Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 25

Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 25

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Brooklyn at Chicago
The Nets look to bounce back from their 90-82 loss in Game 2 and build on their 8-2 ATS record in their last 10 games following an ATS defeat in the previous game. Brooklyn is the pick (+3 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Bulls favored by only 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Brooklyn (+3 1/2)

Game 733-734: Miami at Milwaukee (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 124.193; Milwaukee 114.595
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 9 1/2; 190
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 7 1/2; 194 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-7 1/2); Under

Game 735-736: Brooklyn at Chicago (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Brooklyn 118.200; Chicago 119.510
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 1 1/2; 186
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 3 1/2; 181
Dunkel Pick: Brooklyn (+3 1/2); Over

Game 737-738: LA Clippers at Memphis (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Clippers 122.972; Memphis 128.757
Dunkel Line & Total: Memphis by 6; 176
Vegas Line & Total: Memphis by 4 1/2; 180
Dunkel Pick: Memphis (-4 1/2); Under

NHL

Columbus at Dallas 
The Blue Jackets look to build on their 9-3 record in their last 12 games against a team with a losing record. Columbus is the pick (+110) according to Dunkel, which has the Blue Jackets favored by 1/2 a goal. Dunkel Pick: Columbus (+110)

Game 1-2: NY Rangers at Carolina (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Rangers 12.946; Carolina 11.347
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Rangers by 1 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: NY Rangers (-150); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Rangers (-150); Over

Game 3-4: Ottawa at Washington (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Ottawa 11.974; Washington 11.440
Dunkel Line & Total: Ottawa by 1/2; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Washington (-130); 5
Dunkel Pick: Ottawa (+110); Under

Game 5-6: NY Islanders at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Islanders 12.299; Philadelphia 11.942
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Islanders by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line & Total: Philadelphia (-115); 6
Dunkel Pick: NY Islanders (-105); Over

Game 7-8: Toronto at Florida (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 11.421; Florida 10.637
Dunkel Line & Total: Toronto by 1; 4
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 9-10: Pittsburgh at New Jersey (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 12.248; New Jersey 11.028
Dunkel Line & Total: Pittsburgh by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total:
Dunkel Pick:

Game 11-12: Nashville at Detroit (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Nashville 10.603; Detroit 12.346
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 1 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Detroit (-220); 5
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-220); Under

Game 13-14: Montreal at Winnipeg (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Montreal 10.133; Winnipeg 12.097
Dunkel Line & Total: Winnipeg by 2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Winnipeg (-110); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Winnipeg (-110); Over
Game 15-16: Calgary at St. Louis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Calgary 12.333; St. Louis 11.919
Dunkel Line & Total: Calgary by 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: St. Louis (-135); 5
Dunkel Pick: Calgary (+115); Under

Game 17-18: Columbus at Dallas (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Columbus 12.136; Dallas 11.833
Dunkel Line & Total: Columbus by 1/2; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Dallas (-130); 5
Dunkel Pick: Columbus (+110); Over

Game 19-20: Anaheim at Vancouver (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Anaheim 11.331; Vancouver 12.184
Dunkel Line & Total: Vancouver by 1; 4 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 21-22: Tampa Bay at Boston (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay 10.801; Boston 12.087
Dunkel Line & Total: Boston by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Boston (-230); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-230); Under

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Texas at Minnesota
The Twins look to take advantage of a Texas team that is 4-10 in its last 14 games in Minnesota. Minnesota is the pick (+110) according to Dunkel, which has the Twins favored by 1/2 a run. Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+110)

Game 901-902: Pittsburgh at Philadelphia (1:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh (McDonald) 16.423; Philadelphia (Lee) 15.595
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 1; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-175); 7
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (+155); Under

Game 903-904: LA Dodgers at NY Mets (1:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Ryu) 15.101; NY Mets (Hefner) 14.670
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-120); 8
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-120); Over

Game 905-906: Cincinnati at Washington (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Arroyo) 15.075; Washington (Gonzalez) 14.848
Dunkel Line: Cincinnati by 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Washington (-130); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (+110); Under

Game 907-908: Chicago Cubs at Miami (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Jackson) 14.456; Miami (Slowey) 14.761
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-120); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+100); Over

Game 909-910: Colorado at Arizona (9:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (De La Rosa) 16.768; Arizona (Cahill) 16.122
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Arizona (-130); 9
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+110); Under

Game 911-912: Kansas City at Detroit (1:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Shields) 15.440; Detroit (Verlander) 16.988
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Detroit (-180); 7
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-180); Over

Game 913-914: Houston at Boston (6:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Humber) 13.702; Boston (Buchholz) 15.869
Dunkel Line: Boston by 2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Boston (-260); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-260); Over

Game 915-916: Toronto at NY Yankees (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Buehrle) 14.782; NY Yankees (Kuroda) 14.233
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-150); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+130); Under

Game 917-918: Tampa Bay at Chicago White Sox (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Hellickson) 16.366; White Sox (Sale) 15.037
Dunkel Line: Tampa Bay by 1 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Chicago White Sox (-130); 7
Dunkel Pick: Tampa Bay (+110); Under

Game 919-920: Texas at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas (Tepesch) 15.438; Minnesota (Worley) 15.688
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1/2; 9 1/2
Vegas Line: Texas (-130); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+110); Over

Game 921-922: Baltimore at Oakland (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Hammel) 15.838; Oakland (Parker) 15.499
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Oakland (-125); 8
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (+105); Under

Game 923-924: LA Angels at Seattle (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Angels (Richards) 14.724; Seattle (Maurer) 13.527
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1; 9
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-140); 8
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-140); Over

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Marc LawrenceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Toronto Blue Jays at New York YankeesSERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Prediction: New York YankeesFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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When Toronto sends left hander Mark Buehrle to the hill against the Yankees in New York Thursday evening the Blue Jays will hold their breath knowing Buehrle is 1-12 in his career team starts against the Pinstripes, including nine losses in a row. With Buehrle just 1-5 in his last six away team starts during the month of April, look for the Bronx Bombers to come alive tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on the Yankees.

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Jim Feist

Houston vs. Boston
Play: Under 8½

Reason: A bad Houston offense comes north to Fenway, 17th in runs scored, 23rd in on-base percentage. That offense will struggle against Clay Buchholz (4-0, 0.90 ERA), who keeps the ball down and is off to a sizzling start. And the Astros have never faced him. The under is 11-3 in the Astros last 14 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. Buchholz has allowed three runs in his first 30 innings with 29 strikeouts. Boston's offense has some weak hitters in the No. 7-9 slots and Houston starter Philip Humber doesn't walk anyone, allowing just 5 free passes in 19 innings. The under is 5-0 in the Buchholz's last 5 home starts. Play the Astros/Red Sox under the total.

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Dave CokinFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago White SoxFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Chicago White SoxFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Rays are starting to play better baseball. But now they're back on the road, where things have not gone especially well in the early going. Tonight, it's Jeremy Hellickson for Tampa Bay opposing tough lefty Chris Sale of the White Sox. The low O/U on this game speaks volumes about what type of game it might well be. Neither offense is exactly a murderer's row right now and this has the look of a game that could be tight wire to wire.
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Hellickson is off a very strong game and I don't see him getting lit up tonight. But he's also a pitcher who shows better numbers at home than on the road, and that's significant here. The reason for that is the presence of Sale on the hill for the Chisox. This guy has been nails at home, and while he has not been quite as dominant so far this season, it looks to me like Sale is getting close. This could be the spot Sale breaks through with a wipeout effort, as he's facing a team that has not hit a lick away from the Trop this season.
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I wouldn't say there's tremendous value here. The White Sox rate the chalk role and while I made the number slightly higher than where it is, it's not one of those games I like best, which are dogs that I believe ought to be favored. That said, Sale is a guy I've had quite a bit of success with in his relatively brief career and for whatever reason I've also done well in finding the right spots to either back or go against Hellickson. The personal comfort zone is always important when forming an opinion, so with that in mind, I'll give the White Sox a call as tonight's free opinion.

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Bruce MarshallFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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New York Rangers at Carolina HurricanesSERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: New York RangersFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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After losing 17 of 19, Carolina has shown some unexpected life in its last two games with wins over the Lightning and Islanders. But the visiting Rangers have arrived on the precipice of wrapping up a playoff berth, and can't envision New York stumbling at this hurdle in Raleigh. After all, the Rangers have beaten the Hurricanes on seven straight occasions, and we seriously doubt John Tortorella's side blows another game vs. a beatable foe on the road after dropping a 3-2 verdict at Florida on Tuesday night. Carolina has been held to 13 goals while losing 7 straight in this series, with New York GK Henrik Lundqvist winning four of those games, posting a 1.44 GAA and keeping the Hurricanes without a goal in two shootouts.Lundqvist was in net for both meetings this season, including 48 saves a 4-1 victory April 6 in the last matchup as the Rangers won in Raleigh for the sixth time in seven tries. Play Rangers

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Cajun SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago Cubs vs. Miami MarlinsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Chicago CubsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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We want to Play AGAINST the Miami Marlins when they are coming off a game on the road where they were installed as an underdog. The Marlins are 42-84 SU, playing against them in this situation has produced profits of +2454 Units. We will take the Cubs on Thursday evening in south Florida.

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Rob VincilettiFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Houston Astros vs. Boston Red SoxFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: Boston Red Sox -1.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Boston fits a Solid system that plays on certain home favorites off a home favored win where they scored 5 or more runs and are taking on an opponent off a home win by 5 or more runs where they scored 10 or more runs. If the total is 8 or more these home teams are undefeated winning by a 7-3 score and have covered on the run line all but once. Boston has won 8 of 10 vs losing teams and 7 of 9 as a home favorite in this range. They have won all 3 in the series with Houston of late. Houston is 3-19 as a road dog in this range, 14-43 on the road when the total is 8 to 8.5 and has lost all 5 times vs winning teams. Buchholz goes for Boston and he has been awesome of late allowing just 3 runs in 30 innings, good for a 0.90 era. Humber for Houston has lost all 4 starts and has an era of 8.78 in his last 3 starts. Look for Boston to coast in this one.

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Bryan PowerFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Columbus vs. DallasFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: ColumbusFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Going with the dog here in a battle of teams chasing Detroit for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.  I won a big 10* on the Red Wings last night as they beat the Kings 3-1 to move one point ahead of the Blue Jackets.  Dallas is three points back as they have lost three straight road games, and could be officially eliminated from the race if they lose here. I think they will
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So much has changed since the last time these teams met, back on February 26th when Dallas won 5-4 in Columbus.  At that time, the Blue Jackets had the worst record in the entire NHL.  Keep in mind that last year they had the fewest points in the league.  But over the last two months, they have really turned it on, going 17-5-4 as they look to make the playoffs for just the 2nd time in franchise history.   They have won six of their last eight on the road and this will be their first and only visit this season to Dallas.
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Key to the Columbus' run has been the play of Sergei Bobrovsky between the pipes.  He has started almost every game during the Blue Jackets' win streak and will likely be in net for a 12th straight game here.  Not only has Columbus won six of its last seven overall, but they face a Dallas team that's lost three in a row.  Though these teams are both battling to get the final playoff spot, they are clearly trending in different directions.

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Ben BurnsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Montreal vs. WinnipegFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: WinnipegFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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In addition to going 4-2 with yesterday's "premium" plays, I also won my complimentary selection on the Chicago White Sox.
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The previous day's "free" play saw me successfully play against these same Winnipeg Jets. (They lost 5-3 at Washington.)
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That was a devastating loss for the Jets as it very likely killed their playoff dreams. (They need to win tonight and hope the Senators and Rangers lose all their remaining games.)
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While the playoffs are now an extreme long-shot, the Jets have still been playing very well, particularly at home.
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In fact, they're 5-1 (5-0-1) their last six here at Winnipeg. Meanwhile, the Canadiens have dropped three straight on the road and are just 1-5 their last six overall.
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While the Habs would certainly like to "right the ship," they've already made the playoffs. They could easily get caught looking ahead to Saturday's "Hockey Night in Canada" showdown vs. long-time rival Toronto.
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On the other hand, the Jets are playing their final game of the season. They've fought so hard in recent weeks, that I don't expect them to just roll over tonight.
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As captain Andrew Ladd noted: "The worst thing you can do is sell yourself short and end up having those teams losing and then shoot yourself in the foot by not putting forth your best effort. We're all professionals in this room - we'll show up and work hard and try to win that game against Montreal."
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Its true that the Canadiens have won both this season's meetings. However, both of those games were played at Montreal. The last meeting in this series, here at Winnipeg, saw the Jets win by a score of 4-0.
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With their passionate fans helping to provide them with energy and cheering them on every step of the way, I feel the Jets are worth a look here. Consider Winnipeg

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Art AronsonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Montreal vs. WinnipegFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: WinnipegFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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A great situational play. These teams have tangoed twice this season and the Habs have taken both: 4-3 in Montreal on January 29th and 4-1 on April 4th. The Canadiens are 27-14-5 overall and 13-7-2 on the road. They've lost two straight, most recently a 3-2 loss at New Jersey on Tuesday. The Jets are 24-20-3 overall and 13-9-1 at home. They're coming off a 5-3 loss at Washington on Tuesday. Simply put, this is do-or-die for the home side. Montreal clinched a playoff spot back on April 11th and then promptly lost five of six (note that the Canadiens' penalty kill has given up 10 goals in their last 27 attempts). Winnipeg is going to need some help to make it into the postseason, but the one thing it has control over is giving itself a legitimate shot at winning this game tonight. These teams are moving in opposite directions: the Jets are 5-0-1 in their last six in front of the home town crowd, while the Habs are 0-3-4 their last seven away from friendly confines. Winnipeg plays with double revenge and also for its playoff life. In my humble opinion, this is the very definition of "great line value". Consider a second look at the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.

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Will RogersFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Tampa Bay vs. BostonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Pick: BostonFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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This is actually a makeup game from February 9th as a snowstorm forced the initially scheduled battle to get postponed.  I believe that tonight's rescheduled date greatly favors the favored Bruins.   So much so in fact, that I'm willing to "lay" the -1.5 on the Puck Line.  Not only did Tampa Bay have to play last night, but Boston is competing for the Northeast Division Title.
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Here are my keys to the game:FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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1. Scheduling - As I stated, the Lightning had to play last night.  By outscoring the Maple Leafs 3-0 in the third period, they were able to snap a six-game losing streak.  I had a 10* on Tampa Bay in that game. But not here.  They have lost three in a row on the road when playing without rest.
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2. Home Ice Advantage - Tampa Bay is a poor 6-15-3 this season on the road.  They have not won a game away from home since a 5-0 shutout of Carolina on April 4th.  Since then, they have lost six straight road games and have lost 9 of their last 10.  Boston is 15-4-3 at home this season and has really owned the Lightning at TD Garden, winning eight of the last nine matchups here including six straight. Tampa Bay is 1-11 on the road revenging a road loss.
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3. X-Factor - With the Lightning long since eliminated from playoff contention and finally having snapped their losing skid, I don't see them having the same intensity without rest.  Boston enters Thursday tied with Montreal for the Northeast Division lead.  They have every reason to get the two points here.  I think they will as they win by a wide margin.

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Vegas Sports Informer

Milwaukee +7.5

If it wasn't for the 2nd half in both Game No. 1 and Game No. 2, this series could be different. The Bucks played pretty good in both games in the first half, but their offense went south in the 2nd half. Thursday night I see an all-around good game for the Bucks, and I see them covering this game Thursday night. The Bucks will need some bench scoring to make this game close, and if the Bucks defense can control everybody else except the 'Big 3,' they could actually maybe steal this game. Do I think so? No, but I do believe the Bucks cover this big home underdog number.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 25

Jason Sharpe

LA Dodgers -1.5, +120

Hyun-Jin Ru has had a nice start to his season so far with three quality starts in his first four outings. Even more impressive is the 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio he has carried and the fact he is averaging over a strikeout per inning. These are big-time numbers from a guy who came into the year with a lot of question marks. Keep in mind also that these have been some quality offenses that the lefty has had to face thus far.

Not a lot of good to say here about the Mets starter Jeremy Hefner here early on in 2013. The right-hander may be pitching himself out of a rotation spot here early on this season as he hasn't made it past the fourth inning in either of his last two starts. Add in a WHIP of nearly 1.80 and an ERA over 7.00 so far on the season.

A guy like Ru can dominate teams the first time he sees them. Look for him to shut this light-hitting Mets team down in this one. Play the Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 here in this one.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 25

Brad Wilton

Your free play for Thursday is the Under in the Blue Jays-Yankees game.

Quick turnaround for these teams, as they just met last weekend in Toronto with 2 of the 3 games playing Over the total. The lone game that held Under was the game Mark Buehrle and Hiroki Kuroda started.

Guess what? Buehrle and Kuroda are going again this Thursday night in the Bronx.

Buehrle has pitched well his last pair of trips to the hill, going 13-plus frames with just 4 earned runs allowed. That includes his start versus New York in which he lasted 7 innings and allowed just 2 earned to cross.

Kuroda has also raised his game after a shaky first start, working 21-plus innings his last 3 starts with just 4 runs allowed. That includes his last start versus the Jays in which he worked into the 8th with just 1 run given up to go along with his 7 strikeouts.

I like the pitching to shut down the hitting once again with Buehrle and Kuroda doing the damage.

3* TORONTO-N.Y. YANKEES UNDER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 25

Jeff Benton

Your Thursday freebie is the Red Sox on the Run Line over the Astros.

Houston did pick up a home win over Seattle on Wednesday to salvage their three game set, but the fact remains the Astros are just 7-14 on the season, and tonight's starter Phillip Humber may be making his last start at this level for a while, as Humber is a woeful 0-4 with an over 6 ERA, and the Red Sox who just plated 6 runs in a win over the Athletics on Wednesday are not likely to ease up on Humber in this spot.

Clay Buchholz has to be the pitcher of the month! All the Boston starter has done is go out and win all 4 of his starts, allowing just 3 earned runs in his 30 innings pitched.

Unless Buchholz forgets how to throw the baseball, chances the Houston offense gets more than a run on him are very small.

Not much to think about here, Boston on the Run Line is the call all the way.

5* BOSTON -1.5

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 25

Matt Rivers

As for your Thursday free play, going to side with the Chicago Bulls minus the points to dispose of the Brooklyn Nets.

After a Game One romp of Chicago, Brooklyn was not even close to taking advantage of the injured Bulls in Game Two, as you saw just how good Tom Thibodeau is at making adjustments, and getting his team to clamp down on the defensive end.

That spells trouble for the #4 seeded Nets, as now they must try and come up with a win in the Windy City, which I do not see them doing here on Thursday.

The Bulls are now 4-2 straight up the last 6 series meetings, and have claimed 7 of the last 10 overall in this series. Chicago is also on a 4-1 against the spread run the last 5 in this series.

Have to side with the Bulls to capitalize on their stealing of the home court advantage over the Nets with another win and cover here in Game Three.

4* CHICAGO

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 25

Craig Davis

Free play of the day on the Miami Heat over Milwaukee as these two hook up for Game 3 in Milwaukee.

While I realize these home teams have been virtually been unbeatable so far in the playoffs, they also haven't seen the Miami Heat travel to Milwaukee either.

Here we have the #1 team in the entire NBA facing off against the #8 seed... a team that was well under .500 at the end of the season.

While Miami failed to cover their last game vs. the Bucks, they still won by double digits and literally cruised in the second half.

I don't expect them to be in cruise mode in this game, considering they are playing on the road up 2-0, but I do expect that this game will be close in the first half before the Heat decide to "turn it on".

All that being said, Miami is the best team in the playoffs and they will prove it tonight.

Take the Heat as your free play of the day.

1* MIAMI

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 25

Jeff Scott SportsFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Chicago/ Miami Under 7.5: The Pitching matchup isn't the greatest, but here's the thing, the Cubs can't score on the road and Miami can't score at all. Before I get to the pathetic offenses i will look at the pitching. Edwin Jackson has struggled out the gate this year, but away from his smaller home park he has pitched pretty well, allowing just 3 ER's combined in his two road starts. Edwin also has a decent 3.86 ERA in 2 career starts in this park. Kevin Slowey has pitched very well to start the as he has a 1.90 ERA in 4 starts so far. Kevin hasn't allowed nore than 2 runs in any game, yet he is 0-2, because his mates have given him just 0.8 rpg worth of support. Now let's talk about that AA offense that Miami has. The Marlins are dead last in scoring, hitting and HR's with just 6 so far. At home they have hit just .175 and have scored a mere 2 rpg. Pretty sad numbers for a MLB team. On the other side the Cubs come in 27th in scoring and 26th in hitting. On the road they have been very bad, hitting just .197 and scoring 2.33 rpg. As a result of those offensive numbers, Cub road games have averaged just 5.92 rpg, while Miami home games have put up just 6.11 rpg. That gives us value (I hate that word) on the under here.
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LA Dodgers -118 over NEW YORK METS: Jeremy Hefner is not a good starter at all, but injuries have him in the rotation. This year he has gone 0-2 with a 6.27 ERA in his 3 starts, with the Mets losing all 3. In his career he is 4-8 with a 5.47 ERA in 19 starts. Just not a good starter at all he he will be facing a Dodgers team that seems to be getting it together offensively, as they come in having scored 14 runs in their last 3 games. Away from their big home park the Dodgers offense isn't all that bad. Yes they score just 3.7 rpg away from home, but they also hit .270 on the road and they should be able to get some of those clutch hits off of Hefner in this one. The Mets have been scoring some runs this year, but they are not a good hitting team. At home this year New York as scored 5.5 rpg, but they have only hit .226 and prior to last nights game they had scored 4 rpg, despite hitting .191 in their previous 5 games. Hyun-Jin Hru has not pitched all that well, but he does come in 2-0 in his last 3 starts, thanks to his mates putting up 6 rpg for him over that stretch. Overall Hru is 2-1 with a 4.01 ERA and a decent 1.30 WHIP. The Dodgers did take game 1 of this series 7-2, but lost last night on a bottom of the 10th grandslam. I expect Hru to have his best outing yet, while,the Dodgers offense knocked Hefner out of there by the end of the 4th inning. Bounce back for an improving Dodgers team tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, April 25

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Brooklyn at Chicago
Pick: Chicago -3.5

The Chicago Bulls looked out of sorts in Game One at Brooklyn. They regrouped quickly and came back, and within 2.5 hours they took the home-court advantage away from Brooklyn - something the Nets had worked all season. It is now a best of five series with Chicago now having the home-court advantage. The Bulls have certainly had the edge vs. Brooklyn this season, winning four of the six games, and both the games in Chicago. The Bulls have not played as well at home this season as they did a year ago, but that changed late in the season. Their last four home games vs. the Eastern Conference's winning teams happened to come against Miami, New York, Indiana, and this Brooklyn team. All four teams are seeded ahead of them, and they won all four of those games. The Bulls have now covered seven of their last nine vs. a winning team. Make the play on Chicago.


Montreal at Winnipeg
Pick: Under 5.5

It has been a great season in Montreal, at least up to the last six games. The Habs are just 1-5 in those six games, as the offense has managed just a total of 14 goals. Winnipeg has become an UNDER team over the second half of the season, as the Jets are 17-10-1 to the UNDER over their last 28 games. Montreal has been 4-1 to the UNDER in their last five vs. the Southeast, as well as 4-1 to the UNDER in their last five when facing an opponent that scored 5+ in their last game. The Jets have turned in a 14-6-1 mark to the UNDER in their last 21 on a day of rest, while the UNDER has ruled this series when played in Winnipeg at 11-4-1 in the last 16. This one stays UNDER the total.

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