Las Vegas Sun

December 18, 2018

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Vegas Play of Day: Syracuse vs. Notre Dame

Book Irish

Chuck Burton / Associated Press

Notre Dame’s Ian Book (12) looks to pass against Wake Forest in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Winston-Salem, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.

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.

Notre Dame minus-10 vs Syracuse, $990 to win $900: I keep waiting for Notre Dame to play down to the level of its competition and have a disappointing performance. The Irish always seem to have one of these duds in past seasons, whether it was losing to Duke in 2016, or struggling for wins at home against Pitt and Wake Forest in recent memory. There was also a loss to Navy in 2010.

Syracuse, although with a 7-2 record and No. 12 national ranking, certainly fits into this mold. The Orange’s good season is slightly misleading, including wins in back-to-back weeks against North Carolina and NC State where they had to pull out the victory in the fourth quarter. A 27-23 loss to Clemson is a bright spot, but Clemson played its third string quarterback that afternoon.

Notre Dame is two wins away from a spot in the college football playoff and won’t let the big stage — a game at Yankee Stadium and on primetime television — go to waste. For Syracuse, it’s a rare appearance in the spotlight, something its players won’t be ready for.

The Notre Dame defense surrenders just 17 points per game, which ranks 15th nationally. It also rushes for nearly 200 yards per game, typically wearing down the opposition in the fourth quarter.

Current Standings: Keefer (16-14-2, $9,006), Brewer (7-11-1, $6,300), Grimala (10-10, $5,705)

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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