Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

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Boston +170 over PITTSBURGHFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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OT Included. “The Bruins can’t win both games in Pittsburgh”. “Boston is not on the same level as the Pens”. “The Bruins were lucky in Game 1 but they won’t get lucky again”. These are the sentiments that have been echoing out on Twitter for two days since the B’s went into Pittsburgh and took the opener, 3-0. We’re not buying any of it. We were going to sit this one out because we have the Bruins to win the series but the price on the Penguins is so grossly inflated that it forces us to step in. The Bruins most certainly have a great chance to go up 2-0. Boston did not allow the Penguins to roam free offensively like the Pens did against the Islanders and Senators. Zdeno Chara has been a relentless beast in his own end and he’s been creative in the offensive zone as well. Chara chews up so much of the hard ice (29:13 per game, tops among active players) that it takes the pressure off the rest of the D, allowing them to play to their comfort level. There is no advanced metric that can capture the overall impact he has had in these playoffs. Boston can also roll out four lines that are all effective in their specific roles and all four lines are capable of burying the puck too.
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That’s not to take anything away from the Penguins because Pittsburgh is still an offensive force to reckon with. However, this team may have fallen too much in love with its ability to score goals. This is playoff hockey and in order to win four rounds you have to be solid defensively and the Penguins have not been. The Islanders exposed many flaws in the Pens defensive system in the first round and the Bruins saw the films. Too often, the Pens forwards are caught looking for that breakout pass instead of helping to get the puck out of their own zone first and it’s cost them. The Penguins have to make adjustments or they will suffer the same fate. Then there’s the goaltending issue. Boston is stable in goal while Tomas Vokoun, the back-up for the entire season, was forced into action because Marc Andre Fleury is worse. Vokoun has not had to come up with a big game yet in these playoffs because the Penguins were outscoring everyone. Tonight, he will play in the biggest game of his life. He wasn’t all that sharp in Game 1 and now the pressure mounts. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again that the Penguins are a terrifically talented offensive squad that has thrived in the regular season for years. However, that style does not win Stanley Cups unless you are the 1984-1988 Edmonton Oilers with Wayne Gretzky in his prime. Boston comes into this second game with all the confidence in the world and no pressure whatsoever. The B’s will do what they always do. They’ll get great goaltending, they’ll force mistakes and they’ll capitalize on the inevitable mistakes the Penguins commit defensively. Oh, and they may get a softie or two past Vokoun. Predicting what will happen tonight is up for debate and it would not be difficult to make a case for the Penguins. However, one cannot debate that all the value is on the Bruins because another win here is a distinct possibility.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

Jeff Alexander

Cincinnati Reds -137

The Reds have won 20 of 26 at home and 5 straight against the Rockies. Chatwood has been really good for Colorado through 5 starts, but I won't hesitate to side with the more proven Arroyo. The Reds have won 5 of his 6 home starts this season. They are also 3-1 lifetime in his home starts versus the Rockies.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

Dave Price

Arizona Diamondbacks +145

The D-backs aren't getting the respect they deserve from oddsmakers at this price considering how good Cahill has been. His 2.87 ERA is lower than Lynn's 2.91 ERA. Plus, Cahill has a 3.06 ERA in 3 starts versus St. Louis while Lynn has a 4.00 ERA in a pair of starts versus Arizona. The D-backs are 15-8 in Cahill's starts in the road underdog role. Lynn carries a nice 1.118 WHIP, but the Snakes are 7-0 in their last 7 games versus a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. The value lies with Cahill and the D-backs here.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

Jack Jones

Cleveland Indians +105

The Cleveland Indians should not be an underdog given the edge they have on the mound over the New York Yankees Monday. I'll gladly take advantage and back the Indians at a great price tonight!

Cleveland is a very profitable 30-26 (+7.9 Units) against the money line in all games this season. Masterson is 9-2 (+8.2 Units) against the money line when the total is 7 to 8.5 this season.

Masterson is 8-3 with a 3.07 ERA and 1.146 WHIP through 12 starts this season. Masterson is 4-2 with a 2.08 ERA and 1.133 WHIP in seven career starts against the Yankees.

Andy Pettie is 7-9 with a 4.31 ERA and 1.436 WHIP in 21 career starts against Cleveland. The Yankees are 3-9 (-10.8 Units) against the money line in home games after scoring 4 runs or less 4 straight games over the last 2 seasons. Bet the Indians Monday.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

NHL PredictionsFOR  FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Bruins / Penguins Under 5.5FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Game 1 was a 3-0 final for Boston putting the totals of these two teams 4 meetings this season at 5, 3, 5, and 3. Through the first two rounds it wasn't uncommon to see Pittsburgh put up 4+ goals in a game, but they've got a different and much more better defensive team in the Bruins than the Islanders or Senators. Boston has allowed 2 or fewer goals against in 5 of their last 6 games overall. The UNDER is 14-6 in the Penguins last 20 home games, and 4-1 in these two teams last 5 meetings in Pittsburgh. Both goalies are playing very solid right now and no matter the offensive power both teams have it will still be tough to score. I'll take the UNDER 5.5

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

Jeff Scott Sports

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Chicago/ Seattle Under 7.5: Both pitchers come in bad form, but the offenses are struggling as well and Seattle will be without at least one key weapon (Justin Smoak)and maybe another (Michael Morse). The Mariners have averaged just 3.2 rpg in their last 5 games and while John Danks has struggled in his 2 starts this year, he has not struggled in his career vs the Mariners, posting a 2.96 ERA in 12 starts vs them, including a 1.18 ERA in his last 5 starts vs them and a 2.32 in 7 starts in this park. Perfect spot for Danks to have a good showing. Joe Saunders comes in with a 5.57 ERA on the year, but in this park he has a 2.41 ERA this year. Joe now has a career 2.23 ERA in 14 starts in this park. He has always pitched well here and should do so again vs a Chicago offense that has no offense at all. Chicago is 29th in scoring and 27th in hitting and in their last 10 games they have averaged just 2.2 rpg, while in their last 6 games they have averaged 1.5 rpg, getting shutout 3 times in those last 6 games. Yes both pitcher come in struggling, but Danks has strong numbers vs the Mariners, while Saunders has strong numbers in this park and the offenses come in floundering. In a pitchers park that is a recipe for a low scoring game.


Oakland/ Milwaukee Over 9: We all know how bad the Brewers have been vs lefties this year (5-19), but a closer look shows that they actually ht southpaws better than righties. The Brewers come in hitting .272 and scoring 4.48 rp/9 off of lefties on the year, while they have hit just .246 and have scored just 3.86 rp/9 off of righties on the year. Pretty big difference there, yet they continue to lose vs lefties. Today they take on a lefty in Tom Mlione, who has struggled on the road, with a 5.53 ERA and his road starts have averaged 9.83 rpg. He has allowed 4 ER's or more in his last 3 road starts and the Brewers offense as you saw can hit lefties. Milwaukee's offense looks to be rolling a bit as well as they come in averaging 4.8 rpg in their last 5 games. Pitching has been a big problem for the Brewers this year, as they are 28th in ERA and 26th in WHIP, and they have allowed 5.4 rpg in their last 9 games. Marco Estrada is a big part of the teams ERA as he comes in with a 4.96 ERA on the year. Interesting to note that the Brewers are 7-4 in his starts this year and at home they are 3-2 in his starts despite the fact that he has a 7.18 ERA in this park this year. Now he gets to face an Oakland offense that has averaged 4.97 rpg on the road and 5.3 rpg n their last 10 games overall. Oakland has also scored 5.27 rp/9 off of righties on the road this year. I really don't see how this game doesn't reach double digits, especially with all those stats point to the over and the fact that Oakland road games have gone 19-11 to the over, while Milwaukee home games have gone 19-10 to the over.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

Joe GavazziFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oakland +105FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oakland must cross 2 time zones for this 8:10 ET start. But that minor inconvenience pales in comparison to the current form of these two teams. Milwaukee continues their slide of 7-23. In those 30 games, their starting rotation has a 6.75 ERA. That is a major reason why the Brewers have a National League worst 4.55 team ERA. Their strong home field has disintegrated to 12-17 for the year as they enter tonight's action on their 3rd 4 game home losing streak. Estrada has been inconsistent at best with a 4.96 ERA. In interleague action, Estrada is 0-4 with a 6.18 ERA. It is doubtful Milwaukee's fortunes get any better against left handed Milone. Milwaukee is an MLB worst 5-18 vs. south paws including 1-14 recently. Milone has pitched better than his record of 5-5 with a 4.04 ERA. Witness his solid peripherals of 1.26 WHIP and 58/15 KBB. Oakland continues their torrid ascent. After starting 12-4, Oakland dipped to 8-18 because of a 4.85 ERA. But in their recent run of 14-2, that ERA has improved to 2.65. All signs point to yet another Oakland victory tonight.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

Will Rogers

Chicago vs. Seattle
Pick: Under

This series shouldn't feature many runs.  That's because it features the American League's two worst offenses.  Therefore, I have no reservations about taking the Under in Monday's series opener between the White Sox and Mariners.

Here are my keys to the game:

1.  White Sox - They have lost six straight, getting shut out in three of those games. They have scored nine runs total during this losing skid.  They have scored the least amount of runs of any American League team (186), which is ahead of only Miami in the NL, and 20 runs less than the next worst AL team (which is Seattle).  They are 29-18 Under in all games this season (with 7 pushes).

2.  Mariners - They too were shutout yesterday, getting beat 10-0 in Minnesota.  Seattle getting shutout again is more likely here than giving up 10 runs to the White Sox.  They have not performed well in the past against Chicago lefty John Danks, who is 7-0 with a 1.31 ERA his last eight starts against the Mariners.  This includes a 4-0 record his last five starts in Seattle.  In six of his last eight starts vs. Seattle, Danks has allowed one or no earned runs.

3.  X-Factor - The Mariners are 22-6 Under at home off back to back Overs the last three seasons.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

Ross Benjamin

Oakland +110

Oakland is undoubtedly the hottest team in baseball right now having won 9 of their last 10 and 14 of the last 16. The A's starter Tommy Millone is an extremely profitable 14-1 in his career team starts when he lasted less than 6.0 innings in his previous start. He will have the benefit of facing a Milwaukee team which is just 5-19 this season versus a southpaw starting pitcher. Although Millone has had his shaky moments his control has been very good all season. That's not good news for a Milwaukee club which is a dismal 1-12 this season versus starting pitchers that allow an average of 1.75 walks or less per outing. Oakland is also a super 18-4 this season versus opponents that average drawing less than 3 walks per game. The Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada is a deceiving 4-1 in his home team starts this season which has masked a large 7.18 ERA in those 5 outings. Estrada has given up a whopping 8 home runs in just 26 1/3 innings in those 5 home starts. The Brewers were one of the strongest home teams in baseball over the last couple of seasons but are just 12-17 at Miller Park this year including just 8-16 when the total in 8.5 to 10.0.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

Steve Rosen

Philadelphia Phillies -1½

Here is a great opportunity to take the Runline on this one!

The Phillies bats have come alive and even though Kyle Kendrick is not the sharpest pitcher, his numbers speak volumes for themselves. He is 5-0 in his last 5 starts vs Miami. This season alone he is 5-1 when playing night games !

On the opposing side Tom Koehler who is 0-3 pitches for Miami. Phillies have taken 2/3 in the last series vs Miami and Kendrick is an amazing 11-2 in 20 games against them!

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Monday, June 3

Rob Veno   

Chicago at Seattle
Play: Under

Offensive struggles are real concerns for each of these teams right now. Chicago has scored three runs or less in 10 of its last 13 games while Seattle has totaled 17 runs over its last six contests. For the White Sox, lack of offense has been a season long issue but things were even more magnified yesterday when they had to go without their hottest hitter over the past week and a half, Paul Konerko, due to a stiff neck. He’s listed as day-to-day but figures to try and give it a go tonight. Gordon Beckham also could return to the lineup after a stint on the DL (hand injury) and a recent rehab assignment but the Sox are being very cautious with him. No matter who plays tonight, they figure to have trouble with Mariners lefty Joe Saunders who has pitched to incredible home/road splits thus far. In Safeco, Saunders owns a 3-1 record, 2.41 ERA and 1.04 WHIP while on the road he’s 0-4/9.00/2.06. His last two starts have gone opposite his overall form but expect Saunders to throw well here against this White Sox lineup.

Seattle’s run scoring woes are more due to injury as Mike Morse and Justin Smoak continue to be out. Smoak was placed on the DL yesterday and Morse will miss tonight’s game. Their absences have left plenty of holes in the Mariners batting order and Chicago lefty starter John Danks should capitalize. His first two starts of the season (home vs. Miami and at Wrigley Field) make it tough to gauge just where he is at this stage but his numbers look good enough to call for success in this spot. No real fatigue issues in the back ends of these bullpens but Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen has blown three of his last four save attempts after being dominant prior to this slump. Overall, this looks like an under game where the lefty starters should keep the offenses quiet while the relievers are more than capable of doing the same.

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