College Basketball Odds & Picks for Dayton vs. Belmont: Let Down Spot for Flyers?
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Dayton vs. Belmont Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
In the ESPN Events Invitational, both Alabama and Kansas lost outright to mid-majors.
Nope. Just college basketball.
But with power conference programs losing, it opens the door for an intriguing championship matchup. Dayton and Belmont both have talent and are threats in their respective conferences.
However, how do they match up with each other?
I was extremely low on the Flyers entering this tournament. I believed Dayton was too young and going through too much roster turnover to be competitive early in the season.
That was more-so true in the backcourt than the frontcourt. Anthony Grant’s frontcourt is loaded, but the team’s success relied on how USC transfer Elijah Weaver and two freshmen would produce as the main ball-handlers.
So far, it’s been much better than I expected.
Weaver is scoring almost 11 points per game on over 66% true shooting, while Malachi Smith has one of the best assist rates in the nation (32.2, 72nd). Plus, Smith was big in the upset victory over Kansas, dropping 10 points and dishing out six assists, mostly through crafty dribble penetration.
That's SIX straight points for Dayton's Malachi Smith. Flyers lead Kansas. pic.twitter.com/6B08v1CKZp
— Adam WWWaybright (@WaybrightAdam) November 26, 2021
Speaking of Kansas, Dayton’s upset of the Jayhawks was a true team effort. Five Flyers scored double digits and the team out-rebounded their opponents 32-to-24 in the win.
But the Flyers did have to overcome a big issue: turnovers. Dayton committed 20 turnovers in the game to just 12 assists. On top of that, its 22.2% turnover rate ranks 290th nationally.
So, maybe the backcourt ball-handlers aren’t as good as we made them out to be.
But the Flyers compensate for that with extreme length, athleticism and superhuman talent upfront. The Flyers’ 57.9 eFG% is 21st nationally, plus they’re getting blocked at the ninth-lowest rate.
The Flyers have the pieces to take the A-10 title, but Dayton needs to continually work to overcome the flaws.
Like Dayton, I was low on Belmont entering this tournament too. I loved the Bruins in the preseason, picking them to win the Ohio Valley due to their experience and continuity.
But then Belmont lost to Ohio, LSU and barely beat Furman in overtime. I felt that Casey Alexander had some work to do before this team was running in top gear.
The win over Drake convinced me the Bruins are running in that gear again.
Drake is a top-tier mid-major team with some very talented pieces and the Bruins just overpowered it. Belmont shot 63% from inside the arc while snagging 34 of a potential 39 defensive rebounds.
The offense ran through 6-foot-11 center Nick Muszynski, who recorded 31 points on 12-for-17 from the field while snagging nine rebounds. He’s turning into one of the best big men at the mid-major level.
Nick Muszynski 28 points in 28 minutes for #Belmont.
— CollegeHoopsWatch (@CollHoopsWatch) November 26, 2021
Belmont ended up recording .95 points per possession in the matchup while running the floor and playing up-tempo. It was much closer to the Bruins’ offensive potential than was shown in the early season.
I’m hoping the Bruins keep it up.
Dayton vs. Belmont Betting Pick
Could this be a let-down spot for Dayton after a signature early-season victory?
Yes, and I think it will be.
Dayton had to get a little lucky to take down Kansas. The Flyers overcame 20 turnovers because Kansas shot just 21% from downtown (4-for-19).
Belmont is an up-tempo offensive force when playing at its best, and the Bruins will abuse you in transition if you turn the ball over. They’ve already posted an effective field goal rate over 60% in transition this season.
Plus, Dayton had some size advantages over Kansas that will be minimized against Belmont.
The Bruins opened at -3.5 but were quickly bet to -4. I’m willing to follow that sharp money and bet on a Flyer letdown game up to -5.