The struggles continued last night for the North Carolina Tar Heels, as they once again blew a big lead late and lost at the buzzer. Since seeing superstar freshman Cole Anthony return from injury, the Heels have gone 0-6. And when you look at how they have lost these games, it has been painful.
They lost to Boston College by one point. They nearly upset Florida State on the road, losing the game in the final few minutes. Duke overcame a thirteen-point deficit and beat them in overtime. And the last two games saw the Tar Heels lose to a three-pointer as time expired, last night to Notre Dame and the game before to Virginia. It has been a heartbreaking stretch of action for Roy William’s squad.
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) February 18, 2020
But unfortunately for our bet, we came up just short, as we had Notre Dame -3-points. With the way the Irish were closing out the game on a furious run, we were locks to cover in overtime, and the Irish played for the tie, but ended up hitting the three instead after a miss and offensive rebound.
What can you do, after watching the game, it felt like we were on the right side, and the variance got the best of us, it happens. For today’s daily betting pick, we will head to the A-10, where the VCU Rams host the Dayton Flyers.
- Dayton Flyers (23-2) at VCU Rams (17-8)
- 5:30 PM PST
- Stuart Siegel Center, Richmond
- TV: CBSS
The VCU Rams host the Dayton Flyers tonight in desperate need of a signature win. The Rams were seemingly on track for an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament before dropping three out of their last four games, two of which came to fellow bubble teams, Rhode Island and Richmond. With just six games left on their regular-season schedule, tonight will be the Ram’s final opportunity to pick up an elite-level win and pad their resume ahead of Selection Sunday.
Ram Nation, are you ready?
— VCU Basketball (@VCU_Hoops) February 18, 2020
For Dayton, The Flyers have all but locked up the A-10 regular-season title, as they have a two-game lead over the Rhode Island Rams for first place and beat the Rams at home last week. But this Dayton team has their sights set much higher than just an A-10 regular-season title, as this team has aspirations of a trip to the Final Four. The Flyers need to take care of business tonight in hostile territory against the Rams to continue establishing their dominance of the league.
Most of the Ram’s struggles this season have come away from home. They have road or neutral site losses to Purdue, Tennessee, Wichita State, Dayton, Rhode Island, and Richmond. But at home, they have been quite competitive as they have a 13-2 record which includes wins over LSU, Richmond, and Davidson.
The problem for VCU is that both of those home floor losses have come recently in league play, at a time that they could ill afford a slip-up. They lost to Rhode Island, and allowed Rhody to sweep them for the season, something that is really going to hurt on Selection Sunday as these two bubble teams compete for bids. And they lost their last home game to George Mason, a loss that was unforgivable as the Patriots were just 2-8 in league play entering that game. The Rams picked a bad time to start playing poorly at home.
Dayton has made a mockery of the A-10 so far this season. That’s not to say they haven’t had some close games, they have, but they are mostly rampaging through the league, and at 12-0, they have yet to taste defeat. Their average margin of victory this season is fifteen points a game, that is good for fourth in the country, behind only Gonzaga, Duke, and San Diego State. Each of those teams ahead of them are ranked in the top five in the nation right now.
Outside of this game, there is only one game left on the schedule for Dayton that looks remotely losable, and that is their trip to Rhode Island to play the Rams on March 4th. If Dayton can win tonight at VCU, they will basically lock up the regular-season title and can turn their attention to March Madness.
Who Do I Like?
Dayton is 6-0 on the road in league play this season. And only the game against Saint Louis was overly competitive. You rarely want to expect a road team to blow someone out in league play, but this Flyers team is just on another level right now than the rest of the A-10. And when you look at Saint Louis, they nearly knocked off the Flyers on the road as well, so that could just be a case of the Billikens having their number somewhat this year.
The first game between these two teams, played in Dayton, was not competitive. The Rams fell behind early and never made a run to get back into the game. The Flyers led by as many as twenty-two points in the second half and coasted to an easy victory. Despite Dayton having twenty turnovers, they still easily blew them out.
In that first matchup, the Rams held Dayton to under their season averages for shooting percentage from the field, shooting percentage from three, and forced them into nearly double their normal number of turnovers, and they still got blown out. You could say that the first game was nearly a best-case scenario for VCU, and it still wasn’t competitive.
I am not sure a change of venue is going to change things all that much. VCU is certainly much better at home than they are on the road. And I hate to lay wood on the road in a league game, it is something I very rarely do. But the fact of the matter is that this Dayton team is significantly better than VCU right now, and they are zoned in and focused on running the table and hitting March Madness as a top-two seed. And I think that is just what they will do.
The game will be competitive, and I wouldn’t want to lay much more than I am forced to right now at two and a half points, but I don’t see Dayton losing this one. Give me the Dayton Flyers laying -2.5-points tonight in Richmond, against the Rams!