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Thursday Service Plays

Re: Thursday Service Plays

MATT FARGO

San Francisco Giants @ Washington Nationals
PICK: San Francisco Giants

This is game two of the doubleheader between San Francisco and Washington. The Giants lost in Washington on Tuesday but I see a big rebound performance on Thursday following yesterday’s rainout. San Francisco has struggled on the road this season but it is playing the worst team in baseball who won for just the first time in seven games. The Nationals wins do not come often and they have not won back-to-back games since May 8th and 9th, going 0-4 following a win since then which shows just how few and far between those victories have been coming. This will come into play if the Nationals win this afternoon in the first game but I do not see that happening either so this is just an example of how the wins just are not coming through for Washington. The Giants are 7-16 on the road but Washington is 8-16 at home so the difference is minimal. Of those 16 losses for San Francisco, 12 have come against division opponents. The Giants send Matt Cain to the hill as a small chalk and he is well worth laying a small price. He is arguably one of the best pitchers in baseball that no one knows about. Part of the reason is that he is overshadowed by Tim Lincecum and the other is simply due to bad luck. Cain went 15-30 in 2007 and 2008 which looks horrible but when you see his ERA over those two years of 3.71, it is a whole difference story. He never got run support but that has changed this season as he is getting 5.2 rpg. He is pitching even better, going 6-1 with a 2.31 ERA in 10 starts with San Francisco going 7-3 in those games. Eight of those 10 starts have been quality outings including all four on the road where his ERA is a spectacular 1.29. Washington counters with Ross Detwiler who looked good in his first two outings but was hit hard last time out against the Phillies, allowing five runs on 10 hits in just four innings. Going back home could help but playing for Washington negates that as he has dropped both games pitched at National Park. The Giants are 7-0 in Cain’s last seven starts against the National League East and they have won nine of the last 11 meetings in this series. Washington has struggled even against the bad road teams in the league as it is 2-9 in its last 11 home games against teams with a road winning percentage less than .400. 3* San Francisco Giants

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

John Ryan

Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees    
Play: Texas Rangers   

Ai Simulator 3* graded play on Texas as the face the NY Yankees slated to start at 1:05. Weather looks quite favorable that this game will be played without interruption. Wang is being brought back to face this arsenal? Not sure what the GM thinking is with this one and it certainly must have the Ranger players licking there chops. Supporting this graded play is a strong system that has posted a 84-73 mark making 37.7 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 has a poor defensive catcher allowing 0.85 + SB's/game on the season. Texas is a solid 24-14 (+9.4 Units) against the money line when the total is 10 or higher this season. Ranger starter McCarthy has been pitching quite well sporting a 1.64 ERA allowing ZERO HR over his last 3 starts. Take Texas

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Matt Rivers

For Thursday lay a run and a half with the Twins.

I don't know why Fausto Carmona is as pathetic right now as he is but he just is. The Cleveland righthander was horrendous as a reliever three years back and would blow game after game after game. But then a season later Carmona was made into a starter and the guy became borderline great. The sinker was phenomenal and the righthander became part of a great one-two punch with then teammate CC Sabathia.

Unfortunately for Carmona he did get injured last season and has pretty much lost it. I do believe that if Carmona regains some confidence he could return to at least being a serviceable hurler but right now he is as bad as they come and here on the turf at the Metrodome is abou to get whacked by Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and the Twins.

Cleveland is a mess of a club right now and it boggles my mind how Eric Wedge still has a job. The Indians definitely have some talent but have been underachieving over the last few seasons with the best of them. Grady Sizemore is now on the DL and Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez are not 100% healthy. The bullpen blows more games than...well you fill in the rest of the joke and playing in Minnesota with their turf and crazy roof is just not a very good environment for this Cleveland team. Yesterday the team obviously performed very well for their ace in Cliff Lee but lightning ain't striking twice here!

The Twins win a ton more than they don't when at home and Scott Baker, despite the rough start to the season, is not bad at all and will be just fine today in a solid 8-3 type of a victory.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Jr Tips

COLORADO ROCKIES vs. HOUSTON ATROS

The Houston Astros(23-28) are gaining confidence agsinst the Colorado Rockies as they look to sweep a four-game set from the last-place Rockies tonight. For the Atros, Pence went 4 for 5 with a triple, a home run and three RBIs in a 6-4 win over Colorado on Tuesday.treak to four games. The Astros have won five consecutive meetings with Colorado (20-32) and seven of the last eight, with Pence playing a big part. The right fielder is 12 for 25 (.480) with a homer and five RBIs in six games against the Rockies this season. Pence has been hot of late, collecting 22 hits with a .400 average over the last 15 games. The Astros will start Wandy Rodriguez (5-4, 2.26 ERA), who looks to continue his own success against Colorado. The left-hander is 4-1 with a 3.35 ERA in eight starts against the Rockies, including a 3-0 mark and 1.50 ERA in the last five. He beat them again May 14, allowing three runs and five hits with a career-best 11 strikeouts in seven innings of a 5-3 win. The Rockies, in the NL West cellar with the second-worst record in the majors will start Jason Hammel (1-3, 4.83).The right-hander is 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA in five road games - three starts.Hammel is coming off another bad start at home, lasting just 3 2/3 innings while surrendering six runs and eight hits in an 8-7 win over San Diego. Hammel lost his only career start against the Astros on May 14, giving up four runs - one earned and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings opposite Rodriguez. The hard throwing Rodriguez already beat the Rockies when he went head to head with Hammel. The Rockies have only gotten worse since that time and they are facing a Houston team they just can't beat.

TAKE COLORADO-165 or TAKE COLORADO -1 1/2

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Tom Freese

Cincinnati Reds at St Louis Cardinals
Prediction: Under

Cincinnati starter Aaron Harang has a 6-1 strikeout to walk ratio in his last 3 starts. The Reds are 13-5 UNDER as home dogs and they are 15-7-2 UNDER their last 24 games vs. a pitcher with a WHIP of less than 1.15. Harang is 5-2-1 UNDER his last 8 road starts. St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter has a better than 6-1 strikeout in his last 3 starts. The Cardinals are 8-1 UNDER in the last 9 home starts made by Carpenter and he has allowed 3 runs total in his last 5 starts. The Redbirds are 24-9-3 UNDER at home vs. winning teams. PLAY ON 'UNDER' (Carpenter vs. Harang)

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

MTi Sports

Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox
Prediction: Under

The White Sox are 0-7 OU as a favorite and in the last game of a series and the Athletics are 0-8 OU when they blew a lead in their starter's last start and lost. Both trends are from THIS season only. Consider the White Sox and A's UNDER.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

LARRY NESS

San Francisco Giants @ Washington Nationals
PICK: San Francisco Giants

The Giants are a much better team than the Nationals, entering this game 25-25 compared to Washington's 14-36 mark. However, the Nats were able to hang in vs reigning Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum on Tuesday night, as Lincecum allowed eight hits and four runs (two earned) over 6.1 innings, before exploding for six-run eighth inning vs the San Fran bullpen. Comparing the Giants' road mark (7-16 while averaging 3.26 RPG) with the Nats' home mark (8-16 while allowing 5.68 RPG) and the teams are much closer in ability in this setting. However, I should note that the Giants were 7-0 (including 4-0 at Nationals Park) vs the Nats during the 2008 season. The Nationals own MLB's worst ERA (5.69 ERA) and it led to the firing of pitching coach Randy St Claire on Tuesday. The Nationals promoted Steve McCatty from Triple-A to replace him and tonight McCatty will get a first-hand look at the team's top pitching prospect, rookie Jordan Zimmermann. Zimmermann opened 2-0 with 3-2 and 8-1 wns (2.38 ERA and a 8-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio) but has allowed five ERs or more in FIVE of his last six starts. He's 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA during that span, with the Nationals going 1-5. Zimmermann's mound opponent tonight, is Randy Johnson. You may have heard of him? The Big Unit looks to become the 24th pitcher to reach 300 wins in tonight's game. He's accomplished a few things in his career, including five Cy Young awards while winning a World Series ring and being named co-MVP. The 10-time All-Star has thrown two no-hitters (including MLB's last perfect game in 2004) and ranks second on the career strikeout list with 4,843. Johnson is 45-years old and some of his outings in 2009 have been downright 'ugly' and he's 4-4 with a 5.71 ERA overall, in 10 starts (team is 5-5). He has however, looked very good in his last two outings, going 5.1 innings (six hits and one ER with a 7-3 ratio) at Seattle and then getting win No. 299 at home vs Atlanta in his last outing. He went six innings vs the Braves last Wednesday, allowing three hits and one ER (5-0 ratio) in a 6-3 win. That's 1.59 ERA in his last two starts, with 12 Ks and just two walks. Johnson got his first win in his major league debut (Sept 15, 1988) while pitching for the then-Montreal Expos. Now, more than two decades later, he's poised to join MLB's "300-Club" by beating that very same franchise, now the Washington Nationals. Doesn't this just feel like the perfect setting? All that stands in Johnson's way is MLB's worst team (the 14-36 Nationals) and a rookie pitcher who has posted a 7.27 ERA in his last six outings. Better yet, Johnson's the slight underdog. Take the Giants, as Johnson gets win No. 300 a day later than scheduled, after last night's rainout.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

LEE KOSTROSKI

Boston Red Sox @ Detroit Tigers
PICK: Detroit Tigers

The return to action for Dontrelle Willis has not been perfectly smooth but he has pitched well at home, allowing only three runs in 13 innings. Willis still will occasionally walk batters but he has shown a lot of progress and there will be great value on the left-hander as his overall numbers will take some time to level out. He will be backed up by a Detroit bullpen that has done an admirable job this season, holding opposing batters to just a .247 average while only losing five games.

Tim Wakefield owns very strong numbers so far this season thanks to a fantastic run in April when everything was working for him. His recent results have been much less impressive, allowing 26 runs in 33 innings in the month of May for a 7.09 ERA. He has pitched much worse in away games this season with a 1.66 WHIP and a 5.70 ERA for the year. Boston owns a great bullpen but this is a team that has performed worse in every area away from home. Detroit is the third city on a long road trip for the Red Sox and Boston is just 13-16 in road games.

The Tigers are batting .275 in home games and overall on the year Detroit is averaging over 5.1 runs scored per game. Detroit has outscored opponents by 41 runs on the season while posting a 15-8 record at home including going 8-3 in the past eleven contests at Comerica Park. Boston is just 6-8 in the past 14 road games while scoring four runs or fewer in ten of those games. Wakefield owns six wins but he has allowed 18 runs in his past three road starts, failing to get past the fifth inning in any of those outings.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Mike Rose

Detroit Red Wings +1.5 -235

After an absence that has felt like it has lasted for the entire season, C Pavel Datsyuk appears to be ready to step back on the ice for the Red Wings. The lineup change comes at a perfect time, even though both LW Henrik Zetterberg and C Johan Franzen recorded a goal and an assist in a wild 2-2 first period on Tuesday night. Datsyuk led the Wings with 96 points in the regular season, and also had the teams best +/- ratio at +34. Detroit played strong defense after a poor first period of play, especially in the second period when it held Pittsburgh to just four shots on net. Unfortunately, the fact that it didnt score in that period probably sealed its Game 3 fate. G Chris Osgood snapped back to reality by allowing three goals on just 20 shots. It was just the second time since Game 7 against Anaheim that Detroit goaltender had allowed more than two goals in a game. For the Red Wings offense, the two goals scored tied the fewest goals that the team had scored since getting beaten 2-1 in Anaheim in Game 6 of that series.

Welcome to the series, Sidney Crosby! Crosby finally got on the board in Game 3, recording an assist on what ultimately ended up being D Sergei Gonchars game-winning goal in the third period. Fellow C Evgeni Malkin had a second straight solid game, as he logged three assists. The hero was C Maxime Talbot though, as he opened the scoring and set a positive tone for the Penguins at 4:48 of the first period, and then finished the game off with an empty-netter with less than a minute to play. It also had to be a relief for Penguins bettors to see G Marc-Andre Fleury post a solid outing. He stopped his final 19 shots of the game, rebounding from a poor first period to get the W. Still, his defense is to thank for holding the team that averages the most shots per game in the NHL (36.5) to just three shots on net in the critical third period. C Jordan Staal has been totally MIA in this series, as he only has five shots and has yet to reach the scoreboard, continuing what has already been a very frustrating postseason for the youngster.

After narrowly escaping with a win in our third straight attempt at the over in this series, well do more focusing in on the side tonight. Detroit has to be fuming after letting the second period slip out of its grasps on Tuesday. With Datsyuk likely returning to the lineup, its really hard to see how the Pens are winning this game by more than a goal, barring the empty netter. Theres a good chance that the Wings take a commanding 3-1 series lead tonight, but the far safer play is on the puckline. Tuesdays game marked the first time in the playoffs that the Wings had lost a game by more than one goal. Its hard to see a worse result than a one-goal Pittsburgh win in Game 4.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Dennis Macklin

Texas Rangers at New York Yankees
Prediction: Under

The Rangers are on a 5-2-1 run to the low, the Yankees 8-3-1 under in L12 themselves. Texas' Brendan McCarthy is 2-0 and 0.60 in his last two and dominated the Bombers the only time he faced them last year. Sure Wang is 0-3 with an ERA of 34.00 but he's had a couple of very sharp three inning long relief outings since coming off the DL and appears to be over hip ailment that apparently prevented him from pushing off. Getaway Day games generally fly and geeeeeeeeeez, this total is eleven and a hook !!! Play the Under.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Jeff Alexander

1 Unit on Florida Marlins -150

I'll take Florida at home tonight to bounce back from yesterday's loss to win this 4-game set. Josh Johnson has been terrific for the Fish this season, going 4-1 with a 2.66 ERA. He has been even better at home with an ERA of just 1.66. He'll give the Fish the edge over Bush, who has struggled some with a ERA of 5.94 over his last 3 starts. In fact, Bush is 12-36 against the money line as a road underdog of +100 or higher since 1997 while Johnson is 19-6 against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons. Cash in with Florida tonight

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Freddy Wills

LAA Angels vs. Toronto Blue Jays    

It has been a rough ride for John Lackey since coming back he has a 6.06 ERA. He'll make a day start at 12:37 eastern time and it will be 9:37 on his watch. I think he will definitely struggle here for sure. He is coming off his worst start and I do not expect it to get much better here today.

Toronto is 19-8 at home this year and they are hitting better and scoring more runs during the day this year than they are at night. Brian Tallet has a 1.16 whip and a 3.32 ERA in his last 3 starts and he is 2-1 during the day with a 3.25 ERA as well as posting a solid 2.96 home ERA. In his last 6 starts he has gone at least 6 innings and has not given up more than 3 ER. That is what we call a quality start so 6 in a row.. Let's make it 7!

Take Blue Jays -101

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Drew Gordon

San Francisco -110 at WASHINGTON - Game 2

Solid Free Play winner on the Reds (+115) over the Cardinals 9-3 Wednesday! Now 6-2 over my L8 Freebies, and you best believe I keep it rolling Thursday...

I can understand why some bettors would be hesitant to back the Giants on the road, with their 7-16 record away, its takes a keen eye to pick the spot where they not only present value, but also will deliver that value. Not seeing much I like in the first game of this doubleheader, but the second game is a much different story, as Matt Cain gets the nod, and that's always been a very good thing for Giants-backers this season.

No doubt, Cain is on fire, going 3-0 with a mind-boggling 0.84 ERA over his last 3 starts! Only one of those starts was on the road, but his win at Seattle was impressive nonetheless, going the distance allowing only 1 run, while striking out 7. That win lowered his already gaudy numbers on the road to 2-0 with a miniscule 1.29 ERA away this season! He's also got solid numbers against this Nationals club, going 3-2 with a 2.76 ERA in 7 career starts - and right now he's pitching as well as he ever has in his career!

You want to talk about a mismatch? Rookie southpaw Ross Detwiler has the great misfortune of having to oppose the red-hot Cain, and he'll have to be perfect just to give his team a chance. True, the Giants have not hit lefties well on the road, but the way Detwiler pitched against the Phillies in his last start, they'll be plenty of chances for San Fran to get on the board. He allowed 5 runs on 10 hits over just 4 innings in that contest, and despite Phillies much more potent offense, the Giants do average a decent 4.2 runs/game against lefties this season (should be more than enough with Cain on the hill).

Bottom line, in years past this would've been a battle between two bottom-feeders, but not so this season. The Giants are 25-25, sitting in second place in the NL West, and with Cain on the hill they are capable of beating anyone the way he's pitching right now. In the end, look for another quality effort from Cain, as he easily outpitches the rook in this one.

Take San Francisco behind Cain over Washington and Detwiler in Game 2 of this MLB match up.

2♦ SAN FRANCISCO

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Maddux Sports - free pick on a 60% win run
since the year 2003 - believe it or not........
Today's Free Pick is Orlando & LA Under 206

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

Free Selection from Arthur Ralph Sports
272 - 177 run  60 %  Thurs  Atl Braves
17-6 run (almost 75% win % short term)

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

Free Selection from Totals4U
Thursday's free selection:
Philadelphia Phillies/Los Angeles Dodgers under 8

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

EZWINNER'S FREE SELECTION

Game: Chicago Cubs @ Atlanta Braves

(956) Atlanta Braves -$127

(Listing Jurrjens and Zambrano)

In a stretch of six starts this season, the Braves scored
a total of nine runs for their starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens,
so his 5-2 record is actually very impressive. Jurrjens
has the ability to shut down the opponents in tight games
and that is what I expect to happen here. Carlos Zambrano
returns from suspension to make this start tonight, but he
is already in trouble again for missing the team charter
to Atlanta. I like the Braves to pick up the win here.

2009 Free Selections Record  83-68  (55.0%)

8)

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

Wunderdog

Kansas City at Tampa Bay
Pick: Tampa Bay -170

The Tampa Bay Rays have the wheels in motion at home once again and they have been tough here. They have blitzed Kansas City in the first two games of this series by a combined score of 15-2, and the Rays have now won five of their last six at home by a combined score of 33-15. It's needless to say that the pitching and hitting are both clicking. The Royals are once again in free-fall mode on the road. They have now dropped nine of their last 10 road tilts, and have been outscored by an amazing 55-14. That represents an average score of 5.5-1.4, or by over four runs per game. You're not going to win too many games scoring just over one run per game. The Rays are killing the teams they should beat at home, as they have run their mark at home to 42-9 when favored in the range of -151 to -200. The Royals are just 7-21 in their last 28 in Tampa, and that included a lot of bad Tampa teams, which this one certainly isn't. I'm going with the Rays in this one.

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

VEGAS EXPERTS

Milwaukee Brewers at Florida Marlins

Florida won the first two games of this four-game series in Miami, but Milwaukee was able to get a 9-6 win last night. Tonight the Marlins will throw their most dominant pitcher this season on the mound in Josh Johnson. Johnson has been outstanding at home this season in his six starts with a 1.66 ERA and a 4-2 TSR in 43 and 1/3 innings. The Marlins right-hander has a 19-6 TSR over the past two seasons. Milwaukee’s Dave Bush has not pitched well as an underdog as he has a 12-36 TSR. Go with the Marlins.

Play on: Florida

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Re: Thursday Service Plays

IndianCowboy

Take Under 8.5 between San Francisco Giants @ Washington Nationals (Thursday @ 8:05pm est)

Sometimes when a line looks to good to be true it is. But, you are not ballsy enough to go against the line, so you ride it indirectly. Such is the case in today's NL contest between the Giants @ Washington. The line is strikingly low with Cain as is just -110 for a pitcher that is 6-1 with a 2.31 era. But rather than rolling with 70% of the public, let's take the Under 8.5 as I believe the line indicates that Vegas is expecting a solid performance from Detwiler. Remember, the Giants have not seen this young man, he is coming off a start where he gave up 5 runs and this is undoubtedly a bounce-back for him. Both offenses are shotty at best and I like the 8.5 number here as this is likely to be a pitcher's duel most of the way. The Under is 4-1 for Cain in his last 5 starts with 5 days of rest, the Under is 14-3-1 for the Giants in their last 18 games against left-handed pitching and the Under is 5-0 in Kellog's last 5 games behind the plate.

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