Dave’s Free Play, Tuesday 11/19/13

  • November 19, 2013

Maybe the NFL needs to expand the use of instant replay even more that they already have. Just ask anyone who had a ticket on the 49ers on Sunday,  as well as the Patriots on Monday.

There’s no doubt officiating any NFL game is not an easy task. The game moves at breakneck speed and it seems almost impossible to expect that the officials get all the calls right. That’s why there’s plenty of aspects that are open to challenges and reviews. But the fact remains that it sure looked to this observer that the stripes got two huge calls wrong at crunch time in both the 49ers/Saints and Patriots/Panthers. That’s an opinion that might well be open to debate. But I don’t see any logical argument as to why the two plays in question couldn’t have been reviewed.

No sour grapes here, as I did not have a personal play on either game. So my takes are completely unbiased. But I definitely feel as though at the very least, each of the controversial plays needed a longer look that could well have led to reversals in both cases.

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There’s still time to jump in on the discounted two-week special currently taking place. Get all the details by emailing me directly at cokin@cox.net.

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North Dakota State could not overcome a terrible first half en route to a 70-69 home loss to Southern Mississippi as the Monday comp. I’ll hear right back into the college ranks for the Tuesday free play.

11/19 07:00 PM  CB   (727) ARIZONA STATE (728) UNLV

Take: (727) ARIZONA STATE -4.5

 

Two teams that have opened the season in dramatically different directions hook up tonight right here on Las Vegas. Arizona State has come out of the gate on fire, while the Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV have yet to put together a good 40 minutes.

The Sun Devils own a stat package that is right in line with them having blown out each of their first three opponents. Granted, the opposition has been mediocre. But ASU is knocking down treys at nearly 45%, they’re a robust 56.5% on deuces, and the Sun Devils are also doing a good job of earning their way to the foul line.

The Rebels are having a rough time of it. The turnover percentage is way too high, they’re not getting good looks in the paint, and UNLV has been nothing short of dreadful at the stripe. The Rebels are looking like a team that’s going to need some time to develop, and right now there’s no question this is that cannot be backed with any degree of confidence.

It certainly has not taken much time for the numbers to adjust. The fact that UNLV has been ragged at every aspect of the game has not been lost on the oddsmakers, while ASU is looking like a legit squad, and as a result, a game that UNLF would have been favored in prior to the season now sees the Rebels as a decided home underdog.

As far as the keys to the game are concerned, UNLV is going to have to contest the threes that will be fired up by Arizona State. The Sun Devils have launched 85 bombs already in just three games, and they’ve been knocking down loads of the long shots. If the Rebels allow the Sun Devils looks beyond the arc, they’re probably in some trouble.

The other issue is the UNLV free throw shooting, which has been truly abysmal. Only six schools is all of D-1 are shooting the fouls shots worse than the Rebels, and that could be a significant problem tonight.

I know there’s no particular value here with the number where it is, but the line seems totally justified. Until UNLV shows much more than they have to start the campaign, they’re a team to either fade of simply leave alone. I’ll opt for the former this evening and will take my chances with Arizona State minus the points.