Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Cleveland at Cincinnati
The Indians look to bounce back after dropping the last two to the Reds and come into tonight's contest with a 4-0 record in Homer Bailey's last 4 starts against Cleveland. Cleveland is the pick (+115) according to Dunkel, which has the Indians favored by 2. Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+115).

Game 951-952: NY Mets at Washington (12:35 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (deGrom) 16.722; Washington (Zimmermann) 18.265
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Washington (-145); 7
Dunkel Pick: Washington (-145); Under

Game 953-954: San Francisco at Milwaukee (2:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Peavy) 14.539; Milwaukee (Peralta) 16.985
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 2 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-135); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-135); Under

Game 955-956: Chicago Cubs at Colorado (3:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cubs (Hendricks) 14.309; Colorado (Flande) 13.414
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Colorado (-110); 10 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (-110); Under

Game 957-958: Miami at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Flynn) 15.322; Pittsburgh (Volquez) 13.849
Dunkel Line: Miami by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-130); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (+110); Under

Game 959-960: Detroit at NY Yankees (1:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Porcello) 17.677; NY Yankees (Greene) 15.195
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 2 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Detroit (-125); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-125); Over

Game 961-962: Baltimore at Toronto (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Gonzalez) 15.433; Toronto (Happ) 16.893
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Toronto (-110); 9
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (-110); Under

Game 963-964: Minnesota at Oakland (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Pino) 16.433; Oakland (Lester) 15.512
Dunkel Line: Minnesota by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Oakland (-250); 7
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (+210); Over

Game 965-966: Chicago White Sox at Seattle (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Carroll) 16.311; Seattle (Elias) 14.767
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Seattle (-170); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+150); Over

Game 967-968: Houston at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (McHugh) 14.422; Philadelphia (Hernandez) 13.311
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-130); 8
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+110); Under

Game 969-970: Cleveland at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (House) 16.804; Cincinnati (Bailey) 14.774
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 2; 6
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-135); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (+115); Under

Game 971-972: Boston at St. Louis (7:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Workman) 15.102; St. Louis (Wainwright) 16.775
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-200); 7
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-200); Under

Game 973-974: Kansas City at Arizona (9:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Guthrie) 13.675; Arizona (Nuno) 15.563
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 2; 8
Vegas Line: Arizona (-110); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (-110); Under

Game 975-976: LA Dodgers at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Ryu) 17.899; LA Angels (Wilson) 16.431
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-125); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (+105); Over

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DUNKEL INDEX

NFL

San Francisco at Baltimore
The Harbaugh brothers kick-off the preseason by facing each other as the 49ers travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens on Thursday night. Baltimore is the pick (-1 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Ravens favored by 4. Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-1 1/2).

Game 251-252: Indianapolis at NY Jets (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indianapolis 121.683; NY Jets 120.315
Dunkel Line: Indianapolis by 1 1/2; 33
Vegas Line: NY Jets by 3; 36 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Indianapolis (+3); Under
Game 253-254: New England at Washington (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New England 126.926; Washington 123.975
Dunkel Line: New England by 3; 34
Vegas Line: Washington by 1 1/2; 37 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New England (+1 1/2); Under

Game 255-256: San Francisco at Baltimore (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco 123.496; Baltimore 127.289
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 4; 32
Vegas Line: Baltimore by 1 1/2; 35
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-1 1/2); Under

Game 257-258: Cincinnati at Kansas City (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati 122.448; Kansas City 126.741
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 4 1/2; 31
Vegas Line: Kansas City by 1 1/2; 35 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Kansas City (-1 1/2); Under

Game 259-260: Seattle at Denver (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle 123.201; Denver 126.355
Dunkel Line: Denver by 3; 42
Vegas Line: Seattle by 1; 37
Dunkel Pick: Denver (+1); Over

Game 261-262: Dallas at San Diego (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 120.355; San Diego 120.599
Dunkel Line: Even; 33
Vegas Line: San Diego by 3; 36 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Dallas (+3); Under

FRIDAY, AUGUST 8

Game 263-264: Miami at Atlanta (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami 118.670; Atlanta 124.729
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 6; 42
Vegas Line: Atlanta by 2 1/2; 37
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-2 1/2); Over

Game 265-266: Buffalo at Carolina (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Buffalo 122.521; Carolina 118.676
Dunkel Line: Buffalo by 4; 33
Vegas Line: Buffalo 1 1/2; 36 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Buffalo (-1 1/2); Under

Game 267-268: Tampa Bay at Jacksonville (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay 116.743; Jacksonville 120.518
Dunkel Line: Jacksonville by 4; 32
Vegas Line: Jacksonville by 1; 36 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Jacksonville (-1); Under

Game 269-270: New Orleans at St. Louis (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New Orleans 120.253; St. Louis 126.409
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 6; 44
Vegas Line: St. Louis by 3; 38
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-3); Over

Game 271-272: Philadelphia at Chicago (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia 122.284; Chicago 120.337
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 2; 35
Vegas Line: Chicago by 2; 39 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+2); Under

Game 273-274: Oakland at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland 121.818; Minnesota 120.861
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1; 43
Vegas Line: Minnesota by 3; 37 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (+3); Over

SATURDAY, AUGUST 9

Game 275-276: Cleveland at Detroit (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland 117.331; Detroit 125.739
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 8 1/2; 34
Vegas Line: Detroit by 2 1/2; 38
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-2 1/2); Under

Game 277-278: Pittsburgh at NY Giants (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 120.116; NY Giants 124.605
Dunkel Line: NY Giants by 4 1/2; 33
Vegas Line: NY Giants by 2 1/2; 36 1/2
Dunkel Pick: BY Giants (-2 1/2); Under

Game 279-280: Green Bay at Tennessee (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Green Bay 123.981; Tennessee 121.292
Dunkel Line: Green Bay by 2 1/2; 40
Vegas Line: Tennessee by 2; 37 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Green Bay (+2); Over

Game 281-282: Houston at Arizona (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston 124.306; Arizona 121.677
Dunkel Line: Houston by 2 1/2; 34
Vegas Line: Arizona by 2 1/2; 37 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+2 1/2); Under


CFL

Saskatchewan at Winnipeg
The Roughriders (3-2 SU) head to Winnipeg on Thursday night to face a Blue Bombers team that is 0-5-1 ATS in its last 6 games versus a team with a winning record. Saskatchewan is the pick (+1) according to Dunkel, which has the Roughriders favored by 3. Dunkel Pick: Saskatchewan (+1)

Game 121-122: Saskatchewan at Winnipeg (8:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Saskatchewan 119.311; Winnipeg 116.144
Dunkel Line: Saskatchewan by 3; 48
Vegas Line: Winnipeg by 1; 53 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Saskatchewan (+3); Under

FRIDAY, AUGUST 8

Game 123-124: Edmonton at Montreal (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Edmonton 112.882; Montreal 112.070
Dunkel Line: Edmonton by 1; 52
Vegas Line: Edmonton by 5; 46
Dunkel Pick: Montreal (+5); Over

Game 125-126: Hamilton at BC (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Hamilton 113.847; BC 123.979
Dunkel Line: BC by 10; 46
Vegas Line: BC by 7; 49 1/2
Dunkel Pick: BC (-7); Under

SATURDAY, AUGUST 9

Game 127-128: Ottawa at Calgary (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Ottawa 101.448; Calgary 121.975
Dunkel Line: Calgary by 20 1/2; 42
Vegas Line: Calgary by 13; 46 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Calgary (-13); Under


WNBA

Chicago at Minnesota
The Lynx host a Chicago team that is 1-11 ATS in its last 12 games versus Western Conference opponents. Minnesota is the pick (-7 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Lynx favored by 10. Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-7 1/2).

Game 651-652: Phoenix at San Antonio (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Phoenix 120.452; San Antonio 108.508
Dunkel Line & Total: Phoenix by 12; 166
Vegas Line & Total: Phoenix by 7; 159
Dunkel Pick: Phoenix (-7); Over

Game 653-654: Chicago at Minnesota (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Chicago 110.376; Minnesota 120.603
Dunkel Line & Total: Minnesota by 10; 162
Vegas Line & Total: Minnesota by 7 1/2;/156 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Minnesota (-7 1/2); Over

Game 655-656: Atlanta at Seattle (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 109.995; Seattle 108.777
Dunkel Line & Total: Atlanta by 1; 155
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 5 1/2; 150 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Seattle (+5 1/2); Over

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DAVE COKIN

CINCINNATI BENGALS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
PLAY: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -2

I am all about finding little bits of information that might be used to gain an advantage. I found something regarding the Bengals that seems at least mildly meaningful to me.

This involves rookie center Russell Bodine, who’s going to be snapping the ball on a frequent basis over the next few weeks. Bodine is evidently having a few problems getting the timing down with QB Andy Dalton. This is, of course, being pretty much dismissed as nothing out of the ordinary with camp just getting rolling. But I can see this being an issue that rears its head and leads to a turnover or two in the early going.

It’s important to note that Bodine has more than just snapping the football to worry about. He did not make line calls or audibles at North Carolina. So this is a pretty steep learning curve for Bodine right now, and I’d be surprised if he emerges without some mistakes being made in his first couple of pre-season games.

These are the types of under the radar news bites that I really like to have in pocket when analyzing upcoming games. It might seem insignificant, but if Bodine’s inexperience gets the Chiefs just one extra possession on Thursday night, that’s an advantage that could make a huge difference in the final outcome.  I’m still a long way from finalizing this week’s NFL exhibition card, but I see this as an exploitable advantage for Kansas City and am therefore siding with the Chiefs as very small chalk.

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Tony George

Denver Broncos Pk

Last years Super Bowl Blowout re-visited, Peyton Manning versus a defense that shred him to bits last year.  The problem is he gets 1 series, maybe two to exact revenge with a fairly vanilla playbook for week 1. The story here is MOTIVATION on Denver's part, no matter what unit is in, because they were embarrassed in the Super Bowl last year and there is no doubt a win here is a moral victory.  This Denver at home should be a favorite but this is a pickem game which scares me as oddsmakers are not baiting you to lay 2 or 3 with Denver as you would think..  If you see Manning and company more than 2 series I would be in shock, and although it is going to be sloppy, as all week 1 games are, Denvers QB's 3 deep have looked great in camp and no doubt Coach Carroll will be gunning for a win as always.  Might be some scoring in this one in what should be a good match-up so the total of over 37 might be worth a small sniff.

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Dave Essler

NY Jets -175

I don't go crazy on these first week games, but I fully expect the Jets to win and will play it small at the ML. A big key in these games is the backups, obviously, and we have made a nice chunk of change in NFLX by being aware of who's playing, and when. Typically when things break down, which in week one is sooner rather than later, a lot of these games are decided by the sheer athleticism of QB's and RB's. Here we've probably got Vick coming in against a B team, and at worst Taj Boyd perhaps later, who can run, which is what we love when things break down. We either want the simple athlete against backups, or the QB that is super familiar with the offense and has played against some tougher competition in college, like an SEC guy. More on how we're gonna do this as the week/month progresses.

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Ben Burns

Chicago vs. Seattle
Pick: Seattle

I'm playing SEATTLE.  The White Sox won a rain-shortened game Monday, 5-3 over Texas. If it was up to them, the rain would have never stopped.

That's because they wound up losing 16-0 and 3-1 the next two days to the Rangers. White Sox pitching has now allowed a total of 58 runs and 74 hits the last seven games. That's even after allowing just 3 and 5 respectively in yesterday's loss. Twice they've allowed 16 runs in the last four games!

With the pitching as bad as it's been, the offense scoring only one run in two games makes this a total disaster. Is starter Scott Carroll the man who is likely to turn the White Sox fortunes around?  Considering he has a 5.51 ERA and 1.61 WHIP for the year, the answer is not likely.

Then you have Seattle who just took two games from an Atlanta team that's in a severe slump.  Their starter Roenis Elias has a 1.69 ERA his last three starts as he's given up just three runs in 16 innings.

Chicago has lost 22 of 31 road games when facing a left-handed starter.

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Rob Vinciletti

Houston Astros vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Play: Philadelphia Phillies -115

The Phillies smokes the Astros last night and have now beat them 7 straight times here. They are 5-1 at home off a home win by 5 or more runs. Houston is 1-8 on the road off a road loss by 5+ runs and 4-12 in the inter league play scoring just 2.8 runs in those games. The Phillies also fit a nice system here tonight that plays on home favorites with a total that is 8 or less off a home favored win by 5 or more runs with 10+ hits, vs an opponent off a road dog loss by 5 or more runs and scored 4 or less runs also with 10 or more hits. These home teams have won 13 of 17. Houston has McHugh on the mound and have lost 6 of his last 7 starts. Look for Hernandez and the Phillies to get the sweep here tonight.


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Sleepyj

Chicago Cunbs -113


Today we look at the Cubs and Rockies. Both teams have really nothing to play for except some respect at this point of the season. Chicago will put Kyle Hendricks on the mound who has a nice 2-1 record to his credit. In Hendricks 1 loss he went 6 1/3 allowing 7 hits and only allowed 1 ER...The game in which Hendricks suffered his first loss it was a a 1-0 game Vs. St. Louis. Can't blame the guy for that loss as he received zero run support. I think we have some young talent on our hands tonight with Hendricks. He really seems to have some good stuff as he has made 4 appearances on the mound and supports a 2.05 ERA and a WHIP of just 1.06. The Cubs will look to take the series after they got beat Wednesday night by the score of 13-4. Maybe a little revenge for the cubbies here as well. Colorado will send LHP Yohan Flande who has been in all sorts of trouble in his starts..His ERA is just about 5.75 and he has a WHIP of 1.34..Everyt ime he has stepped on the mound the Rockies have lost in 6 appearances. Flande has seen this Cubs lineup before on July 28th and took the loss in that game. He went 6 innings, 6 hits, 2ER, 1 BB and 8 strikeouts. It may have been his best outing but still can't match Hendricks here tonight. Rockies had been on a 5 game skid and they snapped it last night. I think they go right back to the loss column after tonight. I think this line will increase as the day moves ahead as well. Lets jump on Chicago here and take the money tonight. I think we see a tight game that is tilted at the end, in the favorites direction.

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Jim Feist

Royals vs. Diamondbacks
Play: Under 8½

Kansas City is a long way from home, playing good defense on this long trip. Jeremy Guthrie is off a terrific game, a 1-0 win as he ran his record to 7-9 as he picked up the win on Friday facing the Athletics, allowing no runs on three hits over six innings while striking out six hitters. The under is 18-7-1 in Guthrie's last 26 road starts. Kansas City's offense is 18th in baseball in runs scored and loses the DH for this series. The under is 17-7 in Diamondbacks last 24 interleague games as an underdog. Arizona is 17th in runs scored, 23rd in on base percentage and the under is 19-9-1 in the Diamondbacks last 29 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.

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Art Aronson

Cleveland Indians vs. Cincinnati Reds    
Play: Cincinnati Reds -123

The Reds have dominated the Tribe at the Great American Ballpark of late and I think we are getting them a good price in this matchup. Take note that I won with Cincinnati yesterday as well as a “paid” selection. Cleveland will go with T.J. House (1-2, 4.09 ERA) who is coming off his first solid start of the season; House went five innings and allowed zero runs in a no decision against Texas. Note though that House is 0-2 with a 4.78 ERA on the road this year and hasn’t made it past the fifth inning in any of his last three outings. The Reds will counter with Homer Bailey (8-5, 3.89 ERA) who looks to be hitting his stride; Bailey allowed one run over seven innings in a no decision against the Marlins in his last start. Note that Bailey's allowed only two runs in his last fifteen innings of work and the efforts have dropped his ERA to a respectable 3.89. Bailey would struggle early in the year but looks like he's starting to lock things in now; at home the right-hander is 5-2 with a 3.43 ERA this season. The Reds are 6-0 at home versus the Indians the past three years after yesterday’s beatdown victory. Additionally,  Cincinnati is 10-5 as a favorite of in the -125 to -150 range this season and I like that trend to continue in this favorable matchup. Cleveland has been superb on the road but is a sub-par 23-35 away from friendly confines this season. Consider paying a very fair price to get Bailey and the Reds.


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Ray Monohan

Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays    
Play: Toronto Blue Jays -107

The Jays broke out of a mini funk on Wednesday night with a critical win over the Orioles. They have won every series since the break save one and I think they can get this one too behind lefty J.A. Happ. Happ can be unpredictable but when he is on he is tough to beat. Also, his ERA is almost 2 runs better at the Rogers Centre. He won at Baltimore in June giving up just one earned run.

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Andre Ramirez

Giants vs. Brewer
Play: Over 8

Today we are laying the money on the over. Jake Peavy will take the mound for the Giants. Jake hasn't really got situated with the team yet, and is facing difficulties in ball control. Jake is averaging a 5.80 ERA on the road, and has surrendered 44 earned runs in 68.3 innings. Today Jake will face Wily Peralta who has struggled in the past against the Giants. Wily is pitching a 5.23 ERA against the Giants, and has allowed 6 earned runs on the average in his last 2 starts in this series. This line is very undervalued when you read between the lines. I was talking to my Offshore Boys on this game, and we are both on the same page.


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Carlo Campanella

Dallas Cowboys vs. San Diego Chargers    
Play: San Diego Chargers -3

Dallas heads to San Diego on Thursday night to open their exhibition season against the Chargers. The Cowboys have put Head Coach Jason Garrett on the hot seat after his 3rd straight 8-8 SU season in 2013. Dallas Owner Jerry Jones shook up the defense after they ended last year ranked last in the NFL and the Boys are scrambling to fill positions left opened by LB Lee injuring his knee in training camp and DE Ware joining the Broncos. On the other side you have a Chargers team coming off a solid 10-8 season in 2013 behind 2nd year Head Coach Mike McCoy. The Chargers have a season with McCoy under their belt and things should only run smoother in his second season. We'll back San Diego, who owns a profitable 23-18 mark as Preseason favorites, as they're too many questions in "Big D" to want any part of backing the Cowboys this early.

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Jimmy Adams

New England Patriots vs. Washington Redskins    
Play: Washington Redskins +1

Betting the NFL preseason is a completely different ballgame than the regular season. It can also be a great time for experienced bettors to capitalize. There is no other time of the year where coaches will tell you exactly what they’re going to do. We need to look at factors such as, how long will the starters be playing? Can we catch a team that will be playing their 1st string against the opponents 2nd or 3rd? How many snaps will the starting QB take? How good is his backup? Finding out the answers to all of these questions, along with many more, give a “sharp” bettor a distinct advantage in the preseason.

It’s a new year for the Washington Redskins under 1st year head coach Jay Gruden. Gruden is noted as an offensive minded coach who is considered largely responsible for the success of Andy Dalton. This is also a huge game for Robert Griffin III. All reports out of the Redskins camp are that things are going extremely well for RG3. He has a lot to prove and should play well in this one. The Skins also added WR DeSean Jackson, who will be a huge threat for opposing defenses.

Last year Tom Brady’s 60.5% completion percentage was his lowest in 10 years. That was due to lack of weapons, and will most likely improve this season will the health of Rob Gronkowski and addition of WR Brandon LaFell. Bill Belichick divulges pretty much nothing when it comes to game plan. We can assume that Brady won’t be around for too long in this one, as he’s an experienced and polished QB and there’s simply no reason to risk injury. The Patriots also lost goal line running back LeGarrette Blount. He came on strong last season and will be a huge loss for this team.

The Redskins come into this game with a little more urgency and a need to prove something. RG3 will come out in good form and put on a show for the home fans in their preseason opener. Take the Redskins.

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Marc Lawrence

San Francisco Giants at Milwaukee Brewers
Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers

Edges - Brewers: Peralta 4-0 with 1.70 ERA last four team starts, and 4-1 versus N.L. West opponents this season. Giants: Peavy 0-11 last eleven overall team starts, and 1-7 day team starts this season. With Peavy just 1-7 his last eight team starts during August, and San Francisco riding a recent 5-game losing skid in this park, we recommend a 1-unit play on Milwaukee.

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River City Sharps

Baltimore Orioles +104

The Toronto Blue Jays try and get a game closer to the lead in the AL East tonight as they host the Baltimore Orioles in the final game of their three-game set. The Orioles will give the ball to Miguel Gonzalez (5-6, 3.93) to be opposed by the Jays J.A. Happ (8-5, 4.34) The Jays took a 5-1 decision on Wednesday night, but these teams have seemingly been moving in different directions over the past couple of weeks. The Orioles have been red hot and have been playing particularly well on the road, winning five of their last seven games. Showalter's team has been pretty solid in bouncing back off a loss this season, posting a 35-16 record in their last 51 games following a loss. Thursday's have been good as well for Gonzalez as the Orioles are 7-1 in Gonzalez's last eight Thursday starts and 4-1 in his last five games as the road dog. We expect the Orioles to get another bounce back win here tonight.

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Steve Rosen

Miami Marlins vs. Pittsburgh Pirates    
Play: Pittsburgh Pirates -130 

The Pittsburgh Pirates are down one All-Star with Andrew McCutchen banged up, but another, Josh Harrison, is doing his best to pick up the slack. Harrison looks to extend his hitting streak to 11 games when the Pirates host the Miami Marlins in the rubber match of their three-game series on Thursday. Harrison has recorded multiple hits in six of his last 10 games and went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored as Pittsburgh grabbed a 7-3 win on Wednesday!The Pirates are in the middle of a pair of playoff races as they trail first-place Milwaukee by 1 1/2 games in the National League Central while sitting one-half game behind St. Louis for the second wild-card spot. The Marlins are three games below .500 and have dropped five of their last seven to make their fledgling postseason chances seem even more unlikely. The offense is the big problem at the moment for Miami, which has scored more than three runs once in its last seven contests and sits 6 1/2 games behind first-place Washington in the NL East.

Flynn was recalled on Tuesday when the team designated Jacob Turner for assignment and will be making his first major-league start of the season and the fifth of his career. The 24-year-old came out of the bullpen against Oakland is his lone previous major-league appearance of 2014 on June 27 and was reached for two runs on four hits in three innings. His stats are awful his entire career and will shit the bed tonight! There is no doubt in my mind.On the other side Volquez allowed a total of three earned runs in 30 innings over his four starts prior to the All-Star break but has not been able to find that form since returning to action.I see him returning to his old form tonight! Volquez never has lost to Miami, going 5-0 with a 1.95 ERA in six career starts.

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Chase Diamond

NY Yankees +113

This game has the 62-49 Tigers and the 59-54 Yankees. We have ridden the Yankees for 3 straight wins and I'm confident in them finishing off the sweep today they are red hot right now and believe they can make the playoffs.Shane Greene has been very strong in his first 5 starts and I think this line looks fishy Vegas is trying to get as much Tigers action as possible early and it's working as 68% are backing them yet the line has moved 9 cents the wrong way showing major sharp action on the Yanks.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

EZWINNERS

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +2

Carolina had a great turn around season last year posting a 12-4 record, but I expect regression this season. Since 2002 there have been thirty six teams that posted ten or more wins following a losing season like the Panthers did last year and out of those thirty six teams, twenty nine of them regressed by at least one win the following year. Carolina is a whole different team on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Cam Newton had off season ankle surgery and he has a whole new cast of receivers to get used to playing with since Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn are all gone. Carolina will be counting on a rookie, Calvin Benjamin who is still very raw to be their top receiver. To make matters worse, the Panthers already shaky offensive line will be without Pro Bowl left tackle Jordan Gross who has retired. Tampa Bay is a team on the rise. New head coach Lovie Smith will improve a Tampa Bay defense that was near the bottom of the league last season. Star cornerback Darrelle Revis is gone, but Tampa Bay snagged two of the top defensive free agents with defensive end Michael Johnson from Cincinnati and cornerback Alterraun Verner from Tennessee who is a better fit in Lovie Smith's zone defense. The Bucs also added defensive tackle Clinton McDonald from the Super Bowl champion Seahawks. Offensively I also expect the Bucs to be much improved after finishing at the bottom of the league in total offense last year. Former Bear's quarterback Josh McCown will be under center after a huge year as a backup to Jay Cutler last season. McCown had a lot of success last year throwing to big receivers in Chicago and that is exactly what he will have here in Tampa with Vincent Jackson and rookie Mike Evans along with rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The Bucs will also have a healthy running back in third year player Doug Martin who missed most of last season with a shoulder injury and also Charles Sims who has a diverse skill set coming out of the backfield. The Buc's offensive line will also be improved with the addition of center Evan Dietrich-Smith and left tackle Anthony Collins. Carolina had one of the best defensive units in the league last year, but if their offense struggles to move the ball and keep them off the field they won't be nearly as effective this season. The Panthers defense also suffered losses in the secondary as Mike Mitchell ( signed with Pittsburgh) is a critical loss at safety and Captain Munnerlyn's (signed with Minnesota) presence will be especially missed in the slot. Also star defensive end Greg Hardy added to the off season distractions as he was arrested following an alleged incident of domestic violence and there is a good chance he won't play in this game. This also a very bad technical spot for the Panthers as playoff teams laying points in week one against a non playoff team have been huge money burners.  This is a big home game for the Bucs and Lovie Smith to get off to a good start and Carolina has lost their first road game of the season the last five years. I like Tampa in this one. Take the points.


Green Bay Packers +5.5

I really like the Packers on the road against the defending Super Bowl champs to kick off the new season. Its not about the Packers remembering Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson throwing an interception to win the game, even though that will be on their minds, I really like the spot for Green Bay. The new enforcement of contact in the secondary will not affect any team more than the Seahawks and their physical "Legion of Boom" defense. Early in the season the refs will be calling this early and often and going up against Aaron Rodgers will really make this new enforcement magnified. The Packers ranked eighth in the NFL in scoring last season despite a rash of major injuries that included quarterback Aaron Rodgers himself missing multiple games. If they stay healthy they should be one of the top three offense's in the league. Seattle will once again be one of the top teams in the NFL. On offense they lost quarterback Russell Wilson's go to receiver in Golden Tate who signed with the Lions. Percy Harvin is healthy for now, but doesn't have the chemistry with Wilson just yet. I really like a focused Packers team plus the points in this spot against a Seattle team that will be enjoying their Super Bowl rings tonight. Take the points.

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Re: Free Picks: Service Plays for Thursday, August 7

Jeff Clement

Boston Red Sox vs. St Louis Cardinals
Play: St Louis Cardinals -180

The Red Sox are 2-6 last 8 road games and 0-5 last 5 Workman starts. The Cardinals are 12-4 last 16 Wainwright home starts as a favorite and Wainwright leads the league in victories this year in the N.L. I expect the Cardinals to win this rubber game match tonight behind the pitching of Wainwright and stay within 2 games of the lead for the Central Division.

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