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Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, May 2

Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, May 2

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Brooklyn at Chicago
The Bulls look to bounce back from their 110-91 loss in Game 5 and take advantage of a Brooklyn team that is 0-4 ATS in its last 4 games following an ATS win. Chicago is the pick (-1 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Bulls favored by 6. Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-1 1/2)

Game 539-540: Brooklyn at Chicago (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Brooklyn 116.449; Chicago 122.260
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 6; 187
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 1 1/2; 183 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-1 1/2); Over

Game 543-544: Denver at Golden State (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Denver 121.759; Golden State 127.252
Dunkel Line & Total: Golden State by 5 1/2; 208
Vegas Line & Total: Golden State by 1; 211
Dunkel Pick: Golden State (-1); Under

NHL

Detroit at Anaheim
The Red Wings look to even the series and build on their 4-0 record in their last 4 games when playing with 1 days rest. Detroit is the pick (+120) according to Dunkel, which has the Red Wings favored by 1/2 a goal. Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+120)

Game 63-64: Ottawa at Montreal (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Ottawa 11.717; Montreal 12.952
Dunkel Line & Total: Montreal by 1; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Montreal (-155); 5
Dunkel Pick: Montreal (-155); Under

Game 65-66: NY Rangers at Washington (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Rangers 12.943; Washington 11.975
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Rangers by 1; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Washington (-130); 5
Dunkel Pick: NY Rangers (+110); Over

Game 67-68: Los Angeles at St. Louis (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Los Angeles 11.459; St. Louis 12.020
Dunkel Line & Total: St. Louis by 1/2; 4
Vegas Line & Total: St. Louis (-120); 5
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-120); Under

Game 69-70: Detroit at Anaheim (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 11.803; Anaheim 11.695
Dunkel Line & Total: Detroit by 1/2; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Anaheim (-140); 5
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (+120); Over

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

San Diego at Chicago Cubs
The Padres look to bounce back from yesterday's 6-2 loss to Chicago and take advantage of a Cubs' team that is 0-7 in Travis Woods' last 7 starts after scoring 5 runs or more in the previous game. San Diego is the pick (+130) according to Dunkel, which has the Padres favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+130)

Game 951-952: San Diego at Chicago Cubs (2:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Diego (Stults) 15.997; Cubs (Wood) 15.120
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Chicago Cubs (-150); No Total
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+130); N/A

Game 953-954: Miami at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Sanabia) 14.151; Philadelphia (Kendrick) 15.875
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-200); 8
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-200); Over

Game 955-956: Washington at Atlanta (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Haren) 15.626; Atlanta (Medlen) 14.980
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-170); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+150); Over

Game 957-958: St. Louis at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Westbrook) 15.365; Milwaukee (Peralta) 16.275
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-110); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-110); Under

Game 959-960: Tampa Bay at Kansas City (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Hernandez) 15.668; Kansas City (Santana) 16.812
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Kansas City (-140); 8
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-140); Over

Game 961-962: Boston at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Dempster) 15.271; Toronto (Happ) 15.843
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Boston (-130); 9
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+110); Under

Game 963-964: Chicago White Sox at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Peavy) 14.721; Texas (Grimm) 14.426
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Texas (-130); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+110); Under

Game 965-966: Detroit at Houston (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Porcello) 16.123; Houston (Lyles) 13.541
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 2 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 967-968: Baltimore at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Tillman) 14.920; LA Angels (Blanton) 13.866
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1; 10
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-115); 9
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-105); Over

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Sam Martin

Denver at Golden State
Prediction: Over

Based on the way these teams have played in this series offensively - especially in the two games played here in Golden State - we look for tonight's Game Six to finish well over the posted total. The Warriors scored 110 and 115 points in their two home games and have averaged 114 points over their last four games. Denver has also scored at least 100 in their last four, including three of those games seeing the Nuggets put up at least 107 points. Both games played here at Golden State went over the total, and with offenses expected to shine once again we look for the Warriors to move to 18-6 Over after a road loss.

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Rob Vinciletti

San Diego / Chicago Under

This game fits a solid totals system that has gone under 18 of 26 times since 2004 and plays out like this. We want to play the under for road dogs like the Padres that are off a road favored loss and scored 2 or less runs on 4 or less hits, vs an opponent off a home dog win and scored 5 or more runs in the win. The Cubs came away with a 6-2 home dog win over San Diego last night which sets this system up here today. Moving on we see that both teams have struggled in day games at the plate. The Padres are hitting just .213 in day games. The Cubs not much better hitting .226. Its no Wonder the Cubs have stayed under in 8 of 12 day games. The Padres have played under in 6 of 8 applications as a road dog from +125 to +150. Today they have E. Stults making the start and he has pitched under in 3 of his 4 starts vs the Cubs and 4 of his last 5 Road May starts. He Opposes T. Wood and he has gone under in 2 of his 3 starts vs The Padres. With the system, the anemic Day time averages and Pitching Indicators we will recommend playing this one under the total.

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Dave Cokin

Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays
Pick: Boston Red Sox

The first month of the 2013 season has been about as good as it gets for Red Sox Nation. Talk about a total reversal of fortune from what can only be described as the ultimate nightmare of 2012. While there's no doubt the Bosox are banging the baseball, the real key to their success has been the pitching.

Ryan Dempster is certainly a huge part of what's right with the Red Sox rotation. This team's strikeout rate is off the charts right now and Dempster is punching out opposing hitters at a staggering rate. Dempster's drop in contact rate is phenomenal, and it's pretty clear from his pitch chart as to the reason. It's the splitter. This pitch is almost impossible to barrel when it's doing what it's supposed to, and Dempster is commanding this pitch almost like he invented it. There's going to be the occasional walk, but that's more than offset by all those swings and misses. Dempster is definitely go with material right now, and the fact the likely Blue Jays starters are a combined 10/57 against Dempster is more fuel for the fire.

JA Happ has been adequate for Toronto, and he threw it really well at Fenway in his first start of the season. But Happ still owns some red flags. The fly ball rate is absurdly high even by his standards, and Happ has not been sharp in two of his last three starts.

This is no slam dunk at the price, as Boston is a good sized road favorite. Dempster is being given serious respect from the guys who make the numbers. But it's also completely justified and as far as the teams are concerned, Boston is vastly superior right now. Add it all up and I can justify backing the Red Sox to win this series finale.

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Jim Feist

Washington at Atlanta
Pick: Over

Atlanta had to endure a brutal road stretch, but they are back home this week and the offense is grateful. Washington winds up a series and the over is 15-4 in the Nationals last 19 road games. They go with starter Dan Haren (6.29 ERA) who has been awful, giving up 38 hits in 24 innings. He has a career 6.17 ERA against the Braves, too, in 35 innings against them. The over is 3-1-1 in Kris Medlen's last 5 home starts. When these teams meet the over is 13-5-2 in the last 20 meetings in Atlanta, so look for an offensive show; Play the Nationals/Braves over the total.

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Jesse Schule

San Diego Padres at Chicago Cubs
Pick: Chicago Cubs

The Cubs have taken two of three at home against the Padres, and they wrap up this four game series Thursday at Wrigley. Travis Wood will toe the rubber for the home team, and he's coming off a win his last time out. Wood (2-1, 2.25 ERA) allowed two runs on just three hits over six innings in a 3-2 win over the Fish in Miami. Wood has been a better pitcher during the day, putting up better numbers in the afternoon than he has under the lights at night. He's posted a 3.89 ERA in 28 starts in day games since 2010, significantly better than the 4.52 ERA at night. The Padres will send Eric Stults to the mound, and he's coming off a terrible outing. Stults (2-2, 5.67 ERA) allowed five runs on four hits in just four innings, and didn't factor in the decision in an 8-7 ballgame that the Padres rallied to win over the Giants. He wasn't as fortunate in his previous start, as he gave up five runs on eight hits over seven innings, and got tagged with a loss as the Padres fell 5-0 to San Francisco. Stults has only had one start at Wrigley in recent seasons, and that didn't go well. He would take the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings. The Cubs should be able to get to the left-hander here at Wrigley on Thursday, and I'm expecting another blowout win for the Cubbies.

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Bruce Marshall

Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals
Pick: Kansas City Royals

There are some leaks in the Tampa Bay dike that have been exposed this week in Kansas City, namely a shaky bullpen and a bottom of the batting order that is struggling to hit its own weight. All significant negatives for the Rays as they prepare to close out this midweek set at Kauffman Stadium. Making matters more difficult tonight will be Royals starter Ervin Santana, who has been a pleasant surprise in the first month of the season with a 2.00 ERA, and an even better 1.20 ERA over his last four starts. Meanwhile, Roberto Hernandez (nee Fausto Carmona; 1-4, 5.28 ERA) has been wobbly for Tampa Bay, which is also a poor 4-11 on the road.

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Ken Thomson

Golden State -1

Golden State put all their emphasis on this Game 6 at home and while I know Ty Lawson & Denver are capable of winning in Oakland I feel like the three guard tandem of Curry, Thompson & Jack will shoot lights out and the series will end.  Mark Jackson was very emphatic about the dirty play from the Nuggets and may have gained some home town calls for tonight's game by getting in the heads of the media.  Look for the Warriors to double up on free throw attempts by games end....if they make their charity shots they should take care of business.

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Bryan Power

Washington vs. Atlanta
Pick: Atlanta

After dropping the first two games of this series, Washington won yesterday 2-0, snapping a nine-game losing streak to the Braves in the process.  Look for that success to be short-lived however.  Despite Wednesday's win, the Nats still have plenty of problems, mostly at the plate.  Facing Kris Medlen in the series finale isn't likely to cure those woes. I'm taking Atlanta Thursday....

It wasn't all good news for the Nats yesterday as Bryce Harper had to leave the game with an injury.  Even if he plays here, Harper is one of several key contributors to the Washington lineup that's not 100%. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman isn't due back until the weekend and Jayson Werth has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.  This is an offense that has scored just seven times over the last four games while batting a collective .165.

Don't expect those numbers to get any better at the expense of Medlen, who is a hard-luck 1-3 this year despite a 3.26 ERA.  He's off rare back to back bad outings, but should bounce back here against a Nationals team he had a 2-0 TSR against last season, allowing just one earned run in 14 IP w/ a 20-2 KW ratio.  Braves take the series finale Thursday night.

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Sean Murphy

San Diego vs. Chi. Cubs
Pick: San Diego

The Padres ran into a hot pitcher (at least for one game) in Scott Feldman last night, as he held them to three hits and struck out 12 over the course of a complete game victory.

I don't expect a repeat performance on Thursday, as the Cubs turn to Travis Wood.

Wood has been solid in the early going this season, but as far as I'm concerned he's been pitching over his head, and we should see some regression moving forward.

Note that Wood has posted ERAs north of four in each of the last two seasons. He checks into Thursday's start sporting an excellent 2.25 ERA. Note that he faced the Padres right here at Wrigley Field last season and gave up seven hits and six earned runs over just five innings of work.

San Diego will counter with Eric Stults. The journeyman left-hander has struggled over his last two starts, both coming against the Giants. He has proven he can win on the road, however, guiding the Padres to victories in New York (against the Mets) and Los Angeles (against the Dodgers) this season. He's struck out 13 while walking only three in 18 innings of work away from home.

Bouncing back from an ugly loss often isn't as difficult to do in baseball as it is in some of the other sports. The season is a long grind, and there will be games where the offense simply can't get going - just as we saw from the Pads' last night. That poor performance doesn't change the fact that San Diego has been playing well lately, and I look for it to foil Chicago's chances of picking up a series win on Thursday afternoon.

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Art Aronson

Boston vs. Toronto
Pick: Under

Ryan Dempster (1-2, 3.30 ERA) gets the call for the visitors; Dempster is coming off his first win of the year and I look for the veteran to build off the performance. While it was just the lowly Astros, Dempster would finish with 10K's, allowing two runs off four hits with three walks over six frames of work. In his lone start away from Fenway this year the big right-hander gave up three runs over five frames of work back on April 4th (and note that Dempster was 7-5 with a respectable 3.15 ERA away from friendly confines last season). Dempster will be opposed by JA Happ (2-1, 3.86 ERA) who has been saddled with two-straight no-decisions. Happ will look to duplicate the success he enjoyed vs. the the Red Sox earlier in the year as the southpaw held them to just one hit over 5 1/3 scoreless innings (note that Happ was 8-6 with a 4.21 ERA in friendly confines last season). I believe these starters have what it takes to battle each other into the latter frames and will therefore recommend a second look at the "under" in this one.

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Paul Leiner

100* Nets / Bulls Over 184

100* Red Sox -135

50* Cubs -140

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Chase Diamond

8* Tampa Bay / Kansas City Under 8

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JEFF BENTON

Your Thursday freebie is the Over in the Nets-Bulls game.

After opening the series with an Over in Brooklyn, the next pair of games were decidedly defensive-minded and stayed Under the total. Then we had an easy Over when the teams played a triple-overtime thriller this past Saturday. They followed that long triple-OT contest with another Over on Monday night at the Barclays Center.

Will look for this evening's game to also find its way Over the total, as elimination is on the line for the Nets, so we will assume if Brooklyn falls behind they will let it rip from behind the arc (boosting the point total), and they will also foul (also boosting the total, but with no time coming off the clock!) in order to force a weekend game back on their home floor.

Dating back to the regular season, Brooklyn is now on an 18-6 Over run their past 24 games contested, while Chicago is surprisingly on a 7-4 Over run of their own since early April.

Play the Over on Thursday night.

3* BROOKLYN-CHICAGO OVER

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Jeff Scott Sports

3 UNIT PLAYS

Philadelphia/ Miami Under 8: While the Miami offense has been a bit better in their last 2 games, i don't see it continuing here vs a hot pitcher in Kyle Kendrick. Kyle comes in with an 0.82 ERA and an 0.77 WHIP in his last 3 starts. Who did he face in those 3 starts? Oh Just the Mets (7th in scoring), St Louis 11th in scoring) and the Reds (14th in scoring). The Mets and Reds games were on the road and he allowed 0 ERs in 16 innings. Now he is home and gets to face a Miami squad that is last in nearly every offensive category. On the road the Marlins have averaged just 3 rpg and they hit .244, but it will be very hard for them to improve on those numbers, especially since Kyle has a 1.53 ERA in his last 5 starts vs the Fish, not allowing more than 2 runs in any of those games. Alex Sanabia is not off to a great start with a 4.45 ERA, but the Phils are 26th in scoring (3.57 rpg) and he did face the Phils once in his career (2011), allowing just 1 ER in 6 innings. The Phils will have to do the bulk of the scoring in this one for it to go over, but I just don't see them putting up much in this one, especially in Kendrick starts mowing down Marlins from the get go. I look for a 4-2 or 3-2 type game here.


St Louis Milwaukee Over 8.5: So how long will Westbrook continue to carry an 0.98 ERA? I say that ends at this game. Jake has a 4.24 ERA in his career, including a 4.46 road ERA, plus we note that this is his worst month (ERA wise) as he carries a 5.00 ERA in 39 career starts during May. Making it even harder on him in this one is the fact that Milwaukee is very strong offensively at home, where they average 5.53 rpg and hit .271 on the year. Milwaukee is swinging real hot bats of late as hey have averaged 6.4 rpg in their last 5 games. On the other side we have Wily Peralta, who is 3-2 in his teams start on the year, but with a high 5.04 ERA. At home he has 3 starts and is 1-1 in those starts with a 6.19 ERA. His home starts this year have averaged 11.33 rpg, while his night starts have put up 11.75 rpg. The Over is 4-1 in his starts this year and 4-0 in his night starts. The Cardinal offense is scuffling some as they haven't scored more than 4 runs in 9 of their last 10 games, but a visit to the 22nd ranked staff and one of the worst pens in the league should change that. Oh and BTW, the Cardinals do have the worst pen in the league. I see early and late runs in this one, which should get us to 12 or more runs scored.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, May 2

BRAD WILTON

Thursday's comp play comes in the American League, and it goes on the Angels as they return home after a road trip that saw them go just 2-5 versus division rivals Oakland and Seattle.

Not that the Halos or tonight's starter, the 0-4 Joe Blanton are setting the world on fire this spring, but they do catch the Baltimore Orioles a little road-weary. The O's did come up on the short-side last night at Safeco to put them at 4-3 on their current road swing, but after a late night in the Emerald City, I have to believe that even though the Orioles are playing the better brand of baseball, they will be just a little tired when they hit the field in Orange County tonight.

Chris Tillman rates the edge over Blanton and is coming into this start off a win in Oakland, but the Orioles are just 2-8 the last 10 series meetings versus the Halos, and the Angels are back at home where they have won 6 of their past 8 games.

In a near pick situation, will side with the Angels at home over the Orioles.

1* L.A. ANGELS

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