Thursday Service Plays

Thursday Service Plays

SPORTS ADVISORS

NBA PLAYOFFS

WESTERN CONFERENCE

(2) Denver (8-3 SU, 11-0 ATS) at (1) L.A. Lakers (9-4 SU, 7-6 ATS)

The Lakers, who eked out a Game 1 victory in the Western Conference finals, look to maintain home-court advantage and stay on track for a second straight NBA Finals berth when they face the Nuggets in Game 2 at Staples Center.

Los Angeles trailed much of the night Tuesday in the best-of-7 series opener, then rallied to post a 105-103 victory, though it failed to cover as a healthy 6½-point chalk. Kobe Bryant scored 40 points, including 15 in the final 6:48, capped by six free throws in the last 30 seconds to ice the game. Only two other Lakers reached double digits in scoring, with Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol (14 rebounds) each netting 13 points.

Carmelo Anthony led Denver with 39 points in Game 1, and Chauncey Billups had 18 points and eight assists for the Nuggets, who led by double digits early and were up by as many as seven in the fourth quarter. Denver could have sealed the deal with better free-throw shooting, as they got 35 trips to the line – 11 more than the Lakers – but made just 23, while L.A. hit 20 of 24 from the charity stripe. Denver also got beat on the boards 46-37 and had just seven offensive rebounds, while the Lakers nabbed 17.

The Nuggets’ three playoff losses have come by a combined six points – all two-point setbacks on the road from the underdog role, but Denver cashed in all three and remains perfect against the number in the postseason.

The Lakers have won 11 straight playoff games in this rivalry, and they are 4-1 SU (3-2 ATS) against the Nuggets this year. Despite failing to cash in Game 1, Los Angeles is on ATS rolls against Denver of 10-3 overall and 13-4 at Staples Center. Tuesday’s contest marked the first time this season that the home team hasn’t covered.

Los Angeles is 43-6 SU (24-25 ATS) at home this season, including 7-1 (4-4 ATS) in the postseason. Denver is 23-23 SU (26-20 ATS) on the highway (2-3 SU and 5-0 ATS in the playoffs).

The Lakers are on ATS upticks of 7-4 at home and 4-1 after a non-cover, but they also carry negative pointspread streaks of 1-7 after a SU win, 1-4 against the Northwest Division and 2-7 laying five to 10½ points in the playoffs.

The Nuggets are still 22-6 SU in their last 28 games, and they remain on several spread-covering sprees, including 21-6 overall, 5-0 after a SU loss, 5-0 as a playoff pup (all this year, all on the road), 19-7 following an ATS win and 6-1 against the Pacific Division. That said, Denver is on ATS skids of 16-35-1 overall as an underdog of five to 10½ points and 1-4 as a playoff pup of the same price.

The under for Los Angeles is on surges of 9-2 overall (5-0 in the last five), 6-0 in the conference finals, 6-1 after a SU win, 5-1 at home and 25-9 with the Lakers laying points. Likewise, the under for Denver is on stretches of 8-3 on the road, 12-4 as an underdog, 18-5 as a playoff pup and 10-1 with catching five to 10½ points in the postseason.

Finally, with Game 1 staying under the total, the under is now 7-1 in the last eight head-to-head clashes overall and 10-4 in the last 14 battles in L.A.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


NATIONAL LEAGUE

Chicago Cubs (21-17) at St. Louis (23-17)

The Cardinals go for a three-game sweep of the hated Cubs at Busch Stadium tonight, with Adam Wainwright (3-2, 3.83) slated to toe the rubber for the home team against Chicago southpaw Sean Marshall (2-2, 4.02).

The Cardinals have posted wins of 3-0 and 2-1 to begin this series, holding the Cubs to a total of just nine hits. The back-to-back wins for St. Louis come after a 4-10 slump, including a 2-7 rut against N.L. Central rivals. Tony LaRussa’s squad is now 20-7 in its last 27 as a home chalk, 6-1 in its last seven against lefty starters and it has won eight consecutive Thursday contests.

The Cubs have followed up a five-game winning streak with three straight defeats, and they’re 1-4 in their last five road games, all within the N.L. Central. Chicago has also lost eight of its last nine as an underdog, five of its last seven on Thursday and eight of their last 10 against teams with a winning record.

This is the third series of the year between these hated rivals, with the Redbirds now holding a 5-3 lead, including winning four of the last five battles, all in St. Louis. The host is 6-1 in the last seven clashes.

Marshall came out of the bullpen on Sunday in a 4-4 game against the Astros and got the final out in the top of the ninth inning, then earned the victory when the Cubs scored in the bottom of the ninth. In his last start on May 10, Marshall earned a 4-2 victory at Milwaukee, allowing two runs in five innings. That snapped Chicago’s eight-game losing skid in games started by Marshall. Still, the Cubs have lost 17 of Marshall’s last 22 starts overall, including four of his last five on the road and five of his last six on Thursday.

With the win at Milwaukee, Marshall improved to 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA in four appearances (two starts) on the road this season, with the one defeat coming in an 8-2 loss at St. Louis on April 25. In fact, Marshall faced the Cardinals in consecutive starts last month, giving up a combined six runs in 11 innings, with Chicago losing both games. For his career, he’s 2-2 with a 3.79 ERA in 11 appearances (seven starts) against St. Louis.

Wainwright was a tough-luck 1-0 loser on Sunday against the Brewers, allowing the single run on two hits in a complete-game, eight-inning effort at home, which came on the heels of two poor outings (11 earned runs allowed in 12 innings against the Phillies and Reds). The right-hander is now 1-2 with a 3.16 ERA in five home starts.

Despite Sunday’s setback, with Wainwright on the bump, the Cardinals still enjoy positive runs of 19-7 overall, 16-5 at home, 16-6 as a favorite and 4-0 against Chicago. That includes two wins eight days apart last month – 7-4 in Chicago against Marshall and 4-3 at home – even though Wainwright allowed a combined seven runs (five earned) in 13 innings. He’s just 2-3 with a 5.47 ERA all-time against the Cubs (17 appearances, eight starts).

The over is 11-4-2 in Wainwright’s last 17 starts overall, 8-2-1 in his last 11 against N.L. Central rivals and 4-1-1 in Marshall’s last six starts. However, with Marshall starting, the Cubs are on “under” streaks of 13-3-1 on the road, 7-1-1 versus the N.L. Central and 4-1-1 when he faces the Redbirds.

The under is 7-1-1 in the last nine series battles at Busch Stadium, including 3-1-1 this season. For Chicago, the over is still on streaks of 6-3-1 on the road, 35-17-1 on Thursday and 11-6-1 as a road underdog. Conversely, the Cardinals carry “under” trends of 6-2 overall (all against the N.L. Central) and 50-22-1 on Thursday.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ST. LOUIS


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Toronto (27-16) at Boston (24-16)

For the second straight day, the Blue Jays send a rookie pitcher to the Fenway Park mound, with Robert Ray (1-1, 3.60) squaring off against lefty Jon Lester (2-4, 6.51), who will try to pitch the Red Sox to a three-game sweep of this series between A.L. East rivals.

One night after edging Toronto 2-1, Boston pounded out an 8-3 victory Wednesday. The two wins come on the heels of a 1-4 slump, and last night’s offensive outburst ended a string of nine straight games in which the Red Sox failed to score more than five runs. The Sox carry positive trends of 79-33 at home, 18-7 as a favorite, 37-14 on Thursday and 6-1 in divisional contests.

The Blue Jays have dropped two in a row after arriving in Boston on a 12-5 surge. Toronto is 12-5 in its last 17 Thursday games but just 5-8 in its last 13 roadies and 1-6 in its last seven as an underdog. Cito Gaston’s crew had surrendered three runs or fewer in eight of nine games, including last six in a row, prior to Wednesday’s blowout loss..

Boston is now 6-1 in the last seven clashes with Toronto dating to last season.

Ray threw a gem against the White Sox on Sunday, allowing just one unearned run on three hits over eight innings, with the Blue Jays scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth to give the right-hander a 2-1 victory, his first in the big leagues. However, in his first road start, Ray got rocked for six runs (five earned) on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings at the Angels, losing 6-1. Ray, who is making his fourth major-league start tonight, is facing Boston for the first time.

Lester, who got off to a slow start in April before turning things around in leading the Sox to four straight wins, is in a funk once again. He’s given up 13 runs (all earned) on 18 hits over his last two starts totaling just 10 innings (11.70 ERA), losing 14-5 at home to Tampa Bay and 5-4 at Seattle on Saturday. With the eight-run, 4 1/3-inning outing against the Rays, Lester is now 1-2 with a 6.04 ERA in four home starts.

Despite Lester’s recent struggles, Boston is still 39-19 in his last 58 starts overall, 22-5 in his last 27 at home (all as a favorite) and 20-9 in his last 29 against the A.L. East. In five starts against Toronto, the southpaw is 1-2 with a 3.94 ERA, but 1-0 with 0.56 ERA in two games at Fenway (both Red Sox victories)..

Toronto is on “under” stretches of 4-2 on the road, 5-2 against A.L. East rivals and 4-1 as an underdog. Boston is 6-2-1 “under” in its last nine overall (4-1-1 “under” in the last six), 5-1 “under” in Lester’s last six Thursday outings and 2-0 in Lester’s two home starts against Toronto. Finally, the under is 4-2 in the last six meetings between these clubs and 7-4 in the last 11 clashes at Fenway Park.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER

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Dunkel

Denver at LA Lakers   

The Nuggets look to bounce back from their 105-103 loss in Game One and build on their 12-2 ATS record in their last 14 games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.  Denver is the underdog pick (+5 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Lakers favored by just 4 1/2.  Dunkel Pick: Denver (+5 1/2). 

Game 505-506: Denver at LA Lakers
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 126.851; LA Lakers 131.241
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Lakers by 4 1/2; 209 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: LA Lakers by 5 1/2; 210 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Denver (+5 1/2); Under

MLB

Cleveland at Kansas City

The Royals look to bounce back from yesterday's 6-5 loss and build on their 12-1 record in Zack Greinke's last 13 starts after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game.  Kansas City is the pick (-185) according to Dunkel, which has the Royals favored by 1.  Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-185). 

Game 951-952: Philadelphia at Cincinnati
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia (Blanton) 15.942; Cincinnati (Owings) 14.403
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-115); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+105); Under

Game 953-954: Pittsburgh at Washington
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (Snell) 13.824; Washington (Stammen) 14.728
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1; 11
Vegas Line: Washington (-125); 10
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-125); Over

Game 955-956: Colorado at Atlanta
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Cook) 14.034; Atlanta (Medlen) 14.176
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1/2; 10 1/2
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-120); 9
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-120); Over

Game 957-958: Arizona at Florida
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Scherzer) 13.872; Florida (Miller) 15.441
Dunkel Line: Florida by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Arizona (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Florida (+115); Over

Game 959-960: Milwaukee at Houston
Dunkel Ratings: Milwaukee (Suppan) 15.261; Houston (Oswalt) 16.730
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Houston (-125); 9
Dunkel Pick: Houston (-125); Over

Game 961-962: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Marshall) 15.830; St. Louis (Wainwright) 14.747
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-140); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+130); Under

Game 963-964: San Francisco at San Diego
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Lincecum) 14.599; San Diego (Correia) 15.742
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 6
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-150); 7
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+140); Under

Game 965-966: Texas at Detroit
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Millwood) 17.330; Detroit (Jackson) 16.280
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Detroit (-135); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (+125); Over

Game 967-968: Minnesota at Chicago White Sox
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Blackburn) 15.307; White Sox (Colon) 13.833
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Minnesota (-115); 9
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-115); Under

Game 969-970: Cleveland at Kansas City
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Pavano) 15.083; Kansas City (Greinke) 16.113
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-185); 8
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-185); Over

Game 971-972: Oakland at Tampa Bay
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Braden) 15.040; Tampa Bay (Garza) 16.208
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1; 10
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-200); 9
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (-200); Over

Game 973-974: Baltimore at NY Yankees
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Eaton) 14.024; NY Yankees (Chamberlain) 16.898
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 3; 10
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-285); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-285); Under

Game 975-976: Toronto at Boston
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Ray) 16.008; Boston (Lester) 15.238
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Boston (-165); 10
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+155); Under

Game 977-978: LA Angels at Seattle
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Saunders) 14.929; Seattle (Bedard) 16.075
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1; 8
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-115); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+105); Over

NHL

Carolina at Pittsburgh

The Penguins look to go up 2-0 in the series and build on their 8-3 record in their last 11 postseason games as a favorite between -150 and -200.  Pittsburgh is the pick (-200) according to Dunkel, which has the Penguins favored by 2.  Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-200).   

Game 7-8: Carolina at Pittsburgh
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 12.346; Pittsburgh 14.415
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-200); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-200); Under

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Scott Spreitzer

Arizona Diamondbacks at Florida Marlins

I'm playing the Under between the D'backs and Marlins on Thursday. Arizona starter Max Scherzer has been nothing short of outstanding away from Phoenix this season. He's made four road starts and has allowed just 3 earned runs and 26 base runners in 23 IP. That's a 1.17 ERA and 1.13 WHIP, to go along with a .195 BAA. He'll face a Florida lineup that averages just 3.6 rpg in home night tilts this season. I also expect Andrew Miller to continue to dominate the "Snakes" like he did in his first two meetings with them. Arizona is scoring just 2.3 rpg in road night games against southpaws. Look for this contest to stay Under the Total on Thursday night.

Play on: UNDER

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Matt Fargo

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox     
Play: Toronto Blue Jays     

I will take another shot with the Blue Jays who have dropped the first two games of this series against Boston. The offense has carried Toronto all season long but it is the pitching that has been dominant of late as the ERA is a blistering 2.43 over its last 10 games and it has allowed 3.0 rpg over this span. The Red Sox have been almost unbeatable at home recently, winning 14 of their last 16 games and this line reflects that as opposed to the short line last night. I always say that big lines are meant for either teams that are dominant over the other or starting pitchers that are dominant also and neither is the case here. Toronto is still in first place in the American League East by a half-game and it is above .500 on the road still so winning away from home is no issue. The Blue Jays send Robert Ray to the hill and he is coming off his best performance of his young career as he held the White Sox to just three hits and one unearned run over eight innings. In his opener, he was a third of an inning short of a quality start so two of his three outings have been solid with the one game against the Angels being his only bad performance. This is his first start against the Red Sox whose offense has been anything but potent as they had scored four runs or fewer in seven of their previous eight games prior to last night. Boston counters with Jon Lester who is having a tough season. He has a 6.51 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in his first eight starts including a 6.04 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in four home outings. He has allowed five runs or more in five of his eight starts including the last two and he now faces a lineup that is hitting lefties at a .306 clip, third best in the Majors. The Blue Jays are 39-12 in their last 51 games after allowing five runs or more in their previous game so this is a great spot for the recently excellent pitching to bounce back and help salvage one game from this series before Interleague play gets underway over the holiday weekend. 3* Toronto Blue Jays

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Dave Cokin

Rockies @ Braves
Play: Braves

Kris Medlen makes his eagerly anticipated debut tonight for the Braves. Medlen has been nothing short of amazing at AAA Gwinnett. 5-0, 1.19 just 20 hits in 37.2 IP with 44 K's. The fact Medlen has been promoted ahead of monster prospect Tommy Hanson is notable. Aaron Cook throws for the Rockies and he can be very tough at times. But Atlanta has hammered the Rockies the last two nights and at the inexpensive price, I like the home team to win again tonight.

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James Patrick

Giants vs. Padres

In National League Baseball action in Thursday games our complinetary selection is San Francisco Giants behind Cy Young Award winner Lincecum who is 3-1 at Petco Park with 1.24 ERA against the Holy Men.

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Jimmy The Moose

Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays
Prediction: Over

The A's have played over the total in 8 of their last 10 games overall. The over is 6-1 in their last 7 road games. The over is 6-1 in their last 7 games as a road dog. Braden's ERA over his last 3 starts is 6.35. Tampa has played the over in 7 of their last 9 overall. The over is 8-2-2 in their last 12 games as a favorite. The over is 11-4-1 in their last 16 home games. Both offense's are clicking right now and they will continue to do so this afternoon. Play the over.

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Marc Lawrence

San Francisco Giants @ San Diego Padres
PICK: San Francisco Giants

After a rocky start, last year's NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum has rounded back into terrific current form. He enters tonight contest at San Diego knowing he's won 4 of his las 5 team starts. He's also 7-2 in his career team starts against the Padres. Look for more of the same here this evening.

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Craig Trapp

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees    
Play: New York Yankees -1½

Rough week for the Free Plays in MLB for Craig. But the good news is the 5 star Plays have been on fire going 9-2 in his MLB top play of each day!! Today Craig has 2 stong plays and to break the losing streak he is going to give one of his top plays as free play. Lets look at the records, trends, and Breakdown.

Records

Baltimore Orioles 16-24, 5-13 away (Eaton 2-4, 7.93 ERA)

New York Yankees 23-17, 12-7 home (Chamberlain 2-1, 3.76
ERA)

Betting Trends

-Orioles are 7-20 in their last 27 road games vs. a right-handed starter.

-Orioles are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings.

-Yankees are 5-1 in Chamberlains last 6 home starts.

-Yankees are 43-18 in their last 61 during game 3 of a series.

The New York Yankees have been on fire winning 9 in a row and since AROD came back they have outscored opponents 52-25. The new Yankee stadium plays well for NY as they lead the majors in homers and every player can hit it out at any time. After struggling early in the season the starting pitchers in the last 9 wins have been great with a sub 3.00 ERA. Chamberlin will have extra motivation on the mound today as HUFF mocked his fist pump after hitting HR in Baltimore a few weeks ago. Chamberlin will be lights out tonight and shut down BALT who has been struggling to score. NY is 5-3 this year verse BALT and in each of the wins the won by 2 or more runs so don't fear giving up the run and half. EASY WINNER!! SCORE NYY 7 - BALT 3

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Red Dog Sports

Texas at Detroit
Play Detroit

Edwin Jackson has an ERA of 2.70 in his last 3 while Kevin Millwood's ERA is 4.43 in that same span. The Tigers are 13-5 at home while Texas is 9-10 on the road and the Rangers are just 1-11 in their last 12 at Detroit. Play the Tigers at home.

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Jeff Benton

I’ve hit back-to-back free plays after the Pirates pulled it out in the ninth inning at Washington on Wednesday. For Thursday, we’ll head to the NBA Western Conference finals and play the Lakers-Nuggets game OVER the total.

I know I scored a 5 Dime winner with the “under” in Game 1 of this series, but to be honest, it was a lucky winner. The teams were on pace for an “over” after halftime and only a low-scoring third quarter (41 total points) and some poor free-throw shooting by Denver kept the score down. Even with those two factors, the squads still combined for 208 points – this despite going 73-for-164 from the field (44.5 percent).

You have to believe that both teams will shoot a higher percentage tonight and you also have to figure that Denver will improve from the foul line and at least match its season free-throw average of 76 percent. What’s more, aside from Kobe Bryant (40 points) and Carmelo Anthony (39 points), no other player had a real big scoring night. That’s likely to change tonight, too, while Kobe and ‘Melo aren’t about to be slowed down.

Finally, going back to last year, the under is 7-1 in the last eight meetings. However, that’s mostly because the posted totals have been through the roof. Fact is, these squads have gone way over 200 points in seven of the last 10 meetings with combined totals of 215, 242, 229, 208, 201, 218 and 208. Also, the last six battles in Los Angeles have had an average combined total of 217.7 ppg. This has shootout written all over it, folks. Play it OVER the posted price.

3♦ Nuggets-Lakers OVER the total

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Matt Rivers

For Thursday take the Yankees and lay a run and a half.

I have been bashing the Yankees pretty much all season long believing they are well overrated and even with the recent hot play do not feel that Joe Girardi's squad will win the World Series this season but with that said I don't see anything but a burial today in the Bronx.

Adam Eaton is not the same guy from seasons' past where he was a borderline All-Star and right now could get drilled at the drop of a hat. Joba Chamberlain may not be a guy that is going to go out there and throw a complete game as he throws too many pitches but Joba is light years superior to Eaton right now and the Yankees are much much better than the Orioles.

Baltimore scored a run against CC Sabathia in the opener of this series and then did nothing after that. The bottom of the lineup was atrocious with guys named Nolan Reimold, Lou Montanez, Gregg Zaun and Robert Andino. Granted I don't normally mind Baltimore's bats with quality hitters in Markakis, Mora, Jones and Huff but today is just too much of a mismatch as Arod and Teixeira really have things cooking right now and anything less than a four run burial would surprise me, if not shock me.

This thing has 7-2 written all over it!

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Sports Gambling Hotline

Denver at LA LAKERS

For Thursday night, take the UNDER once again in the Nuggets-Lakers series.

Game One on Tuesday stayed LOW to make it 7 of the last 8 meetings between the team having gone UNDER.

Denver also sports UNDER numbers of 12-4 their last 16 times installed as an underdog, and 8-3 their last 11 when playing on the road.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles has played 5 straight playoff UNDERS, and have held LOW in 8 of their last 10 this postseason.

Finally, the Lakers are on a  25-9 UNDER the total clip their last 34 when installed as the favorite.

Those numbers cannot be overlooked.

Play on the UNDER in Game Two of the West Finals.

5♦ UNDER

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Karl Garrett

Arizona -125 at FLORIDA 

Tonight on the diamond, going to lay a little road wood with Max Scherzer and his Diamonback-mates.

Scherzer finally notched his first big league win, and I have a feeling this kid is about to take off now that the pressure of getting that win is a thing of the past.

Scherzer is fresh off 6 scoreless innings in Atlanta, and over 4 road starts this season, he has kept his ERA a slender 1.17.

His counterpart Andrew Miller is also coming into tonight's start off a win, but his ERA for the year is still over 6. I expect Arizona to get something cooking off of Miller before too long.

Arizona has actually won 3 of their last 4 games, while Florida is just 8-22 since their 11-0 start to the season, losing 8 of their last 10 games.

G-Man going with the snakes.

2♦ ARIZONA

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Bobby Maxwell

San Francisco at SAN DIEGO +130 

West Coast winner on the diamond tonight as we play the Padres at home against the Giants.

These teams have met seven times this season and the home team has won every game, including Wednesday night when the Padres got their second straight 2-1 home win over the Giants. San Francisco just can't get any offense going in Petco Park in San Diego, so we'll play the plus-money on the home-team Padres tonight.

The Giants are 0-5 in San Diego this season and they've scored all of nine runs in those five games, including one in each of the last three.

The Padres have been a streaky team this season, starting the season red-hot and then going through a long dry spell and now they have won five in a row - all at home. Kevin Correia (1-2, 5.06 ERA) is on the hill for San Diego, going up against Giants' ace Tim Lincecum (3-1, 3.75 ERA).

Lincecum's one loss this season came in San Diego back on April 12 when he allowed four runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings of a 6-1 loss. Correia has pitched pretty well this season, allowing three runs or less in six of his seven starts this season.

Neither one of these teams is going to put up a lot of runs, but San Diego has beaten Lincecum once this year and they can get a few more across than the Giants. Play the plus-money Padres in this one.

3♦ SAN DIEGO

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Jim Feist

Chicago Cubs vs St Louis Cardinals
Take Under

Both teams have been missing some key offensive bats. The Cubs' lack of depth at third base has created a strain on the lineup beyond the loss of All-Star Aramis Ramirez. Mike Fontenot is in a 1-for-29 stretch going back more than two weeks, which is not good with Ramirez probably out until after the All-Star break because of his shoulder injury. Bobby Scales, like Fontenot a natural second baseman, is Piniella's next choice at third, and he has only eight games of big-league experience. Lou Piniella admitted this week: "We're not exactly crushing the ball on offense." 2 above average starters go here, in Sean Marshall and Adam Wainwright. Don't look for many runs in this NL game, play the Cubs/Cardinals under the total.

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Game Time Sports Advisors

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds    
Play: Philadelphia Phillies 

Sometimes, teams just win with a certain guys on the hill. Today, that guy is Joe Blanton. Philly is 11-3 his last 14 starts, and 5-1 his last 6 road starts. Coming off a tough loss last night, we look for the Phillies offense to get it going in this afternoon game in Cincy's bandbox.

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LT Profits

Chicago Cubs @ St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals have taken the first two games of this series with the Chicago Cubs by scored of 3-0 and 2-1, and we see a similarly low scoring game here tonight.

Cards starter Adam Wainwright has pitched much better at home this season than his 1-2 home mark would indicate, as he had a spiffy 3.16 ERA in this ballpark with a nice 1.24 WHIP in five starts. He tossed a gem in his last start, limiting the Milwaukee Brewers to only one run and two hits with seven strikeouts in eight innings, albeit to no avail in a tough-luck 1-0 loss. He also owns four Quality Starts in his last five starts vs. the Cubs over the last two years.

The Cubs counter with Sean Marshall, who has allowed three runs or less in four of his five starts this year including one vs. St. Louis. In fact, he has now allowed three runs or less in each of his last six career starts against the Cardinals. The southpaw should take advantage of a Redbirds lineup that is hitting just .222 vs. left-handed pitchers this season, including a pathetic .185 over the last 10 games!

The Under is now 13-3-1 in the last 17 road starts made by Marshall, and when we factor in the sharp home form of Wainwright, look for that to continue.

Pick: Cubs/Cardinals Under 8.5

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

John Ryan

Oakland Athletics vs. Tampa Bay Rays    
Play: Tampa Bay Rays

Ai Simulator 3* graded play on Tampa Bay as the host Oakland slated to start at 4:05 EST. Supporting this graded play is a strong system that has posted a 58-5 mark for 92% winners since 2003. Play against all dogs with a money line of +175 to +250 and is a cold hitting team batting .250 or worse over their last 20 games facing an opponent with a hot starting pitcher posting a WHIP <= 1.000 over his last 5 starts. Impressive to say the least, but still just a system that REINFORCES the grading from the AiS on TB. Oakland is just 3-17 (-13.6 Units) against the money line in road games versus an AL starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.200 or better over the last 2 seasons; 7-24 (-16.0 Units) against the money line in road games in day games over the last 2 seasons. TB Manager knows how to get his team ready to defeat weaker opponents. Note that he is 52-9 (+35.7 Units) against the money line as a favorite of -150 or more in all games he has coached at TB. Oakland starter Bradon is still having trouble applying pressure to the ball with his middle finger. The inability of have different amounts of pressure on a ball causes the ball to have far less movement on it. Less movement means balls hit more often and a lot harder. Take TB.


Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees    
Play: Baltimore Orioles

Ai Simulator 3* graded play on Baltimore as they face the NYY slated to start at - Supporting this graded play is a strong system that has posted a 80-62 mark making 42.6 units since 2003. Play against all favorites with a money line of -110 or higher with a poor bullpen whose ERA is 4.50 or worse on the season and with poor defensive catchers allowing 0.85 + SB's/game on the season. Yanks, more times than not, take for granted a win against an inferior opponent before the game even starts. Note that they are 11-17 (-19.4 Units) against the money line versus an AL starting pitcher whose ERA is 6.20 or worse over the last 3 seasons. They are also 22-30 (-21.2 Units) against the money line when the total is 10 or higher over the last 2 seasons. Take Baltimore.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Tom Freese

San Francisco at San Diego

San Francisco is 9-3 their last 12 games as favorites and they are 4-1 their last 5 games as road favorites. The Giants are 7-1 with Tim Lincecum in Game 3 of a series and they are 6-1 with Lincecum in his last 7 starts vs. the Padres. San Diego is 4-10 their last 14 games vs. NL West foes and they are 4-12 their last 16 games as underdogs. The Padres are 4-9 their last 13 games vs. a pitcher with a WHIP of over 1.30. PLAY ON SAN FRANCISCO - (Lincecum vs. Correia)

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