Well, I guess you have to lose once in a while. After reeling off ten wins in our last eleven bets, we came up short last night when we backed the Loyola-Maryland Greyhounds as home underdogs against the Boston University Terriers. The Greyhounds came out super flat in the first half, which was surprising considering how well they have played at home this season.
— BU Men's Basketball (@TerrierMBB) January 14, 2020
Loyola MD could never fully recover from their slow start, they had just seventeen points at halftime, and ended up getting blown out. It was a big win for BU as they continue to chase Colgate for first place in the Patriot League. With the win, the Terriers are now just one game back in the loss column for first place. For today’s pick, we will head to the A-10, as the Dayton Flyers host the VCU Rams.
- VCU Rams (12-4) at Dayton Flyers (14-2)
- UD Arena, Dayton
- 5:00 PM PST
- TV: CBSS
The Dayton Flyers will look to make a big step towards locking down the A-10 regular-season title tonight as they host the VCU Rams. While the Rams are technically in a tie for fifth place in the A-10 standings at 2-1, they are the team that most people think have the best shot at knocking off Dayton for the league title this year. The Rams are looking to rebound from a costly home loss to Rhode Island in their last game and beating Dayton on the road would be a huge boost to their NCAA tournament resume.
What day is it? 𝑰𝒕'𝒔 𝑮𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒅𝒂𝒚!
— Dayton Basketball (@DaytonMBB) January 14, 2020
For Dayton, the Flyers have been doing just that, flying, so far this season. Dayton has spent much of the year ranked in the top-25, and kenpom has them at number six right now. This is the best team that Dayton has ever had, at least in my lifetime, and they are a legit threat to make a run to the Final Four this season. While the Flyers are the prohibitive favorites to take home the A-10 title this season, they currently trail Duquesne for first place and are tied with St. Bonaventure for second place in the league, so they need to take care of business in this one.
The recent loss to Rhode Island really put a damper on the Rams chances at really giving Dayton a run for their money this season. The only way that they can get back into this race is by knocking off the Flyers tonight on the road. When you look at the body of work for VCU this year, they are a decent team.
They have a nice win over LSU at home early in the year, but I have a feeling that they may have just caught the Tigers at the right time of the year, as LSU is really heating up now, and I think if they played again, it would likely play out differently. But outside of that one early-season win, the Rams don’t have another win against a top-100 team.
None of their losses are bad ones as they lost to Rhode Island, Tennessee, Wichita State, and Purdue, and teams well inside of the top-100. But they will face a Dayton team tonight that is clearly on another level than any team that have played this year.
I have backed Dayton a lot this season. Despite the fact that they are finally getting some national media attention, I feel that they are still being undervalued in the betting market much of the time. And it’s not just that they are winning a bunch of games, it is how they are winning them. When you look at the wins they have over teams on a similar level as VCU is right now, between 50-100 on kenpom, they have destroyed them.
They beat St. Mary’s, Georgia, and Virginia Tech all by double digits. During their recent five-game winning streak, admittedly coming against weaker competition, they are winning by an average of twenty-two points a game. At home this season, they are 9-0 and have only had one game that was decided by fewer than thirteen points, and that was way back on opening night against Indiana State.
Who Do I Like?
Dayton doesn’t just beat teams, they obliterate them. Yes, VCU is one of the better teams they have played this year, but by no means are they the best. Remember, both of Dayton’s losses came against top-25 teams in overtime. They have gone toe to toe with the best the nation has to offer, and they have shown they are on an elite level.
The Flyers are outscoring their opponents by an average of eighteen points a game this year, which is good for third in the country behind Gonzaga and Duke. Those teams are currently ranked first and third in the AP Poll. And when you look at the offenses in this game, I just don’t know how VCU is going to be able to keep up with the Flyers.
I rarely lay a lot of points, especially in conference games. I just hate giving the other team a big head start. But I think Dayton is going to make a statement tonight and send a message to the rest of the A-10, that they are as good as advertised. VCU just hasn’t shown me that they can beat a team that is on this level.
The last two losses for the Rams came against Rhode Island and Wichita State, and they lost both of those by at least nine points. And while those are solid teams, they aren’t Dayton at home. I see the Flyers getting up early and coasting to a double-digit victory tonight on their home floor. Give me the Dayton Flyers laying -8 points tonight at home!