April 10th 2013 - Posted 5:50 PM Eastern Time

10% of the bankroll is being risked on 4 different games tonight. Two baseball games and two NBA games.

#1: Take Washington Wizards at -3 spread against Miami Heat risking 3 Units.

This game immediately stood out to me like a sore thumb. Here we have the Miami Heat, the team with the absolute best record in the league; a team that won 27 straight games this season; a team that will more than likely win the NBA championship again this season and yet they opened up as 2 point underdogs to the Washington Wizards? That seems awfully fishy to me.

There is no doubt in my mind that the lines-makers know something about this game. The Heat only need 1 more win to clinch home court advantage throughout the playoffs but they have elected to sporadically rest their starters in order to get healthy and rested come playoff time. Bosh and Wade have sat out, Allen has sat out, it seems that the only player who has been playing is LeBron James and even he is questionable for tonights game. The lines-makers rarely ever release a line in a game simply on speculation. If there was a question of who was actually playing and sitting they would have been holding off on the release of this line until as late as possible just as they did that with the Celtics / Wizards game this past weekend where the line was finally released a few hours before the game.

There are many people who are counting Washington out of this game even if the Miami backups do play, I think that would be a big mistake. In fact Washington has a chance at home even if no one from Miami does get rested. At home they have played as well as anyone and even though Washington isn't playoff bound this season, they are on a 9-game home winning streak where they have been playing extremely well over the last couple of weeks and we have cashed out numerous times during this run. They have knocked off some big time opponents this season which actually includes the Miami Heat earlier this year with all of their starters! Even though the Wizards won't be in the post season, this home winning streak has been something for not only the players to get excited and motivated but the fans to get excited about as well. The Wizards have been playing great and tonight is another chance for them to show everyone that come next season, they could be a force to be reckoned with. The line tells me something about this game as well and that is to back the Wizards to stretch their home win streak to an impressive 10 games! The public is all over Miami as usual but the Wizards are actually 6-2 ATS at home if they played the night before. Back them to upset the public.

#2: Take Baltimore Orioles / Boston Red Sox to go OVER the posted total of 9 runs risking 2 units

There are a number of positve trends that are showing that this game is more likely to go over the posted total tonight. The first is the fact that Jake Arrieta is pitching for Baltimore. Arrieta had struggled a majority of last season and struggled in his first start this season as well. Arrieta went five-plus innings, allowed 5 runs on 7 hits, walked 2 and struck out 5. Arrieta also simply hasn't had a lot of success against the Red Sox in his career either as he is 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA. The Red Sox lineup is also extremely familiar with Arrieta and have had quite a bit of success against him. As a team the Sox are batting .500 against him which include 7 home runs in 38 at bats.

Ryan Dempster hasn't fared all that much better himself. Dempster is a below .500 pitcher and the Baltimore Orioles hitters enjoy a .337 combined batting average against him. Dempster faired well in his first start of the season, but those kind of numbers are just not an accurate portrayal of how Dempster truly pitches.

Both the Red Sox and Orioles share a tie for 2nd for the most hits per game which currently sit at 10. Ironically both teams against a tied for 2nd in the league when it comes to giving up hits as well. Both are tied at 7.9 per game. Being able to hit the ball consistently and also allowing the opposing team to hit the ball consistently is a recipe for a lot of offense from both sides.

Against Division and Conference opponents the Over is a combined 9-5 between both these teams. Both teams offenses struggled in yesterdays games due to stellar pitching from both Buchholz and Chen, I don't think that will be the case today. The bats should be able to find both pitchers fairly easily tonight and I believe this game goes over before the 8th inning.

Some other trends that support an Over in this game:

  • Over is 4-0 in Arrietas last 4 starts vs. American League East.
  • Over is 10-1 in Arrietas last 11 starts when their opponent allows 2 runs or less in their previous game.
  • Over is 6-1 in Arrietas last 7 starts during game 2 of a series.
  • Over is 10-2 in Arrietas last 12 starts as a road underdog of +110 to +150.
  • Over is 10-2 in Arrietas last 12 starts after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game.
  • Over is 12-5 in Arrietas last 17 starts as an underdog.
  • Over is 12-5-1 in Arrietas last 18 starts as a road underdog
  • Over is 7-3 in Arrietas last 10 starts
  • Over is 9-4 in Arrietas last 13 road starts
  • Over is 4-0 in Red Sox last 4 games vs. a right-handed starter
  • Over is 6-2-1 in Cory Blasers' last 9 games behind home plate. (Blasters is the home plate umpire tonight)

#3: Take Denver Nuggets at -3 spread against San Antonio Spurs risking 3 Units

Here we have two of the top teams in the league. You have the Spurs who are the #1 team in the West against the absolute most dominant home team in the league in the Denver Nuggets. The difference in this game is going to come down to not only the fact that the Spurs are on the road and the Nuggets simply do not lose at home but the fact that the Spurs front court will simpy not be able to keep pace with the Nuggets in the altitude of Denver.

Tim Duncan is an absolute beast for being 36 years old but this is not the best situation for him to be in tonight against a much younger and more athletic JaVale McGee and younger Denver front court. Even though McGee comes off the bench and doesn't start the game, he now sees the majority of the minutes at the 5 spot. In their last game against the Spurs back on March 27, McGee scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in 26 minutes when matched up against Duncan. Duncan had 23 points in 36 minutes.

Denver has won 19 of their last 21 overall including their last 20 home games! On the season the Nuggets are 35-3 on their home court. Denver has been dealing with the loss of Danilo Gallinari who is out for the season with a knee injury. I'm not overly concerned about the Gallinari loss as the Nuggets seemed to deal fine with the Ty Lawson injury. Denver is an incredibly deep team and it seems that when one player goes down with an injury or has a poor shooting performance, there is another one ready to step up and share the load. Andre Miller has stepped in and taken over the point position and the veteran point guard has been playing well. Miller had 14 points and 8 assists off the bench on March 27 against the Spurs, and had 11 points and 12 assists against Houston.

Lawson could return tonight in limited minutes though Miller is holding down the fort well as is Evan Fournier, who had 17 points against Houston off the bench.
The Nuggets also have wing Corey Brewer, who scored 22 points off the bench. Even underachieving Andre Iguodala added 18 and a season-high 14 assists against Houston. The "Manimal" Faried has also stepped up big and has become an X factor on this team as of late. The Spurs are a deep team as well but with the aging Spurs ailing from nagging injuries themselves, it is just a matter of time before it catches up with them. The Spurs have alternated wins and losses over their last few games and in the later part of the season, they do not appear to be the dominating Spurs of old.

The Spurs will always make a game of whoever they are playing but I think playing a younger and more athletic team in altitude away from home is going to catch up with them tonight. Lay the points with Denver as they extend their home winning streak.

Some trends to consider:

  • Spurs are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games overall
  • Spurs are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss
  • Spurs are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
  • Spurs are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a win.
  • Spurs are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. NBA Northwest.
  • Denver is 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a win by more than 10 points.
  • Denver is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after scoring more than 125 points in their previous game
  • Denver is 11-3 ATS in their last 14 vs. NBA Southwest
  • Denver is 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games following a ATS

#4: Take Oakland Athletics on the moneyline (+110) against Los Angeles Angels risking 2 Units

The Oakland Athletics are picking up the 2013 season right where they left off last season. The A's had won the American League West last year after an impressive but somewhat surprising 2012 season and since dropping their first 2 games to open up the 2013 season, the A's have managed to rattle off 6 straight victories. Oakland has done this with not only stellar pitching but with stellar hitting as well. To start the season the Oakland pitching staff is only giving up an average of 3 runs total in a game while the offense has been doing their part and average just under 6 runs a game. It's clear that the Athletics are out to prove that last year's season was no fluke and that they are the real deal.

The LA Angels on the other hand are heading in the exact opposite direction. The Angels were supposed to be a team that everyone feared. They are saturated with talent on both sides of the ball and yet they have not been able to put it all together. The Angels acquired heavy hitter Josh Hamilton in the off-season to compliment slugger Albert Pujols and second year sensation Mike Trout. The bats have simply not been there to start the season for the Angels. Much like last year after Albert Pujols was traded to Anaheim, Pujols struggled to start the season and he is struggling once again this season going just 5-22 to start the year. Josh Hamilton is experiencing a similar situation as he is struggling at the plate as well going just 4-29 in an Angels uniform.

Pitching has been the main concern of the Angels and that has clearly been their weak point this season. The Angles are simply giving up more runs than they are generator themselves. Currently Angels pitching is giving up close to an average of 5 runs a game, while the offense is only generator an average of just over 4 runs a game. Tonight I don't believe is going to be much better for the Angels either as they send former Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton to the mound. Blanton was both a profitable fade and "Over" bet last season as he simply gets "beat up" in a majority of the starts he makes. He was the 5th man on the Phillies rotation and there was a reason for that. He has also picked up right where he left off last season and had a poor opening start to the season. Against Cincinnati he was blasted for 7 hits in 5 innings and gave up 5 runs ( 4 earned ) in a 5-4 loss. Against an Oakland team that is currently seeing the ball well this could turn into a long night for Blanton.

Oakland sends Tom Milone to the mound tonight. Milone is looking to follow up his 13 win season last year with another great season and he appears to be well on his way. In his first start, Milone performed well against the Mariners as he went 7 innings giving up just 4 hits and allowing 2 runs (both earned) in a 6-2 victory. The thing that I really like about Milone is that last season he had 137 strikeouts compared to just 36 walks. He is truly a consistent pitcher. Last season he had an ERA in the 3.00's each month of the season. He simply does not have a whole lot of bad performances and should have been the favorite in this pitching match-up.

Given the way both of these teams are playing right now, I don't see any other play than backing the red hot Athletics, they are hands down the team playing better baseball at the moment. The fact they they are the underdogs and offering '+' money is simply a bonus.


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