Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, June 6

Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, June 6

Jeff Benton

Your Thursday freebie will be the Under in the Spurs-Heat contest.

Here we are, Game One of the NBA Finals, and San Antonio has been idle since their sweep of Memphis back on May 27th. The Spurs last game with the Grizzlies did hold Under the total, and with the strong chance of San Antonio being a little "rusty" in this spot, I believe this game will also hold Under the total.

Miami comes into this game having played their final three games of the East Conference Finals Under the total, and the find the total of this game approaching the 190 point mark. Hard to see either team cracking the century mark tonight, and series history does show a predominance of Unders between the teams, including 11 of the last 14 played between the teams on Miami's hardwood.

7 of the past 10 games in this series have also held Under.

With Game One jitters likely - even with a cast of savvy vets - let's look for this first battle to stay Under the total. 

3♦ SAN ANTONIO-MIAMI UNDER

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, June 6

Brad Wilton

Thursday's comp play is the Yankees over the Mariners.

A little payback for Phil Hughes and the Yanks, as Seattle took 2 of 3 in the Bronx in mid May, including roughing up Phil Hughes, as Hughes allowed 6 hits and 7 run as he could not get out of the first inning in a 12-2 loss.

New York just got themselves back on track with a 3 game sweep of Cleveland in the Bronx the last 3 days, and they will get to tee-off on Seattle starter Aaron Harang who is just 2-5 with an ERA just a shade under 6 for the year. Harang has thrown the ball well in his last pair of starts, but with the M's just 2-6 when he starts, and the Mariners coming off that marathon loss yesterday versus the White Sox, look for the Yanks to draw first blood.

Long 4 game set gets underway tonight with the Yankees and Hughes taking advantage of a spent Seattle bullpen.

Yanks the play.

4♦ N.Y. YANKEES

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, June 6

Scott Delaney

My free winner for tonight is the Philadelphia Phillies over the Milwaukee Brewers, and I want you listing both pitchers: Philadelphia's Tyler Cloud and Milwaukee's Wily Peralta, as this is a revenge game for the Philles right-hander.

These two just met on June 1, and believe me, Cloud pitched a gem that most pitchers would have walked away from with a win. The 6-foot-3 Nebraska-native fired seven innings of two-run ball, while scattering eight hits, striking out three and walking only one batter.

Tonight, I think we're going to see some of this kid's best stuff, as he's been used to pitching on the highway, and should feel plenty comfortable. His first three starts this season were in Phoenix, Miami and Boston, and in three of his four starts overall he's allowed only two earned runs in each of them.

Though Peralta just dealt a gem of his own, against these Phils, he's 4-6 on the year with a 5.94 ERA, and get this, he's been more effective on the road for the Brew Crew. The 6-foot-1 Dominican-northpaw has a 7.09 ERA at Miller Park, where he's just 2-4 this season.

Let's play Cloud in revenge, and take the value underdog price with the Phillies.

4♦ PHILLIES

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, June 6

Dave PriceFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Kansas City Royals -138FOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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With yesterday's 4-1 victory, the Royals improved to 4-1 against Minnesota this season. They've also won 5 of their last 6 home games against the Twins. Look for Kansas City to continue its recent dominance over the Twins by getting to Mike Pelfrey. The former New York Met hasn't enjoyed a switch to the AL as he's 3-6 with an ERA of 6.66. The Twins are 0-5 in his last 5 starts. Kansas City's Wade Davis has had his share of struggles as well, but his solid track record against Minnesota can't be ignored. His teams are 4-0 in his last 4 starts against the Twins, during which he's held them to 3 earned runs or less each time out. Take Kansas City.

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Jimmy BoydFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Kansas City Royals -138FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Mike Pelfrey has been horrible for the Twins in all road games this season as well as in his last 3 starts overall. On the road Pelfrey has a 7.71 ERA with a 1-3 record in 5 starts. In his last 3 starts he has a 6.92 ERA with a 1.769 WHIP. The Royals are batting .269 as a team against right handed starters and since Pelfrey is a below average pitcher I expect the Royals to put up some runs in this game.
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The Twins are averaging just 3.4 runs per game against division opponents and they have a .228 batting average in those 23 games. In Pelfrey’s last start against Kansas City he made it just 2 innings giving up 6 earned runs and 8 hits. He had only 1 strikeout as the Royals crushed the Twins. Wade Davis has a 3-0 record against the Twins and the Royals are 5-1 as a team in his 6 starts against them. He has a respectable 4.24 ERA and I expect him to have another strong performance today.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, June 6

Bob Balfe

San Antonio +5

Game One is very important.  he winner of this game usually wins the series. The Spurs have a bunch of veteran players that understand this and I like their ability to rebound and their bench a lot more. I think this team is actually much better than Miami, but you can't just win games based on that alone or underdogs would never win. This is a dangerous matchup for the the Heat. Miami has coasted all year long in an amazing season, but a loss in these finals will have it all for not. The Spurs are playing on more rest and are the healthier team.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, June 6

Wunderdog

San Antonio at Miami
Pick: Under 188.5

Miami's defense played a big role in them winning last year, and getting to the Finals again this year. The Heat through 16 playoffs games have not allowed any team to reach the century mark in regulation, and has held five of those teams in the 70s or less.  The Spurs have a lot of playoffs experience, and know the way to the title starts on the defensive end, as they have played 13 of their last 16 road games to the UNDER. The Heat are of the same ilk with 17 of their last 22 vs. a winning team having failed to reach the total. These teams have also played defense against each other with the UNDER at 20-5 in the last 25 meetings. Take the UNDER.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, June 6

Rob VenoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oakland at ChicagoFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
Play: OaklandFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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Oakland enters Chicago red hot having gone 16-3 over their last 19 games. They’ve won six consecutive series including their just completed two of three at Milwaukee where they outscored the Brewers 19-7. Everything is clicking right now for the A’s as evidenced by their +44 run differential (91-47) during this stretch. The offense has an outstanding .383 OBP, the starters own a 2.44 ERA and 1.01 WHIP while the bullpen has recorded 3 wins, 8 saves, 10 holds, 2.40 era and 1.11 WHIP. Oakland catches a break in this series opener since the White Sox were involved in a 5 hour 42 minute, 16 inning affair in Seattle yesterday. Aside from the extra innings and the long flight, Chicago’s bullpen is almost completely blown out for this contest. Chi Sox starter Jose Quintana has averaged a shade over 5.2 innings per outing this season and has completed seven full just once in his eleven starts. Last Saturday against this Oakland lineup, Quintana exited after allowing a season high 10 hits in his 5 1/3 innings of work. The fatigued bullpen becomes real troublesome with Quintana on the hill tonight. Taking the mound for Oakland is Dan Straily who threw six innings in the same game five days ago and he limited Chicago to one run on six hits (five singles and a double) while striking out eight and walking none. The fundamentals are good enough to back Oakland in this one with their offensive and bullpen advantages but the situational edges that are added in make this too tough to ignore.

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Teddy CoversFREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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NY Yankees at SeattleFOR FREE SERVICE PLAYS VISIT THESPREAD.COM
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The Yankees lineup has come back to life since Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis have found their offensive rhythm after extended stints on the DL.  Youkilis notched his first extra base hit since April yesterday, while Teixeira hammered a pair of homers drove in seven runs in New York’s just concluded three-game set against Cleveland.
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That’s bad news for Mariners starter Aaron Harang; struggling with the gopher ball again this year.  Harang is 7-1 to the Over in his eight previous starts, and he’s failed to record a single out past the fifth inning in half of those games.  The Mariners bullpen behind him is certainly not in great shape today following yesterday’s brutal 16 inning loss to Chicago.  Don’t be shocked if the Yankees approach this total all by themselves.
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Seattle will never be confused with a great offensive team, but Phil Hughes isn’t going to be confused with a great pitcher anytime soon either!  Hughes lasted only 2/3 of an inning against Seattle when he faced them last month; allowing seven earned runs in the process.  He’s allowed home runs in each of his last five starts; giving up five runs or more three times during that span; a pitcher with mediocre stuff who’s confidence is not where it should be to be successful at the major league level.
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The Mariners will get one of their better sluggers, Michael Morse, back in the lineup today following an eight game absence.  And they’ve been finding ways to grind out runs, scoring four or more in 10 of their last 14 here at Safeco Field while going 9-4-1 to the Over at home during that span.  We don’t need a true slugfest to see this game exceed the total of 7.5, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we got one!

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Harry Bondi

NY METS (+155) over Washington

Another easy underdog winner last night on Arizona runs our free pick record to 7-2 the last 9 days, including four underdogs. With Bryce Harper sidelined, the Nationals offense is in a serious funk. Not only has the team lost 11 of its last 17 games to fall under .500 for the season, but it has averaged less than two runs a game in the last week and have scored more than five runs in just two of its last 12 games. That's not the kind of offense that deserves to be such a hefty favorite, especially against a Mets team that has won two out of three in the series this season. Nats starter Gio Gonzalez hasn't recorded a win in more than a month, so this number is inflated. Take the underdog!

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John Ryan

Texas Rangers at Boston Red Sox
Prediction: Boston Red Sox

The simulator shows a high probability that the Red Sox will win this game. Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a 66-22 mark for 75% winners and has made 37 units/unit wagered since 2007. Play against road dogs with a money line of +100 to +150 (TEXAS) and is a solid hitting team batting between .265 to .279 with a starting pitcher with good control allowing less than 1.75 BB's/start and is now facing a good AL starting pitcher posting ERA <=4.20. Texas is a money burning 8-19 (-15.3 Units) against the money line in road games when facing a starting pitcher whose gives up 0.5 or less HR's/start over the last 2 seasons. Boston is on a nice money making run posting a 14-4 mark (+10.2 Units) against the money line after 3 straight games where they committed no errors this season. Lestor has struggled in road tilts, but this game is at Fenway where he has posted a 2.51 ERA and a 1.046 WHIP and allowing one home run in four starts spanning 28 2/3 innings of work. Take Boston.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, June 6

Frank Jordan

Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Play: Atlanta Braves   

This is a battle of east vs west and one leading into the season would a playoff preview, however only Atlanta is doing as well as wanted. Atlanta is 37-22 and in first place as for the Dodgers they are in last place with a 25-33. Atlanta is 16-15 on the road where the Dodgers are just 16-16 at home. The pitching match up is a dandy with Hudson vs. Greinke, but surprisingly both have 4.80 ERAs. Hudson is 4-4 and Greinke is 2-1. The road has been unkind to Hudson with a 1-4 with a 7.67 era. Greinke has been strong at home with a 2-0 record and a 2.87 era. Look for Hudson to turnaround is road woes as the hot Braves win their 6th in a row as the bats smack around Greinke.

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Jeff Alexander

Texas Rangers +117

Boston's Jon Lester has struggled of late, going 0-2 with an ERA of 6.05 over his last 3 starts. Lester's also had plenty of trouble with the Rangers, going 0-4 on the moneyline in his last 4 starts against them while giving up 19 runs in just 20 innings. The Rangers are 6-0 in Derek Holland's last 6 starts. Plus, he's 5-0 in his last 5 starts versus Boston, giving up just 7 runs in 36 1/3 innings.

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Vegas Connection

Texas Rangers at Boston Red Sox
Pick Boston Red Sox

Boston 36-24 Holland vs Lester Three game series comes to close Holland 5-2 opposes Lester 6-2. This is the rubber game. Very hard to go against Sox at home a Lester is dealing these days 6-2. Must back the team from Mass

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, June 6

SPORTS WAGERS

San Antonio +186 over MIAMI (Series)

The is a much more determined and in-sync Spurs team this year than we've seen since in recent memory. So much of basketball comes down to the mental component and you can bet that the Spurs won’t be intimidated in this environment. This Spurs team completely trust in one another and they not only know what it takes to win a championship, but how to get back there as well. The Heat on the other hand, had some unsettling statements about playing team-ball. Specifically, Lebron suggested in his post-game comments following Game 5 that he felt as he if were back in Cleveland by having to take over such a large share of the offense. This caused a rift between LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, which still threatens to undermine their chances to win another title if they rely too heavily on LeBron to beat the Spurs. As the Thunder-Grizzlies series and the Knicks-Pacers series showed, come playoff time you can’t rely on just one individual to beat an entire team, no matter how great that individual may be.

The Spurs coordinated offensive attack results in some of the most unselfish basketball that you will see today. The key to it all has been the consistent, steady and dominating play of Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. Duncan is the leader that no one on this Spurs' squad wants to let down and his troops will rally behind him no matter what happens. In that regard, Duncan has the edge over LeBron James, whose own teammates had to tell him to not stray from the team’s system of play. Going up against the frail Chris Bosh, Duncan should give the Heat fits whenever he has the ball. At 37, he out-hustled every player in the Grizzlies front-court and along with Tiago Splitter, completely shut down the Grizzlies bruising frontcourt duo. Duncan’s important sidekick and arguably a top 5-10 player this year is 2007 Finals MVP Tony Parker. Parker certainly won’t be intimidated going up against the Heat on this stage, and he will most likely be the key to winning this series. Parker’s strength lies in penetrating into the paint, where he has a plethora of options; he can pull up for his patented running floater, which is nearly automatic, he can go all the way to the basket for a layup, or use his keen basketball awareness to find any of the Spurs deadly open shooters waiting on the perimeter. The Spurs have one of the most efficient offenses in the league, and the Heat will certainly be hard-pressed to stop their attack. No one on Miami is quick enough to shut down Parker from getting to the spots where he wants to get on the floor, besides possibly LeBron. That duty however, is most likely going to fall to Mario Chalmers, who just like Mike Conley, won’t be able to shut down Parker from getting to his spots. San Antonio demolished the Grizzlies with a series of back-cuts, pick-and-rolls, and corner 3’s that just demoralized their opponent, and they can easily do the same against a Heat team, which threatens to come apart at the first hint of true vulnerability.

The Spurs employ the NBA’s best coach in Greg Popovich, and you can bet he has spent the past week scouting ways to limit the Heat’s offensive attack. For starters, Kawhi Leonard has embraced the role of guarding the league’s MVP. Leonard is a good enough defender to give LeBron some trouble but at the end of the day LeBron will still put up otherworldly numbers. Kawhi's job will be to limit James' efficiency and we can assure you that Popovich has a pan B, C and D to go along with it. . Dwyane Wade is certainly not the Wade of old, having only averaged a meager 14 points per game in the playoffs and eclipsing the 20-point mark only twice. You can count on Popovich to have a game plan that keeps Wade out on the perimeter and away from the paint. The same goes for Chris Bosh who developed into more of a perimeter threat than a low-post threat against Indiana despite his nearly 7-foot frame. The Spurs have become more of an offensive-oriented team the past few years, but don’t be fooled, as they are holding opponents to just 91 points per game so far in these playoffs. With so much time off between games, you can count on Popovich to have come up with an effective game plan that will neutralize Miami’s strengths, and expose their weaknesses. The Spurs have dealt with the outstanding offense and shooting of Golden State. They destroyed the Grizzlies deadly defense and now they have just as good a chance, and maybe more so, of winning the grand prize. With that, we'll play the value and take the points in Game 1 and the Spurs in the series.

Pass NHL

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