Las Vegas Sun

January 23, 2019

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Vegas Play of the Day: Belk Bowl

College Football Picks

South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley (4) runs the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Western Carolina Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

The fifth season of the annual Play of the Day betting competition between the Sun's sports staff is now under way, effective July 1.

Bankrolls start at $10,000 for each of the four participants, with the objective to increase it as much as possible over the next year. The minimum daily wager is $300, with a $200 penalty assessed for failing to place a bet on an assigned day.

Past winners are Case Keefer in 2017-2018, Ray Brewer in 2016-2017 and 2015-2016, and Taylor Bern in 2014-2015.

Virginia plus-5 vs. South Carolina: $990 to win $900

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. I’ve loved Virginia all season, and felt it was undervalued. I’ve loathed South Carolina all season, and felt it was overvalued.

That makes this a dream bowl matchup.

Both teams are 7-5 straight-up, but their identical records are misleading. The Cavaliers performed better than that, as they went 1-3 in games decided by less than a touchdown — including back-to-back losses coming into the Belk Bowl — and recovered an unlucky 42 percent of fumbles on the season.

South Carolina was 3-2 in such contests, which is not exactly divergent from expectations until considering two of the wins were against Missouri and Ole Miss in games it had no business prevailing in.

Virginia has an extremely strong defense that should limit South Carolina’s chances all day. The Cavaliers also play deliberately on offense, making for a formula that keeps games low-scoring.

Every point is therefore valuable, and anything above a field goal is a gift. I've backed Virginia and faded South Carolina in the college football series picking every game all season and won't stop now.

Current Standings: Brewer (14-12-1, $10,260), Keefer (19-19-2, $8,296), Emerson (1-3, $7,062), Grimala (12-12-1, $4,845)

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

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