Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Oklahoma City at Miami
The Thunder look to bounce back from their 104-98 loss in Game 4 and build on their 4-1 ATS record in their last 5 games when their opponent scores 100 points or more in the previous game. Oklahoma City is the pick (+3) according to Dunkel, which has the Heat favored by only 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (+3)

Game 509-510: Oklahoma City at Miami (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 127.863; Miami 129.185
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 1 1/2; 189
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 3; 193 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (+3); Under


WNBA

New York at Minnesota
The Lynx look to build on their 5-0 ATS record in their last 5 games as a home favorite of 11 points or more. Minnesota is the pick (-14) according to Dunkel, which has the Lynx favored by 16. Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-14)

Game 601-602: Connecticut at Indiana (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Connecticut 113.818; Indiana 119.837
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 6; 164
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 4 1/2; 161 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (-4 1/2); Over

Game 603-604: New York at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 109.794; Minnesota 125.959
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 16; 155
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 14; 151 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-14); Over

MLB

LA Dodgers at Oakland
The Dodgers look to build on their 7-0 record in Clayton Kershaw's last 7 road starts with the run total set at 6 1/2 or lower. LA is the pick (-145) according to Dunkel, which has the Dodgers favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-145)

Game 951-952: Colorado at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Francis) 13.168; Philadelphia (Worley) 14.929
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 2; 10 1/2
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-175); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-175); Over

Game 953-954: St. Louis at Detroit (1:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Lohse) 15.733; Detroit (Turner) 14.886
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1;
Vegas Line: Detroit (-110); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-110); Under

Game 955-956: LA Dodgers at Oakland (3:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Kershaw) 16.517; Oakland (Blackley) 15.427
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1; 7
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-145); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-145); Over

Game 957-958: Tampa Bay at Washington (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Moore) 15.473; Washington (Gonzalez) 15.895
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Washington (-130); 7
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-130); Under

Game 959-960: Minnesota at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Hendriks) 13.844; Pittsburgh (McDonald) 14.963
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-155); 8
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-155); Over

Game 961-962: Miami at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Zambrano) 15.517; Boston (Matsuzaka) 15.168
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Boston (-135); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+115); Under

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

Ben Burns

Portugal @ Czech Republic
PICK: Portugal

In 2004, the Euro Cup was held in Portugal for the first time. That year's tournament had a number of surprises, as Germany, Spain and Italy were all eliminated during the group stage. With an upset loss (vs. Greece) in its opening game, the Portuguese looked like they too might be knocked out in the opening round. However, the hosts rebounded to win each of their next two games, beating Russia and Spain, to win their group. The Portuguese proceeded to defeat England in the quarter-finals and Holland in the semis, before eventually falling to Greece (in a rematch of the opening game) in the tournament.

Portugal is hoping to take a similar path to the Finals this year. After dropping their opener vs. a tough German team, things didn't look good. However, as they did in 2004, the Portuguese rebounded to win each of their next two games. They beat Denmark by a score of 3-2 and followed it up with a very strong effort against a talented and desperate Dutch squad, earning a 2-1 victory.

While they didn't win their group this time, the Portuguese did get a very favorable draw.

The Czechs did well to get this far and therefore demand respect. However, in terms of talent, the Czechs likely represent a step down in class in comparison to any team that the Portuguese faced in the group stage. While their group was always kind of "up in air," most didn't expect the Czechs to even make it this far.

Facing a Portuguese team that held both Germany and Holland to a single goal, I expect the Czechs to find scoring difficult.

The Portuguese won't be playing in their home country this time. However, they will have thousands of their countrymen in attendance. Their star (Ronaldo) came to life last game and figures to be the best player on the field. Consider Portugal on the "3-way line."

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

Jim Feist

Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies    
Play: Colorado Rockies

Colorado comes to Philadelphia with a terrific offense, third in baseball in runs scored and slugging, plus sixth in on-base percentage. Starter Jeff Francis had an awful opening start, but pitched better in his second start. Francis allowed four runs on eight hits, walking three and striking out two over 5.1 innings against the Tigers Friday night. Philadelphia has a losing home record and riding a miserable 4-12 run. Play the Rockies.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

Scott Spreitzer

Tampa Bay Rays at Washington Nationals
Prediction: Washington Nationals

The Nats parlayed a hot first inning at the plate with another strong outing by Stephen Strasburg into a 3-2 win last night, snapping a four game losing streak. I expect the Nationals to build on the win in this one. Matt Moore has pitched better of late, but he has not proven to be effective on the road yet. Moore has been pounded for a 5.01 ERA & 1.54 WHIP in four road starts this season. Moore simply awards to many "free passes" and Washington should be able to take advantage in this one. The Nats may not need a lot of offense with Gio Gonzalez on the hill. The Rays are on a 0-4 slide against starting pitchers with a WHIP below 1.15. Gonzalez' overall numbers with his new team are outstanding and even though he just faced a home & road situation with the Braves, a road game at Fenway, and a home game against the Yankees, Gonzalez still posted a 3.38 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and a 10.5 Ks per 9 IP mark. Signing with the Nats has certainly paid off with his team winning 10 of his 13 starts. Gonzalez has been tremendous at home this season and his team is on a 26-9 as an IL favorite of -1.50 or less. Meanwhile, the Rays have won just 4 of their last 14 against lefthanders and they're averaging just 4.1 rpg against southpaws, overall. After snapping their losing streak last night, I'm playing Washington to win their second straight on Thursday.

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Matt Fargo

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Washington Nationals
Play: Washington Nationals     

Washington salvaged Game Two of this series last night behind another strong pitching performance from Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals will be going for the series win tonight. They remain three games in front of the Mets in the National League East and have the second best record in the National League overall. Washington continues to dominate with its pitching as the team ERA is now 3.01 which is the best in baseball. The Nationals are 26-9 in their last 35 Interleague games as a favorite of -150 or less. Tampa Bay is now 3-5 over its last eight games following a four-game winning streak and last night was its first road loss in its last six games on the highway. The Rays trail the Yankees by three games in the American League East and the offense was once again the problem on Wednesday. Tampa Bay is hitting only .235 on the season which is fourth lowest in all of baseball and while it has been better on the road, the pitching has been average away from home with a 4.08 team ERA. Gio Gonzalez gets the call for Washington as he looks to continue his outstanding season. He had a bad start against the Braves to start the month of June but has come back with two straight quality outings which makes it 10 quality starts in 13 games on the year. Overall he has a 2.52 ERA and 1.02 WHIP and his numbers at home are even better as he has posted a 2.33 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in six starts, five of which were quality. The Rays are 4-10 in their last 14 games against left-handed starters. The Rays send Matt Moore to the hill and he is also having a very good season but he has not been nearly as consistent. He has a 4.16 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 13 starts but only six of those resulted in quality efforts. His majority of work has come at home as he has made only four road starts all season with Tampa Bay going 1-3 in those games. His ERA in those games is 5.01 to go along with a 1.54 WHIP and Washington has been solid with a 16-7 record over its last 23 home games against left-handed starters.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

Rob Vinciletti

Thunder vs. Heat
Play: Over 193.5

This game fits the Big Totals Angle below which has cashed 13 of 14 times in which OKC goes over the total on the road if they were a road dog and shot 45% or higher in their last game. The Thunder have played over in 11 of 14 on the road if they lost as a dog to tonight's opponent in their last game. The Thunder have gone over in 14 of 19 in the NBA playoffs and 3 of 4 when trailing in a series. Miami averages 100 points pee game and the Thunder the same on the road. Look for this one to play over the total.

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Bryan Power

Minnesota Twins @ Pittsburgh Pirates
PICK: Pittsburgh Pirates

It's rare to see the Pirates favored this high on the money line, but in this case it is justified as they are off a loss and facing a poor Minnesota Twins team. The Twins "got them" yesterday, winning a low scoring 2-1 affair to even this series up after losing the opener 7-2.

Advantage Pirates in Thursday's finale with the pitching matchup certainly working in their favor. James McDonald has been great in his seven starts at PNC Park so far with a 1.75 ERA. He was a hard luck loser on the road in his most recent start, allowing just one run and three hits (six innings) against Cleveland, but the Pirates were shut out and lost the game 2-0.

The Pirates offense had actually been producing quite well during a three-game win streak, totaling 25 runs on 34 hits. Last night they were held to just one run on five hits, but shold get back on track here against struggling Twins rookie Liam Hendriks, who has been plain awful thus far. Hendriks, who is winless in nine major league starts, has allowed 8 HR's in five this year and is 0-3 with a frightening 11.92 ERA L3 starts. Despite last night's loss, the Pirates are still 9-2 last 11 home games including 5-1 last 6!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

Dave Cokin

St. Louis Cardinals vs Detroit Tigers
Pick: St. Louis Cardinals

Jacob Turner has been promoted to start this game for the Tigers, but I'm not seeing that his AAA numbers justify it. Turner is off a decent last few outings, but nothing sensational. Look for Kyle Lohse and the Cardinals to make it two straight wins over Detroit.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

SPORTS WAGERS

Portugal -134 over Czech Republic 

The first game of the knockout phase begins and Portugal should have aspirations of achieving more than just a win today. Portugal has certainly been one of the top three teams in the tournament thus far. They have a very solid unit in the middle of the park that works well with the defensive back four. They cover each other well and tactically look very sound. Offensively, Ronaldo and Nani have been as dangerous as any duo in the tournament. Their speed and goal scoring instincts will be a threat all day for the Czech defense. Kudos to the Czechs for advancing pass the group stage but to advance any further they will really have to step up its game. Amazingly, the Czechs progressed through group stage with a negative goal difference. The competition the Czechs will face moving forward are more complete and talented from an overall team perspective. It’s doubtful that the Czechs will get in the way of Portugal’s quest to get to the semi-finals. Play: Portugal -134 (Risking 2 units to win 1.49 units).

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

Brad Diamond Sports

Minnesota / Pittsburgh Over

There has been only 12 runs (7-2, 2-1) scored in the current three game set with Pittsburgh and Minnesota. No doubt the line tells us that with McDonald on the hill for Pittsburgh the total would look to be short just like yesterdays 2-1 Minnesota victory. However, the Twins throw Liam Hendricks who has been banged around this season as illustrated by a 11.92 ERA in his last three starts. Remember, Minnesota is 5-0 OVER after a win and 4-0 OVER with Hendricks in his last four outings and 6-1 OVER when booked as an UNDERDOG. Finally, we have Pittsburgh 4-0-1 OVER in McDonald’s last four Thursday starts. As far as the weather (90+) factor the heat is roasting, so the ball should be stroked long and far in Pittsburgh this evening.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

JR O'Donnell

St Louis Cardinals -118

This game as stated is a matinee, slated for 1:05 PM EST as the ST Louis Cardinals visit the Detroit Tigers. Cards send out Kyle Lohse who is 6-2, 2.98 ERA & 1.14 WHIP. He has been very consistent all season,, and the Cards are #2 in the NL in scoring. For the Tigers it will be Jacob Turner who is in his first year in the bigs, and is 0-1, 8.53 ERA & 1.66 WHIP. He has been forced into a starting role because of injuries, and has allowed "17" hits in 12.2 innings pitched and "12" earned runs. ST Louis has too much fire power for this young man, and we see them as a small favorite winning here!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

JEFF BENTON

Your Thursday freebie is the Over in the Rockies-Phillies series finale.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday's games climbed Over the total, as Colorado is now on a 7-3 Over run their past 10 games.

Last night's Over put the Phillies on a 10-3 Over clip their past 13 games.

Tonight's pitchers are Jeff Francis and Vance Worley. It has been a rocky return to his former club for southpaw Francis, as he has worked just under 10 innings since his return to Colorado and has allowed a whopping 12 runs on 18 hits. I doubt he will meet with much success on this steamy Thursday night in Philadelphia's band-box.

Vance Worley has a 2.80 ERA for the year, but at home that ERA is significantly higher at 4.30 for the season.

With the pitchers having some issues - especially Francis - I see the ball being sprayed all over the park this Thursday night, as Colorado and Philadelphia make it a perfect 3-0 sweep Over the total at the bank tonight.

4♦ OVER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

MATT RIVERS

And speaking of totals, for your free play winner tonight take the Over in the Marlins-Red Sox series finale.

Both games played this week at Fenway Park have gone well Over the total, as the teams have now played their last three in this year's series Over the posted price.

Miami's Carlos Zambrano has lost his way of late, and sports an ERA of 9 for his last three starts. Big Z has now allowed 22 earned runs his last 23 innings pitched.

Dice-K Matsuzaka is making just his third start of the season, and thus far he has allowed 7 runs in his 11 innings pitched.

Tell those manual scoreboard operator guys out in leftfield to be ready to hang some crooked digits up on that scoreboard tonight.

Miami and Boston Over the total!

4♦ OVER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

Blade wrote:

SPORTS WAGERS

MIAMI -3½ over Oklahoma City

This was game 4 play, sorry.

Game 5

Oklahoma City +135 over MIAMI

Closeout games are commonly the toughest of all. The fact that the Heat are just a three-point choice tells us the odds makers give them a heck of a shot here. We can break it down with X’s and O’s but you can read about that anywhere. What we do know is that the Thunder cannot be counted out. They proved that after being down 0-2 to the Spurs before winning that series. They’ve lost three straight to the Heat but every game has come down to the final minute and the Thunder could just as easily be up 3-1. They’re under no pressure to win here. The Thunder are obviously a strong team. The difference in winning or losing could be the play of James Harden. If Harden steps up, this series could easily be headed back to OKC. The Thunder did not lose four straight all season. Their longest losing streak was three. The line strongly suggests they won’t lose four and with LeBron James a bad step away from aggravating his leg cramp issue, we’ll take a step in believing this visitor is too good to lose to the same team four in a row. Play: Oklahoma City +135 (Risking 2 units

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAY

Miami/ Oklahoma City Over 193.5:  As Much as I would like to take the Heat in this one to wrap it all up, I will go with the Over. I still feel the heat would like to wrap it up at home, but the Only shot that the Thunder has is to speed the game up, like they did in quarter 1 of game 4. They had a 17 point lead and 52 total points were scored in that quarter. The Heat have allowed just 88.1 ppg at home in the playoffs, but they did allow 98 points in the last game to the Thunder, so Oklahoma City can score on them. Plus if the Thunder is down late you can bet they will start fouling a bit earlier to pro long the game. Overall the Thunder has averaged 96 ppg in the series and 100 ppg on the road this year.  Miami has been a good scoring team all year long and at home they have averaged 100 ppg, including 99.1 ppg in home playoff games. Oklahoma city is not a great defensive team on the road as they have allowed 98 ppg away from home. This should be a close game with an uptempo pace to it. OKC has no tomorrow if they lose so you can expect them to come out running and if they are down late, a lot of fouling as well. I expect 200+ in this one.

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Tony George

Miami -3

Really have to say that OK City is a very good team, and they have a hell of a resume getting here but Miami’s overall team concept coming together and King James taking over and making this his team has solidified the Heat as the better team.  I did not think that after game 1, but they have proven they have the experience and talent to get it done.  A young team, on the road, all the pressure in the world, when they have not played all that well down the stretch in this series has me on the Heat to win this at home tonight. Oddsmakers consider 3 points on a home court on the average and your are telling me this 2 teams right now are even?  No Way!!  It is very tough to get to the Finals in any sport in back to back years and Miami will not let this slip away at home, they want it more and it has showed in this series.  They have the most talented guy on the floor and quite frankly stats and ATS trends get thrown by the wayside here, The Heat Get it Done!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Detroit/ St Louis Under 10: No I didn't learn my lesson from yesterday. Other than the humidity, there wasn't a damn stat or any indication at all that would have indicated that the Yanks and Braves would hit 9 HR's, especialy with good pitching on the mound. In this game there will be SOME humidity and the temp will be at 90 by game time, but I feel a 17mph wind that blow directly across the field to third base will negate some of the temp and humidity. Now on to some stats. Forget about the fact that Kyle Lohse has a 12.67 ERA in his last 4 starts with Detroit, as he last faced them in 2008 and the other 3 were as a member of the Twins in 2006. This year Kyle has been very good with a 2.98 ERA overall and a 1.74 ERA in his last 3 starts. Kyle also has a 3.06 ERA in his road starts, with those starts averaging 8.8 rpg. Offensively the Cards have averaged 5.1 rpg in Day games this year, but they also come in slumping, having averaged just 3.6 rpg in their last 7 games and just 3 rpg vs the AL on the year. Yesterday I thought that Marco put out a couple of weak stats for the Yanks Over play, but here is one that I feel really makes sense. This year the Tigers have gone 21-10 UNDER in day games with an average of 8.1 rpg being scored, plus their interleague games have gone 7-6 UNDER, with just 8.3 rpg being scored. Jacob Turner gets the start for the Tigers tonight and this will be his first start of the year and 3rd start ever. Now having never faced the Cards he should have a slight advantage here, plus if he gets into trouble he does have a solid pen that has a 2.08 ERA behind him. to me it really doesn't make sense for this total to be going up. I know it will be hot, but that wind should knock the balls down and negate the heat. I look for around 8 runs in this one.


Boston/ Miami Over 10.5: Last night the Red Sox exploded for 15 runs and while i do not expect that much from them here they should be good for at least 6 or 7 in this one, especially with the heat and humidity still around. Carlos Zambrano has been hit hard in his last 2 starts as he allowed 11 ER's with 9 walks and just 4 K's in 4.1 total innings of work. Carlos does have a 2.36 ERA on the road, but a 4.38 ERA at night on the year. The Miami Staff as a hole comes in with a 6.55 ERA in their last 10 games, while allowing 6.9 rpg over that stretch. The Miami offense came in struggling, but in this park with the heat they have put up 5 runs in each game and should be good for at least that much vs Dice-K, who really hasn't looked solid in his return, with a 5.73 ERA in his 2 starts. This Boston offense is rolling right now as they have averaged 7.2 rpg in their last 6 games, and in those last 6 games they have faced Miami 3 times and have put 32 runs in the 3 games. Another hot and humid night in Boston, should produce plenty of runs here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

Jack Jones

Rays / Nationals Under 7

I fully expect a pitcher's duel tonight between the Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals. Two of the best young starters in the game will be going head-to-head in Gio Gonzalez and Matt Moore, and each will have to bat under National League rules.

Gonzalez has been absolutely dominant this season as he's made the switch from the American League to the National League. The left-hander is 8-3 with a 2.52 ERA and 1.017 WHIP in 13 starts this season, including 3-2 with a 2.33 ERA and 0.879 WHIP in six home starts.

Moore got off to a slower start than expected this season after shining in the postseason. But the left-hander has really kicked it into gear of late, going 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA and 1.105 WHIP in his last three starts. The Nationals are hitting .222 against left-handed starters this season, while the Rays are hitting .234 against southpaws.

Washington is 31-13 UNDER in home games after scoring and allowing 3 runs or less over the last 3 seasons. Tampa is 33-14 UNDER after a loss by 2 runs or less over the last 2 seasons. The UNDER is 7-2 in Rays last 9 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. The UNDER is 7-2 in Rays last 9 games as an underdog. Bet the UNDER in this game Thursday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

WUNDERDOG

Oklahoma City at Miami
Pick: First Half Under 96

Oklahoma City has to do a better job with their defensive initiative early in this game, as it is the area with which they have struggled. The first two games here have failed to top the first half total posted here, and with so much on the line for the Thunder they will have their defensive hats on early - something the Heat has done all series. The Thunder have yet to reach 50 points in the first half while OKC has kept the Heat under 50 in each of the last two. As a small home favorite (favored by 3 or less), the Heat are 15-5 UNDER in the first half the past couple of seasons. They are also 16-5 UNDER in the first-half at home over that span when the total is set between 96 and 98, as it is here. OKC is a perfect 7-0 UNDER in the first-half in their last seven road games vs. good shooting teams like the Heat (teams hitting 46%+ from the field). Take the first half UNDER in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday June, 21

Teddy Covers

Miami @ Boston
PICK: Over 11

“Teddy did it again in Game 4 on Tuesday, cashing another 'right side' NBA Playoff Total winner with the Heat-Thunder Over. He's on a smokin' 9-1 (90%) totals run; locked and loaded with tonight’s Game 5 Heat-Thunder O/U winner!

We saw a 20 run outburst between these two teams yesterday right here at Fenway, a game that flew Over the total by the fifth inning for the second consecutive night. On another hazy, hot evening in Boston with a pair of suspect starters on the hill and a pair of overworked bullpens behind them, look for another high scoring affair in the finale of this three game set.

The Red Sox lineup is tearing the cover off the ball right now, pounding out 22 runs in the first two games of this series, while producing seven runs or more in four of their last six overall. Miami’s Carlos Zambrano has cooled off following his hot start, needing 78 pitches two complete only two innings of his last start; his second straight outing where he couldn’t find the strike zone and couldn’t finish three innings of work. Zambrano is ‘fade’ material right now, and the bullpen behind him isn’t fresh and hasn’t been effective over the course of the last week. That’s how the Marlins have allowed 10 or more more runs in three of their last six overall – bullpen meltdowns.

Boston’s Dice-K isn’t much easier to trust than Zambrano right now. He’s struggled with his command in both starts since coming off the DL, despite facing a pair of slumping lineups (the Cubs and Nationals), with a 5.73 ERA in that span. Matsuzaka had an ERA above 7.00 at home last year and above 5.00 in 2010, a bad fit for this ballpark. Miami’s lineup isn’t as potent as that of the Red Sox, but this is one starter they should be able to hit! Take the Over.

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