Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2019

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Vegas Play of the Day: New Mexico at Liberty

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.

Liberty minus-7 vs. New Mexico: $770 to win $700

The start to my ill-fated college football season so far in Play of the Day came on a play on the Flames. That was ahead of their 24-0 loss to Syracuse where they still almost covered the 18.5-point spread despite Hugh Freeze infamously coaching from a hospital bed.

Well, Freeze is no longer bedridden during his team’s game. He’s returned to health, and his team is all the better for it. Liberty has finally gotten its offense on track and has now won and covered in two straight games behind new quarterback Stephen Calvert.

Some may write off last week’s 62-27 win over Hampton as a mismatch from the start but the Pirates have several high-profile transfers including former Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois. No one should question the impressiveness of Liberty’s 35-16 win over Buffalo from a week before, not when the Bulls upset Temple afterwards.

New Mexico is beaten up and one-dimensional on offense, seemingly biding time until coach Bob Davies' tenure inevitably ends in a few months. The first time the Lobos traveled East this year, they fell to Notre Dame 66-14.

Liberty is not anywhere close to Notre Dame, obviously, but it’s also a lot better than this spread indicates. The Flames forfeited a chunk of my bankroll earlier in the year, but they should earn it back today.

Current Standings: Grimala (6-3, $10,245), Emerson (4-9, $6,920), Brewer (4-8, $6,875), Keefer (7-9, $6,115)

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

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