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September 1, 2014

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Vegas Play of the Day: San Diego State vs. Arizona

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

The San Diego State bench reacts as they pull even with New Mexico during their Mountain West Conference tournament championship game Saturday, March 15, 2014 at the Thomas & Mack Center. The Lobos won their third straight title, defeating the Lobos 64-58.

Here’s the latest installment of the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point..

Our three sports writers started with a $10,000 bankroll — fictional, of course.

San Diego State plus-7.5 against Arizona: $550 to win $500

The Wildcats have the type of team that could blow this game wide open if the Aztecs aren’t hitting shots, but as a fan I’m pulling for something closer and more exciting. And as a bettor I see some value in a team that rebounds and plays defense as well as San Diego State getting this many points.

The Wildcats went into Viejas Arena and won by nine earlier this season. However, that game was so long ago that it almost seems irrelevant. That was an Arizona team with Findlay Prep product Brandon Ashley, who was later lost for the season, and SDSU proceeded to win every game for almost the next three months after that loss.

SDSU is certainly not a great offensive team but it’s probably not as flawed as you think. Dwayne Polee’s emergence as an offensive threat has cured some of those offensive concerns. And even when Mountain West Player of the Year Xavier Thames struggles in one area, as he did with a 1-for-7 3-point shooting day in the Round of 64, he can make up for it with things like 10-for-12 shooting at the free-throw line.

San Diego State has had the “tough out” label for most of the season. I think that’s true enough that I’ll gladly take them with this many points.

Standings: Bern (16-11, $10,890), Keefer (13-13, $9,267), Brewer (9-14-3, $6,510)

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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