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January 18, 2019

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Vegas Play of the Day: Connecticut at Cincinnati

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.

I’m hoping to equal the handicapping strength of Taylor Bern. He’s won his last two picks, bringing his bankroll to more than $10,000. It’s the first time since we started this feature last month someone has been in the black.

Connecticut plus-5 at Cincinnati: $550 to win $500 Success in college basketball is all about guard play and Connecticut has a big-time advantage in the backcourt with Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright leading the charge. Napier has been the best player on the court most nights this season, averaging 17.9 points, 6 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game. Boatright scores 12.4 points per game.

Connecticut is ranked No. 22 nationally and has a 17-4 record. I give the Huskies a mulligan, however, on two of the defeats. They lost at SMU and Houston to open American Athletic Conference play, but the Houston game was played on New Year’s Eve and the Huskies stayed in Texas two days before playing SMU.

This game will be close and Connecticut has prevailed five times this season in games decided by five or less points. And, even if they lose, I’m still getting five points to cover the spread.

Cincinnati, which is 21-2 overall and ranked in the top-10, is one of the nation’s top defensive teams. That’s why they won at Memphis and Louisville, a pair of ranked teams. But the Bearcats are just 217th nationally in scoring, which raises a red flag against a Connecticut team that will push the ball up the court.

Standings: Bern (6-4, $10,190), Brewer (3-5-1, $9,200), Keefer (4-7, $8,517.50)

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at

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