Dave’s Free Play, Tuesday 2/18/14

  • February 18, 2014

I was trying to figure out what was missing from the late February college schedule, and it suddenly dawned on me that Bracketbuster weekend is no more. I actually had completely forgotten that the curtain came down on that extravaganza last season.

From a purist standpoint, good riddance. There were too many totally meaningless games for the event to be meaningful. I have no idea why there were more than maybe a dozen duels that could have been really big mid-major games that would have attracted a good audience and plenty of wagering action. Instead, the brains in charge decided to turn it into a ridiculous collection of bad games that were largely of no interest to the fans, not to mention several of the teams involved.

From a betting standpoint, believe me when I tell you I am in mourning at the passing of Bracketbusters. This was one of the all-time money in the bank deals in college basketball. Selectivity was mandatory, but zeroing in on the info that was available was huge and very profitable. So as much as I realize it was contrived and pretty much an abject failure, I’ll definitely miss the Bracketbusters.

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NC-Wilmington ran into a three-point buzzsaw last night as William & Mary had a monster night from beyond the arc. I knew that play was in trouble when it became the apparent wise guy play of the day. Back on the beam tonight, with at least one NBA and one college play.

The February special will remain up for a few more days, and for a couple of reasons. First off, people seem to like it based on the response. Secondly, I wanted to have something going that would run through the conference tournaments, and this does. Subscribe now by using the “Buy Now” feature and then click on “Feb Special”, or if you have questions or want more info, shoot an email my way at cokin@cox.net.

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Georgia State was cake as the Monday free play. Tonight’s can’t possibly be that easy, but as long as it gets to the winner’s circle, that’s all that matters.

02/18 08:00 PM  CB   (559) UTAH STATE (560) SAN DIEGO STATE

Take: (559) UTAH STATE +10

The Mountain West is a two-team race, and those leaders will do battle this weekend as San Diego State heads to Albuquerque for the showdown with New Mexico. But before that happens, the Aztecs have to get rid of Utah State tonight.

That might not be as easy as SDSU would prefer. The first meeting between these two was a tremendous battle that went to overtime before the Aztecs finally prevailed. Obviously, the locale tonight is much different. But I’m not convinced the result will change dramatically.

First off, I like teams as road dogs seeking to avenge an OT home loss. Utah State is also very adept at knocking down threes. They’re at 42% for the season, and dogs who can hit those bombs are usually pretty live.

As for the Aztecs, they’re the cream of the MWC crop, but they’re really not a big margin team. SDSU has only really had one slaughter so far and that was against MWC punching bag San Jose State. The other ten wins for the Aztecs have been by an average of 7.8. They’re 6-0 at home in league play by an average of nine points per game.

There’s no way of knowing if the potential look ahead to New Mexico on Saturday comes into play here, but I don’t see where it can hurt in terms of taking a shot against the Aztecs. I also like the fact that Utah State is a veteran team with a very good coach, so there should not be a carryover from the weekend disappointment against UNLV. I see the Aggies competing tonight, so it’s Utah State plus the points for me.