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THURSDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Re: THURSDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
1. 100,000♦ Nuggets
2. 50,000♦ Phillies
1. Denver clearly was the better team in game one and will once again be the better team today after getting nipped at the wire thanks to a great finishing performance from Kobe Bryant. The Nuggets are the better overall team, I don't care if they are not the top seed like LA or if they are the underdog in the series. George Karl's squad is too talented and too deep with Carmelo, Billups, Nene, Smith, Martin and others.
Sure Kobe is a superstar and can single-handedly win a game as we just saw but I am not at all impressed with the rest of Phil Jackson's squad, I'm just not. Who knows if Lamar Odom or Derek Fisher will show up? Pau Gasol is very good but I do not fully trust him either. Let's not forget how this is basically the same team that crapped in their pants last year in the Finals against the grinding and defensive minded Celtics as LA was overall somewhat mentally weak against Boston. I'm not sure a lot has changed since then and these Nuggets are no-joke.
Denver is going to come out with a vengeance in this game two. They know they should be the team with the 1-0 series lead and are not going to get swept in Staples in these first two games. The Nuggets are going to come out and dominate as they have done for the past few months. The Lakers are too wishy washy right now and really do not have that feeling where they will step on the neck of an opponent.
If the Lakers win this game, which I guess with Kobe and being at home they could, it will not be going away and therefore the handful of points will be enough as the Nuggs continue their unreal run against that number. But to be honest with you I rerally do see Denver walking off the court in a quality outright!
2. I cannot say that I fully trust Joe Blanton at all but Micah Owings is on the exact same level as Blanton and to get the much much much better offense of the Phillies at this cheap price against the decent but far from good Reds makes me all about the visitors.
Throw out the starters as both Owings and Blanton could be alright or could get blasted so that is a wash. But the defending World Champs boast too much pop with Rollins, Utley, Ibanez and Howard to not expect them to get to Owings and take care of business today.
Sure the Reds have been fairly successful thus far in the early going, relatively speaking, but they are by far inferior today in pretty much every category and with the exception of Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips really do not have any pop at all.
The Great American Ballpark is a total hitters' park and to be able to back the hard hitting Fightin' Phils at this price today is a steal that cannot be passed up, period!
Re: THURSDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
1.5-Unit Play. Take Philadelphia (-110) over Cincinnati
1.5-Unit Play. Take San Francisco (-135) over San Diego
1.5-Unit Play. Take Kansas City (-1.5, +110) over Cleveland
2-Unit Play. Take Tampa Bay (-1.5, +110) over Oakland
1-Unit Play. Take Houston (-145) over Milwaukee
4-Unit Play. Take ‘Over’ 10.0 Toronto at Boston
1.5-Unit Play. Take ‘Over’ 8.5 Oakland at Tampa Bay
1.5-Unit Play. Take ‘Under’ 9.0 Milwaukee at Houston
1-Unit Play. Take ‘Over’ 8.5 Arizona at Florida
1-Unit Play. Take ‘Over’ 9.5 Minnesota at Chicago White Sox
Re: THURSDAY PREMIUM SERVICE PLAYS
Western Conf. GOW
I'm laying the points with LA. The Nuggets let Game 1 get away. They played well and had the lead for much of the game. Yet, in the end, their effort was wasted as the Lakers came away with the victory. That result will have many bettors backing the Nuggets in this game and the line has come down from what it was in Game 1. However, I've enjoyed success many times over the years playing against the road team which came up just short of an upset in Game 1. While there are plenty of examples of it working both ways, it's been my experience that the road team which "let one get away" has a tough time bringing the same type of intensity in Game 2. Conversely, the home team that "got away with one" knows that it has to play better and the close call in Game 1 often serves as a "wake-up call." Last year's Western Conference Finals between the Spurs and Lakers offers a prime example. Game 1 was played on this day exactly one year ago. The Lakers were laying -7.5 points. Yet, it was the Spurs who had the lead almost the entire way. In fact, a 14-2 run to start the third quarter had the Spurs up by a score of 65-45. However, the Lakers battled all the way back to "steal the win," although they didn't cover. What happened in Game 2? The pointspread was lower - yet, the Lakers crushed them by 30 points! With the Cavaliers losing yesterday, the Lakers should smell blood in the water. Note that the Nuggets are 0-5 SU/ATS the last five times that they played when trailing in a playoff series, going 4-11 ATS and 3-12 SU their last 15 in that situation. I expect the Lakers to be much better than they were in the opener and for that to lead to a solid win and cover. *Western Conf. GOW
I'm playing on the Angels and Mariners to finish UNDER the total. After yesterday's 1-0 final score, the Angels have now seen the UNDER go 9-4 their last 13 games and a profitable 49-25-1 in the month of May the past few seasons. During that same stretch, they've also seen the UNDER go 60-37-4 against southpaw starters. Tonight's game will feature a pair of top tier left-handers. Saunders got roughed up at Texas last time out. However, that was the exception, not the norm. In his previous start, he pitched a complete game shutout. He's still got a solid 3.59 ERA and 1.177 WHIP on the season and he's still allowed two earned runs or less in three or his last four starts. Saunders last started against Seattle on 4/16. In that game, he allowed one run in seven innings. The final score was 5-1. In his previous start here at Safeco, he also allowed one run in seven innings. Note that he's gone a minimum of seven complete innings in four straight starts against Seattle. Bedard goes for the Mariners and he brings some extremely impressive numbers to the table. He's got a stellar 2.53 ERA on the season, including an outstanding 1.38 ERA at home. In his last home start, he limited Texas to one run through seven innings. Bedard was sharp in his lone start against the Angels this season, allowing three runs (two earned) and just five hits (6K's, 0 walks) in 6 2/3 innings. I expect another well-pitched affair with the final combined score staying below the number. *Annihilator
I'm laying the price with HOUSTON. The Astros got a big win in yesterday's game, evening up the series and snapping the Brewers' winning streak. I expect them to follow it up by closing out the series with a victory. Oswalt goes for the Astros and he's better than his stats indicate. You may recall that he started poorly last season but then caught fire. He's been pitching better than his w/l record indicates and says he feels "...really well." Oswalt should be fired up for a big performance after watching Wandy Rodriguez win again yesterday. Oswalt should also be happy to see the Brewers. Oswalt last faced Milwaukee last June. In that game, he limited the Brewers to five hits and one run through seven complete innings, recording 10K's (and 0 walks) along the way. The Astros won by a score of 6-1. Including that result, the Astros are 3-0 the last three times that Oswalt started against the Brewers and 14-5 his last 19 starts against them. Oswalt allowed four earned runs or less in 17 of those 19 starts. Oswalt has been particularly dominant against the Brewers here at Houston. The Astros are 8-1 his last nine home starts against the Brewers and 10-2 his last 12 against them here. He went a minimum of six complete innings in ALL 12 of those games and he allowed three earned runs or less in 11 of them, allowing four in the other. Suppan is coming off a great game. However, he hasn't had nearly the type of success against Houston as Oswalt has had against Milwaukee and I don't believe that he's as good a pitcher. Note that he's still got a 4.63 ERA and also that he had a 4.96 ERA last season, going 10-10. Additionally, while the Brewers haven't seen Oswalt since last season, the Astros just had a look at Suppan a few weeks ago. Suppan was "ok" in that outing as he allowed four runs through six innings but only three of them were earned. However, he didn't get a decision and it's worth noting that he gave up four walks and two home runs, so things could have been worse. Also, note that in his previous start vs. the Astros that he gave up a whopping eight runs, suffering an 11-6 loss last July. Overall, he's 0-4 with an ugly 6.08 ERA in his last eight starts vs. Houston. I expect Oswalt to get the better of Suppan this evening and I look for the Astros to improve to 25-15 the last 40 times that they were listed as home favorites in the -125 to -150 range. *Personal Favorite