Sunday 2/19/12 service plays chatter/comps/requests & gm strategy...

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Marc Lawrence Comp

Oregon @ Stanford
Pick: Stanford -5.5

Most fowl-consuming restaurant goers prefer their duck slightly seared and glazed with a sweet orange sauce. However, we’re here to tell you that duck works just fine when presented in sandwich form… particularly the Oregon variety. That’s because OU flies south today off a monster eight-time revenger against league-leading Cal (Ducks just 6-10 ATS away from Eugene after facing the Bears) while looking ahead to a same-season revenger with archrival Oregon State next (1-6-1 ATS as pick or favorite before OSU). How’s THAT for a sandwich? Pretty darn tasty when you take a gander at Stanford’s incredible home history in this series: 20-1 SU and 15-5-1 ATS, including 15-0 SU and 13-2 ATS when the Ducks own a winning record. Wow! And Oregon’s recent 17-48 SU road log versus winning foes is hardly a deterrent. A quick glance at the Cardinal’s closing schedule tells us a strong season-ending run could vault the hosts into a Top 4 finish in the conference race. Despite the fact that Stanford has won just two of its last seven Pac-12 games prior to facing Oregon State on Thursday, the Cardinal’s 22-7 SU mark at home the last two years – along with their strong series history on the Farm – commands major respect. Garcon? We’ll take another duck sandwich please… with extra meat. We recommend a 1-unit play on Stanford.
 
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Jim Feist Comp

Mavericks vs Knicks
Pick: Under

Lin-sanity finally came crashing down for the Knicks as New York lost at home to the lowly Hornets, 89-85. It was the first loss for the Knicks with Lin starting. Sensation Jeremy Lin had 9 turnovers and now along with the Knicks have to regroup against a hot Dallas club. And they will likely do it without star Carmello Anthony. Anthony is still nursing his sore groin and is not expected to play Sunday. Dallas has rattled-off six straight wins and is 4-1-1 ATS during that span. The defense has been very good of late for Dallas, allowing just 75 points to Philly and 84 to Denver, both very good offensive clubs. Dallas now ranks 5th in defense in the league, allowing just 90.8 ppg. Could be another tough outing for Lin and the Knicks here against a surging Dallas team. I look for a low scoring affair as Dallas keeps the Knicks scoring to a low number. Take the UNDER.
 
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Lenny Del Genio Comp

Dallas Mavericks at New York Knicks
Prediction: Dallas Mavericks

By all accounts, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony will NOT return here and that should spell trouble for the home team here as they welcome in defending champion Dallas, winners of six in a row. "Linsanity" is all the rage right now, but the Knickerbockers have played the weakest schedule of any team in the league over the last two weeks. This will be the toughest test since Lin moved into the starting lineup. New York is 1-5 ATS Off a SU Loss as a favorite. Take Dallas.
 
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Rocketman
Bonus Play

Milwaukee Bucks vs. New Jersey Nets
Play: Milwaukee Bucks -2

Milwaukee is 30-7 ATS the past 3 years against Atlantic Division opponents. Milwaukee is 17-7 ATS last 3 years after 3 or more consecutive losses. New Jersey is 29-50 ATS last 3 years when playing against a team with a losing record. New Jersey is only 3-11 SU at home this year. New Jersey has lost 8 straight games overall. Milwaukee is 7-0 SU and ATS overall vs New Jersey the past 3 years including 3-0 SU and ATS at New Jersey. We'll recommend a small play on Milwaukee tonight!
 
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Stephen Nover Comp

Charlotte @ Indiana
Pick: Charlotte +11

As bad as Charlotte is - and the Bobcats are the worst team in the NBA right now - Indiana doesn't deserve to be a double-digit favorite right now.

The Pacers are 1-5 in their last six games. The lone victory during this span was against hapless New Jersey. The Pacers have failed to cover the last eight times they've been favored. They are 0-7 in their past seven home contests.

Charlotte has really missed starting point guard D.J. Augustin. He had missed 11 games, but came back two games ago playing 32 minutes in the Bobcats' last game this past Friday, a 98-91 road win against Toronto.

That loss snapped a 16-game Charlotte losing streak and should give the Bobcats a much needed does of confidence. The Bobcats' scoring should rise with the return of the underrated Augustin along with Corey Maggette being back in the lineup. Rookie Kemba Walker has done a nice job, too, for the Bobcats. Walker gives Augustin two scoring options.

Only once in their last 18 games have the Pacers won by more than 11 points
 
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Jimmy Boyd Comp

1 Unit 76ers/Timberwolves Over 190.5

Minnesota has been an overs machine of late, finishing over the total in 12 of its last 17 games. The T-Wolves have played to the over in 4 of their last 5 while combining with their opponents to average 198.2 points during this stretch.

Even with back-to-back unders, Philly has still played to the over in 5 of its last 8. Following a pair of poor offensive performances, I expect the 76ers to bounce back with a strong offensive showing this evening.

The Sixers have played to the over in 5 of their last 6 on the road. This comes as no surprise considering they're averaging 97.4 points away from home on the season. It is also worth noting that they have played to the over in 11 of their last 13 games as a road underdog of 4.5 points or less and in each of their last 7 versus the NBA Northwest division.

When these teams last met in March, we saw 211 total points scored. In fact, these two have combined to average 208 points over the last four meetings. The over is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings and 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Minnesota. We'll take the Over.
 
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EZWINNERS COMP

Cleveland Cavaliers -2.5

This is the fourth game in six days all on the road for the Kings who are just 3-15 away from home this season. Sacramento has to be a bit deflated after letting a big effort from Demarcus Cousins go to waste in their last loss to Detroit in a game in which they were leading for most of the game. The Kings should get a very focused effort from the Cavs who were embarrassed in their last game by LeBron and the Heat. The Cavs are 12-4 against the spread in their last sixteen games against a team with a losing record and I expect the Kings road woes to continue. Lay the points.
 
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Razor Plays
Bonus Play

Pittsburgh Penguins -130

Sabres started out the year great but have since fallen back to their regular lackluster play. Penguins mean while are still getting points without Sid and are still a threat. The last time these 2 teams played Pit left with a 8-3 win. Yes 8-3. Buffalo is on a 4 game skid right now and they would love nothing more than to snap it against this foe. However we're not entirely sold that they can do that.
 
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MATT RIVERS COMP

Sunday's Bonus Play comes in the NBA as I go with the home underdog Detroit Pistons playing host to a Boston team they just beat on Wednesday night in Beantown.

Detroit has definitely caught an updraft, as Lawrence Frank's team comes into this home game having won outright in six of their last eight games. The Pistons have also been a covering machine this month, going 8-1 against the spread their last nine times on court this February!

As for Boston, they are off a loss at Chicago, and can only lay claim to four wins in their ten road games this season, while splitting the ten against the math. A closer look shows the Celts have failed their last pair and three of five overall when listed as the away favorite for the year.

Go right ahead and stay with the hot hand, and that is the Detroit Pistons right now.

Detroit plus the points the call for Sunday.
2? DETROIT
 
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DOM CHAMBERS COMP

For my free selection, let’s take a look at the Detroit Pistons as a home underdog to cover against the Boston Celtics.

The Detroit Pistons have been a covering machine in February. This month, they are 6-3 straight up, but 8-1 ATS. They have won and covered their last two games.

The Boston Celtics, on the other hand, have not been too reliable.

The Celtics have lost four of their last five games and are 1-4 ATS in those games.

Boston is in the second game of a five-game road trip. The problem for Boston has been its lack of scoring. It is averaging only 84.8 points in its last five games, while giving up 90.4.

Detroit, on the other hand, has picked up the pace scoring. Its scoring age is 88.6, but in its last five games, it has gone up to 98.6.

The Celtics may get a boost scoring due to the Pistons lack of defenses it gives up 97 points a game in its last five games.

But the Pistons will be able to keep the game close. The Celtics may pull out the win, but covering a moderate spread like this may be a bit much.

This has the appearance of a closer game.

Take the Pistons and the points.

3♦ PISTONS
 
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JEFF BENTON COMP

Your Sunday freebie is the Philadelphia 76ers as the small road underdog at Minnesota.

No doubt the Sixers early surge has waned a bit, as Philly comes to the Target Center having lost four of their last six games, including a Friday night home collpase against Dallas in a game they led by 14-points at the break. Still, Philadelphia has been the more consistent of the two teams on the hardwood tonight, and I will back them to come away with this road win against the improving Minnesota Timberwolves.

Minny is on a mini two game winning streak, but are just 8-10 both straight up and against the spread at home this season, and they have not had much success lately in their meetings with the 76ers.

Philly has won and covered the last three series showdowns with the Wolves, and since Doug Collins' team has not lost three in a row thus far this season, and they will not lose their third in a row tonight in Minnesota.

Roll strong with the Sixers to end their skid.
4♦ PHILADELPHIA
 
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CHRIS JORDAN COMP

The free winner for Sunday is going to be the Michigan State Spartans laying road points over the Purdue Boilermakers in Big 10 action.

Though this one is in West Lafayette, Indiana, make note that Purdue will be without two wing players - one a starter and one a shooter off the bench - in this conference showdown, as coach Matt Painter dismissed Kelsey Barlow from the team and suspended D.J. Byrd after an incident at a bar early Friday morning.

Reportedly, Byrd was arrested for public intoxication and spent five hours in jail.

The pair averaged 16.3 points between them, and it's going to hurt the Boilermakers at this point. Some like to believe it's situations like this that will find teams rallying around one another, picking up the pieces and making things happen, but I think Michigan State coach Tom Izzo will be smart enough to have his troops well aware of a situation like this.

The Spartans already won the first meeting by 25 points, so I'm not so worried about the talent comparison. Michigan State has won two straight in this series, and the straight-up winner in this showdown is on a 9-0 ATS run.

And with Sparty in after back-to-back wins over Ohio State and Wisconsin, I'm pretty confident Michigan State will be fired up to win this one.

Lay the road chalk.
1♦ MICHIGAN STATE
 
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CHUCK O'BRIEN COMP

Vanderbilt is in after winning its last road contest, this past Wednesday night at Ole Miss, 102-76. Jeffery Taylor and John Jenkins led the Commodores with 28 and 26 points, respectively. Taylor was 10-for-15 from the floor and connected on a career-high five made threes, while Jenkins scored 26 points on only five shots from the floor. Jenkins was 5-for-5, including 4-for-4 from three, and 12-15 from the free throw line.

Today marks the 135th meeting all-time against the Bulldogs in the overall series, and Vanderbilt holds an 86-48 advantage all-time. And even though the Bulldogs lead the series in Athens, 32-29, Vanderbilt has won five straight in the series, while the road team has covered three in a row.

And in SEC play, the Commodores rank first in three different categories - three-point field-goal percentage (.434), three's made (9.3) and assists (14.2). In all games, VU leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (40 percent).

The Commodores check into Athens on ATS runs of 20-7 on the road, 13-4 on Sundays, 8-2 when laying points on the highway and 5-2 against losing teams.

Lay the road chalk.
1♦ VANDERBILT
 
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DEREK MANCINI COMP

For tonight's Bonus Play, I'm siding with the revenge-seeking Pitt Panthers as they host South Florida at the Peterson Events Center. Several factors come into play in this contest, but let's start with the most obvious - revenge. Pitt will be looking for their pound of flesh in this contest following their embarassing 63-51 loss at South Florida Feb. 8th. Pitt's defense was pathetic that night, and I fully expect Coach Dixon will make sure they're razor sharp in this one.

Furthermore, Pitt is desperate for a win, having lost three straight (a slide that started with that loss in Tampa to USF), including getting their asses handed to them by the Moutaineers in front of their home fans this past Thursday. No question this game is absolutely critical following that loss, and let's not forget for all their faults, this was a Pitt team that had won four straight before their current stumble.

From a match up standpoint, you have to believe Ashton Gibbs will get back on track tonight. He was awful against USF in their last meeting and he was awful against West Virginia Thursday. But before you go giving up on him, remember he dropped 25 on Villanova and 26 on Seton Hall in between those poor efforts. The stat that stood out the most to me against USF was not his 4 points, but his 5 turnovers. This is a kid who averages less than 2 turnovers per game, so you know he was simply off that night. He'll bounce back strong and that will be the key to Pitt covering this contest.

Finally, let's not forget guys that this Bulls offense has been atrocious on the road, averaging just 52 ppg on 39% shooting. They've been able to mask their deficiencies by playing elite defense, but as I mentioned before, I don't believe their defense will be able to lockdown this Pitt offense tonight at home. The Panthers are highly motivated, coming off a terrible home loss, and seeking revenge - three factors that will weigh heavily on their defensive intensity vs. a very road weary Bulls offense. All things considered, look for Pitt to get back on track tonight with a resounding home win and cover.
3? PITTSBURGH
 
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Courtesy of Brisnet

SPOT PLAYS
For Sunday

TRACK (RACE) HORSE, MORNING LINE

Aqueduct (3rd) Furios Tempo, 4-1
(6th) Lion's Terms, 3-1

Fair Grounds (5th) Lady Spencer, 4-1
(8th) Alaco Castle, 9-2

Golden Gate Fields (4th) Formula Gold, 3-1
(8th) Hexbreaker, 3-1

Gulfstream Park (5th) Entrustment, 4-1
(9th) Irish Sea, 3-1

Hawthorne (7th) Team of Heart, 9-2
(8th) Cub's Thunder, 7-2

Oaklawn Park (6th) Sunset Stroll, 9-2
(9th) Kelly's Light, 6-1

Parx Racing (1st) Lucky Notion, 4-1
(2nd) Belle's Notion, 9-2

Sam Houston (4th) Sweet Victory Rose, 6-1
(5th) Handsome Blue, 3-1

Santa Anita (3rd) Thunder of Zion, 6-1
(5th) Star Presence, 3-1

Sunland Park (8th) Kat's Approval, 8-1
(11th) Cali Ta, 8-1

Tampa Bay Downs (7th) Max's Beau, 4-1
(10th) Wicklow, 3-1

Turf Paradise (1st) Desert Lightning, 4-1
(5th) Green Secret, 7-2

Turfway Park (4th) Sonja's Angel, 3-1
(10th) Madalin Nicole, 4-1

HIGHLIGHTS

For Sunday

GULFSTREAM PARK (12:35): $150,000 Hurricane Bertie S. (G3), 4&up, f&m, 6 1/2f (10TH).
OAKLAWN PARK (2:30): $60,000 Spring Fever S., 4&up, f&m, 5 1/2f (8TH).
SANTA ANITA (3:30): $150,000 San Vicente S. (G2), 3yo, 7f (7TH).

*all times Eastern
 
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Courtesy of Rick Needham

AQUEDUCT RACE COURSE (OZONE PARK, NEW YORK) SUNDAY FEBRUARY 19, 2012
Black Caviar tied the record for consecutive victories in Australia and almost set a new course standard in the process when she won the group I Lightning Stakes at Flemington Feb. 18 on six days’ rest. Undefeated Black Caviar broke alertly in the straight 1,000-meter stakes (about five furlongs) but ended up between two others in a speed duel. Hay List held a narrow lead until the final eighth of a mile, but jockey Luke Nolen asked Black Caviar for run and she responded to pull away by about 1 3/4 lengths. The time for the Lightning Stakes was :55.53, which was 0.03 seconds off the course record. Hay List held for second and Buffering third. The other two horses with 19 consecutive wins in Australia are Desert Gold and Gloaming. Flemington officials reported more than 20,000 were on hand to watch the 5-year-old mare continue her streak. Trainer Peter Moody told the Sydney Morning Herald it came down to a two-horse race, but Black Caviar was just too good. “(Hay List) is a great horse but he’s just unfortunate that he’s in an era where he has run into a flying freak, I suppose,” Moody said. “She’s the best horse.” Moody told the newspaper that after the unusually taxing effort for Black Caviar, she probably won’t run in seven days in the group I Futurity Stakes at Caulfield. On Feb. 11 she won the group I Sportingbet C. F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield. Black Caviar, by Bel Esprit out of Helsinge, is owned by a syndicate managed by Neil Werrett. She was bred in Victoria by Ric Jamieson. Earlier on the Flemington card, Black Caviar’s half brother All Too Hard (by Casino Prince) won his career debut.

RACE #5 - AQUEDUCT RACE COURSE - 2:19 PM EASTERN POST
6.0 FURLONGS WINTERIZED INNER DIRT TRACK MAIDENS FOUR YEARS OLD AND UPWARD $30,000.00 CLAIMING $32,000.00 PURSE

#1 QUICK TO STRIKE
#5 IT'S TRULY AHVEE
#2 CHARLESTONIAN
#3 TRICKEY GUY


#1 QUICK TO STRIKE takes a class drop (-11) this afternoon, and is the overall speed leader in this claiming field sprinting at 6.0 furlongs on the dirt, and has been a "POWER RUN PERFORMER" in each of his four career starts to date, hitting the board in three, facing better company in each of those outings than he will face in this field this afternoon. The morning line favorite is #5 IT'S TRULY AHVEE who is the pace profile leader in this field, and has hit the board in "POWER RUN FASHION" in both of his two career starts to date, however, I could not consider him for my "top slot" since he has not raced in nearly 2 years ... 548 days ago to be more precise!
 
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Courtesy of Micahel Dempsey

AQUEDUCT Race 2 Md $12,500 (12:49 ET)
ML
FAIR

#6 Clean Jean
5/2 2/1

#4 Left Uppercut
9/2 7/2

#2 Fall Into Faith
2/1 5/2

#3 City Ransom
8/1 6/1

Analysis: #6 Clean Jean dueled for the early lead and could not go with the winner late in a runner up finish, a nice rebound after getting drilled by double digit lengths two and three back versus state breds. She owns a good edge in early and mid pace numbers and should be able to shake loose early from this group[ which should make her tough to catch.

#4 Left Uppercut came out of the outside post running and then tired to finish fourth last out when stretching out to a route at 128/1. The runner up and third place finisher both came back to graduate in their next starts while the winner Quite a Feat was a close up third against $7.5K non winners of two in her next outing on Feb. 8 here. The price on this gal is going to be a lot shorter today but there is not much else in here to get excited about.

Race Rating: $$
Wagering

WIN: #6 to win at 2/1 or better.

EX: 4,6 / 2,3,4,6

TRI: 4,6 / 2,3,4,6 / 2,3,4,5,6
 
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Courtesy of The Turf Club Analysts

Sam Houston - Race #4 - Post: 6:18pm - Claiming - 8.5 furlongs on the Turf. Purse: $9,500 Class Rating: 77

Rating: 4

#9 SWEET VICTORY ROSE (ML=6/1)
#3 ZAMITA (ML=8/1)
#7 CAJUN FRENCH (ML=4/1)


SWEET VICTORY ROSE - Was a beaten favorite in her last start. Ran well considering the speed rating notched was good enough to make her one of the contenders in today's race. I like when a race sets up this way. This filly has the lone early speed to bury this field. I expect a lot from this race horse. Her speed figures under similar conditions are tops in this field.

ZAMITA - The horse with the top average class rating in turf events is usually a solid play. This thoroughbred fits the bill. There's something to be said for a change of surface. Last race this animal didn't like the terrain, but if you look two back on the turf at Sam Houston, there was a great effort. I look for that again today. Look for this filly to run much better in this race. Last affair at Sam Houston finishing fifth on a muddy track is no sign of her true ability.

CAJUN FRENCH - Have to watch for this animal on the turf. Last race at Sam Houston, scored a big turf figure. Have to think she can do it again in this race. Willis brings her back again. I recommend you stay with this live filly. I like the hard fact that this filly's last fig, 80, is tops in this group.

Vulnerable Contenders:
#1 LUCKY MEMORY (ML=6/1),
#4 LUVTHAT D'ORO (ML=6/1),
#8 VIENTE (ML=7/1),

LUCKY MEMORY - This filly raced well on January 29th placing second, but hasn't even visited the track since then. Not really a good sign. Mediocre speed figure in the last race at Sam Houston at 1 mile 70 yards. Don't feel this vulnerable equine will improve too much in today's event. LUVTHAT D'ORO - Just can't play any pony right back after she doesn't land in the money after any long vacation. Improbable that the speed figure she garnered on February 4th will be enough in this race. VIENTE - Let me give you a tip. For the most part, don't play a maiden breaker out of a maiden claimer next time.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Winston - SWEET VICTORY ROSE - Despite finishing fifth last time out, wasn't too far from the victor. Fits with this group.

STRAIGHT WAGERS:
Putting our cash on #9 SWEET VICTORY ROSE to win. Have to have odds of at least 3/1 or better though

EXACTA WAGERS:
Box [3,7,9]

TRIFECTA WAGERS:
Box [3,7,9] Total Cost: $6

SUPERFECTA WAGERS:
Pass
 

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