April 11th 2013 - Posted 5:45 PM Eastern Time

There are 3 picks risking a total of 8% from our bankroll tonight.

#1: Take Boston Red Sox / Baltimore Orioles to go OVER the posted total of 9 runs risking 2 Units. (Aceves and Tillman must start for this game to have action)

We played the Over yesterday and it cashed out late in the game (13 runs in total) after a rain delay killed all the momentum that the Red Sox had going at the time. That will not be the case tonight. The weather is supposed to be clear and in the high 40's for tonight's game which means the hitting should continue.

Alfredo Aceves gets the start for Boston tonight. Aceves is a multi-functional pitcher, he has played mid reliever, closer and now starter. The issue that I have against Aceves is that I have seen him play and I don't believe he was really that good of a closer and now he is going to pitch a full game? The Red Sox had more blown saves the last 2 seasons since Jonathan Paplebon left than they have in the last 4 seasons combined and most of that was due to Aceves not being able to save a lead. Aceves will give up some runs the longer he stays in there and with the Baltimore bats always ready to unload, I think it is only a matter of time before the bats get to him. Aceves has pitched 4 innings this season over 2 appearances and has given up 5 earned runs on 5 hits with 2 home-runs and that is out of the bullpen! The Orioles bats could have a field day if Aceves has another game like that.

Then there is the issue of the Red Sox bullpen. As we saw last night, no lead is safe with them as they managed to give up 4 runs with 2 outs in the 9th... with a bullpen like that, runs are not out of the questions no matter how late in a game it gets. There is always a chance to score more.

For Baltimore, Chris Tillman gets the start and while I don't believe Tillman is that bad of a pitcher, he did get lit up in his first start this season. Tillman pitched less than 4 innings but he gave up 7 hits, 5 earned runs and a home-run before being pulled. Tillman has had a history of bad outings, in fact Baltimore pitching has not really been their strong suit over the last few years, their offense has which has made up for less than stellar pitching.

With both teams seeing the ball rather well and with both pitchers' propensity to give up runs in a hurry, I think the over is the play with the most value again today.

#2: Take NY Knicks at -4 spread against Chicago Bulls risking 3 Units

The Knicks have to be the hottest team in the league right now. They are simply firing on all cylinders and it couldn't have happened at a better time for them. The playoffs are right around the corner and the team who gets stuck playing the Knicks in the opening round have better be prepared. The Knicks have won 13 straight and covered 13 of their last 14 games! This is simply a team on a mission right now and Carmelo Anthony is playing the absolute best basketball of his career. Anthony has scored 35+ points in 4 straight games and it doesn't appear that he is slowing down! The way Anthony is playing right now he could drop 40 on a depleted Bulls team tonight.

The Bulls are no strangers to ending streaks. If everyone recalls they were the team that ended the Miami Heat's impressive 27 game winning streak last month. While it is possible that Chicago does it once again, I just don't think that is going to happen. This is a different Bulls team right now than the one that played Miami. The Bulls have been riddled with injuries and I believe their motivation right now is to simply get ready for post season play. They don't care about this game as much as they did about the Miami game.

Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson are out for this game and Luol Deng is 'doubtful'. Even if Deng does play, he's not likely to be at his best. That basically leaves Boozer and Heinrich to carry the load. The biggest question is, with those players out, who is going to cover Anthony on the perimeter? What if Anthony and JR Smith are on the floor at the same time, then what do the Bulls do? The Knicks just have too much offense for the Bulls at this point in the season. New York has all the momentum and motivation to come into this game and play their hearts out while Chicago is fine with taking a night off and simply getting healthy for the playoffs. Chicago has a grueling 4 game road trip ahead of them so I wouldn't be surprised to see them save some energy for the road tonight. The Knicks are a freight train right now and they are going to run all over Chicago.

The Knicks also have the added motivation of 'revenge' tonight. Chicago has beaten NY 3 times this season and teams rarely get swept; let alone a good team like Knicks who are playing much better basketball right now. Those 3 wins came a long time ago in different circumstances but were all close losses! That will motivate the Knicks who will be keen to get one in over Chicago and continue their impressive winning streak. Lay the points.

Some Trends to consider:

  • Knicks are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.
  • Bulls are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.

#3: Take Oklahoma City Thunder at -4 spread against Golden State Warriors risking 3 Units

With the Spurs falling to the Denver Nuggets last night, The Oklahoma City Thunder will be playing for 1st place in the Western Conference tonight. The Thunder also helped Golden State secure their spot in the playoffs this season by knocking off the Utah Jazz on Tuesday.

The Thunder have beaten the Warriors 7 out of the last 8 times they have played and covered 5 out of the last 6! Oklahoma City has been having another incredibly regular season thanks mostly in part to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Everyone knows of Kevin Durant's scoring abilities; he has won the league scoring title 3 years in a row but Russell Westbrook has come into his own as well and has averaged 28 point in 4 games this month and has only committed only 1 turnover for the second straight game! Westbrook is just too strong, fast and athletic for most point guards to defend. He has averaged just over 20 points per game in their three games against Golden State this season while holding his counterpart Stephen Curry to just 14 points in their last meeting. It's worth noting that while Kevin Durant is hard to contain for any team, he has had an especially great time against GS Warriors having scored an average of just over 30 points against them in 20 career meetings!

The Oklahoma City defense has also been a big story over the last few weeks as they have held 6 of their last 9 opponents to fewer than 90 points a game! That is a particularly glaring statistic considering that Oklahoma City themselves rank second in the league in field goal percentage at 42.5 and are one of the top offensive teams in the league scoring an average of 105 points per game. Golden State is not a team that relies on defense to win their games. Although their defense has been better as of late, Golden State typically relies on their prolific offense to carry them in games, that is going to be a wash tonight as OKC is one of the teams in the league that can match Golden State score for score.

The Oklahoma City defense is going to be the difference in this game tonight. I think Curry is going to struggling matching up with Westbrook and like many other teams, Golden State will just not have an answer for Kevin Durant. There will be plenty of offense in this game but the Oklahoma defense is what gives them the edge tonight.

Some recent trends to consider:

  • Oklahoma City is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings
  • The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings
  • Oklahoma City is 23-9-1 ATS in their last 33 vs. NBA Pacific and
  • Oklahoma City is 19-9-1 ATS in their last 29 Thursday games
  • Golden State is 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games playing on 1 days rest
  • Golden State is 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games following a straight up win
  • Golden State is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS win


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