Dayton Flyers at Saint Louis Billikens – NCAAM January 26

8:30 p.m. ET – Dayton at No. 22 Saint Louis (-10) O/U:134

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Dayton +9 (-105) +360 O 134 (-110)
Saint Louis -9 (-115) -450 U 134 (-110)

The 8-4 Flyers head to St. Louis to take on the 7-1 Billikens, looking to upset the favorite to win the Atlantic 10 this year. Dayton is looking to rebound after getting blown out on Saturday 66-43 at VCU. Saint Louis has had seven consecutive games postponed and is playing for the first time since Dec. 23 when the Billikens defeated the University of Missouri-Kansas City 62-46. As a result this is the first conference tilt of the season for St. Louis, while Dayton is 4-3 in conference.

Dayton has not been the dominant force that they were last season, which was expected following the departure of AP Player of the Year Obi Toppin. But the Flyers are still a strong team, led by guard Jalen Crutcher who stayed behind and is filling in just fine, averaging 18.4 points per game. Saint Louis is led by guard Javonte Perkins who averages 17.8 points per game and Jordan Goodwin who is averaging a double-double. Although Saint Louis has not played a conference game, it did not shy away from the competition in its non-conference schedule. The Billikens picked up wins over LSU and NC State and suffered its lone loss so far to No.21 Minnesota on the road.

Saint Louis is the better basketball team. But are the Billikens 10 points better than the Flyers? This number might have made sense a month ago. But St. Louis had a three-week COVID-19 shutdown, and was only able to resume practicing last Friday. Dayton is a good enough basketball team that they could win this game outright if Saint Louis understandably starts slow. An entire month off in between games needs to be taken into account when handicapping this one. The Billikens could start slow due to rust or just as easily be gassed in the second half due to the lack of conditioning. Take the Flyers to cover the spread in a game that has far too many variables going against the Billikens.

The Bets
Dayton +9
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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.

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