NOW HIRING - HANDICAPPERS

TheSpread Insiders are looking for new handicapping talent to add to our roster for this upcoming Football season. If you are an amateur handicapper looking to take your game to the next level or an existing full time handicapper looking to to get associated with and established brand like TheSpread.com now is your chance.

Contact Us using the link at the top of the page to introduce yourself and find out more!

Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Oklahoma City at Golden State
The Thunder look to build on their 5-0 ATS record in their last 5 road games against teams with a winning home record. Oklahoma City is the pick (-3 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Thunder favored by 5. Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-3 1/2)

Game 501-502: New York at Chicago (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 128.343; Chicago 116.789
Dunkel Line & Total: New York by 11 1/2; 196
Vegas Line & Total: New York by 3 1/2; 190 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New York (-3 1/2); Over

Game 503-504: Oklahoma City at Golden State (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 128.104; Golden State 122.923
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 5; 200
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 3 1/2; 204 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-3 1/2); Under

NHL

San Jose at Detroit
The Red Wings look to bounce back from their 1-0 loss to St. Louis and build on their 5-1 record in their last 6 games after scoring 2 goals or less in the previous game. Detroit is the pick (-120) according to Dunkel, which has the Red Wings favored by 1/2 a goal. Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-120)


Game 1-2: NY Islanders at Boston (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Islanders 11.802; Boston 12.125
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 1/2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Boston (-175); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-175); Under

Game 3-4: Carolina at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Carolina 8.948; Washington 12.776
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 3; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Washington (-200); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-200); Over

Game 5-6: Ottawa at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Ottawa 10.663; Philadelphia 11.827
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 1; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia (-135); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-135); Under

Game 7-8: Montreal at Buffalo (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Montreal 11.660; Buffalo 12.4011.533
Dunkel Line & Total: Buffalo by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Montreal (-140); 5
Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (+120); Over

Game 9-10: Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 12.988; Tampa Bay 11.314
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 1 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-135); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-135); Over

Game 11-12: San Jose at Detroit (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Jose 10.739; Detroit 11.386
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit (-120); 5
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-120); Under

Game 13-14: St. Louis at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis 11.502; Minnesota 11.883
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 1/2; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: St. Louis (-115); 5
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-105); Over

Game 15-16: Florida at Winnipeg (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Florida 11.322; Winnipeg 11.635
Dunkel Line & Total: Winnipeg by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Winnipeg (-170); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Winnipeg (-170); Under

Game 17-18: Colorado at Los Angeles (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado 10.588; Los Angeles 11.635
Dunkel Line & Total: Los Angeles by 1; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Los Angeles (-250); 5
Dunkel Pick: Los Angeles (-250); Under

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Toronto at Detroit
The Tigers look to bounce back from yesterday's loss to the Jays and build on their 6-0 record in Doug Fister's last 6 starts as a home favorite. Detroit is the pick (-135) according to Dunkel, which has the Tigers favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-135)

Game 901-902: San Francisco at Chicago Cubs (2:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Vogelsong) 17.186; Cubs (Feldman) 14.182
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 3; 7
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-140); No Total
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-140); N/A

Game 903-904: LA Dodgers at San Diego (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Greinke) 15.215; San Diego (Marquis) 15.841
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-170); 6 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+150); Over

Game 905-906: Toronto at Detroit (1:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Johnson) 14.524; Detroit (Fister) 15.550
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Detroit (-135); 8
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-135); Under

Game 907-908: NY Yankees at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Hughes) 15.361; Cleveland (McCallister) 15.804
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 909-910: Baltimore at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Tillman) 16.074; Boston (Aceves) 15.700
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Boston (-125); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (+105); Over

Game 911-912: Oakland at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Griffin) 15.512; LA Angels (Vargas) 15.834
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-130); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-130); Under

Game 913-914: Texas at Seattle (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Grimm) 15.147; Seattle (Hernandez) 15.748
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Seattle (-150); 7
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (-150); Under

Game 915-916: Chicago White Sox at Washington (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Axelrod) 14.904; Washington (Haren) 16.018
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Washington (-155); 8
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-155); Over

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Bryan Leonard

Chicago White Sox vs. Washington Nationals    
Play: Chicago White Sox

The White Sox and Nationals will wrap up their interleague series on Thursday when Dylan Axelrod takes the ball against Dan Haren. Axelrod paid his dues over six seasons in the minor leagues before making the White Sox Opening Day rotation this season. One thing Axelrod excelled at in the minors was avoiding the long ball, allowing just 25 home runs in 572.1 minor league innings. Axelrod is a ground ball pitcher and did a tremendous job in his first outing avoiding the barrel of the bat. Axelrod allowed just three hits and only one line drive over 5.2 innings in his first start. Entering Wednesday's action, the White Sox have one of the top bullpens of the young season so far.

Dan Haren had the opposite kind of start. Haren, who is trying to get his career back on track, allowed four home runs and nine hits over four innings in his last start. Haren is trending in the wrong direction, with a drop in swinging strike rate in each of the last four seasons, to go along with a drop in velocity and more balls put in play. Against a homer-happy White Sox lineup, Haren could be in for another rough outing.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Jim Feist

Thunder vs. Warriors    
Play: Under 205

Oklahoma City and Golden State have a lot of young legs who like to run, but the defenses are very good and very underrated. Oklahoma City is 12th in the NBA in points allowed, 2nd in field goal shooting defense allowing 42% shooting. OKC is on an 8-2-2 run under the total, and 6-1-1 under the total on the road. Golden State is 4th in the NBA in field goal shooting defense because second-year coach Mark Jackson has demanded better defense and gotten it. The under is 10-3 against the Western Conference. These teams met on this court on January 23, under the total in a 104-99 Golden State win and look for more defense than oddsmakers expect. Play Thunder/Warriors Under the Total.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Dave Cokin

Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels
Pick: Oakland Athletics

This is not exactly the start the big spending Angels envisioned, as they are really scuffling to open the season. But it's also not exactly an unfamiliar feeling for the Halos as they went through the same thing out of the 2012 gate. An inability to hit with runners on base, very shaky bullpen work...yeah, it's deja vu all over again for this entry. Don't be surprised if another loss ends uo as the result tonight. All AJ Griffin basically has to do is show up for Oakland and the team wins. The A's are 14-3 when Griffin starts going back to his debut last season. Jason Vargas has pitched well in a small sample of starts in this ballpark, and after a rough spring training, the southpaw was okay in his first official start as an Angel. In fact, just off the pitching metrics, I give Vargas the edge tonight. But the team elements are all Oakland. In addition to that gaudy win percentage when Griffin goes, there's the current Oakland form. You don't have to twist my arm to get me interested in an underdog that's on a seven-game winning streak. You should be able to get about +120 here with the dog, and that's good enough to take a shot with the A's to finish off the series sweep.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Ray Monohan

Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners
Play: Seattle Mariners

Any time King Felix Hernandez takes the mound you have to at least consider the Mariners as he can certainly dominate a game. This season he has been sharp but has just a 1-1 record to show for it. His numbers overall against Texas are not fantastic but I am down on the Rangers right now. Their lineup isn’t what is used to be and their pitching is thinner than ever. Tonight they are going with Justin Grimm on the hill. He made a few starts last season for the Rangers and got knocked around pretty good. Not huge value on the small card tonight but this game works.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Stephen Nover

Chicago White Sox +145

The Nationals have one weak spot in their starting pitching rotation - Dan Haren. Just like Roy Halliday, Haren is slipping fast. His velocity has been dropping for the last couple of years. He posted a 4.33 ERA last year with a losing record. Haren was smacked for six runs on nine hits in four innings against the Reds in his first game this season, including allowing four homers.

While Haren is trending downward, the arrow is pointing up for White Sox pitcher Dylan Axelrod, who allowed one unearned run and three hits in 5 2/3 innings during a 4-3 win against Seattle this past Saturday. Axelrod was 1-1 with a 2.13 ERA in his last four road starts in 2012. The Nationals have never seen Axelrod, while the White Sox are familiar with Haren, a right-hander who pitched for the Angels the past three seasons before coming to Washington.

Chicago has won 20 of its last 28 interleague games versus right-handed starters. The White Sox also have an edge at closer with a rested Addison Reed, who is 1-0 with three saves already. Nationals closer Rafael Soriano has thrown nearly 40 pitches during the past two games and has not been effective.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Ryan James

Blue Jays / Tigers Under

The Blue Jays have not been scoring a lot of runs to start the season. In fact, they have only scored more than 4 runs in three games this season. Those offensive struggles should continue today when the Blue Jays face Doug Fister from the Tigers. Fister has a 3.77 ERA in his career against Toronto and in those three starts the combined score from both teams has averaged just 7 runs per game. The most recent game ended with Fister picking up a win in a 4-1 game played at Toronto. The Blue Jays bullpen has been solid this season with a road ERA of 1.00 this season. Josh Johnson will get the start but don't be surprised to see Toronto pull him early if he shows any signs of trouble. Johnson is a solid pitcher who finished the 2011 season with a 1.64 ERA and the 2012 season with a 3.81 ERA. He should be able to go much deeper into this game against Detroit than he did against Boston and the Blue Jays bullpen should keep this game from getting out of hand. Take the under because this should be a very low scoring game.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Joseph D'Amico

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres    
Play: Los Angeles Dodgers

LA is 5-3 but after a shaky start, the team has taken 4 of their L5 by playing solid baseball. Crawford, Gonzalez, and Ellis, have combined for 34 hits, 9 BBs, 12 Runs scored, and each are batting .357 or higher. Then throw in the mix, Ethier 's .320 BA and 8 hits, and the meat of this lineup is dangerous. They are starting to sync and as the team meshes, they get better and better. As far as their pitching goes, the Dodgers are #1 in the MLB in Quality Starts and WHIP, and are #2 in ERA at 2.15. Zack Greinke takes the mound here. The RH is 1-0, yielding just 2 hits, 0 BBs, fanning 6, in 6.3 IP over Pittsburgh. In his career, the ace is 1-0with a 3.00 ERA vs. San Diego. He faces a Padres team that is 2-6, averaging 3.25 RPG with just one solid outing. They have been outscored by 9, 4, 3, 3, 8, and 1. Their offense has 49 Ks and just 23 RBIs. They have seven players with 22 or more ABs and only Mike Hundley is hitting anything respectable at .318. The other six top out at .267 and go all the way down to 0.83. The team ranks 24th or worse in every offensive area while their pitching and defensive stats are worse ranking 29th in ERA at 5.64, 29th in WHIP at 1.63, 25th in Ks with 56, and 30th in Quality Starts with only 1. Oh yeah, they are also 23rd in Errors with 6. Jason Marquis gets the nod. The RH is 0-1, giving up 6 hits with an ERA of 3.00 vs. Colorado. In his 3 starts against LA, Marquis allowed 16 hits, walked 9, had 7 ERs and went 1-2. The Dodgers are 22-10 their L32 meetings over the Padres, 6-1 their L7 vs. RH starters, and 8-2 their L10 vs. teams with a winning percentage under .400. The Padres are 1-5 their L6 vs. the NL West, 3-9 their L12 vs. RH starters, and 2-5 their L7 games played at home. Take Los Angeles.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Jimmy Boyd

Oklahoma City -3½

There are few teams in the league that can keep pace with Oklahoma City’s 105.8 points per game and Golden State is not one of them. You should always play on road favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points like Oklahoma City when they are an excellent offensive team scoring 102 points per game or more and playing against a poor defensive team holding opponents to 98-102 points per game after 42 or more games in the season. This system is 50-19 (73%) ATS over the last five seasons.

Defensively the Warriors have not played well this season giving up 99.9 points per game. In fact, the Oklahoma City defense is holding opponents to 97.7 points per game on the road and the offense is outscoring the Warriors by a full 5 points per game. Oklahoma City has a road record that is just two games back of Golden State’s record at home. The Thunder are the better team in this matchup and it will show today.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Jesse Schule

Ottawa Senators +117 

After such an excellent start to the season, the Senators now find themselves in a dog fight to make the playoffs. They are one of four teams in the East tied with 44 points.

Ottawa has lost five straight, but they will have an excellent chance to snap that losing streak in Philadelphia tonight. The Flyers are out of the race, but they will try to salvage some pride in front of their home fans.
Good news for Ottawa, starting goaltender Craig Anderson is back in the lineup, he still leads the NHL in GAA and save percentage.

The Sens rank in the top three in the NHL in both goals against as well as killing penalties. With so much at stake for the Sens here, I expect them to lock things down defensively here, stifling the Flyers in a tight defensive battle.

The Flyers have been growing more and more impatient with starting goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who was recently seen sleeping on the bench just minutes after being pulled from the net in a 4-1 loss to Winnipeg.

Bryzgalov is also reported to have fallen asleep during a team meeting earlier this week. The insomniac will apparently get the start in tonight's game. Don't sleep on this play on the Sens.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Bruce Marshall

Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
Pick: Baltimore Orioles

Many had wondered about the Boston bullpen eventually imploding. And Bosox fans are hoping that last night isn't a bad omen as closer Joel Hanrahan was ripped for five runs in the 9th inning of the Orioles' eventual 8-5 win. Success vs. Boston is nothing new for the O's, who have won 18 of the last 25 meetings in this series. Note that Baltimore starter Chris Tillman has posted a 1.52 ERA in his last four vs. the Bosox, including an 0.82 ERA in his last two at Fenway. Meanwhile Boston skipper John Farrell continues to gamble with reliever-turned starter Alfredo Aceves, who was hammered in his first start last week at Toronto.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Wunderdog

Colorado at Los Angeles
Pick: Under 5

Colorado scored a rare road win 4-1 in Anaheim last night, but as much as this team has surprised on occasion, they disappoint far too frequently. The biggest reason is their lack of scoring punch. The Avalanche have produced 2 goals or less in 24 games on the season including seven of their last eight. Los Angeles has regained the form on home ice that led them to a Stanley Cup win a year ago. In their last eight home games, the Kings have allowed 9 goals, or barely more than 1 per contest, and a dead Colorado offense isn't likely to do much of anything here. The Kings have allowed 14 goals in their last six at home, and have played to a 25-9 mark to the UNDER in their last 34 at home vs. a team with a road winning percentage of less than .400. Go with the UNDER.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Art Aronson

New York vs. Chicago
Pick: Under

These teams have played each other three times this year: Chicago won 93-85 at home on December 8th. Chicago won 110-106 in New York on December 21st. The Bulls then won 108-101 in New York on January 11th. Game 1 went "under" the number, while Games 1 and 2 flew well above it. Because of the situation that each team finds itself in coming into this contest, I believe we'll see a very tight, scrappy, low-scoring affair. New York is 51-26 overall, and 22-16 on the road. Chicago is 42-35 overall, and 22-17 at home. The Knicks have seen the total go "under" the number in 19 of 36 road games this year, while Chicago has seen it dip below the posted number in 24 of 38 home games. New York has won 13 straight and has subsequently clinched the division (note that the Knicks are in Cleveland tomorrow night). The Bulls have clinched a playoff spot, but are coming off a lacklustre 101-98 setback to the Raptors on Tuesday (note that Chicago is in Toronto tomorrow night). It's been New York which has had to deal with injuries and personnel issues down the stretch run, struggling to make the playoffs over the last few years. And it's been the Bulls who have typically surged towards the postseason over the final few weeks. And while Chicago has taken all three earlier meetings this season, there's no question which team is in the "drivers seat" right now. I believe the table is set for a tough defensive battle. How about you?

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Ben Burns

Florida vs. Winnipeg
Pick: Winnipeg

I've backed the Jets in each of their last two games. They won both of those games by identical 4-1 margins.

This should be another good spot for them to earn an important two points.

This will be the fifth meeting between these teams this season. The Panthers have taken two of three at Florida. However, the Jets won the lone meeting here at Winnipeg. They've now beaten the Panthers by a combined score of 10-2 the last two times that they were a host in this series.

The Panthers have had a few nights off. That's not necessarily a good thing for them though. Including a 4-3 loss vs. Washington on 4/3, they're now a money-burning 5-15 (-12.4) the last 20 times that they had the previous three (or more) days off.

While the Panthers have won a few games recently, they still have the fewest points in the entire Eastern Conference.

While the Panthers are playing out the string, the Jets are in a dogfight to make the playoffs. If they want to achieve that goal, they can't afford to squander opportunities like this one. Consider laying the wood.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Sean Murphy

St. Louis vs. Minnesota
Pick: Under


NHL totals set south of five are pretty much non-existent during the regular season, but if there were ever a spot for such a low number, this might be it.

The Blues are playing lights out defensive hockey right now - fresh off back-to-back 1-0 shutout wins over the Red Wings and Predators. With the Wild struggling to regain their offensive prowess, off a shutout loss to the Blackhawks on Tuesday, this is a good spot for St. Louis to continue its stingy ways.

I don't see St. Louis letting down its guard in this spot. A long stretch of uneven play left the Blues in eighth place entering this past Sunday's game in Detroit. They've now climbed to sixth spot, currently sitting tied with the Wild. Note that St. Louis has taken both previous meetings in this series this season, including a 4-1 victory here in Minnesota earlier this month.

Minnesota made a big splash at the trade deadline, acquiring Jason Pominville from Buffalo, but its offense has fizzled since, producing just three goals over its last three games. All three of those goals came in a 3-0 shutout win over the Blue Jackets on Sunday.

The good news is, the Wild seem to have righted the ship defensively (and between the pipes). They've allowed only four goals over their last three games, and Nik Backstrom has really stepped up his game, giving up only one goal on 55 shots in his last two starts.

Minnesota has allowed eight goals in regulation time in two previous matchups with the Blues this season, so it should bring the proper level of focus to the table on Thursday. Just as the Blues do, the Wild realize the importance of this late season showdown. Look for a well-played defensive game by both sides, as this one stays under the number.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Will Rogers

Montreal vs. Buffalo

Pick: Montreal

The Canadiens are having a much better season than the Sabres, but you wouldn't know that by simply looking at the head to head results of the two teams this season. Buffalo beat Montreal twice last month, and 3 of 4 times this year, winning three straight times by a one goal margin. Two of the wins needed extra time, the other in regulation. Suffice to say, I think we'll see a different result in this latest go around.

Here are my keys to the game.

1. YTD Results - Montreal has clearly had the better season compared to Buffalo.  The Habs currently have 55 points, which is the 5th most in the entire league and has them as the four seed the Eastern Conference.  They are only five points behind the Penguins for the top spot. There's a reason they are favored despite being on the road here.  They are 12-4-2 away from home this season.  Buffalo, meanwhile, is falling off the playoff pace as they sit with only 38 points. They have only eight home wins, which is tied for second fewest in the league. It just really doesn't make sense that the Sabres would beat the Canadiens four straight times in the same season when every measurable suggests Montreal is the better team.

2. Division Battle - In addition to simply being the better team, Montreal is currently immersed in a tight battle for the Northeast Division lead with rival Boston.  The Bruins' 5-4 win in New Jersey last night gave them temporary control of the Northeast with 56 points. A win tonight could give the Canadiens the lead back, that's if the Bruins don't beat the Islanders Thursday.  But either way, Montreal is competing for a top two seed in the Eastern Conference and that's a motivational factor to keep in mind.  They can't afford to fall too far behind Boston.

3.  X-Factor - Like the Sabres, Montreal lost its most recent game.  While Buffalo lost 4-1 at Winnipeg, the Habs lost 3-2 at home to suddenly surging Washington.  This season has seen the Canadiens go 10-3 off a loss.  That and the triple revenge factor lead me to believe Montreal is the play here.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

SPORTS WAGERS

Chicago +141 over WASHINGTON

1st 5 innings. The Nationals are 6-2 while the White Sox are 4-4 but not a lot separates these two in terms of runs scored, runs allowed, team batting average and several other categories. The big difference is that the South Side has drawn just 13 walks the entire year, which ranks them dead last in the majors. A little more patience at the plate is something that is surely being addressed and when that number normalizes, Chicago will score more runs. There’s a good chance it’ll start here against Dan Haren. Haren’s huge ERA spike last year was due in part to a nagging back problem. While skills foundation remained consistent, the real culprit was velocity. Haren saw his fastball velocity dip 1.5 mph in 2012. In fact, it bottomed out to 88.1 mph in the 2H of 2012. In aggregate, he has lost nearly 4 mph off his fastball from when he was in his prime. Haren’s swinging strike rate over the last four seasons paints a worrisome picture: 10.7%, 10.1%, 9.9% and finally 8.7% last year. There are more red flags as well. In his first start of the year, Haren lasted just four innings and his balls in play profile painted a disturbing picture. Haren’s groundball/line-drive/fly-ball rate in his first start was 13%/31%/56%. Of course that was in Cincinnati but it doesn’t matter when only 13% of batted balls are hit on the ground. Haren is a huge health risk with declining skills and if you decide to back him this season at these prices, we’re suggesting you get a back-up plan to offset the money he’s likely going to cost you. 

Dylan Axelrod went 2-2 with a 5.47 ERA in 51 IP for the White Sox last year. Axelrod also had three stints in AAA and three in the majors. When he was in the majors last year, he started seven games and appeared in seven relief appearances. Is it a surprise that Axelrod’s numbers got worse in 2012, given that he was bounced around so often and never really knew what role he’d be playing? That has now changed. White Sox manager Robin Ventura indicated that Axelrod won't just receive one or two starts as the fifth starter, but he'll receive a chance to prove himself and in his first start of the year he responded by throwing 5.2 innings without allowing an earned run (the three runs he allowed were all unearned). His groundball/line-drive/fly-ball rate was 53%/6%/41% in that first start. Originally drafted by the Padres, Axelrod signed with the White Sox after his release in '09. He was a reliever with San Diego. Axelrod rarely allows HR. At Chicago last year, his 5.47 ERA included a 1.4 HR/9. His worst HR/9 in 6 years in the minors was 0.7. He works with a three pitch mix, including an 86-92 mph fastball, slider, and changeup. None of his offerings can be considered above average but his fastball exhibits good tailing action that can be tough to square up. He features well above average control and stays ahead of hitters consistently. Covering 19 starts at Triple AAA Charlotte over the past two years, Axelrod posted a 9-2 record with a 1.67 ERA with a BAA of just .226. Axelrod has paid his dues, he’s not going to get rattled, he’s been given a home in the White Sox rotation and he’s a much better option taking back a nice tag than Haren is spotting a big one. Overlay.


Oakland +118 over L.A. ANGELS

How can you not take the A’s here? Here’s a team that has scored six runs or more in seven straight games and routinely go off for crooked numbers in single innings. The A’s have scored nine runs or more in three straight and they’re also undefeated on the road with a 5-0 record. You are going to see Jason Vargas’s 1.59 ERA from his first start but don’t be fooled. His xERA in that game against Texas was 4.73 after a GB/LD/FB rate of 30%/45%/25% and that’s right in line with his historical xERA over the past five years with his best mark over that span being 4.45. A soft-tossing change-of-speed and control specialist, Vargas was a workhorse in 2012, tossing a career-high 217 IP while finishing at least six innings in 27 of his 33 starts. He's out-pitched his ERA now for four consecutive seasons. Not enough GBs indicate that Vargas' 2012 3.85/.4.45 ERA/xERA combination is the ceiling. He'll eat up innings, but let xERA be your guide. Vargas is all smoke and mirrors.

A.J. Griffin went 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 82 innings for the A’s last year. Griffin excelled in the upper minors and carried it over to MLB. Control is best asset, but he also misses bats reasonably and handles righties/lefties equally well. Griffin’s solid xERA does not quite jive with his shiny ERA due to unsustainable hit and strand percentages. However, even after accounting for some expected regression, Griffin has pitched quite well. We know for sure that Griffin has much more upside than Vargas and that the A’s are in much better early season from than the Halos. That’s value.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

SPORTS WAGERS

Florida +150 over WINNIPEG

OT included. The Jets are a fragile team when so much is on the line as is the case here. Winnipeg failed to respond in a similar situation last year and with one more game played than the Rangers and being two points behind them for the eighth and final playoff spot, they are not to be trusted as this big of a favorite. Winnipeg is also likely to be without Toby Enstrom for this game and that’s a huge loss, as he is the stabilizing force on the Jets’ blue-line. The Jets have a favorable schedule with their next four games all being at home against Tampa, Carolina and the Islanders following this one. After back-to-back 4-1 wins over Philly and Buffalo, this is precisely the type of game the Jets have difficulty in.   

The most appealing thing about the Panthers, aside from the price, is the goaltending of Jacob Markstrom. This guy is a beast and one of the NHL’s best kept secrets. Every time Markstrom plays the Panthers have a good shot to win because he’s that good. Florida is also playing very loose in the spoiler’s role and it’s paying off. The Panthers have won five of their past six with three of those occurring in extra time. With Markstrom in net, they have a significant edge should the game be tied after regulation. These two clubs have split the last 10 meetings with each side winning five times. Five of those 10 games went into OT. Now we get to take back a big tag on a Panthers team playing their best hockey of the season with a monster in net. That works for us.


LOS ANGELES -1½ +117 over Colorado

After J.S Giguere had a meltdown after the Avalanche lost to Calgary, the team went out and responded with a surprising win in Anaheim last night. Colorado also had a surprising win way back on March 8 when they ended the Blackhawks remarkable run with a resounding 6-2 win. The Av’s next two road games following that win over Chicago resulted in 5-3 and 5-2 losses and you can expect something even worse here. The Avalanche will play their third game in four days and tail end of back-to-backs. Playing on no rest, the Av’s are 1-6. Colorado is also forced to use J.S. Giguere for the third straight game so he, too, will be playing three games in four days for the first time in years. The Avalanche got a monkey off their back last night with that win. Giguere proved his point that when you play hard and focus, anything is possible. Colorado can now go back to being the undisciplined and heartless squad they’ve been for most of the year and they’re not going to get a warm welcome in Los Angeles.

The Kings are steamed. They’re coming off a 5-1 loss in Dallas in what the players and management termed the effort as the worst one in two years. The Kings are not only fighting to secure a playoff spot but they now sit just a point ahead of San Jose in the West and should they fall below San Jose, they will travel in the first round of the playoffs. Los Angeles is healthy and rested, they’re in a foul mood and the unfortunate recipient of this situation will be Colorado playing its third game in four days with a second rate goaltender in net again.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 11

Tony George

Seattle -155

Slightly chalky, and too chalky to put out as a premium play (I never lay over -150 for any premium plays in Bases)  but I like King Felix at home against Justin Grimm for Texas in his first start this year and his ERA was deplorable last year.

Seattle with a losing record, at home against a team they have a huge pitching advantage against.  Texas off a loss against Tampa yesterday and Seattle off 2 straight home losses against the Stro's, but with their stud on the hill, they should be money tonight...willing to lay it for a small play.

Blade
useravatar
Online
210295 Posts
Administrator has disabled public posting

Board Info

Board Stats:
 
Total Topics:
44540
Total Polls:
2
Total Posts:
277601
Average Posts Per Hour:
4.3
User Info:
 
Total Users:
3485
Newest User:
KKKid
Members Online:
2
Guests Online:
2034

Online: 
Blade, Erron

Forum Legend:

 Topic
 New
 Locked
 Sticky
 Active
 New/Locked
 Sticky/Locked

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com