Las Vegas Sun

November 18, 2018

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Vegas Play of the Day: North Carolina at Duke


AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser

Players from North Carolina hoist kicker Nick Weiler on their shoulders after Weiler kicked the game winning 54-yard field goal against Florida State in an NCAA college football game in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016. North Carolina defeated Florida State 37-35.

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.

North Carolina plus-10.5 at Duke, $990 to win $900: North Carolina has dropped five straight games and won’t play in a bowl. That means its rivalry game with Duke is the last meaningful spot of the season. Expect the Tar Heels to give a strong effort, and possibly win the game outright.

While North Carolina’s 1-7 record is ugly, the Tar Heels’ last four defeats have each come by less than 10 points. They are a play or two away from having a different season.

Duke’s 6-3 record could be considered deceiving. While they beat Miami last week and Northwestern earlier in the season, the Blue Devils have dropped two of their last three games.

Its defense ranks in the top 30 nationally, meaning this should be a low-scoring affair. The rule of thumb in low-scoring game is to play the underdog, which is this case is North Carolina.

More important, regardless of the records and stats, many rivalry games are closely contested — in all sports. Don’t be surprised if this game isn’t decided until the final minutes.

Current Standings: Keefer (15-13-2, $9,031), Grimala (10-9, $6,565), Brewer (6-11-1, $5,800)

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at