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November 28, 2014

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Vegas Play of the Day: Air Force at Fresno State

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Air Force guard Max Yon gets past UNLV forward Khem Birch and guard Deville Smith for a basket during their Mountain West Conference game Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Air Force upset UNLV 75-68.

Our Talking Points blog will offer a daily sports betting pick using odds provided by the South Point. The Play of the Day will feature a selection on a game taking place within 24 hours and run seven days per week, 365 days per year.

And, hopefully, today’s pick is better than Tuesday’s. My colleague Case Keefer took the Boston Celtics plus-7.5 points at the Denver Nuggets, and Boston was on the wrong end of a lopsided defeat.

We’ll rotate on prognostication duties, giving a short explanation of what attracted us to a certain pick. We each started with a fictional $10,000 bankroll for the competition.

Here’s my first pick in the series:

Air Force plus-6 at Fresno State: $440 to pay $840

Air Force has much confidence after knocking off UNLV last week as a double-digit betting underdog. The Falcons are 2-0 in Mountain West play, winning both games in upset fashion. They were plus-14.5 against UNLV; plus-8 at home Jan. 1 when they beat Utah State.

I’ve seen both teams play while covering UNLV and expected Fresno State to be a small favorite — but only because the Bulldogs are hosting the game. I wouldn’t be surprised if Air Force won the game straight-up, meaning getting six points is very attractive.

Fresno State’s Cezar Guerrero and Marvelle Harris could be matchup problems on the perimeter, but Air Force won’t be overwhelmed. Its zone defense keeps the score close every night, and there’s no reason to assume that won’t be the case in Fresno against a Bulldog team considered one of the Mountain West’s worst.

Standings: Brewer (0-0, $10,000), Bern (0-0, $10,000), Keefer (0-1, $9,750)

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

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