College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: Dayton vs. VCU (Wednesday, February 2)
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- Dayton looks for revenge on VCU, as it travels to Richmond for an A-10 clash.
- The Rams won the first meeting between the two this season in Ohio.
- Anthony Dabbundo explains why he's backing the Flyers against the spread in this one.
Dayton vs. VCU Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Atlantic 10 race has quietly become jam packed at the top of the league after VCU beat both Davidson and Richmond on the road in consecutive games.
Five teams are within a game of one another in the loss column, and two of those teams will face off on Wednesday as Dayton visits VCU.
The Flyers have won consecutive games in the league at home. They will be out for revenge in this one after they lost a 53-52 rock fight at home to VCU to begin conference play on Jan. 5.
While the Rams’ offense has been performing much better since the return of Ace Baldwin Jr. at point guard in December, VCU still has major turnover issues, don’t profile as a good favorite and can’t sustain the level of 3-point variance it’s had at both ends.
Dayton had 15 turnovers in 60 possessions against VCU in the first meeting, one of the many games this season where turnovers have plagued this offense.
The Flyers rank 322nd in turnover rate on offense and are going up against a VCU defense that applies more ball pressure than almost anyone in the country.
The Flyers have really struggled on offense as of late after managing just 0.82 PPP against Rhode Island last weekend and 0.80 PPP in a loss to George Mason last week.
They’ve actually marginally improved in turnovers, but haven’t been able to make any shots from deep in those two recent offensive clunkers.
Now, they get a matchup with the Rams, who do have some defensive regression coming from the perimeter.
It’s not clear whether or not Dayton will be able to exploit them in this game, but VCU won’t be able to sustain its 25% 3-point defense. When you play as aggressive and sell out for turnovers as they do, teams will get some open looks against you, and 25% isn’t a realistic defensive rate to sustain.
VCU is outside the top 200 in allowing open 3s — both of the catch-and-shoot and off-the-dribble variety — so it’s only a matter of time before it pays for that on the scoresheet.
Dayton also has some positive regression coming at the rim, as ShotQuality says the Flyers rank 22nd in finishing at the rim frequency and are top-100 in finishing.
The Flyers should be able to get to the rim and to the line given how aggressive VCU is. That will keep this game competitive.
VCU’s recent shooting run gets more incredible with each passing game, especially after the Rams made 4-of-10 from deep against Richmond and made 7-of-14 in the game prior at Davidson.
The Rams have shot at least 40% from deep in six of their last seven games, and they don’t really project out as a great shooting team.
Even despite this hot run, VCU is just 134th for the season in 3-point field goal percentage, which shows just how much this team has been over-performing as of late. Baldwin Jr. has helped some of the turnover issues, but he hasn’t cured all of the problems.
VCU had a 28% turnover rate in two of the last three games and still managed to win both because teams haven’t made anything from the perimeter against them, especially in the last month.
The aggressive defense also hurts them on the defensive glass and could help give Dayton a few extra possessions to keep this game competitive.
VCU could live in transition here if its able to turn over the Flyers and get out and run, where the offense has been much more efficient. But Dayton ranks 308th in average defensive possession length and loves to slow the game to a crawl.
The Flyers should be able to keep this game played in the half-court, as they did in the first meeting. VCU’s offense ranks 316th in overall ShotQuality in the half-court.
Dayton vs. VCU Betting Pick
I’ve looked to back VCU a couple of times in conference play as an underdog, but 4.5 is too many points at home here given the slow pace of the game and the turnover issues that both teams have.
This game was decided by one point the first time, and Dayton is in the motivation revenge spot.
If there’s only going to be 60 possessions — as there was in the first meeting — and we’re looking at potentially 12-15 turnovers for each team, I can’t get to the number where VCU is laying 4.5, even with home court factored in.
If Dayton finally punishes VCU’s fortunate perimeter defense, or the Rams finally cool off from beyond the arc following their recent red-hot run, this game will come down to the final possessions yet again.
Catching multiple possessions on the road, I’m happy to back Dayton here and fade VCU as a favorite, where they have struggled this season against the spread.
Pick: Dayton +4 or better
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