April 8th 2013 - Posted 6:12 PM Eastern Time

Originally a regular sized pick on a short favorite was planned for today as our opening MLB bet. Unfortunately certain circumstances and line movements made us decide otherwise.

What we're left with in Baseball tonight is our 1 unit lean underdog. Keep in mind, a 1-unit lean equals risking a mere 1% of the bankroll. It's worth risking small when taking +value underdogs in baseball because that's where the money is over the course of a season and one can hit as low as 50% (1 out of 2) to make a nice profit! There are people taking heavy favorites (-160 to -200) each night and that's a losing proposition since they need to hit a very high percentage (which they won't) just to break even!

There are 10 NBA games scheduled tomorrow and two teams we really like! We have every intention of extending our seasonal NBA profit of 19 units and also see several good spots in Baseball which present better opportunities and will see us place bigger bets. Tuesday is definitely a big day for us then where as after certain considerations, Monday is one we'll be taking it more or less easy risking only 3% of our bankroll.

#1: Take Louisville Cardinals at -4 spread against Michigan Wolverines risking 2 Units

This is the finals of the NCAA tournament and what a tournament it has been. This year's Brackets has had its share of upsets and early exits as well as a couple of Cinderella stories to go along with it. Tonight will be the culmination of March Madness and this should be a great game to end the college basketball season.

The Louisville Cardinals are arguably the best team in the league. They have had their ups and downs this season but this is a team that has pulled it all together and are perhaps the most "complete" team in the country. The Cardinals have won 15 games in a row and they have usually done so in convincing fashion by an average of just under 17 points per game! This team has shown its guts and meddle a couple of times this season and have shown that no matter what happens in a game, they should never be counted out. In the Finals of the Big East tournament, they rallied back from a double-digit halftime deficit to defeat Syracuse in a blowout and just the other night the Cardinals came back from as many as 12 down in the second half to defeat the Cinderella Wichita State Shockers in the final minutes of play.

Michigan has been a nice story throughout the tournament as well. They have played well against some of the best teams in the country despite having 5 freshman in their lineup. In their last game, Michigan faced off against Syracuse and were the first team this tournament to be able to penetrate the vaunted 2-3 zone especially in the first half. Michigan was able to do this by staying well outside the 3 point line and simply fire up long range baskets that happened to go in. You can call it skill, you can call it "good looks" however the fact that Michigan shot well over 40% from deep had a lot to do with their victory over the Orange. Michigan will need to shoot as well if not better if they want to pull out the win tonight. I just don't think that is going to happen. Louisiville is a defense unlike any that they have seen this season. Louisville is statistically the best team at forcing turnovers and that is because they are consistently pressuring the ball handler. Constant pressure equals opportunities for turnovers.

Another big reason for Michigan's run in this tournament has been because of the play of Mitch McGary. McGary has been an absolute force under the basket and has provided Michigan with an edge in the paint. Against Syracuse McGary pulled down almost half of his team's offensive rebounds while also accumulating 6 assists. Syracuse did not have an answer for McGary and ultimately he was the difference in that game. Tonight that edge will be taken away by Louisville big man Gorgui Dieng. Dieng is going to pose a problem for McGary tonight. McGary is a very good player but I wouldn't expect the same type of impact from him tonight.

The Cards are on a 9-2 ATS run against teams with a winning record. They're 14-3 ATS when playing with no more than one day off between games and Louisville is on a 6-0 ATS run as a neutral court favorite of 3 1/2 to 6 points! I had Louisville winning it all in my bracket this season but usually stayed off spread bets since the went in to most games as huge (often double digit) favorites. Tonight is a chance to back them at a lower number and I think they'll get the job done. While I have been impressed with Michigan since I had them going out early in the tournament, Louisville's near upset at the hands of the Shockers is actually going to help the Cardinals tonight I feel. They are not going to take any possession for granted and I fully expect them to give Michigan all they can handle from start to finish. Louisville is the better team in my opinion and tonight they prove it with a win and cover. Lay the points.

#2: Take Houston Astros on the Moneyline (+150) against Seattle Mariners risking 1% to win 1.5% (Humber and Saunders must start for this game to have action)

The Houston Astros are not a good team and will lose more games than they will win but that doesn't necessarily mean that people should completely stay away from them each and every night. Like any other team, they can be profitable to back on certain nights. Houston is 1-4 on the season but that is actually 1 more win than I thought they would have had coming into this game. Houston unluckily drew both the Texas Rangers and Oakland A's as their first 2 series opponents to start the season. If you recall from last season, both Oakland and Texas were two very strong teams with some really stellar pitching. I am willing to somewhat forgive Houston for their early season slump simply because they faced great competition. Tonight they shift their focus to Seattle, which will be an obvious step down from what the Astros have faced thus far.

The Astros also have another thing going for them and that is they will be starting newly acquired Philip Humber tonight. Humber, while not known as an "elite" pitcher in the league, does throw some quality stuff. In fact, early on last season he managed to pitch a "Perfect Game" which shows that when he is "on", he has the capability to baffle batters. Humber has also had quite a bit of success against Seattle in the past. Humber has started against Seattle 3 times in his career and has gone 2-0 with a 1.14 ERA and WHIP of just .0591 which is pretty impressive! Humber's team is 2-1 against Seattle when he starts.

Not only will the Astros be facing Seattle but more importantly they will be facing starting pitcher Joe Saunders. Saunders is a pitcher whom I have watched and who I have seen digress over the last few seasons. Saunders was a "good" pitcher at one time in his career but apart from a few flashes here and there, he has not really been good since back in 2009 when he was a member of the Angels! Saunders has had a losing record since then and gone just 30-44! Not to mention that he had struggled during spring training giving up over 15 earned runs in just 11 innings of work.

His pre-season slump carried on into his first regular season start as he gave up 4 runs on 7 hits with 4 walks in just 4 innings of work! Given the problems that he is obviously having with his delivery and control and the fact that Seattle's offense in the past has not been potent enough to score the runs needed if their starting pitcher falters, I simply can not see laying this kind of number with them. Seattle is not one of the "elite" powerhouse teams in the league and they are more than capable of losing to the Astros on a bad night behind the arm of Saunders. For that reason I feel there is value with this significant underdog tonight. Houston may lose this game but at this level of risk compared to the potential return, we feel it's worth the minimum 1% bet.

One more key trend:

- Seattle are just 3-7 the last 10 times they have faced weak opponents with winning percentages below 40%!


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