10 tries in the underdog role, while the LOW has been the case in 19 of LA's last 26 when laying points.

We open this semifinal matchup with an UNDER in Game 1.

4♦ UNDER

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Bobby Maxwell

Philadelphia +135 at ST. LOUIS 

We're in the Senior Circuit today for a FREE play on the Phillies as they travel to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals.

St. Louis has had great success this season but for some reason the Phillies have been able to turn the tables on them in St. Louis and dominate the Cardinals. We'll grab the plus-money with Philadelphia in this one.

The Phils have won 12 of the last 17 in St. Louis and four of the last five against the Cardinals overall. Tonight they have Joe Blanton (0-2, 8.41 ERA) on the hill who has to pitch well in this one. He's on shaky ground having given up three runs or more in each of his four starts this season.

But in his only career start against the Cardinals he allowed just one run on four hits through seven innings and dominated St. Louis.

Philadelphia is on a slew of positive runs, including 36-16 overall, 57-27 in series openers, 6-1 on the road and 10-3 against N.L. Central teams. They've won three straight on the road and six of their last seven away from home.

Both these teams got rained out on Sunday, which will prove to be a plus for the Phils, giving them an unexpected day off. Grab the plus-money and play Philadelphia tonight.

3♦ PHILADELPHIA

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Chris Jordan

ChiSox at KANSAS CITY +115 

Why not take a shot with the home team and the red-hot pitcher here? The Royals were tabbed as this year’s best long shot; maybe the 2009 version of last year’s Tampa Bay Ray. And if what we’ve seen from Zack Greinke is any indication as to how this season will pan out, I can see why everyone loves this team. The right-hander is 5-0 in as many starts and brings a stifling 0.50 ERA into this Central Division showdown.

And even though his string of 43 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run ended last Wednesday night, the Blue Jays managed only two runs off him while he ended up becoming the Majors' first five-game winner this season. After turning successive complete-game shutouts, he lasted seven innings and threw 111 pitches. The eight strikeouts he produced gave him an average of 11 per nine innings - he has 44 in 36 innings so far – and it’s quite clear that his previous flaw of losing focus during starts has slowly disappeared.

In facing a team that's been tough on him in his career – he’s 4-8 against them – he’ll have plenty of confidence after beating the White Sox once already this season. He worked his fastball well, as he’s done in all five starts, adding and subtracting from a mid 90s fastball that has excellent late life. He can command it to both sides of the plate and accompanies it with a late-biting slider, that nasty tight curve and a change that even has different speeds. Sorry, but the South Siders have no chance as long as Greinke is focused on the hill. Lay the run line here.

1♦ ROYALS

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DAVE COKIN

CINCINNATI REDS / FLORIDA MARLINS
Take FLORIDA MARLINS

Josh Johnson is on the mound for the Marlins tonight, and that's usually very good news for that team. The Marlins are clearly at their best when he goes, and Johnson has been flat out spectacular. His ratios this season have been astounding. Aaron Harang can also be very tough, but he's not exactly a big winner on the road and he's hardly dominated the Marlins in the past. The number is too big for this to qualify as a service play, but the Marlins are the only way I could play this one.

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JIM FEIST

COLORADO ROCKIES / SAN DIEGO PADRES
Take SAN DIEGO PADRES

There's a log jam in the NL West after 1st place LA. You have the Giants, D'backs, Padres and Rockies all two games within each other. Right now the Rockies occupy last place. Colorado has received balanced power from all throughout the lineup as the club has slugged 41 HR's so far this season. The pitching staff has been fair with a staff ERA of 5.21 and 1.553 WHIP. Jorge de la Rosa is still looking for his first win after four starts, though he has pitched well with a 3.57 era and 1.41 WHIP. The problem here might be a blister that de la Rosa has developed on his middle finger of his throwing hand. While de la Rosa isn't expected to miss today's start, blisters can cause control problems. The Padres are coming off a rough outing in LA, but seeing as though LA is perfect at home this season, this isn't a knock against them. The Padres return home tonight where they are 6-4 on the season. Adrian Gonzalez leads San Diego with a .318 BA, nine HR's and 20 RBI. The pitching staff has been decent with a 4.66 ERA and WHIP under 1.50. Kevin Correia looks for his first win also here tonight after four starts. Correia is 0-2 with a 4.71 ERA and has had some control problems with 14 BB's versus just 17 KO's. Have to believe that neither of these clubs will do much this season with suspect batting and average pitching. But with a blister on his hand, we can't count on de la Rosa here. Take the Padres at home here tonight.

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VEGAS EXPERTS

Arizona at LA Dodgers

Can't believe we're getting this kind of line on the Dodgers, who are 10-0 at home and will be facing an Arizona club that is hitting under .200 as a team both on the road and against lefties. The Dodgers are averaging nearly seven runs per game here at Chavez Ravine and are collectively hitting .282 vs. southpaws. Arizona does not do well against winning teams, posting a 28-40 mark in that role the last two season. Look for the Dodgers to win their fifth straight.

Play on: LA Dodgers

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LT Profits

Orioles / Rays Under 9.5

Scott Kazmir of the Tampa Bay Rays and Adam Eaton of the Baltimore Orioles are both of to disappointing starts, but that actually adds some value to the Under here as both are capable of much better tonight.

Kazmir has some of the best stuff in all of baseball when he is on, but he is prone to control problems, which did him in last start at Minnesota, his second poor outing in three appearances. He did bounce back well with a sparkling effort two starts back though, and he should do the same here.

He did pitch very well vs. Baltimore the last time he faced them, holding the Orioles scoreless on three hits in 5.1 innings in his only start against them last season. He also has the support of a Rays bullpen that owns a nice collective 2.61 ERA in the last 10 games, and ranks ninth in the Major Leagues with a 3.87 pen ERA overall.

As for Eaton, he appeared to turn the corner two starts back when he surrendered only two runs and six hits in 7.1 innings vs. the Chicago White Sox, but he then regressed again in his last starts vs. the Angels. Well, he had a good chance to rebound here, as the Rays could be lethargic after wrapping up a big series with the Boston Red Sox yesterday where the won three out of four games.

Tampa Bay will not be as excited about facing the Orioles, and that could have a direct effect on the total output here.

Pick: Orioles / Rays Under 9.5

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Free Selection from Totals4U
Monday's free selection: Baltimore/Tampa Bay under 9 1/2

==============================================

Free Selection from Arthur Ralph Sports
255 - 166 run  60 %

Mon  Toronto Blue Jays

Sun    KC  Royals TY  Sat: Red Sox   TY

==============================================

EZWINNER'S FREE SELECTION

(704) Los Angeles Lakers -8

The Lakers swept the regular season series winning and covering
the spread in all four games. The Lakers won both games in Los
Angeles by double figures and I expect the same here. Ron Artest
has been running his mouth and I expect Kobe to try and quite him.
Lay the points.

2009 Free Selections Record  66-54  (55.0%)

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