Dayton vs. SMU Odds, Picks, Predictions: Is the Wrong Team Favored?
Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
- After losing three buy games, Dayton bounced back with its performance in the ESPN Events Invitational.
- Now, the Flyers take on Kendric Davis and SMU on the road.
- Kyle Remillard previews the game and offers up his best bet.
Dayton vs. SMU Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Two separate win streaks are put to the test as Dayton travels to Dallas, Texas to match up against SMU.
Dayton dropped three of its four games to opponents ranked outside the top 200 to begin the season. Since then, the group has rebounded in a big way by winning the ESPN Events Invitational en route to five-game win streak.
The Flyers opened the tournament by trouncing Miami, 76-60, before sneaking out a one-point victory over the fifth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks.
SMU has also hit some speed bumps through the first 10 games of the season. The Mustangs were demolished by Oregon before suffering two close losses to teams ranked outside the top 100. The Mustangs have since put together four wins in a row, including a 84-72 victory over Vanderbilt.
Whichever team can dictate the tempo in this matchup will have a clear advantage in keeping its win streak alive.
The uncharacteristic early-season losses to bad teams have haunted Dayton in back-to-back seasons. Last year, the Flyers lost two of their first three conference games to La Salle and Fordham. This year, they lost three buy games.
After losing Jalen Crutcher, who was a cornerstone for the program, it took this young Dayton roster some time to mesh. But it looks to have found its groove, winning five games in a row, including a victory over Kansas.
The Flyers own a dominant frontcourt that includes 6-foot-10 freshman DaRon Holmes II, who has averaged 9.9 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. He has been a true rim protector, gathering a block in every game this season while accumulating 24 total on the season.
Holmes is the highest-ranked recruit to ever commit to Dayton and is a monster inside the paint.
He’s complemented nicely by another 6-foot-10 forward in Mustapha Amzil, who has hit 10-of-35 attempts from behind the arc and presents a pick-and-pop weapon for Dayton.
The Flyers have dominated the paint offensively, hitting 57.9% of their 2-point attempts, which ranks 15th in the nation. They’ve struggled with taking care of the basketball, as they rank 271st in turnover percentage.
Dayton owns a well-balanced offense that has seven players averaging over 6.0 points per game this season. The group utilizes its depth and saw five players score in double figures in the upset victory over Kansas.
SMU was 11-4 in early February last season before a COVID outbreak caused it to miss a full month of play. The Mustangs were thrown into postseason play and lost a tight game to Cincinnati in the AAC Tournament.
The program parted ways with five of its top seven scorers from last season, but they do return Kendric Davis. Davis is the jack-of-all-trades point guard who has averaged 20.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game this season.
He’s connected on 40% of his 57 3-point attempts and is one of the top passers in the country. He’s complemented by two snipers in Emmanuel Bandoumel and Zach Nutall. The two have combined to hit 44-of-119 (37%) attempts from behind the arc this season.
The Mustangs own the 42nd-best offensive efficiency ranking this season and are averaging 78.3 points per game. As a team, they’ve hit 38% of their 3-point attempts and have been effective in dictating the pace in each matchup.
Dayton vs. SMU Betting Pick
This is a fascinating matchup between two teams that play with contrasting styles.
SMU is a guard-oriented team that wants to speed the game up by getting out in transition. Meanwhile, Dayton wants to play at a slow-paced grind while letting its big men go to work inside the paint.
SMU’s offense has averaged 78 points per game this season, while Dayton has held opponents to 63 per matchup.
SMU handed Dayton its first loss last season, thanks to a lucky roll at the buzzer, so the Flyers will have revenge on their mind.
66-64 at Dayton! #PonyUppic.twitter.com/AtGoBFrBB7
— SMU Basketball (@SMUBasketball) December 5, 2020
To do that, freshman point guard Malachi Smith’s play on the defensive end will be vital. He has been a menace on defense snatching up two steals or more in each of the last five games, including nine over the last two. Smith will be able to slow down Davis, who is the heartbeat of the SMU offense.
Dayton’s bigs are going to dominate the paint and expose an SMU defense that has not been great at securing defensive rebounds.
Dayton is a live underdog in this game and although I’m taking the points, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Flyers win on the moneyline.
Pick: Dayton +4
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