Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, April 20

Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, April 20

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Memphis at LA Clippers
The Clippers look to open up the playoff series and take advantage of a Memphis team that is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games against teams with a winning percentage above .600. LA is the pick (-5) according to Dunkel, which has the Clippers favored by 7. Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (-5)

Game 701-702: Boston at New York (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston 117.623; New York 121.749
Dunkel Line & Total: New York by 4; 193
Vegas Line & Total: New York by 6 1/2; 190 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (+6 1/2); Over

Game 703-704: Golden State at Denver (5:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Golden State 118.735; Denver 131.308
Dunkel Line & Total: Denver by 12 1/2; 207
Vegas Line & Total: Denver by 7 1/2; 210 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Denver (-7 1/2); Under

Game 705-706: Chicago at Brooklyn (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 115.395; Brooklyn 123.314
Dunkel Line & Total: Brooklyn by 8; 178
Vegas Line & Total: Brooklyn by 4 1/2; 182 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Brooklyn (-4 1/2); Under

Game 707-708: Memphis at LA Clippers (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Memphis 121.842; LA Clippers 128.811
Dunkel Line & Total: LA Clippers by 7; 184
Vegas Line & Total: LA Clippers by 5; 179
Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (-5); Over

NHL

Detroit at Vancouver
The Red Wings look to take advantage of a Vancouver team that is coming off a 5-1 loss to Dallas and is 0-6 in its last 6 games following a defeat of 3 or more goals. Detroit is the pick (+145) according to Dunkel, which has the Red Wings favored by 1/2 a goal. Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+145)

Game 51-52: Florida at New Jersey (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Florida 9.778; New Jersey 12.134
Dunkel Line & Total: New Jersey by 2 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: New Jersey (-185); 5
Dunkel Pick: New Jersey (-185); Under

Game 53-54: NY Islanders at Winnipeg (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Islanders 12.322; Winnipeg 10.807
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Islanders by 1 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Winnipeg (-125); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Islanders (+105); Over

Game 55-56: Buffalo at Pittsburgh (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings:
Dunkel Line & Total:
Vegas Line & Total:
Dunkel Pick:

Game 57-58: Washington at Montreal (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 12.193; Montreal 10.865
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Montreal (-150); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+130); Over

Game 59-60: Toronto at Ottawa (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 12.487; Ottawa 11.163
Dunkel Line & Total: Toronto by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Ottawa (-130); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+110); Under

Game 61-62: Philadelphia at Carolina (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia 10.965; Carolina 10.659
Dunkel Line & Total: Philadelphia by 1/2; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Carolina (-120); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+100); Over

Game 63-64: Phoenix at Chicago (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 10.483; Chicago 12.926
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 2 1/2; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago (-200); 5
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-200); Over

Game 65-66: Detroit at Vancouver (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 11.027; Vancouver 10.651
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 1/2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Vancouver (-165); 5
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+145); Under

Game 67-68: Pittsburgh at Boston (12:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 11.978; Boston 11.151
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 1; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee
The Cubs look to bounce back from last night's loss to the Brewers and take advantage of Milwaukee's 1-4 record in its last 5 during Game 2 of a series. Chicago is the pick (+105) according to Dunkel, which has the Cubs favored by 1/2 a run. Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+105)

Game 951-952: Miami at Cincinnati (1:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (LeBlanc) 13.577; Cincinnati (Arroyo) 15.765
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 2; 8
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-220); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (-220); Under

Game 953-954: Washington at NY Mets (3:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Gonzalez) 15.452; NY Mets (Hefner) 14.891
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Washington (-150); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-150); Over

Game 955-956: St. Louis at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Lynn) 15.580; Philadelphia (Lee) 15.263
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-150); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (+130); Under

Game 957-958: Atlanta at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta (Maholm) 17.191; Pittsburgh (McDonald) 15.468
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-145); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-145); Over

Game 959-960: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Jackson) 15.838; Milwaukee (Burgos) 15.106
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-125); 8
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (+105); Over

Game 961-962: Arizona at Colorado (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Cahill) 16.167; Colorado (De La Rosa) 17.224
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Colorado (-130); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (-130); Under

Game 963-964: San Diego at San Francisco (9:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Richard) 16.085; San Francisco (Lincecum) 15.382
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-175); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+155); Over

Game 965-966: NY Yankees at Toronto (1:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Kuroda) 16.053; Toronto (Buehrle) 14.438
Dunkel Line: NY Yankees by 1 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Toronto (-110); 9
Dunkel Pick: NY Yankees (-110); Under

Game 967-968: Kansas City at Boston (1:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Shields) 15.637; Boston (Buchholz) 15.298
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 969-970: Minnesota at Chicago White Sox (3:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Worley) 14.136; White Sox (Peavy) 15.734
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 971-972: Detroit at LA Angels (3:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Porcello) 15.946; LA Angels (Richards) 14.666
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-115); 9
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-105); Under

Game 973-974: Oakland at Tampa Bay (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Parker) 16.574; Tampa Bay (Hellickson) 15.226
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-125); 8
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (+105); Over

Game 975-976: Cleveland at Houston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Kazmir) 13.586; Houston (Humber) 14.593
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-115); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (-105); Over

Game 977-978: Seattle at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Maurer) 15.065; Texas (Tepesch) 14.827
Dunkel Line: Seattle by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Texas (-185); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+165); Under

Game 979-980: LA Dodgers at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Beckett) 13.776; Baltimore (Chen) 15.985
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 2; 9
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-130); 8
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-130); Over

Game 981-982: LA Dodgers at Baltimore (1:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Ryu) 15.989; Baltimore (Hammel) 15.360
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

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Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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San Diego Padres at San Francisco GiantsSERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: San Francisco GiantsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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When the Giants send Tim Lincecum to the mound against the Padres Saturday night at AT&T Park they will do so knowing the former Cy Young winner is 8-3 at home in his career team starts in this series. He is also 14-6 his last 20 team starts during April (3-0 this season), including 9-5 at home in his April career tam starts. With San Diego hurler Clayton Richard in lousy KW form with 8 strikeouts and 9 walks this season, look for more of the same from Lincecum and the Giants here tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on San Francisco.

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Steve MerrilFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Atlanta vs. PittsburghFOR  FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Over 7FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Pirates and Braves continue their series on Saturday night as James McDonald tries to get his groove back. The righty was shelled his last time out giving up 8 runs and eight hits in just over one inning of work. McDonald told reporters after the game that he can feel the lower velocity, but he is not hurt. This isn't the best news to hear as he prepares for a potent Braves lineup. Dan Uggla (4-13), Jason Heyward (2-6) and Chris Johnson (2-7) have had previous success against the starter. Atlanta's offense is scoring approximately 5 runs per game over their last eight contests.
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Paul Maholm has not given up a run yet this season over three starts. He has struck out 20 while walking five early on this season. Clint Barmes (15-34), Russell Martin (3-10) and Andrew McCutchen (2-6) have had their success against the southpaw. The Pirates offense has found their groove lately hitting almost .300 in their last eight games. We expect a high-scoring game so we’ll recommend playing the Over between the Braves and Pirates on Saturday night.

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Rob VincilettiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Atlanta Braves vs. Pittsburgh PiratesFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Atlanta BravesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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On Saturday the MLB System Play is on the Atlanta Braves as they fit a nice system that plays on road favorites of a road loss and scored 2 or less runs on 2 or less hits vs an opponent off a home dog win by 5 or more runs. The Pirates are 0-4 vs left handers this season and are hitting just .125 against them. The Braves have P. Malholm going and he has been stellar this season, his best start ever going 3-0 allowing 0 runs in 20 innings with 20 strikeouts and just 5 walks. In his last 2 starts here he has allowed just 3 runs in 15 innings. The Pirates have J. McDonald going and he hasn't been as sharp as we are used to with a 5.27 era. With Atlanta, 10-2 at night, 7-1 on the road and owning a solid 0.48 Road bullpen era we will back them here tonight.

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Bruce MarshallFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee BrewersSERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Chicago CubsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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It's a little risky going with the Cubs when they play at Milwaukee, considering Chicago's 2-16 mark in its last 18 at Miller Park. But the pitching matchup pffers some hope for Dale Sveum's team on Saturday as the host Brewers will be giving rookie Hiram Burgos his first MLB start. Meanwhile, the Cubs counter with Edwin Jackson, who has battled some wildness in the early going but dominated Milwaukee last season, posting an 0.60 ERA in 15 IP with only 1 walk and 10 Ks.

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Don Best ConsensusFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado RockiesSERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Colorado RockiesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Colorado Rockies are 11-0 in their last 11 home games, and they are 6-2 in De La Rosa's last 8 starts vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks. Trevor Cahill is 1-3 when starting against the Rockies with an ERA of 5.65 and a WHIP of 1.500. His team's record is 2-3 (-2.8 units) in these starts. De La Rosa is 6-3 when starting against Arizona with an ERA of 2.57 and a WHIP of 1.214.

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Vegas ConnectionFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Los Angeles Dodgers at Baltimore Orioles
Pick: Los Angeles DodgersFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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LA sends Beckett who has pitched many times in this park. LA had Thursday and Friday off so they get a chance to get their head straight. Baltimore will snd Chen. Dodgers win at Camden Yard. Take 979 LA Dodgers (Game 2)

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Jim FeistFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Grizzlies at ClippersFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Clippers can play any style, and are underrated defensively, 4th in points allowed, 10th in the NBA in FG shooting defense allowing 44%. The last 2 meetings LA won both, including Sunday when the Clippers won 91-87 at Memphis allowing 41% shooting. LA also won at Memphis in January, 99-73 allowing 30% shooting. Memphis is all about slowing the pace down and playing great defense for Coach Lionel Hollins, No. 3 in the NBA in FG shooting defense allowing .439% and tops in the league in points allowed, just 89.5 ppg. The Under is 16-5 in the Grizzlies last 21 vs. the Western Conference and 39-17-1 under the total following a win. Play the Grizzlies/Clippers Game 1 under the total.

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Dave CokinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee BrewersSERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: Milwaukee BrewersFOR  FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Edwin Jackson can be a tough pitcher to analyze. He's one of those guys who clearly has the ability to dominate when he's right. No one has ever questioned his stuff and when you look at Jackson's graphs, it's a wonder he doesn't win more. The problem is that when it goes badly for Jackson, it does so all at once and he becomes prone to giving up crooked numbers. The 2013 Jackson is doing lots of things right. Huge K's, love the 61% ground ball rate. He's gotten a bit unlucky with BABIP at .356 and when runners get on, they're scoring as his strand is just 56%. So where's the problem. Take a gander at the BB rate and you've got your answer. a 2/1 K/BB ratio is usually not a bad thing. But when the BB rate is 5.5 per nine innings, bad things are going to happen.
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This will be the big league debut for Hiram Burgos. No one in the Milwaukee organization has surged like Burgos over the past 12 months. One year ago at this time, he was repeating Hi-A following a less than stellar 2011 at Brevard County. Whatever the problem was, Burgos sure fixed it and after dominating at Brevard and AA Huntsville, he finished the season with a very solid run at AAA Nashville. Burgos did okay facing big league hitters in spring ball, and while he was 0-2 in three starts down on the farm, he's getting his chance on the big stage tonight as the replacement for demoted Mike Fiers. As for stuff, Burgos is nothing special. But he's adept at pounding the zone, and has shown an ability to keep hitters off balance.
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Milwaukee is having a great week. The Brewers have won five in a row and Ryan Braun has begun to heat up. This is still not a great lineup with Ramirez and Hart among the missing, but at least for right now, the Brewers are in go with mode. Not a bad price with the first time starter on the hill, so I'll take my chances with Burgos and the Brewers.

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Washington Nationals at New York Mets
Pick: Washington NationalsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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I had the Mets in their win over the Nats last night, but I expect the Nationals to respond with a victory on Saturday. Gio Gonzalez will be on the mound for Washington, and he's looking for his second victory of the season. Gonzalez (1-1, 4.50 ERA) was brilliant in both his first two starts of this season, but he took a step back with an off game against the Braves. The left-hander won 21 games in 2012, and 12 of those victories came on the road. He was 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two starts at Citi Field. The Mets will hand the ball to Jeremy Hefner, who is still winless on the season. Hefner (0-2, 7.20 ERA) was tagged for a pair of home runs in just one inning of work in his last appearance in Colorado. He's struggled to keep the ball in the park, allowing five home runs in just 10 innings of work on the season. Danny Espinosa is hitting .500 with a pair of home runs in just eight career at bats versus Hefner. Hefner was 0-3 with a 5.29 ERA in three starts against Washington in 2012, and there is absolutely no reason to expect a different result in this game.

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Joe GavazziFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago +4.5FOR  FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This was a hard-fought series with Chicago winning 3 of the 4 games. Likewise 3/4 games in this series were decided by 4 or fewer points. In addition, no game in the series totaled more than 184 points. Under HC Thibodeau, the Bulls have been an outstanding road team at 73-51 ATS and a profitable play following a spread loss as they are 69-45 ATS in that role. The combination of the success of Chicago in their preferred role, along with Chicago having greater Playoff experience and the close nature of this series makes underdog Chicago the percentage side in this.

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New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Play: New York YankeesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The New York Yankees will look for back to back wins to start their series with the Blue Jays when they two teams meet this afternoon at the Skydome in Toronto. The Yankees took last night’s contest 9-4, getting home runs from former Blue Jays Lyle Overbay and Vernon Wells en route to the win. Huge advantage for the Yanks this afternoon on the pitching rubber as they send Hiroki Kuroda to the hill to take on Mark Buehrle, who is scheduled to get the start for Toronto. Kuroda has been excellent for the Yanks in his 3 starts this season, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.87 ERA. He has also kept men off the base paths, allowing just 19 base runners in 16 innings pitched. Buehrle, who was part of the huge Jays/Marlins trade this summer, has struggled a bit with his new team despite his 1-0 record. He got that win in his last start against the White Sox but the posted numbers weren’t great. He allowed 9 hits and walked 2 in just 6 1/3 innings, which put him at 23 hits and 5 walks in a combined 16 innings. You just can’t have numbers like that and expect to be a successful starter in the majors. Even with all their injuries, the Yankees have found a way to win some games without A-Rod, Teixeira, Granderson and The Captain. They have pitched better than expected and Robinson Cano, Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner have been able to hold it together so far this season. The Yankees are just playing better baseball than the Jays right now so getting them at basically a Pick em’ price seems like good value for today’s Free Play.

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Toronto vs. OttawaFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: UnderFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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These teams have played four times this year and Toronto has prevailed in three (the total is 1-2-1). The Leafs are 24-15-5 overall and 11-7-3 on the road. They've lost two straight, most recently a 5-3 setback to the Islanders on Thursday (I had New York in that one) (note that Toronto has seen the total go "under" the number in six of 11 this season following a loss by 2 goals or more in its previous contest). Ottawa is 23-14-6 overall and 15-3-3 at home. It's won four straight, most recently a 3-1 victory over Washington on Thursday (I had the "under" in that one) (note that Ottawa has seen the total go "under" the number in seven of ten this year following a victory by 2 goals or more). Division battles are always the toughest and that's doubly so at this time of year. Toronto is on the verge of punching its ticket to the postseason, while the Sens continue their surge to the "promised land" as well. Ultimately though for me this one comes down to the men between the pipes. Whether it's Ben Scrivens or James Reimer, the Leafs have to be liking their chances to get untracked here, as each has a shutout vs. the Buds already this season. The Senators recent run has been in large part to the play of netminder Craig Anderson who has conceded just three goals in winning his last three straight outings. In what will be a playoff like atmosphere in the Canadian capital, I believe it's safe to say that players will be risking life and limb getting into shooting and passing lanes and when taking into account the rest of the above factors, I do indeed feel that all signs point to a lower-scoring affair.

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Jeff Scott Sports

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Boston/ New York Over 189.5: Both games played here this year and the last 6 dating back to last year have all put up at least 190 points and I see the same thing here. Te Boston defense has really struggled down the stretch, allowing 101.6 pg in their last 5 games and they have allowed 99.5 ppg on the road this year. Offensively the Celtics score just 94.6 ppg on the road, but their offense has picked up of last as they have averaged 102.6 ppg in their last 5 games and I see them having a good shpt at putting up at least 95 points in this one vs z Knicks team that allows 94.6 ppg at home and have allowed 97.4 ppg in their last 5 games. Offensively the Knicks can score a ton, especially if they are running and hitting 3's and I expect them to knock down a bunch in his one. The Knicks have averaged 102.7 ppg at home and 8.3 ppg vs the Celts this year, so they are more than capable of notching at least 95 of their own in this one. I know this game has been bet down big time, but I will go the other way, expect a bunch of 3's from the Knicks and in a bad blood game we should also get a lot of FT's, plus I also expect the Celts to play more of an up tempo game in order to keep here. pace with New York here. Look for at least 195 in this one.


Chicago/ Brooklyn Under 182: Dating back to last year these teams have played 5 times and no more than 182 points were scored in any game. I know that 182 is still higher than 181, but I believe these teams will shed a couple of points off of that in this one. The Bulls have played the up tempo game with a few teams this year, but this is the playoffs and the last 4 games of last years playoffs with the Sixers those games put up no more than 171 points. All were without rose, just like this year. The Bulls will look to keep the pace down and rely on their defense which is one of the best in the league, allowing just 92.9 ppg. Offensively the Bulls are pretty week, but again it is their pace. The Bulls have averaged just 93.2 ppg on the year and 93.5 ppg on the road, while the Nets have allowed just 95 ppg at home. The Nets score 97.6 ppg at home but the are not really a good shooting team and they hit just 72.2% of their FT's at home. I expect the Bulls to play a slow don game just like last year in the playoffs and I dont expect either team to put up more than 85 here.

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Wunderdog

Boston at New York Knicks
Pick: New York Knicks -7

The NBA Playoffs get underway, and the first tipoff will be between the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. The Knicks were crushed two years ago in the opening round vs. Boston, losing four games to none, and that will serve as motivation this year to return the favor. The Knicks have goten much better, and deeper, while the Celtics have gotten a lot older and injured. The Knicks took three out of four during the regular season from the C's, and a pair of those were by double-digits late in the season. Boston comes in limping as they lost 11 of their last 16 games, and may keep up for awhile here, but NY is vasty superior this time around. The Knicks own a 10-1 ATS record vs. winning teams coming into this one, and get it done at the Garden. Play on New York.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, April 20

Harry Bondi

PHILADELPHIA (-150) over ST Louis

Cliff Lee has been awesome for the Phillies so far this season. He goes to the hill tonight with a 2-0 mark, 1.52 ERA, a microscopic 0.68 WHIP and opponents are only hitting .179 against the veteran lefty. Cardinal right hander Lance Lynn is also 2-0 this season but has a 5.40 ERA and has really struggled on the road. Lynn, who shed some 40 pounds during the off-season, has had a hard time developing a consistent delivery with his new body. He has reached six innings only once in three starts this year and the Cardinal bullpen has been an adventure at best this year. Let's back Lee and the Phillies to make it two in a row over St. Louis tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, April 20

John Ryan

St Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia Phillies
Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies

The simulator shows a high probability that Philadelphia will take the second straight game against the Cardinals. Phillies stopped a four-game win streak with their 8-2 win Friday. They now have Cliff Lee on the bump and he is pitching extremely well. he has posted a 2-0 record with a skinny 1.52 ERA and a 0.676 WHIP in three starts. His control has been near-perfection walking just one batter and striking out 18 batters spanning 23 2/3 innings of work. he is constantly getting ahead of batters and once ahead he is nearly impossible to hit. The best pitch in baseball for a starter is strike one and Lee is among the best in the majors at throwing first pitch strikes. Take the Phillies.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, April 20

Jimmy Boyd

Chicago Cubs +105

The Brewers are a hot team that has won five straight games, but I think that has led to them being over-priced against the Cubs here today. They will be starting Hiram Burgos on the hill today, who has a great track record in the minor leagues but a year ago was throwing in single A ball. Even though the Cubs aren't great offensively, they are a big jump from the competition Burgos has been facing. Edwin Jackson was touched up the first time he faced Milwaukee this year for five runs on eight hits and five walks. That should increase his focus to make amends for that performance. He actually has done well against the Brewers in the past, and last year threw 15 innings against them while giving up just a single run. The Cubs are scoring only 3.6 runs per game, but they are putting up 4.5 against right-handed starters. This is a game where Chicago shows some value and is worth a look as a small dog.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Saturday, April 20

Dave Essler

Padres / Giants Over 7.5

There is simply no chance of taking Lincecum against anyone at that number. He may well be 3-0 but his WHIP is 1.56 and his ERA is 5.63. But, of course the only Padre with any real success (Quentin) won't be playing. With Headley back in the Padres will score. Richard is bettable at home, and although his W/L record is reasonable against the Giants, his stats at AT & T aren't great. I can make a reasonable case for the over, and with the favorable weather, that's what we're doing.

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