VCU Rams at Dayton Flyers – NCAAM February 9

VCU (13-4, 6-2) at Dayton (11-5, 7-4)

  • Time: 2PM PST | 4PM CST | 5PM EST
  • Location: UD Arena, Dayton, OH
  • TV: CBSSN

Opening Tip

The Rams are part of a 5-way tie for first in the loss column in the Atlantic 10. Dayton is two games back with four losses, but the Flyers continue to ebb as they have won six of their last eight games. The Rams have won three in a row and four of five.

This is Dayton’s second straight game against a “replacement foe” as COVID protocols forced postponements. The same goes for the Rams as they have picked up Dayton this evening and a revenge game at home on Saturday vs. St. Bonaventure.

Dayton’s Jalen Crutcher (19.2 ppg) and the Rams’ Bones Hyland (19.1 ppg) are third and fourth, respectively, in the Atlantic 10 in scoring.

VCU leads the series, 12-7, but is 3-5 at UD Arena. The Rams took a 66-43 win on January, 23 as the Rams held UD to only 30.9 percent from the field as the Flyers made only three triples.

Vs. The Spread

VCU:

  • The Rams are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games
  • The total has been UNDER in 4 of VCU’s last 5 games
  • VCU is 5-2 ATS in it’s last 7 games vs. the Flyers

Dayton:

  • UD is 6-2 ATS in it’s last 8 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 8 of the last 10 Flyers-Rams contests
  • The Flyers are 18-2 SU in their last 20 games at home

Last Time Out

Bones Hyland hit the go-ahead triple with 3.9 seconds remaining as VCU shaded Rhode Island, 63-62, last Wednesday. The win marked VCU’s first win at Rhody since 2015 as Hyland finished with a game-high 23 points and was voted A-10 Player of the Week.

Dayton picked up a 74-65 win over George Mason on Saturday as the starting backcourt of Jalen Crutcher (21), Ibi Watson (20) and Elijah Weaver (13) combined for 54 of the Flyers’ total of 74 points.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
VCU -1.5 (-110) -125 O 132.5 (-110)
Dayton +1.5 (-110) +105 U 132.5 (-110)

Advantage, VCU

This is a clash of tempos as the Rams average only 15.6 seconds per possession (27th/NCAA) while the Flyers play a deliberate style and pace in averaging 17.6 (263rd/NCAA). How the Rams ramp up the pressure on veteran Flyers point guard will be interesting as Crutcher has been through the wars and has faced VCU numerous times. The Rams lead the nation in steal percentage (14.5) and are fifth in block percentage (15.8), so as much as VCU is about playing the fast tempo, the defense sets the pace for the style. The Rams average 19.9 points per game off of turnovers.

Key Rams Stat:

Three-point defense comes into play when you play the Flyers. VCU holds opponents to 29.8 percent from behind the arc as the last three opponents have made only 14-of-61 triples on the season. Dayton shoots 36.3 percent from behind the arc as Jalen Crutcher and Ibi Watson combine for 193 of the Flyers’ 342 attempts (56.4%). Crutcher makes 40.9 percent of his threes while Watson nets 41 percent.

X-Factor:

How well freshman point guard Adrian Baldwin plays on the road against the veteran Crutcher bears watching. Baldwin (5.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg) is a solid ball handler as he has 80 assists vs. 36 turnovers in averaging 26.1 minutes over 17 games.

Advantage, Dayton

Minimizing turnovers against the VCU pressure is going to be the panacea for the Flyers to flip the fortunes of the resounding loss in Richmond two and a half weeks ago. The Flyers are (-1.8) in turnover margin and amass a 21.2 turnover percentage per 100 possessions (274th/NCAA). Dayton still averages 14.2 turnovers per game but slid that down to 12.5 when conference play heated up.

Key Flyers Stat:

Coach Anthony Grant has gotten 39.2 and 38.7 minutes per game from both Crutcher and Watson, respectively. Obviously, these two guards are iron men, but they must navigate the Rams pressure and score. Injuries have shortened the rotation and the depth of UD’s offensive and defensive attacks. Elijah Weaver must step in and (6.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg) provide scoring, minutes and clean ball-handling.

X-Factor:

The offensive glass is of worry to Grant as Jordy Tshimanga (6.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg) leads the team with 30 offensive rebounds and the next closest Flyer is Mustapha Amzil with 12. A paint presence against active Hasan Ward in the middle would be a huge advantage for Dayton as the Flyers are (-0.4) in rebound margin while the Rams are (-0.2).

Winner: Dayton (+1.5) 69, VCU 67
Over-Under: Take OVER 132.5

The Bets
Dayton Flyers +1.5
-110
OVER 132.5
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.