Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau
Thursday, March 1, 2018 | 12:39 p.m.
We’ve entered the fourth season of the annual South Point-lined Play of the Day competition, effective July 1.
Starting bankrolls have reset to $10,000, with the maximum bet being to win $1,000 and the minimum wager $300. Ray Brewer won back-to-back titles in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, after Taylor Bern prevailed in 2014-15.
Stanford plus-10.5 at Arizona: $330 to win $300
To get the obvious out of the way, things aren’t great at Arizona right now. Coach Sean Miller is exiled after allegations of a tape exisisting where he discussed paying star freshman DeAndre Ayton.
And if the Wildcats’ coach and best player being embroiled in controversy wasn’t enough, so is their second-best player — a separate saga no less. Allonzo Trier remains suspended for a second positive performance-enhancing drug test.
The betting market overreacted to all of this last Saturday, when Arizona reached as high as a 7.5-point underdog — in fairness, Ayton’s status had yet to be clarified at the time — ahead of a 98-93 overtime loss at Oregon. Behind Ayton, Arizona played well, but that doesn’t mean everything happening at the program should suddenly not be reflected at the sports book at all.
This is right about the same number of points Arizona would have given Stanford a week ago before everything erupted. The Cardinal shouldn’t be this big of an underdog now.
They’ve already proven they can compete with the Wildcats, losing only 73-71 as 6-point underdogs at home earlier this year. Stanford is a stronger defensive team than Arizona, and will limit easy looks.
Arizona’s situation doesn’t mean gamblers should automatically look to fade them, but given this line, it’s the right move tonight.
Current Standings: Granger (16-12, $13,079), Keefer (24-21-1, $10,426), Brewer (23-23, $7,670), Grimala (10-18, $4,415)