Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, May 3

Free Picks: Service Plays for Friday, May 3

DUNKEL INDEX

NBA

Oklahoma City at Houston
The Thunder look to close out the series and build on their 8-1 ATS record in their last 9 road games against teams with a winning home record. Oklahoma City is the pick (+1) according to Dunkel, which has the Thunder favored by 6 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (+1)

Game 545-546: New York at Boston (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 123.172; Boston 116.992
Dunkel Line & Total: New York by 6; 178
Vegas Line & Total: New York by 2; 181 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New York (-2); Under

Game 547-548: Indiana at Atlanta (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Indiana 118.269; Atlanta 116.322
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 2; 190
Vegas Line & Total: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 187 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Indiana (+1 1/2); Over

Game 549-550: Oklahoma City at Houston (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 126.893; Houston 120.595
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 6 1/2; 212
Vegas Line & Total: Houston by 1; 206 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (+1); Over

Game 551-552: LA Clippers at Memphis (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Clippers 120.275; Memphis 130.842
Dunkel Line & Total: Memphis by 10 1/2; 176
Vegas Line & Total: Memphis by 6 1/2; 180 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Memphis (-6 1/2); Under

NHL

San Jose at Vancouver 
The Sharks look to follow up their Game 1 win and build on their 8-1 record in their last 9 games against a team with a winning record. San Jose is the pick (+125) according to Dunkel, which has the Sharks favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: San Jose (+125)

Game 71-72: Ottawa at Montreal (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Ottawa 11.276; Montreal 12.393
Dunkel Line & Total: Montreal by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 73-74: NY Islanders at Pittsburgh (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Islanders 11.853; Pittsburgh 11.210
Dunkel Line & Total: NY Islanders by 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Pittsburgh (-240); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Islanders (+200); Over

Game 75-76: Minnesota at Chicago (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota 11.622; Chicago 12.478
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 1; 4
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago (-250); 5
Dunkel Pick: Chicago (-250); Under

Game 77-78: San Jose at Vancouver (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Jose 11.577; Vancouver 10.080
Dunkel Line & Total: San Jose by 1 1/2; 5 1/2
Vegas Line & Total: Vancouver (-145); 5
Dunkel Pick: San Jose (+125); Over

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DUNKEL INDEX

MLB

Washington at Pittsburgh
The Nationals look to take advantage of a Pittsburgh team that is 1-6 in A.J. Burnett's last 7 starts during Game 1 of a series. Washington is the pick (+110) according to Dunkel, which has the Nationals favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Washington (+110)

Game 901-902: Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs (2:20 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Leake) 14.800; Cubs (Villanueva) 15.766
Dunkel Line: Chicago Cubs by 1; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-115); No Total
Dunkel Pick: Chicago Cubs (-105); N/A

Game 903-904: Miami at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Miami (Nolasco) 13.723; Philadelphia (Pettibone) 15.303
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Philadelphia (-165); 8
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (-165); Over

Game 905-906: Washington at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Detwiler) 16.018; Pittsburgh (Burnett) 15.196
Dunkel Line: Washington by 1; 6
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-130); 7
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+110); Under

Game 907-908: NY Mets at Atlanta (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Marcum) 13.865; Atlanta (Minor) 15.588
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-175); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-175); Over

Game 909-910: St. Louis at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Miller) 15.650; Milwaukee (Lohse) 16.790
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Milwaukee (-110); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (-110); Under

Game 911-912: Arizona at San Diego (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (Miley) 15.343; San Diego (Marquis) 15.751
Dunkel Line: San Diego by 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: Arizona (-135); 7
Dunkel Pick: San Diego (+115); Over

Game 913-914: LA Dodgers at San Francisco (10:15 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Kershaw) 16.070; San Francisco (Zito) 15.156
Dunkel Line: LA Dodgers by 1; 7
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-150); 6
Dunkel Pick: LA Dodgers (-150); Over

Game 915-916: Seattle at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Hernandez) 14.709; Toronto (Romero) 15.424
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1/2; 6 1/2
Vegas Line: Seattle (-135); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+115); Under

Game 917-918: Oakland at NY Yankees (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oakland (Griffin) 15.544; NY Yankees (Sabathia) 14.831
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: NY Yankees (-145); 8
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (+125); Over

Game 919-920: Minnesota at Cleveland (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Minnesota (Hernandez) 16.233; Cleveland (Masterson) 17.046
Dunkel Line: Cleveland by 1; 8
Vegas Line: Cleveland (-155); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Cleveland (-155); Under

Game 921-922: Boston at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Boston (Doubront) 14.290; Texas (Holland) 15.737
Dunkel Line: Texas by 1 1/2; 8 1/2
Vegas Line: Texas (-140); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-140); Under

Game 923-924: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Axelrod) 15.911; Kansas City (Guthrie) 15.312
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A

Game 925-926: Detroit at Houston (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit (Fister) 15.281; Houston (Norris) 15.784
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1/2; 7 1/2
Vegas Line: Detroit (-200); 8
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+170); Under

Game 927-928: Baltimore at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore (Gonzalez) 14.247; LA Angels (Vargas) 14.539
Dunkel Line: LA Angels by 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-130); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Angels (-130); Over

Game 929-930: Tampa Bay at Colorado (8:40 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Tampa Bay (Hernandez) 15.668; Colorado (Francis) 16.187
Dunkel Line: Colorado by 1/2; 10 1/2
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-135); 9 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Colorado (+115); Over

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Marc Lawrence

Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres
Prediction: Arizona Diamondbacks

When the Diamondbacks open a three-game series with the Padres in San Diego Friday evening they will do so knowing they've come up winners in 6 of the last 10 games in this park. They have also been victors in 9 of Jason Marquis' 15 career team starts against Arizona. With Marquis 0-4 with a 10.91 ERA during the month of May last season, expect more of the same here tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on Arizona.

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Big Kat Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants
Play: Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers will look to break the Giants three game winning streak when the two teams meet tonight at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The Dodgers trail the Giants in the standings by 2.5 games but both teams are looking up at the surprising Colorado Rockies, who at 17-11 are the leaders in the NL West. Los Angeles will send Clayton Kershaw to the hill, who is retuning to the team after the death of his father earlier in the week. He has been good for LA this season. posting a 3-2 record with a 1.73 ERA while allowing less than a base runner per inning. His 10.2 K/9 is good for top 5 in the National League and he has held his opponents to a .183 batting average over his six starts. Kershaw will be opposed by Barry Zito, who has come back to earth a bit after a streak that saw the Giants win 13 straight games that he started. He has been hit around in 2 of his last 3 starts and he lasted just 2.2 innings while giving up 6 runs on 6 hits in his last outing, earning a no-decision in the Giants 8-7 loss to the Padres on Saturday. Los Angeles, despite their sub .500 record has actually been very good in the spot they are in here tonight against the Giants. They are 4-1 in their last 5 games when listed as a favorite on the road and they have won 4 straight games following a loss. They have also been excellent with Kershaw on the hill, winning 21 of 27 games when he’s listed as a favorite of -110 to -150. The Giants, who are hitting more than usual but are struggling a bit in the pitching department haven’t been good in the situation they are in here tonight. They are just 1-4 in their last 5 home games when listed as an underdog of +110 to +150 and have lost 5 of their last 7 games after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous contest. Pair that with the fact that the Dodgers have gone 9-4 in Kershaw’s last 13 starts against the Giants and we’ll roll with them to get the win on the road.

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Rob Vinciletti

Dodgers vs. Giants
Play: Under

This game fits solid system here that plays to the under for for road favorites of -140 or higher that are off a home favored loss, vs an opponent off a road dog win. These game have stayed under in 12 of the last 13 applications. Kershaw goes for the Dodgers and that is why this total is this low. Kershaw has gone under in 13 of 17 starts vs the Giants and has a career 1.29 era against them. He will oppose Barry Zito tonight and Zito has a 0 era at home this season going a Perfect 21 innings here. He has stayed under in 15 of 22 starts vs the Dodgers. LA. has averages 2.8 runs in division games and 3.3 runs vs left handed pitching. The Giants have gone under in 2 of the last 3 as a home dog from +125 to +150 and all 4 times on Friday. The Giants also have one of the best bullpen in the league again and have a 1.73 home bullpen era. Look for this game to go under.

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Bruce Marshall

Baltimore vs. LA Angels
Pick  Baltimore

The losses are starting to get old in Anaheim, with the Angels dropping to 10-18 after losing for the seventh time in nine outings on Thursday vs. the Orioles. While most Angels fans are yet to panic, citing a recovery from a slow start last season, the dynamics have changed in 2013, with little support coming from the back end of a rotation that has failed spectacularly thus far, all the more worrying with staff ace Jered Weaver sidelined until June with injury.  Friday starter Jason Vargas is one of those in the rotation that has yet to deliver, without a win to his credit after five starts and owning a soft 4.85 ERA. Moreover, opposing hitters are working him over to the tune of an .325 OBA.  Not good.  Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez has been a bit shaky in recent starts, but the Bird bullpen is more than serviceable, and Gonzalez did pitch well on the road (2.47 ERA) and against the Halos (held to 1 run and 3 hits in 7 IP in an O's win) a year ago.

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Art Aronson

NY Mets vs. Atlanta
Pick: Over

Shaun Marcum (0-2, 7.94 ERA) gets the call for the visitors. Marcum gave up three runs and five hits over four frames in his team's eventual 9-4 loss to Philadelphia on Saturday. He'd then volunteer to make a relief appearance for the first time since 2007 in Monday's series opener vs. the Fish and promptly gave up two runs in the 4-3 setback. Marcum will be opposed by Mike Minor (3-2, 3.13 ERA) who is coming off an outing to forget, his second loss of the year in which he gave up six runs and six hits over 6 2/3's frames of work in his team's eventual 8-3 setback to the Tigers on Sunday (note that Minor is a pedestrian 1-1 with an unimpressive 4.76 ERA in his last two vs. the Metropolitans). Recent performance plays a part in my handicapping "toolbox" and neither of these starters has impressed me of late. Consider a second look at the "over" in this one.

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Jesse Schule

Washington vs. Pittsburgh
Pick: Pittsburgh

The Pirates should be well rested coming off a day of rest on Thursday, as they host the Nats at PNC Park Friday. It may surprise a few people, but Pittsburgh actually has more wins than Washington so far this season with 16. The Pirates are also 8-4 at home.

A.J. Burnett will toe the rubber for the home team, and he's coming off a win his last time out. Burnett (2-2, 2.83 ERA) allowed two runs on five hits over six innings in a 5-3 win over the Cardinals in St. Louis. He likely won't have to face Jayson Werth or Ryan Zimmerman, who are both battling injuries.

The Nats will hand the ball to Ross Detwiler, who was roughed up by the Reds in his last start. Detwiler (1-2, 2.03 ERA) didn't miss many bats, allowing four runs on 11 hits over just five innings losing 5-2. He wasn't very sharp in his last visit to PNC Park, allowing three runs on seven hits and getting tagged with the loss.

We are getting great value backing a home team with their ace on the mound, facing a team that has fewer wins on the year.

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Red Dog Sports

San Francisco Giants +132

Take the Giants +132 as Barry Zito has pitched 21 innings at home and allowed 0 runs in wins by scores of 5-0, 10-0 and 1-0. Sadly, Clayton Kershaw left earlier in the week as his dad passed away. Kershaw pitched a shutout in his last start and has allowed 0, 2, 2 and 3 runs in his last four starts but in his road starts he got a no decision at the NY Mets and lost at Arizona 3-2. The Giants are 8-4 at home while LA is 6-6 on the road.

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Jim Feist

Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals
Pick: Chicago White Sox

Chicago heads to Kansas City with a good young arm in Hector Santiago, with a 2.51 ERA walking only 3 in 14+ innings. He threw just 86 pitches Friday against the Rays, so he should be stretched out and well-rested when he makes his first start of the season Friday against the Royals. Santiago has limited experience as a starter at the major-league level, but the early returns have been promising. He has a 1.86 ERA in 19 1/3 innings, with 26 strikeouts and 11 walks.

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Dave Cokin

Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs
Pick: Chicago Cubs

It's not easy to back the Cubs. They're horrendous defensively and the bullpen is often atrocious. Yesterday's game against the Padres was this team's season in microcosm. They completely wasted a terrific outing from Travis Wood with some amateurish defense and the pen wasn't exactly lights out. San Diego scratched out about the softest four runs you'll ever see and that was that. Nevertheless, the Cubbies have a good chance to notch a victory today. Carlos Villanueva has been very solid virtually each time out for the Cubs. Mike Leake will throw for the Reds and he's struggling. My guess is that when Johnny Cueto comes off the DL, Leake could well end up being relegated to the bullpen. Cueto's injury forced the Reds to bring up Tony Cingrani and off his first few starts he's sticking in the rotation. Leake therefore stands to be the odd man out.

Trust me when I tell you I have to be really convinced to put a bet down on the Cubs. But the comparison here heavily favors Villanueva. The Reds have a massive bullpen edge. But right at the present time, there's not a whole lot of offense being produced by Cincinnati, and with Leake pitching less than inspired ball, this is a spot where the Cubs should manage to get some runs on the board. In fact, their bats are pretty warm right now, and I'll excuse the two-run output on Thursday as the weather was a major offense killer with the substantial wind blowing in.

The price on this game is cheap enough to virtually guarantee a good deal of Reds money. I'll opt to take the anti-public side here and I'll give the nod to the Cubs.

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Don Best Consensus

Miami at Philadelphia
Pick: Under

Under is 5-1 in Phillies last 6 vs. National League East. Under is 4-1 in Marlins last 5 Friday games. Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.

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CHRIS JORDAN

400* Brewers-110

100* Indians -140

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San Jose Sharks (25-16-7) at Vancouver Canucks (26-15-7)


The San Jose Sharks look to go up 2-0 over the Vancouver Canucks with another road win on Friday night. It’s amazing how often we see a penalty change the outcome of a game and this was a perfect case of that on Wednesday night at Rogers Arena. Kevin Bieksa’s goal at 12:26 of the second period gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead after these two teams played over a period and a half of scoreless hockey. With the building rocking and the Canucks seemingly in control it was Zack Kassian’s roughing penalty less than four minutes later that changed the outcome of the game. Logan Couture connected on the power play for the Sharks just 35 seconds into the man advantage to even the game at 1-1 and allowed San Jose to regain a grip on the hockey game. It was disappointing for the Canucks because they really outplayed the Sharks in the middle frame, outshooting them 13-6 but still finding themselves deadlocked at 1-1 heading into the third period. In the final 20 minutes it was Dan Boyle scoring at 9:17 what proved to be the game winner. Patrick Marleau gave the Sharks some insurance later in the period and San Jose held on for the 3-1 victory. Antti Niemi, as he was for much of the regular season, was tremendous in goal. Niemi stopped 29 of 30 shots to pick up the win in this one. It was a disappointing result for the Canucks in this one as they hoped to get off to a good start and avoid all the pressure that’s going to be on them heading into Game 2. Everyone associated with the Canucks organization knows that if this team loses in the first round again there are going to be some serious changes. You’ve got to think that if Cory Schneider is able to play in this one that he’ll be on the ice because the Canucks need something to give them a positive lift even though it wasn’t Roberto Luongo that cost them in Game 1. Although it’s only the second game of the series this is about as big a must win game as you’re going to see in a series when it’s not actually an elimination game. Pick: Vancouver -142


Minnesota Wild (26-19-3) at Chicago Blackhawks (36-7-5)

The Chicago Blackhawks host the Minnesota Wild in Game 2 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal match up. It might have been the best chance for the Minnesota Wild to steal a game in this series from the Chicago Blackhawks and they just couldn’t get the job done. Chicago looked nothing like the hockey club that we saw dominate most of the regular season. They registered just 16 shots on goal through the first two periods, were getting beat to loose pucks, and just looked a step behind the Wild early on. Corey Crawford really was the difference in Game 1 for the Blackhawks and that’s something that usually doesn’t have to happen for Chicago to win a game. Cal Clutterbuck got the Wild on the board less than five minutes into the first period but from that point on Crawford stood tall and allowed his team to get back in the game and eventually win it. Marian Hossa evened the score at one early in the second period with a power play goal. The teams remained tied through regulation and it looked like we might be looking at multiple overtimes before Chicago finally won it. Bryan Bickell scored the game winner at 16:35 of the overtime session that allowed the home crowd at the United Center to exhale a sigh of a relief and give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead in the series that was very much expected. The most fascinating part of this hockey game had to be the injury that occurred to Niklas Backstrom in warm ups. The Minnesota goalie had to helped off the ice and Josh Harding was thrown into a very difficult situation and played great. Harding made 35 saves in this game and without his play in net the Wild wouldn’t have had a chance. Head coach Mike Yeo said that he doesn’t know that status of Backstrom for Game 2 on Friday so there’s a good chance that Harding will be back in net. You’ve got to think that getting the win in Game 1 will allow the Blackhawks to come out playing a little more free and easy in this one. They didn’t play the game that many expected but they found a win and that’s the most important part. If Crawford continues to play that way for them the rest of the series this one could be over quickly. Pick: Chicago -1.5


NY Islanders (24-17-7) at Pittsburgh Penguins (36-12-0)

Even without Sidney Crosby on the ice for Game 1 the Pittsburgh Penguins still showed why they’re one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup this season. They came out and asserted themselves early on against the young Islanders and they never took their foot off the gas until it was all but over. It makes you wonder if they’ll continue to let Crosby rest until the Islanders prove that they can make this a series. New York never was in this game and things got away from them early on and it unraveled quickly. Beau Bennett scored 3:30 into the opening period to give the Penguins a lead they’d never look back from. Ten minutes later it was Pascal Dupuis scoring his first of two on the night to make it 2-0 Penguins heading into the second period. The Pens came out just as strong in the middle frame and got goals from Kris Letang and Dupuis 32 seconds apart in the first two minutes of the period to chase Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov. It wasn’t a great performance from Nabokov but he didn’t get much help in front of him either. Things stabilized a bit from there for the Islanders but the damage was done. Tanner Glass would add another goal later in the period and neither team would score in the third as New York did their best to not allow the 5-0 defeat look any worse. Unfortunately if you’re an Islanders fan you saw the hockey team that struggled in their final three games and not the one that played great hockey the final month of the season to get into the post season. Nabokov should be fine but it’s just hard to imagine the Islanders having enough in the tank to compete with the Penguins over a seven game series. Pick: Pittsburgh -1.5

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Paul Leiner

100* Clippers/Grizzlies Over 180.5

100* Angels/Orioles Over 8.5

50* Yankees -145

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Jesse Schule

Pittsburgh Pirates -121

The Pirates should be well rested coming off a day of rest on Thursday, as they host the Nats at PNC Park Friday. It may surprise a few people, but Pittsburgh actually has more wins than Washington so far this season with 16. The Pirates are also 8-4 at home.


A.J. Burnett will toe the rubber for the home team, and he's coming off a win his last time out. Burnett (2-2, 2.83 ERA) allowed two runs on five hits over six innings in a 5-3 win over the Cardinals in St. Louis. He likely won't have to face Jayson Werth or Ryan Zimmerman, who are both battling injuries.

The Nats will hand the ball to Ross Detwiler, who was roughed up by the Reds in his last start. Detwiler (1-2, 2.03 ERA) didn't miss many bats, allowing four runs on 11 hits over just five innings losing 5-2. He wasn't very sharp in his last visit to PNC Park, allowing three runs on seven hits and getting tagged with the loss.

We are getting great value backing a home team with their ace on the mound, facing a team that has fewer wins on the year.

Take the Bucs.

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Lee Williams

Miami Marlins +147

We will take Marlins tonight as we feel they will have an edge on mound with Nolasco and facing a Pitcher in Jonathan Pettibone that will give them opportunity to generate some offense.Marlins 8-21 Yes, but 4-6 over last 10 and 4 of those losses by 1 run.They should have solid chance to grab road W and +147 offers excellent value.

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