College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for Dayton vs. Richmond (Tuesday, March 1)
Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Mooney (Richmond)
- Dayton travels to Richmond with a potential conference title on its minds.
- The Flyers are two games back of the top spot in the A-10 while the Spiders are 1.5 games back of the four seed in the league.
- There is plenty of motivation in this one, but Tanner McGrath has his best bet below.
Dayton vs. Richmond Odds
-106o / -114u
-106o / -114u
These are two of the most exciting teams in the A-10.
Dayton is young, filled with promise and has put together the most confusing resume in college basketball this season.
That resume got even more confusing recently, as Dayton dropped a game to 3-13 La Salle — that was the Flyers’ fourth KenPom sub-200 loss of the season.
Meanwhile, Richmond owns an electric, up-tempo offense led by super-senior point guard Jacob Gilyard.
If it wins this game, Dayton has an outside shot at capturing the A-10 regular-season title. Davidson would have to drop Wednesday’s matchup at George Mason before dueling with the Flyers in Dayton.
The top four seeds in the A-10 get a double-bye in the conference tournament, and Richmond currently sits tied for fifth in the standings. The Spiders are 1.5 games back of the fourth seed.
So, there’s plenty of motivation on both sides. But which team has the edge?
The team handed over the offensive keys to freshman point guard Malachi Smith, and the offense started cooking after that.
Smith isn’t the most prolific scorer, but he runs the offense to perfection, has a top-30 assist rate among D-I players and dishes out 5.4 assists per game.
His court vision is beyond impressive:
Toumani Camara from Malachi Smith. Dayton leads 27-18 at 612. pic.twitter.com/hHj1EaMVcv
— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) February 19, 2022
Synchronized jumping with Malachi Smith and DaRon Holmes II. pic.twitter.com/xcWZOGlzve
— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) February 25, 2022
He’s also a force on the defensive end, ranking above the 90th percentile in half-court PPP allowed (.683) and in the 94th percentile in steal rate.
But the whole team can defend at a high level. Every player is lengthy, athletic and versatile. It gives Anthony Grant plenty of options on the defensive end, including the option to switch effortlessly.
The Flyers rank above the 85th percentile in PPP allowed in man defense (.806), something they play 87% of the time.
The Flyers have also put themselves atop the A-10 in defensive efficiency, eFG% allowed (45.7%) and 2-point defense (43.6%).
Incredibly, the Flyers are the least-experienced team in the country, with just .29 average years of experience. The starting lineup features four freshmen.
But the Flyers are 12-4 in conference play. Coach Grant has a very bright future with this program.
Gilyard is the heart and soul of the Spiders.
He’s not the main shot-taker, but he plays the most minutes and handles almost all of the ball-handling duties. He’s nationally ranked in both assist rate (28%) and turnover rate (12.9%), and he dishes out 5.8 assists a night.
Plus, he runs an offense that’s first in the A-10 and eighth nationally in offensive turnover rate.
In addition to that, he’s now the NCAA’s all-time leader in steals. Playing five years with the same team has its perks.
Steals per game leaders entering today:
— College B-Ball Ref (@collegebb_ref) February 28, 2022
The Spiders are similar to the Flyers in this regard: both teams are led by savvy point guards with high assist numbers who also play aggressive defense.
However, the Spiders’ defense is not on the same level as Dayton’s.
Richmond has fallen to 10th in the A-10 in defensive efficiency. The Spiders are getting cooked on ball-screens, back-cuts, post-ups and catch-and-shoot situations.
Overall, the Spiders are 225th in half-court PPP allowed.
Dayton vs. Richmond Betting Pick
Dayton is better statistically. The team also is in a bounce-back spot after a terrible loss to La Salle.
However, we’re getting Richmond at home. And Dayton has conference-leading Davidson on deck.
Dayton’s offense has been cooking, but the team is also first in the A-10 in conference-only 3-point percentage. The Flyers’ whopping 41.4 3P% seems slightly unsustainable.
But the Spiders will go toe-to-toe with Dayton from 3, as Richmond is not afraid to chuck it from deep.
In the end, though, this game will likely come down to Smith matching up with Gilyard. Smith is a remarkable talent, but he might get out-played against the much-older and much-wiser Gilyard — especially on Gilyard’s turf.
I’ll take a shot with Richmond -2 here, but would advise caution taking the Spiders at -3.