Dave’s Free Play, Thursday 2/27/14

  • February 27, 2014

It took precisely one day to produce a horror show bad beat in exhibition baseball. In case you missed it, the Tigers defeated the Braves 6-5 on Wednesday. But the way we keep score here in Nevada, the Braves were 5-4 winners. The explanation is simple enough. The result here is based on the score at the conclusion of the last completed inning.

In this case, the Braves led 5-4 after the eighth frame. The Tigers scored twice in the top of the ninth to assume a 6-5 lead. The Braves had two out and a man on first when the rains became enough of an issue to call a halt to the proceedings.  There was no chance anyone was going to sit through a rain delay, so all involved parties agreed to call it a day and go home. Therefore, even though Detroit gets credit for the win in the standings, the Braves bettors were the ones who cashed their tickets. And that is a very bad beat for anyone on Detroit.

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Okay Wednesday for me on the personal plays, with only Butler missing. The Thursday card is going to be deep once again, with at least eight plays on the ticket, and one of those will be the free play included in today’s blog.

Look for my March Madness special to go up over the next couple of days. Meanwhile, I’ve got early signup rates for MLB 2014, as well as the standard weekly and/or monthly packages. For info on any of these, particularly the baseball, be sure to drop me a line at cokin@cox.net.

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Good job by Ole Miss as the Wednesday comp. Three straight the right way on those, and I’ll try to extend that streak with an underdog call on what ought to be one of tonight’s most exciting games.

02/27 08:00 PM  CB   (549) OREGON (550) UCLA

Take: (549) OREGON +7.5

Here’s a suggestion for Lakers fans. Those who might be depressed over the demise of “Showtime” should make the drive over to Pauley Pavilion tonight for what has a chance to be a very fast and very exciting game between Oregon and UCLA.

There isn’t any question in my mind that Oregon is good enough to be included in the field of 68 for the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately for the Ducks, they’re on the outside looking in right now. But I also feel strongly that Oregon controls its own destiny and will not have to get help from others to earn that invite. A win tonight would be huge for the Ducks.

UCLA is not locked into second place in the PAC-12 but that’s where they’re almost certainly going to finish. The Bruins are a cinch to be attending the Big Dance, and it looks like they should have a good seed. No doubt UCLA wants to keep on winning, and they certainly rate the chalk role tonight

There are multiple keys tonight for me when it comes to breaking down this game. The obvious is that it’s a monster game for the Ducks. More importantly to me, they finally are beginning to resemble the Oregon team that started the season 13-0. They’ve put together five pretty solid games in succession. The Ducks lost the first two of that quintet, but those were by whiskers on the road. Oregon comes into this game on their first winning streak of 2014.

I also believe that the eight losses incurred by the Ducks have skewed the perception of this team. Four of those eight losses were by two points, and only one was double digits. In other words, Oregon is less of a disappointment than their overall or conference record indicates. They’re a small handful of buckets away from being 22-4 and simply wondering what their NCAA Tourney seed will be.

There a couple of flies in the ointment here. UCLA coming home off a loss, which most likely produces a big effort is one. Also, as I’m writing this, the status of suspended Damyean Dotson is unknown, although it sure sounds like he’s going to be activated.

I really think we could be in for a tremendous game tonight between these two fun to watch teams. I do expect UCLA to most likely win the game, but I definitely see Oregon having a shot and I absolutely don’t see the Ducks getting roasted. The points are plentiful enough for me to back Oregon this evening.