Las Vegas Sun

October 18, 2019

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Vegas Play of the Day: Temple at East Carolina

The sixth 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 2018-19 and 2017-2018, Ray Brewer in 2016-2017 and 2015-2016, and Taylor Bern in 2014-2015.

East Carolina plus-11.5 vs. Temple: $330 to win $300

Hate isn’t a strong enough word. I loathe tonight’s college football card.

These two games — with Georgia Southern minus-10 at South Alabama the first kickoff — make me question my commitment to pick every Football Bowl Subdivision contest this year. That commitment came with an obligation to pick the pre-Friday games in the Play of the Day, though, so I’ve got to find something to like on this poo-poo platter.

I landed on the Pirates, mostly because they’ve looked much improved in the last two weeks. They outgained Old Dominion and William & Mary collectively by nearly 2 yards per play, putting on more dominant performances than the final score indicated. I liked the offseason hire of coach Mike Houston and was looking for places to back East Carolina this season.

I don’t know that I would have believed such a strategy would lead me to taking them against a much superior team in Temple, but here we are.  This isn’t necessarily a great spot for the Owls either considering they’re coming off of an emotionally-charged 28-2 victory over former coach Geoff Collins’ Georgia Tech team.

Unlike East Carolina, Temple didn’t play as well as the score indicated as it struggled mightily to move the ball. Also unlike the Pirates, I expected the Owls to take a step back this year as they adjusted under new coach Rod Carey.

Hey, it’s not the strongest case, but it’s better than taking South Alabama plus-10, which is my pick for the other game. Mark both down as guesses for record-keeping purposes.

Current Standings: Grimala (7-3, $10,645), Emerson (5-9, $7,420), Brewer (5-8, $7,275), Keefer (7-9-1, $6,115)

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

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